Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Salon...I talked to Alison Weir

I met Alison Weir and I still can't believe it. Once again, R.J. Julia Bookseller in Madison, CT was hosting an evening to remember. Some of you know me, and know I have a slight issue with dare I say "narcolepsy". It might not be that, but you tell me.

As I drag myself out of bed with the whimpering, whining, wake-up call from my four fur kids, I realize it is Wednesday. Ugh, I have a full day of classes with no breaks until las
t period. "Ok, guys, give me a minute, let's go, I'll let you out." As I open the back door to the pen, I realize it is the day that Alison Weir will be in Madison, CT. No way, will I miss seeing her for anything. My day was looking up. Even when I went to the fridge to get cream for my coffee and realize there is none, my day was going to be great. How could it not?

Just on time to school, yes!!! As I get out of my car once again the feeling of morning sickness takes over as I walk to get my suitcase of tech toys and books out of the back of my SUV. Well, I know I'm not pregnant, but it seems my brain doesn't know it. My world is spinning around me, and I am not moving. They call it vertigo. Why do I feel this way every day, I'm thinking. Driving in the car I was feeling just fine. What should I do drive all day. With the price of gas, that would break the bank real quick.

I just wish the doctors had better answers than, "We'll get to the bottom of this." or "Well, there is definitely something wrong, we just have to find out what." I think as I'm swaying, teetering like person who partied too much and feeling so sick, I can pay my friends the same amount of money for this same wishy-washy medical mumbo jumbo.

Afterschool, as I'm packing up I can only think of seeing Alison Weir. I hope I can get home in time to feed the dogs, and get to Madison.
(Madison, CT is so beautiful, it is on the Connecticut coast, with little shops, very New England in look and feel. It is also about an hour and 40 minutes from my town.)

As I am about to leave school I have that sense of tiredness, I can barely keep my eyes open. Then I feel sudden panic.

"Oh shoot, I have hall duty today!!!!! "

I rush to my assignment and manage my post with the efficiency of the infamous Provincetown policeman. Maybe not quite as funny, but the kids love it anyway. They are all happy to leave for the day and I know them all. I chuckle at the sight as they try to "power walk" instead of run. Oops..."Hey slow it down guys!!!" I'm watching them march up the ramp and as they walk by there is a chorus of bye Mrs. E. They come, 2 x 2 or 3, loaded down with backpacks, wearing their backward baseball caps, carrying leftover birthday cupcakes and showing smiles of goodbye till tomorrow.

I'm thinking about Alison Weir, Madison, CT and locking up the equipment, and the rest
of what is on my things to do list. As I get to the car I'm hoping I locked up everything, and I have everything I need in my bags. As I fumble for my keys and iPhone I thought, "Well, I'm all set with these."

I'm driving through the back roads toward home, listening to my iPod on my iPhone and suddenly say "I'm doing okay today, no nodding off. This is great. Awesome." Ok so when I pass the next car and he looks at me as I'm talking to myself, I don't even care. I'm awake. I'm going to see Alison Weir. Pulling in my driveway, the cacophony of what you would think was a pack of ten not four greyhounds was rooooing up a frenzy. Every day is the same, fussing for freedom, happy tails wagging, eager to earn a cookie and I know they will lick me to death.

I always talk to my dogs, and don't tell me you don't because I know you do. You probably talk baby talk too. You k
now you do!!!

So, I was thinking, dogs out, feed dogs, let them rest, let them out, get in the car and go.

(You see where I'm going with this right?)

"Feeding you guys is so pathetic. You make me feel like I starve you." I hate to watch them eat, because track dogs inhale their food like large suction hoses. It takes 2 minutes or less. So much for chewing your food. NOT!!! I grabbed their dessert cookie. (Yes, I do spoil them, but they are greyhounds and they deserve it). "Here guys, good Webster, good Wizard, good Lion, good Mystery. Now, go sleepy."

As I'm checking my email while they rest........ddddddddddddddddddd

Oh no, I look at the clock and it says 6:15. I must have fallen asleep again. I look at the computer and there they are. Letters, a whole line of them, this time the letter "ddddddddddd". No, it can't be. I couldn't have slept from 4:00pm to 6:15pm. I'll never make it to Madison. Sh...!!! Sh...!!! I can't believe this. Ok, think, think!!.

I'm not going to go. This is so stupid. I have to go. I must go. So, I'll be a little late. I'm going. So, my inner thoughts decide to go, and I let the dogs out, back in and hop in t
he car.

As I arrive in Madison, I parked the car in front of the bookstore. That's odd. I found a space so easily. Right in front, how awesome is that. It looks like no one is here. Where is everyone I think. This isn't like the Barbara Walters book signing. I look for a line to stand in and found none, so I walk in the store. Why look a gift horse in the mouth, right? On my right I see Alison Weir signing books. She is right next to me as I walk in the door. There are about 10 people in line as I look at my watch and see that it is about 8:15PM. I can't believe how late I am. But, thinking to myself it doesn't look like it mattered.

