Charlottesville: I Love Me a Festival

As I've mentioned, I went to college in Charlottesville, VA, and attended the Virginia Festival of the Book as a student, so it was slightly surreal to be back in town participating. Friday I made it to Peter's panel/reading from The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo at the New Dominion Bookstore, which was great. If you ever get the chance to hear Peter Orner read, you should definitely go. He's funny & charming & engaging.

peter orner with a fan


Saturday, I was on a panel of women writers. It was tremendous to read to a crowd of eager book lovers, to sign books in the UVA bookstore where I once bought textbooks (actually, I'm not sure this bookstore was even built when I was in school here, but it still felt strange and strangely good). I'm proud to report we sold out of the book, which was exhilarating, and the woman who got the last copy told me she had a twentysomething daughter, but was getting the book for her twentysomething son. I was totally thrilled. (PS If you didn't get a copy of the book, they should have some at the C'ville Barnes & Noble; if you want a signed copy, there will be a new shipment in at the UVA bookstore on Tuesday afternoon and I'll be going back to sign them. Leave a note with the manager if you want me to make it out to someone special.)

I posted Sunday about my Rivanna Trail run. I met up with Catherine afterwards who brought me the local newspaper, The Daily Progress, featuring a big, fun review of Girl's Guide which you can no longer read online for some weird reason.

daily progress girl's guide review


This morning I was on Good Morning, Charlottesville, not to be confused with Good Morning, America. I'm enjoying ferrying myself about in a Chevrolet Malibu. I would make some sort of dumb Malibu Barbie reference, but I have to say, as much as I am thrilled to be driving a rental car, the Malibu is one of vehicle-land's least attractive rides. I'm sort of amazed it made it off the assembly line. Barbie drove a Corvette. This car is very un-Barbie, but I'm in love with it anyway. It's gold. Which makes it even more precious.

A Few Minor But Very Important Remarks on Hotels I'd like to say a few words on hotels, as I'm becoming a seasoned business traveler.

1. I like Omni's Select Guest Club. Heck, I love any club that doesn't have rules about keeping people of a certain race out, but I have to love a club that is free to join that has so many perks. Like I get my choice of two beverages brought to my room each morning (I have had coffee and a very posh glass bottle of Evian) at the time of my choice. They will either deliver it or knock and leave it outside the door. I like this treat very much. I also like the turndown service, whereby I arrive in my room to find my ice bucket filled, my bed turned down, the lights down low, a chocolate on my pillow and the TV tuned to the "Meditation" channel.

2. Who decided what to stock the bathrooms with in hotels? I understand shampoo and conditioner, and appreciate body lotion. But I think it would be good if they gave me toothpaste. If we're talking about necessities, I would forgo the body lotion (and the mouthwash and shower cap and sometimes Q-Tips) for toothpaste. It's the one toiletry item without which you're really sunk, that you are going to have to go out and buy if you forgot it.

3. I have gotten very used to two perks of hotel rooms that I don't have at home: a 500x magnifying mirror that shows every pore on my face and a bathrobe. I think a hotel room without these two things is a slightly inferior hotel room. I like to put on my robe and look at my pores. I mean, who doesn't?

4. I finally understand those foldable wooden thingies that you're supposed to put your suitcase on. I use them. I also use the iron and ironing board and I like a tiny bottle of spray starch.