Monthly Archives: March 2013

My Top 5 Experiences With Authors

I’d like to make a video about this, but it hasn’t happened yet, so for now: enjoy the written version.

5.  Jane Borden: Jane Borden, a writer for SNL who wrote a memoir called I Totally Meant to Do That, came to a bookstore near me to do a reading and signing of her book.  I don’t remember why I went, considering I hadn’t read the book yet, but I picked up a copy and walked up to get her to sign it.  I told her my name and the story behind it, where I’ve discovered that it’s how “Carrie” is usually spelled up north, since her memoir was about a Carolina girl moving to New York.  She signed my book with “You’d totally fit in in up north.”  I’m not entirely sure what that meant, but considering I want to live in New York for at least a couple months one day, I’m going to take it as a compliment.

4. Daniel Wallace:  Daniel Wallace is the author of Big Fish, the novel that the movie is based on, and he also makes a cameo in the movie.  We watched the movie for a class of mine but, because it’s against my religion to watch a movie without first reading the book, I bought Big Fish at a local used bookstore and read it before we watched the movie. A few days after the viewing, Daniel Wallace came to our class to discuss it with us.  I had found my copy easily, but I had gone to four different bookstores looking for a second copy for my sister’s birthday.  After class, I approached him and asked if it was okay to be a fangirl.  He signed my book with “Thanks for being a fangirl.” and a picture of a fish.  He signed my sisters book with “Happy birthday” and a picture of a birthday cake.  She loved it, obviously.

3. Mary Karr: Mary Karr is a poet as well as a memoirist.  The book I have read by her so far is The Liar’s Clubbut her poetry collection Sinners Welcome is also really great.  She came to UNC and spoke to my memoir class.  First, she complemented my shirt.  Then, as she was making a point that she wasn’t the same person she was when she wrote the memoir, she asked if we were the same people we were in high school.  I reacted…audibly.  She laughed and said, “You’re my favorite!”  The next day, Kelsey and I were supposed to take her cheerwine to a panel, but the store was out.  Still, we sat at the front of the room and she complemented my outfit again (I was wearing my Gryffindor tie) so, bonus, I got to discuss Harry Potter with Randall Kenan and Rosecrans Baldwin.

2. Josephine Humphreys:  Josephine Humphreys wrote Nowhere Else on Earth and won the Thomas Wolfe award here at UNC last semester.  Because I was taking a class with the professor in charge of that at the time, I was invited to work the reception after her talk.  We got a picture with her, that I am still working on acquiring, and then she turned to me, without provocation, and asked what I was working on right then.  I told her about my children’s fantasy novel I’m working on…after being really confused for a minute of course.  She told me that was a very profitable genre and to keep working on it.  That kept me going for a week.

1. Sarah Dessen: Part of the reason Sarah Dessen is number one is because she is my absolute favorite author.  Of these writers, she is the only one whose work I’ve read all of, but my favorite is The Truth About Forever.  In fact, this is my favorite book of all time.  For my 20th birthday, my mom bought me a first edition of it and I kept it at school in case the opportunity came up for me to get it signed.  It actually did on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I went up to her and told her that story.  She began to sign it and then misspelled my name.  She fixed it, but she felt so bad about it that she wanted to buy me another book.  She went and found the only one they had left, signed it, and then went up to the register with me to pay for it.  Let me just tell you: MORE than made up for it!

I love meeting writers.  One of the major reasons I want to be a published author, or maybe own a bookstore, is so I can meet more of them.  My goal list to meet includes John Green, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), JK Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, and Patricia C. Wrede.  Also, I’d love to have lunch with Sarah Dessen, coffee with Maureen Johnson and Stephanie Perkins, and cheerwine with Mary Karr.

Sigh.  Maybe one day.

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Ten Mistakes I Will Never Make Again (And a Couple I Probably Will)

1. Sharing an article online that I have not thoroughly read and explored.

2. Sharing cereal from a bag with a two year old (trust me on this one).

3. Wait a whole week to tell my mother something I should have told her immediately.

4. On a similar note, take for granted that I can take care of something I clearly cannot and refuse to ask for help.

5. Wait when I definitely need to find a restroom and the bus ride is going to take a whole hour.

6. Leave my passport out at Customs (oops…)

7. Say something that might be inappropriate without being completely sure of what it means.

8. Take something as such a sure thing that I neglect to make a back-up plan.

9. Ride a scooter down a hill in flip flops without a helmet (I promise)

10. Get a tattoo or piercing at a place I haven’t fully vetted.

And a few I probably will:

1. Drive a little over the speed limit.

2. Act before thinking something completely through.

3. Get close to someone even if it might end badly.

4. Choose to spend time with a person or experiencing something rather than doing something “productive.”

5. Stay up too late trying to finish what I should have already finished, reading a book, or doing something that can’t wait until morning.

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