A Good Day in my Old Stomping Grounds

It's been a very good day.

It began with my sister-in-law on my old stomping grounds; it's amazing how much things change and yet stay the same when you haven't visited a place for years.

Harvard Square is just as I remember it, some of the buildings may have changed, but the sloping cobblestone walkways and the busy college students crowding in the streets remain the same. The cool change was to discover that the parking meters now accept credit cards! Great news for someone lacking in the bucket of quarters department. The sad change was to see the big sale signs in the windows of Curious George bookstore and I couldn't imagine the corner without it. Hurrying across the street was like running from potential heartbreak.

I dove into the Harvard COOP waiting for my friend, Dave. I went to the Information Desk asked if they had stocked my book. (As an alum, I'd contacted the COOP ages ago with the release date and they assured me it would be in stock.) Indeed it was: one copy in the Teen section which I then asked a manager if I could sign, which I did, and a shiny "Signed by Author" sticker was placed on it, face-out. I was giddily pleased.

EEEEEE! Dream come true! EEEEEE!

Of course, that's when Dave pointed out that there was a *STACK* of my books proudly displayed on the YA Picks table (next to copies of DIVERGENT and FOREVER) right next to the information booth! (Duh!) I signed all of those, too, and we left for lunch. We had a fantastic conversation about books, trends, projects and big laughs which was fabulous except for Dave slicing his finger and I played my "Mom" card and ordered a Band-aid. He survived both the wound and the Jewish Mothering.

He's okay! And he's kind of famous.

Then we went to the Museum of Fine Art to see the Chihuly exhibit, which I'd heard was wonderful, but nothing could have prepared me for the work itself. It was like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory meets a mix of Dr. Seuss and Shaun Tan surrealism made of colored glass and natural flora, inhabited by surreal underwater creatures. I wandered around in awe, looking at tentacles and flowers and long seed pods and translucent nesting bowls set on beautifully-lit reflective podiums. It was a perfect shot of inspiration that I craved without knowing that I'd needed it so badly.

One of the Venetian "Boat" pieces via Susan Henschen

Gorgeously surreal landscape via mocoloco.com

Then it was a quick turn-around to freshen up and change in order to run about fifteen minutes late to my own congratulatory dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant with friends (eek! and yum!) and then scoot over to Pandemonium Books & Games where I met up with fellow authoress, Heather, who helped me set up my Dia de los Muertos table and all my goodies including chips, salsa, mole, sweet Maria cookies & sweet-hot organic chili-lime lambada lollipops. (One must have one's priorities in order!) It was a blur of black pens, good laughs, lots of friendly faces and some great questions. And I learned first-hand why it's a good idea to bring your own books: the place sold out and then sold half the box I brought! (Note to authors: always bring additional books. Check.)

Reading while trying to project my voice over the RPGs going on downstairs.

The evening ended with many hugs and meets planned for ReaderCon where I get to bask in a love of books and sff all over again!

Yes, it was very, very good day. Hope you had one, too!


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