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02 December 2005

Act of God

I'm a member of the Arizona Book Publisher's Association and I attended the Holiday Party last night. It was held in this cool warehouse-type art gallery building called The Bentley Projects. Ironically enough, it wasn't in the best part of town, depsite being surrounded by a chain-link fence. I keep thinking that if I go to more of these things, it will be easier for me to mingle, talk about my books, blah, blah, blah. Well, everything in moderation, I say. I've gotten really good at passing out my business card. And, of course, being surrounded by other publishers, I FORGOT TO BRING MY OWN BOOKS. Someone might as well have just whipped out their own book and slapped me upside the head with it. That would've been a great conversation starter. Amidst the mental self-flailing I was enduring, I sat down at a candlelit table occupied by two African-American women. One of them I recognized, but couldn't figure out where until about two hours into the event. The older woman with her was her godmother. Sherry Williams, the woman I finally recognized, is a 4 time survivor of cancer. She even wrote a book about it ( Her godmother, Reverend Willie T. Barrow, Chair of the Board, Emeritus for the Rainbow Push Coalition is a feisty, 81-yr-old-who-doesn't-look-a-day-over-60 woman from Chicago.

This woman has been through and seen everything. She wrote a book called "How to Get Married and Stay Married", and she herself has been married for 57 years. I don't remember the year she was born, but she was reminiscing with another writer about the blackouts during the war along the coast; a method of protection when the Japanese were coming by sea. Rosa Parks was one of her best friends and attended her funeral. She was there at the prison in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was released. She's met Desmond Tutu and is currently Reverend Jesse Jackson's boss. She tells me, "I'm poor, but I'm rich in other ways. I'm relationship-wealthy. With His help, I am relationship-wealthy." It was like sitting next to an historical figure.

Ironically, a woman joined our table later on and told us she'd written a book titled "How to be a Christian and Not Be Annoying." These women, including Sherry, were so funny and outspoken, I almost felt overshadowed. I was content to sit back and just listen (as introverts are wont to do), take everything in and hope to learn something in the process. I think I was just glad to be at a table where there was just so much....light.

posted by GeminiWisdom @ 7:28 PM |


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