I skipped the next two panels, I must confess, because the day was just too beautiful to spend entirely inside. I hit up my fav antique/second hand store, visited a new-to-me used book store and then I spent an hour drinking coffee and reading.
I really could have spent the rest of the afternoon there had not Melanie Benjamin and author Kevin Brockmeier not been doing a reading. Benjamin told the audience about how she came to write Alice I Have Been and a bit about the history between Alice Liddell (Lewis Carroll's muse) and Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll). Benjamin was inspired by a photograph that Dodgson had taken of seven-year-old Alice that she saw in an exhibit; Alice struck her as an old soul in a young body with an expression that was very adult and modern. Then she read from the start of the book and the lady can really make her book come alive. It was like watching an actress inhabiting a character.
The next session was a reading by Schaffert, Brockmeier and Kate Bernheimer from the book "My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me," which I just squealed about on Friday. Each of them has contributed a story to the collection which I'll talk about more when I review the book. Again I was impressed by Bernheimer's knowledge of fairy tales but the Brockmeier and Schaffert were no slouches on the subject either.
It was a really inspirational day but I can't tell you how hard it was for me to walk away without buying one single book--well, except for the two I bought for the boys to have signed. Greatest signatures ever--I'll have to post pics soon!