Books Alive

The first event for the Books Alive in Panama City began at 7:30 a.m. Friday when I met with Bay High. My escort for the morning was sweet Jamie.

These Advanced Scholars were cheery considering the time of day and the guest speaker they had to endure.

After a brief break and a couple cups of coffee, I joined some older students at the Florida State campus for a keynote address during a brown bag luncheon.

The problem with speaking at this Florida State campus is the distracting view over the bay. It was hard for even the speaker to stay focused given the beauty beyond that glass wall.

I met another Jamie — that’s her in the yellow.  She and her family have compiled a family history. Every author ought to have the honor of meeting a reader like Jamie. She loves reading everything.

I don’t know whether to blame the windows at the campus on the fact that after spending a week writing and preparing the keynote, I put the speech on the podium, walked away and never returned to it.

I don’t have a clue what I said but I know it had to do with writing and the writer’s life. I meant to tell them that it was appropriate that the luncheon was a brown bag lunch, given that’s the kind most writers can afford.

Following the Florida State event, I joined the Pulpwood Queen Kathy Patrick and girlfriend Kathie Bennett for a visit. Kathie Patrick heads up one of the largest book clubs in the country.  There is a big campaign underway to get Oprah to bring Kathy onto OWN. She is unrivaled in her championing of books and authors, often selecting books that go on to become national bestsellers. After the Flag has been Folded is one of Kathy’s book club selections.  And totally unexpected for me was this wonderful review of that same book that came out yesterday!

Also at the luncheon was Robert Leleux, whose book, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy I’m now reading. A Texan, Robert has taken over the columnist spot previously held by the beloved Molly Ivins.  Robert’s book is achingly funny. Its tone reminds me ever so much of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Did you see that movie?

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  • We saw Gilbert Grape back when. Hard to forget that film. We still talk about it. I do miss Molly Ivins a whole lot; Linda Ellerbee, too.

    I miss my friend Jack also, now that you’ve got me started. It will be two years next month, and I’ve kept his last e-mail about Hueys and Cobras in my inbox. I read it every few months, and I hear his voice. Today, I know more people than ever. More than ever know me. Soon that peak will pass. I’ll probably miss Jack even more then. He loved books as much as anything in life, I think.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      It is a hard movie to forget isn’t it Roger? Lots of Flannery characters. Same with Robert’s book, which is non-fiction. Loved Molly, not so much Linda. Met her a few years back. That’s all I have to say about that.

      And Jack, yes, I understand. Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of Gordon’s death. I was with Pam all weekend. She joined me here in PC.

  • Lillian

    Enjoyed your BOOKS ALIVE. When are you coming to my part of Georgia?

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      In early March, Lillian. I’ll let you know dates soon as I figure them out.

  • Looks like it was a couple of great events!

  • Great to see you again. Mom really enjoyed your talk at Books Alive and told me how much she was enjoying ‘Double Wide.’ I started ‘Where’s Your Jesus’ last night. One of these days you’re gonna have to stay long enough for Debra to make you some gumbo.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Tell Debra I’ll be back next month! 🙂