So, as I mentioned, we checked into our hotel, the Blockade Runner, in Wrightsville Beach. The hotel was hosting the annual convention of the North Carolina chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and those women were the reason I was there. They’d selected me as the 2009 winner of their annual award for creative writing, the Lucy Bramlette Patterson award. (That’s GFWC-NC President Beverly Lassiter on my right). I can’t tell you what an honor it is for me to be recognized as a North Carolina writer. As I told the group, I’ve only lived in North Carolina for four years, but my heart has been here much longer. Those of you who’ve long read my books know that I’ve used North Carolina settings almost since the beginning.
I also spoke to the group at their luncheon. The night before, I ‘cased the joint’ to see where the luncheon would be held so I could decide whether to give a “formal” or “informal” speech. It looked like I’d be speaking in the ballroom, so I thought “Okay. Formal.” As it turned out, though, the luncheon was held in a giant tent on the beach and the (many many) officers marched into the tent to the song “Boogie Shoes” blasting from the loudspeakers. Needless to say, I scratched my formal speech! The audience was so much fun and I had a great time. The Two Sisters Bookery brought books to the event, but quickly sold out, so I hope those women who were disappointed are quickly able to find copies of the books they want.
John had been out taking pictures, and when he arrived back at the hotel, we went out to dinner because we hadn’t quite eaten enough seafood the night before (that’s a joke). I had phenomenal shrimp scampi this time at Southbeach Grill, an amazing hole-in-the-wall looking restaurant that turned out to be anything but. Sunday, we wandered around Wilmington again, with me pestering various people about hurricanes for my research. Then we drove the 2 1/2 hours home to the pups, who were thrilled to see us. Today, I can’t snap my jeans. Wonder why?
Thank you, GFWC! I’ll never forget this honor or your joyous enthusiasm.