Thursday, February 3, 2011
A Literary Night Out
Last night I went with a couple of ladies from my writing group to the posh, elite Cosmos Club for what promised to be a charming engagement and ended up being a giddy, inspiring trip. The literary journal One Story was hosting a wine and nosh night in hopes of earning some cash while also kicking off a sort of book club. We downed glasses of pinot noir, mobbed the servers holding the trays of mushroom tarts, and chatted up fellow One Story readers - many of whom were also aspiring writers. Fun, right? Yes, but it got oh so much better.
The focus of the night, in addition to the wine, was Hannah Tinti and her book, The Good Thief. My friends and I had read the book in advance and were anxious to hear what Ms. Tinti had to say about it. So when summoned away from the hors d'oevres, we took our seats and listened. The publisher of One Story explained how they started off with a lot of heart and only $3,000, and moved to expand their readership to 10,000 and their staff from two people to, well, a proper staff. Ms. Tinti took the floor. She explained the joy inherent in observing and writing, a way of, as she put it, shoving the grains of sand back up into life's hourglass. She read from her book. This was all very nice, but I was a little distracted. Because, while watching the speakers, I had noticed someone across the room who I *adore.*
Yes, you guessed it. It was Ron Charles, the Fiction Editor for the Washington Post! He writes fabulous, insightful reviews, and does the amazing (really) "Totally Hip Video Book Review." After the formal event was over, I snagged Mr. Charles and told him I had to fawn over him for a moment. I did and it was lovely! A local book blogger was there too, Bethanne Patrick from The Book Studio, and all in all I was quite star struck. So fun to see such wonderful writers and book advocates!
We also had a chance to chat with some charming gentlemen, one of whom delivered a telegram to Lena Horne's house in 1945, and to talk with Ms. Tinti in person. My writers' group ladies and I all concurred that it was a lovely night out. And even the blustery wind had mellowed by the time I walked home, grinning all the way.