I have been on a three week break visiting family and friends in Michigan and Wisconsin. There are lots of stories and pictures to share, but tonight I wanted to start with this.
I was able to coordinate a trip to Wisconsin around two events: a Maggie Stiefvater book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Madison and the Bon Iver show at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee.
True story. On Maggie's facebook page she wrote that she had arrived in Madison for the book signing (only, because it was Maggie, the post was much more witty than that). Lots of people commented things like "yay!" and "you're the greatest!" and whatnot. I commented that I had come in from Seattle to see her.
Then later at Barnes and Noble, when Maggie came out and started speaking, the very first thing she said was "true or false, one of you came from Seattle to see me tonight." I wanted to sink in to the bottom of my chair! Everyone looked around as I sheepishly raised my hand. I forget what Maggie said after that because I was too embarrassed, being called out by one of my very favorite authors and all. She was a hilarious, hilarious, speaker. I was one of the last people to get my copy of Forever signed and when I told Maggie who to write the autograph out to she said "oh, you're the girl from Seattle" and I verified I was. She said "you didn't come here just to see me, did you?" and I said that I had friends and family to visit, too. She was sweet and drew a wolf on my book because I had come so far. My friend Stephanie (who will get more mentions in future trip posts!) took this picture of Maggie and I. Notice how beet red I am. I get that way when I'm flustered/excited/embarrassed/nervous, well, pretty much any time someone looks at me. I am not sure what my deal is.
Then on Saturday night my sister and I went to the Bon Iver show. I was so pleased with myself, having scored fifth row seats by paying close attention to the pre-sale back in April. The show was beyond explanation. If you have never listened to Bon Iver, please go do so immediately. I'll wait.
This picture kind of drives me nuts. It was taken on my cell phone and honestly, it makes it look like I was further away than I actually was. We could see the whites of Justin's eyes. I point this out because when he sang he often had a semi-creepy stare straight at the ceiling above him.
So why am I starting out my trip talking about these two things? It's because I garnered an immense amount of inspiration for writing my novel from Maggie's work and Bon Iver's music. Many chapters of my book were written with For Emma, Forever Ago streaming through my headphones. Many nights were spent curled up in bed devouring each page of Shiver and Linger, thinking to myself that I would be thrilled if my story telling were even half as engaging as Maggie's.
It was quite magical for me to have had these two experiences on my trip, and inspired me to get off my butt (or maybe back on my butt, as the case may be!) and start writing again.