Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meg and Judy, Elliot and Emily, and...

Key West -- What a week!

Meg Cabot and I did a gig for the Friends of the Library. We decided we'd ask each other questions on stage, so we went to lunch a few weeks ago and made a list, but didn't tell each other the answers. We wanted to be surprised along with the audience. Meg was a great interviewer. She jumped in and asked almost all the questions. After I answered I'd turn to her and say, What about you? Then she'd say a line or two and ask the next question. Mostly, we talked about our journeys as writers, and our process. When Meg asked, Are you a plotter or a seat-of-your-pants-er? I admitted I'm definitely a seat-of-your-pants-er. That is, I don't carefully plot my story first. As I write I get to know my characters. I can count on them to lead me the rest of the way. The best part of writing for me is the surprise -- and my characters always surprise me. Meg said it's pretty much the same with her. We had a great audience who had their own questions to ask.

And in the first row of the audience was my grandson, Elliot and his girlfriend, Emily. They'd just arrived to spend spring break with us. Since Elliot loves Meg and Benjamin we all went out to dinner together after the event. That was SO much fun!

The next day George and I took Elliot and Emily on the Danger (that's the name of the sailboat, not the event). We went kayaking, snorkeling (them, not me -- I don't like putting my face in the water).

At the end of the week Elliot said it was the best vacation he'd ever had. Hey...that's high praise coming from a grandson. Okay, so it wasn't because of me ( as you can see) but still... We all enjoyed ourselves and each other.

On the day Elliot and Emily left, part of the Cooper clan from Baltimore arrived for two nights. They got to play tourist during the day but we all had a yummy dinner at Blue Heaven. (Save me from their Key Lime pie!)

Before they left Matthew and Jessica, with the help of Levi and Reed, finished the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle Emily and Elliot started but didn't have time to finish.

In case you're wondering what I've been doing since then -- (no, I haven't taken to my bed although it was a tempting idea) -- I've been preparing my talk for U. Southern Miss next Thursday. They're giving me a medal and I'm giving them the story of my life as a writer (more or less). Will let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow George and I leave for New Orleans, where I've never been! Three nights there, then Hattiesburg (and Southern Miss) another place I've never been. Really looking forward to this break before I settle in to work on my new book idea.
xx Judy