Sunday, January 23, 2011

More fun in photos...GFW 2011

Lemonade Dreams

Sometimes life throws you lemons so you make lemonade. And sometimes that lemonade is so sweet, so refreshing, so perfectly tangy that you suck in your cheeks and draw back your tongue. Nobody ever stops drinking the pulpy sweetness, you always go back for another sip. That is what Girlfriend Weekend is for me. And just as lemonade is the perfect relief from the blistering heat of summer, GFW is the slow-sippin', soul warming hot pink concoction of a usually gray January.

When I tell my non-PWQ (Pulpwood Queen) friends that I am spending the weekend at a book event, they usually smirk and say, "Yeah, have fun at thing." I smile my Southern smile, the one that hides my thoughts, and reply, "Yes I will. Maybe you can come next year." They just don't know. "Bless your heart," doesn't even work in that situation. They really just don't know.

Girlfriend weekend, the brainchild of Kathy Patrick, is the estrogen laden highlight of my year. Tucked away in the Spanish moss and pine trees of Jefferson, Texas, this trip is more like a family reunion than a book conference. A room full of women who all love books. Authors, budding and some in full bloom, eagerly wait to show off the petals of hard work, soul searching, and hours of solitude. Among this room full of women, peppered with a few men, tears are choked back, jaws drop, and bosoms heavy with the weight of womanly responsibility unload their burdens with soul purging laughter. It's beautiful.

And it was at this event, in 2004, where I realized my dream. I didn't know it was my dream at the time, which is less coincidental and more like a testament to God's perfect timing and unraveling of His intricate plan for my life. At this event, six years ago, I knew I wanted to write. I want to be an author at Girlfriend Weekend. I want share my stories and bare my soul. I want to bring a wave of laughter to a quiet room and then bring tears out of those same smiling eyes. I want. But I'm waiting. I'm writing. I'm doing my part and praying that this is also what God wants. Time will tell.

The QUEEN BEE, Kathy Patrick

My new soul sista, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, aka Queen Ester, from and my dorky real sister, the QUEEN...Le Tricia Wilbanks

Mom and her adopted son, Michael Morris author of "A Place Called Wiregrass,"
"Slow Way Home" and "Live Like You Are Dying"

Rocking out with Maa-shulll
Robin, Mary Ann, Marshall, Mom and me

Authors and Educators, Bernie Schein, me and Pat Conroy
my new mission is to read every one of PC's books!!

Helen Simonson, author of "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun is an understatement!

The Pulpwood Queens of Northwest Houston (and Ruston and Longview)

and the winner of the Big Ball of Hair is......MY SISSY! YEA, so proud of you!!! xoxo

I'm back! (imagine me saying that with a wide grin and jazz can see me now can't you!)

I skipped over the real festivities of Christmas day and now I'm here, in the now.

Last weekend took me to Jefferson, Texas for Kathy Patrick's 11th Annual Girlfriend Weekend and Author Extravaganza!

I can't possibly list all of the amazing details that make this an incredible weekend for me personally, and for the other 250 women in the room. The words, the books, the wardrobes...really, I'm speechless. I made new friends (shout out Frieda!) and connected with friends who are now considered extended family.

Susan Parker - author of "Walking in the Deep End"

To sum up the fun we had, I am going to list the best quotes (according to our group) from the weekend: (drum roll please)

1. "Baby Girl, put er in park and take a swiga this!"
2. "I only gyrate when it matters."
3. "You gotta have a lotta class to wear them boots and girl, you are rockin' em!"
4. "Standardized tests suck!"
5. "It's ok, sweetie. I'm FROM he-uh."
6. "You're prettier than Farrah Fawcet."
7. "I love everybody! I love everything!"

Marshall Chapman - one of my favorite people. Marshall, if you read this and you wanna know why, you have to email me! : ) Me and the girls "performed" one of my classic GNO (Girl's Night Out) songs for Marshall, Kris and the Queen of Hearts.
Marshall's new book is "They Came to Nashville."

8. "What I want to know is, who is your dentist?"
9. "Mary Ann has such great lats."
10. "I'm just not ready to go up yet."
11. "Oh, I can't wait to get home and google ya'll!"
12. "It'll be late, and I'll be drunk, but I'll be here and I'll dance with you as much as you want."