Another early morning in the airport – and like last year, I found myself on June 1st heading to Midtown Manhattan – this time via Cleveland, Ohio. I’m meeting some other Jane Austen fans in Cleveland for a social weekend, and flying from there to New York City to receive a 2012 Independent Publishers Book Award – a gold medal in the Romance category for my latest published work, Find Wonder in All Things.
By noon, I arrived in Cleveland, meeting my dear friend Terry at the gate (her plane arrived right before mine). We shared a ride to the Hampton Inn in Solon, Ohio where all the Jane Austen slags descended for the weekend.
Saturday we took a short road trip into beautiful downtown Cleveland to the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I quickly became immersed in reading all about Elvis, The Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as people like T-Bone Walker, the Soul Stirrers, and Ray Charles. As I moved through time toward the present day, I saw memorabilia like Stevie Nicks’ costumes, John Lennon’s school report card, and concert posters for the Sex Pistols. I ran out of time about 1985, and had to rush through the later exhibits. *sigh* Maybe I can go back someday and see the rest.
Afterwards, we had lunch at Market Garden Brewery, notable because it’s one of the few times in my life I’ve actually finished a beer
(granted it was half cider, but still an accomplishment!)
complete with the first tiara I’ve ever owned (It lit up and was adorned with purple down feathers, and was promptly confiscated by my daughter on my return home).
Good conversation was had all around – some of it hilarious, some of it lively. Although our lives are so different in other ways – rural or urban, married or single, younger or older, all different professions – we share a love for Our Beloved Authoress – a woman who is alive and well in our hearts and minds, though she’s almost 200 years gone from our planet.
Sunday was a quiet evening alone, as everyone went their separate ways, and I found myself sitting at another airport in the predawn hours on Monday: flying from Hopkins International to JFK. After a long taxi ride into Manhattan during rush hour, and a conversation about education and the job market with a young cab driver who had just received an environmental engineering degree from St. Johns, I found myself at the Double Tree Suites in Manhattan.
Several hours and some last minute clothing decisions later, I was on my way to the IPPY reception at Providence NYC on W 57th Street with Michele Reed from Meryton Press, Lisa T (a JA buddy and NYC resident) and Debbie S. Remember Debbie from last year’s IPPY ceremony? She was the brave soul who met this author traveling solo last May, on a first trip to New York City. It was wonderful to see Debbie again and hear about her beautiful new grandbaby!
This year’s IPPY reception was different than last – less authors from academia it seemed, and ebook categories were included for the first time, but such is the changing world of publishing. Being an author sometimes feels like riding an elevator with no floor buttons, careening up and down and stopping at previously unknown areas of the building, alternating with stretches of time stuck between stories (pun intended).
After a late snack at the Brooklyn Diner with the NYC girls, I crashed at the hotel, – so exhausted I slept in an almost catatonic state till the next morning.
Another walk in Central Park (I do like that place) and lunch at Rose O’Grady’s Bar, where I had a kick*ss Maryland crabcake sandwich, and it was back to Laguardia Airport for a late night flight back home.
So ended my ‘long strange trip’ – and by strange, I mean interesting in a lovely and exciting way. It allowed me to do two things that I’m becoming very fond of: meeting new people and seeing new places.
Wonder where this writing adventure of mine will take me next?