Friday, September 25, 2009

The Highlight of My Year

The day has come and gone entirely too fast. Last night was the book signing for Diana Gabaldon's newest Outlander novel, An Echo in the Bone. I've been looking forward to this for some time. For those of you who know me well enough, you know how obsessed I am with this author and her books, specifically the Outlander series. Hands down, the best books I've ever read.
My friend and former coworker, Erin, met me at the bookstore. She drove up from Huntsville, AL for the day. We were like two teenagers meeting the Beatles. I didn't even remember to eat dinner I was so excited. Dagan's stepmom Cara was also there with her own stack of books to get signed.
Diana spoke for about 40 minutes, then answered questions from the audience. The first question was one I had planned to ask: "What if any music do you listen to while you write?"
Her answer was that she didn't routinely listen while she wrote, but that nearing the end of this book she was listening to The Proclaimer's "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)". I squealed with delight because this song, among other Proclaimer's songs, was on my own Playlist to listen to while writing. It was also the song I was listening to on my iPod when I pulled into the bookstore's parking lot that night.
Several of the questions were pointless, since their answers can be found on the author's website. There were many eye rolls from Erin, Cara, and myself. But the worst part was when this incredibly rude/dumb woman standing behind D.G. interrupted her to shout "I'm back here, and I have a question." I swear there was an audible gasp from the audience. But Diana was poised, and turned to the lady and answered her silly question. Her question was something about Diana's lineage and how her family came to the US in the 1800's. To be honest I didn't pay attention because I was so appalled that she'd interrupted her in the first place.
After answering questions, she read an excerpt from 'Echo' and it was a little racey. Erin, who's 19 year old son had been dragged along for our adventure, was standing behind me red faced with embarrassment because of the content D.G. chose. She whispered to me "I can't laugh with my son right here!"
After the reading, they called the first group of people to get their books signed. We were the third group, so we had a bit of time to wait. I desperately needed a beer to calm my nerves :) Cara mentioned there was a restaurant attached to the store. It looked like a coffee shop to me, but they did in fact have beer. So Erin, Cara, and I had a Blue Moon. And Erin's son Kyle, had a Dr. Pepper. By the time we'd finished our liquid fortification, it was time for our group to line up.
When our turns arrived, Cara went first, myself second, and Erin third. The staff was kind enough to take our pictures and we all took pictures of each other too. I swear to God, my palms were sweating and my heart was racing. I felt extremely stupid. But I walked up for my turn and tried not to act the way I felt. The bookstore staff had placed post-it notes inside each person's book with their name printed so we didn't have to waste time spelling our names. This was great since NO ONE can ever spell my name. When Diana opened my book, she said "That's a very pretty name!" I don't even know if I said thank you or not, because my ears were ringing at this point. I had two other books for her to sign, one for my mom and one for my nursing school buddy Jenny. She was almost done with my books when I finally said something. I told her about my listening to The Proclaimers. And I told her that Erin and I (and our husbands) were taking a Jamie and Claire tour of Scotland in May.

Then it was over. I needed another beer ;)
Cara and I got another beer, and Erin and Kyle said their goodbyes. Erin and I said "See you in Scotland." But hopefully we'll see each other before then.
I only got about five hours total of sleep last night, and I'm slightly hungover since I never ate last night. And the odds are against me for getting a nap before work tonight. BUT, I'm sure the high of last night will carry me through a 12 hour shift @ Vanderbilt.

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