Saturday, I was a guest of my first publisher, Dr. Marc Jolley, at the Twentieth Annual Mercer University Authors Luncheon. What a grand time I had! The event was part family reunion and part becoming a "groupie" with such outstanding speakers as Billy Collins, United States Poet Laureate, and a delightfully entertaining man in general. Last March I had the privilege of meeting him at a writers conference in Augusta. Also speaking were Nancy Grace, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Kathryn Stockett, author of "The Help", one of my favorite books of the year.
Be still my heart, Kathryn actually recognized me and remarked, "Milam, you've bought so many copies of my book, the next one will be free!"
Best of all, I got to see lotsa old friends, the Brantleys, the adorable Mary Frances and Jim Burt, who designed my first three book covers, the Hollands, Laura Braddick and Betsy Duffey. Betsy is the author of 25 childrens books and was at the gathering to support her husband Bill's new book. My dear friends/family of Mercer Press were scurrying about like chipmunks but still had time for a warm welcome for everyone. Along with Marc Jolley were Marsha, Jenny, Barbara, Kevin and Mr. Edd. I met some very interesting and talented new folks at our table, too, but mostly I talked with Marc, the Burts, and with Andrea Griffith, a former television anchor and now a journalist in Athens. Andrea lives in a cottage with radio active spiders and a beer drinking raccoon. Shouldn't she be writing a book? This was NOT a boring luncheon.
Sometimes being a writer can be a solitary profession. However, yesterday was much more about hugs and laughter, sharing stories and rekindling friendships. I loved every minute and I sincerely thank my friend Dr. Jolley for his kind invitation. *By the way, this man was the very first person who believed in our OCIEE!