Today’s lists, from the folks at “The Broke and the Bookish,” is all about memories. What are your favorite memories having to do with a book or author? I love these lists, because they really make you think. This one sure did. At first, I didn’t think I had any, but as I sat down and started thinking it over, I came up with quite a few. So here we go.
Top Ten (or Five) Favorite Bookish Memories
1. The Midnight Release Party for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – I came to the Harry Potter party late in the game. I didn’t start reading the books until after I saw the first movie, and by then four of the books were already out and the world was desperately waiting for the fifth one. We went to the midnight release party at Borders (R.I.P.) – me, my now ex-husband, my best friend, and my mother. It was so much fun! I knew the books were popular and that I loved them, but I had no idea such a fandom existed. Being at a midnight release party for the first time made me feel part of the community and it was thrilling.
2. The Midnight Release Party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – You might consider this cheating, having two Harry Potter parties on the list, but I love them for two very different reasons. This midnight release party was my second date with my now husband. 🙂 We were both big Harry Potter fans. Our first date was going to see one of the movies (I think it was Order of the Phoenix, actually – how’s that for symmetry?) and our second date was at Borders (R.I.P.) for the midnight release. It was actually a pretty decent date idea. Wandering around a bookstore like that, talking about books, movies and music that you like or dislike, is an excellent way to start to get to know a person. And it must have been effective, since we did end up getting married. 🙂
3. Meeting Orson Scott Card at the Bookmarks Festival – I am a huge fan of Card’s Ender Wiggin books. I’ve read all of them. I own all of them. I also like some of his other standalone books, like Enchantment and Magic Street. At one time, he was probably my favorite author. So how thrilling was it to get to meet him at our library’s Bookmarks Festival! I will always remember what he said to me. I asked him to sign my copy of How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. He asked if I was a writer, and I said that I was an aspiring writer. He looked at me strangely and said, “Does that mean that you’ve bought a pen?” He went on to say that I should never call myself an “aspiring” writer. If you write, then you are a writer. Whether you are published or not doesn’t change that. It’s good advice, that I have taken to heart.
4. Writing Workshop with Orson Scott Card, Jake Black, and Mette Ivie Harrison – I haven’t been to many writing workshops, but this one was really fun. I remember that we were talking about how anything can be turned into a story as long as you build it up the right way. We constructed a very silly plot on a chalkboard, featuring an ex-lawyer turned bum and his jealous pet chinchilla. I will always remember Card looking thoughtfully at the board, tapping his finger to his chin, and saying, “You know, I think for this story to work, the chinchilla has to die.” They also gave us a lot of insight into the publishing industry, something I didn’t really have much of.
5. Getting Blog Posts Retweeted by Authors – This is something that I never thought would happen when I started this blog. Sure, I thought maybe a few people would read it. Maybe a few bookish, nerdy, geeky folks like me. Then I started mentioning my book reviews on Twitter, and some AUTHORS STARTED RESPONDING! My tweets and links got retweeted by several authors, most notably Jennifer Estep and Julie Kagawa. It was so exciting!