This year's Great Smoky Mountains Bookfair was a smash hit! We had more people come to visit than ever before, and our authors on display were busier than I've ever seen them. I can vouch for that! I hardly had time to look at the book displays or to visit with friends like Kerry Madden, Pam Duncan, Vicki Lane, Allan Wolf, Fred Chappell--well, the list could go on. The event was held once again at the First United Methodist Church in Sylva, an ideal facility that feels both welcoming and capacious enough for a bunch of writers and readers to hang out for a day, indulging their love of books. We appreciate the church for opening its lovely downstairs rooms to us.
Alas, I forgot to bring new batteries for my camera, so I don't have photos of my own to share, but I do have one, taken in my kitchen, of the beautiful wall sconce, with an ear of corn on it (of course!), by my dear friend Gayle Woody, the one who created the gorgeous corn batik that I featured a few weeks back. Gayle teaches art at Smoky Mountain High School now, and her energy and spirit always makes me feel more alive.
(Sconce hand-made by artist and friend Gayle Woody)
I wrote a lot of poems for both children and adults, including a couple for babies named Eason and Sean Adam. I had a lot of fun writing one for a woman who rescues St. Bernard's, the breed of dog I've always wanted! With four "mutts" living with me these days, I'm glad I don't have the dog of my dreams, though a keg of brandy around his neck would be welcome on cold nights.
The highlight of my day was Allan Wolf's Poetry Alive performance and the readings by our student poetry contest winners. More about that tomorrow. They were fabulous. What poise they all had! I could never had stood up to read my own poem when I was in the second grade. Or the twelfth!
(Photo from Allan's website, http://www.allanwolf.com. )
And yes, I bought books, so many that my friends Harold and Jane Schiffman had to help me carry them out to the car!
Then we joined Fred and Susan Chappell for a glass of wine at Mill and Main, http://www.historicdowntownsylva.com/rest.html, basking in the afternoon light on the restaurant deck.
All in all, a great day for writers, readers, and our region.