Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday's Words for May 5, 2010

What a fabulous time I had at RT! It was so good to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, to laugh and, after Wednesday, become a holy terror or a motorized scooter in the corridors of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus Ohio.

But before I go into any more details about the happenings at RT, I really need to share with you the highlights of the last week of my preparations. I related this particular adventure to a few people in Columbus, and as I thought on it, I decided I needed to share this with everyone.

If you’re a reader of my essays you know that I love my husband very much. You know what a pillar of support he has been to me as I pursue this dream of mine. But sometimes I worry that I’ve led you to believe he is pretty close to being perfect; certainly I’ve assured you I’m not anywhere near perfect. Now I feel it’s time for me to reveal the truth about Mr. Ashbury.

About a week and a half before leaving for RT, my beloved, when I fetched him from work one evening, asked me if I was going to color my hair before the event. I’d stopped coloring it about a year ago. I asked him if he thought I should. And he said, “Well, you are looking a little old and frumpy.”

He hastened (like greased lightning, he reminds me) to add that I would feel better about myself if I did color my hair.

Since he also said he preferred my hair to have a reddish hue, I went out and bought hair color and had my daughter help me since I had so much grey and didn’t want to miss any.

I picked him up at work and he gushed over how good I looked. My response was a quiet thank-you, and the announcement that, sadly, some of the new shirts I had purchased for my trip from an expensive ladies wear store that looked so nice with white hair simply clashed with the red, and I would have to buy more new, expensive tops, as I surely didn’t want to appear old and frumpy in Columbus.

Mr. Ashbury swallowed hard, and nodded his agreement.

A couple days later, when I fetched him from work, he got into the car, looked at me, and said, “My God, you’re wearing make-up!” I hadn’t worn make up in many years. He assured me it looked very good. I nodded. Then I said, “Well, I didn’t want to go to Columbus looking old and frumpy, so I went to the department store and sat at the Clinique counter and asked the beautician there to give me one of those free makeovers.”

Mr. Ashbury seemed to relax as he said it did indeed look lovely.

“Yes,” I agreed, “I liked it so much I told that sweet young lady that I would take one of everything she used on me.”

At this point, I believe Mr. Ashbury was sincerely wishing he’d never even heard of the words “old and frumpy”. I did check, and his resulting scream, when I told him how much I had spent, wasn’t quite sufficiently loud enough to impact the USGS earthquake sensors. But I’ll bet it was close!

I did indeed wear my new clothes and make-up at RT. I rented a scooter to help me to get around when I discovered how easy it could be done. I was a bit dangerous early on, that first day, but soon got the little beastie under control.

I got to have a lovely lunch with Joy, from Joyfully Reviewed; I had dinner with a group of talented authors including Emma Wildes, Lara Santiago, Kristen Painter, my roommate Raina James, sister Sirens Tonya Ramagos and Sandy Sullivan, author Victoria Alexander, a gracious and engaging lady whom I met for the first time, and my friend Kelley Armstrong.

Going to RT, seeing the same faces of devoted readers, loyal volunteers, and fellow authors is in many ways like coming home. Thanks to all who took the time to come see me either in Club RT or at the two book signing events.

Having people seek me out just to say hello or to tell me they enjoy my words, is the greatest fringe benefit of this wonderful career I have!


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