The Heart of Dixie Romance Reader's Luncheon was lots of fun, but I've discovered I'm not a good traveler. Although the bed was perfectly lovely, it wasn't MY bed, and so I didn't sleep well. The room had a nice air conditioner, but I like to sleep under a fan with the air circulating, so I felt hot all night.
But it was lovely to see all my Heart of Dixie buddies. Stephanie Bond gave a hilarious (and uncomfortably close to home) luncheon talk about procrastination and deadlines. And I got to sign my first autograph!
It's constantly amazing to me that readers will drive for miles (one lady came from OHIO!) just to meet the writers whose works they love. It's also humbling when you're in the position of the writer and realize that people really care about the stories you tell.
I met one lady, Ismaina (and I know I've probably bungled the spelling of her name--sorry!) who drove up this morning from Pensacola--a six hour drive--just because she loves the writing of Linda Howard and Beverly Barton. She said that Linda's McKenzies series was like prozac for her after a stressful day. Beautiful--and awesome. She's a mosaicist and has done a mosaic of characters from Linda's books. Linda made those characters so real to her that she was able to find in them inspiration for her own art.
I've decided now that that's my goal as a writer. I want to write well enough that an Ismaina out there finds my stories and characters so compelling and real that they inspire her to create something new and beautiful of her own. It's a worthy goal, don't you think?