For someone who loves to write and loves to read, there’s no greater thrill (other than a cold evening, a fire and a good book) than mixing and mingling with other writers. On that count, a recent outing was pure bliss. My husband Charley and I strapped on our tennis shoes, grabbed water bottles and made a day of it at the Texas Book Festival in Austin.
Under balmy 75 degree skies, we traced green pathways around the state capital lined with tents full of books. Friend Jennifer Marine and author of “No One’s the Bitch” told me about her upcoming interview on Dr. Phil’s show, I got some books signed, and we sat in the massive capitol rooms to hear authors speak. Afterwards, we sipped freshly squeezed lemonades while listening to music and cradling our precious book purchases.
A highlight was listening to my favorite author, Elizabeth Berg, speaking about her writing process. She likened it to a “freefall into trust.” She said she never knows where she’s going to end up, but it’s a spiritual process where she simply has faith that what needs to be expressed will make it onto the page. Rather than rigidly plotting her books, she lets everyday miracles speak for themselves on the page.
By the end of the day – and before our jaunt to 6th Street to see revelers in their Halloween costumes – I felt deeply quenched. Writing is a solitary sport, but one so deeply enjoyable we sometimes forget that swapping stories with other writers is a vital part of the package.