I surveyed the store to get my balance back. The vertigo was raising havoc after I prete
nded I was on the Autoban to get Alison's autograph. At least that's how I rationalized I would tell any policeman that pulled me over. On my way to the register, I saw her books and picked up Lady Elizabeth, which, by the way I already owned, but I knew I had to buy one of their copies for signing.

As I was looking at the table of books I picked up five more of hers including her last novel Innocent Traitor. She signed them all, including my copy that I had brought. How gracious she is I thought.

Standing in a line of two people was just unbelievable. I guess it was a good thing to be late.
I was also the last person in line. The angels are with me. I am going to meet Alison Weir.

About Alison Weir.....
She has an absolutely radiant personality. I was able to talk to her for a bit longer, because I am a nudge, and because no one was left in line. Yes!!! So, she believes her historical fiction is a new genre called "faction". Since her research is so extensive and the book is based on so much true history, she doesn't like it to be considered a work of just fiction. She had been in the states three weeks and was heading back to England on the Queen Mary II. We talked about our mutual love for the Queens of England and particularly, King Henry's Wives. She believes she was Anne Boleyn in her past life and I said I believed I was Lady Elizabeth. We laughed. I asked her how she came to start writing historical fiction, and she said "it just happened." We had a nice conversation, and when I left, she said, "Good bye Donna, nice to meet you." and I said the same.
Her next two books will be non-fiction. The first, a biography about Katherine Swynford due for 2/2009 release in US, and The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn due for fall 2009 release in US.
So, my fellow readers what do you think? Could I have sleeping sickness? Does anyone have narcolepsy?

The Winner of my Give-A-Way contest for the Isabel Allende book is J.Kaye!!!!!
Thanks so much J.Kaye for entering and giving. The greyhounds thank you. LOOK FOR A HAPPY BOX COMING YOUR WAY.


Anonymous said...

Wisteria, I guess we have a great deal in common and tomorrow when I have rather more time I shall put up a response to your great comment on my blog. For the moment I just wanted to say the only reason I don't talk to dogs is that my Bears, to whom I do talk, won't let me have any and stick at trying to find out what is making you feel so lousy. As you will realise from the start of my post today, I've been going through something very similar and we are beginning to get to the bottom of it, but it has taken almost two years.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, oh wow! You are the greatest!

My husband just went through a nightmare situation with vertigo like situation. In fact, that's what they thought he well as a brain tumor, etc. They had us so scared. Come to find out, he had a serious ear infection that couldn't be detected without a MRI. The infection had migrated to a bone in his ear.

My prayers are with you and I hope they find out what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Was so exicted that I forgot to comment about Alison Weir. I am so thrilled you were about to make it to see her. What a wonderful, wonderful treat!

Shauna said...

I'm so glad you were able to make it in time to meet her and talk with her for a few minutes. I haven't read any of her "faction" yet, but I recently sent a close friend "Innocent Traitor," and I'm curious to know what she thinks of it, and I'm eager to read it myself.


Anonymous said...

I have not read Weir as yet. I think I better get around doing that and soon! I find your your post very refreshing!

My Salon moments II

bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

I haven't read Weir, thanks for giving out the info though, that is great stuff! Oh, and congrats to Oldner for the book win!!! yay!

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

TY bethany, I am pretty darn excited!! :) And a super special thanks again to Wisteria. This made my week!

maggie moran said...

Just stopped by to let you know the Sense of Place Contest is ready for entries! Good Luck if you choose to participate! :)

Miss Kim said...

That's so cool! I recently made a personal challenge to read one book on each of Henry VIII's wives plus one on all of them, so of course I read a couple by Alison Weir!She's a great writer!

Did you know that if your blood sugar goes to high you fall asleep/pass out? I'm diabetic and if I ever eat too much sugar/carbs I can't keep myself awake. Maybe something to check out?

S. Krishna said...

I'm so jealous you met Alison Weir! I tried to get tickets for her talk in DC but it was already sold out.

wisteria said...

s. krishna (fellow Weir fan) I'm sorry you weren't able to see her. I hope she comes back to the US again. She was really a very sweet person and very easy to talk to. The store where she appeared is a very small New England bookshop with a lot of character. I thought I was going to miss her, as you read. Being late really helped in this case , having that extra special time with her. Thanks for writing. Wisteria.

Lana said...

I found your blog through LibraryThing and wanted to say hi! I really enjoyed reading about your experiences with Alison Weir. I have really loved all of her books that I have read (and there are many more on the TBR pile), so it's nice to hear that she's gracious in person too!