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April 8, 2013

Meeting the writer, Alexander McCall Smith!

Scottish writer, Alexander McCall Smith has written many books, two of my favorites are The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which takes place in Botswana, and La's Orchestra Saves the World.  He is a writer, truly an artist, in the way he writes, and he also plays the bassoon, in the "Really Terrible Orchestra."  As he spoke, I felt a connection to him, and a desire to paint or create art...  My husband felt it, too.  We met in a drawing class in college, but life has taken us on various routes, so art is on the back burner, right now.  Mr. Smith was actually born in Africa and grew up there, but he has lived most of his life in Scotland.
I was thrilled to see him in a kilt and knee socks.  I spent a month in Troon, Scotland when I was 10 with my little sister and grandma...saw Loch Ness, the Highlands, castles and met many kind people.
Mr. McCall spoke of the tactical practices of the bodyguards of crawling judges in Northern Ireland, issues of etiquette and when to wear white shoes in the United States, the suspension of Citro├źn cars (did you know it would take 2 and a half minutes for it to inflate before you could drive off?) and its impact on French bank robbers, and also the police, and Danish writer Karen Blixen and how important the first lines of a novel is...e.g. from Rose Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond, "Take my camel, dear", said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass."  And that was only the first 5 minutes of his 45-minute talk.
Olivia got her copy of The Great Cake Mystery, that he wrote about a 9 year old (just like Olivia), signed!  I don't know how well you can see, but he wrote just below the red square design...in a green pen.
Long line of people waiting for him to sign books.  There were about 700 people there to hear him.  He speaks as he writes, beautifully, and entertaining.  He spoke about how he wrote the next chapter for his book that morning in Cincinnati.  I ♥ the library there in downtown Cincinnati...the gold and yellow tiny tiles, stained glass windows and 4 floors that make the building special.
 Rob tilled up the backyard garden.  We planted row upon row of heirloom seeds:  Rocky Top lettuce mix, May Queen lettuce, spinach, yellow King of Siberia tomatoes, cabbage, beets, purple carrots, sweet peas, cilantro, chamomile, anise, lemon balm, Kentucky pole beans, watermelon, etc.
Sunday...a friend at church, Kristi (who is from the country of Georgia), took this picture...of the cross decorated with flowers.  Hannah picked the tiny yellow daffodils from our front yard and put them around. 

5 comments:

WendyLady@GoodBooks said...

Love this whole post. :)

elizabeth said...

glad you had a nice time and wonderful about the garden!

I think about art and the desire to create... I think a lot of us are called to merely make art by living our lives and that it is our life in Christ that is our art and offering...

Maria said...

I love the #1 Ladies Detective Agency stories. I love the warmth of their culture.

Lucky you to be planting already. Another month to go for most seeds here.

Mimi said...

I know how much you enjoy his books, what a blessing to get to hear him speak!

Heather said...

How fun to get to hear one of your favorite authors speak! And that it was something the whole family could enjoy! I got to hear Audrey Niffenegger speak a couple of years ago (she wrote The Time Traveler's Wife) and I was so excited to get my book signed, I couldnt stop grinning!

Your garden looks like its getting a great start too! I hope this is a good year for veggies!~