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Outside Again


By Anita Garner


Finally some of us are seeing each other in person again.  It's been so long.  It wasn't just two years of not gathering, it was also a lot of booking then un-booking during our mutual commitment to staying safe.


I was invited to attend an in-person luncheon last week to discuss my book. If you're new to this protracted book release story all you need to know is that "The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life" was released last year into the pandemic.  All book tour plans changed, not just for me but for all authors.  Some were cancelled, others switched to zoom appearances.


High praise for this gadget I'm in love with. It's been zoom-ing with me for a while and now it goes traveling too. I spotted it during a CBS-TV interview with Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny a while back when they recounted their (remote) co-authoring of a new book.  I load songs onto tablet or phone to demonstrate music. Last week's hostess has Alexa so all she needed was a list of the songs I would play. Alexa had all but one and my trusty iPad carried that one.




This tablet/phone holder swivels,
raises and lowers and has a weighted bottom
(you should pardon the expression.)


We planned to gather in Marin County on a beautiful Spring day.  After not going out much for a while I was a bit behind in the wardrobe department. This trip was a good reason to make the annual transfer. My closet was still stocked with flannel shirts while Spring had crept in again. I put flannel into storage and brought out floral prints.


We were invited to Marilyn's home to share potluck lunch on her beautiful deck in the trees.  Potluck lunch. Friends.  Trees.  Those things can make me smile for days.


Elaine shuttled some of us up the hill in her snappy electric Tesla.  Tricia surprised us with an old fashioned raisin pie baked in honor of Sister Fern's pies featured in The Glory Road.  I'd like to stress here that in-person pie is much more fun than virtual pie.  It was delicious.





Another happy combination: Platters of good food and thoughtful conversations. The group was ready with questions and those who hadn't  yet read the book knew its themes and shared personal observations.  We talked about the South and music and food and religion and family.


As we introduced ourselves around the tables we were invited to state one thing for which we're grateful. Jan offered a toast for the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson  which was happening as we gathered.


Any writer would be honored to be among this group of good souls and open hearts and while I remain happy to zoom everywhere, connecting in person is a gift I'm moving up near the top of my gratitude list.




If your group would like to book a Glory Road discussion, there's a contact form in the menu at the top of this page.  "The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life" is available wherever books are sold.  My publisher, University of Alabama Press, offers a discount for groups or ask your local library to order copies in advance for your book club in  hardcover, eBook and audiobook.


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