Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]
July 6th, author Neil Gaiman will speak at the Long Center. $32.
The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Seriesevents will be listed here.
Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Book and Author Visit Both Contain Treasures
Lynda Rutledge, creator and author of Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale, gave us a double gift this month: a delightful book and a lively and interesting visit! The story had well-developed characters, plot twists, and life issues, all served with a side of humor. Some of the issues were profound and some of the characters' suffering involved serious aspects of life, but the humor kept the story of aging and Alzheimer's disease moving forward rather than moving into a vale of tears. Even if some of us may have experienced some sadness while reading about Faith Bass Darling, we were left at the end with just the right combination of understanding, completion, and a few purposefully loose ends implying hope.
By sharing some of her artistic process with us, Rutledge demonstrated that she did more than just write the story: she created it. As I understood Rutledge to say, two events seemed to launch the story idea. Rutledge grew up in a small town, where her father owned the "corner drugstore." One of the perks from the store was that Rutledge collected Superman comics from the start of the series. The first significant event was that Rutledge's mother recently sold all the comics at a garage sale, at garage-sale prices. The second was that Rutledge learned that the first Superman comic might have been worth a million dollars! These events plus some episodes of "Antiques Roadshow" led Rutledge to think about what she calls "provenance," ie, the history of an item and how it got from its creation to where it is many years later. This combination of events and ideas inspired Rutledge's story line.
After telling us the history of the book and some of the back story about some of the characters, Rutledge offered to answer our questions. Rutledge had a refreshing attitude toward our questions, noting which questions have been asked at other talks she has been giving in the flurry of activity and publicity surrounding her novel. She shared her decisions to leave some aspects of the book open-ended, such as the reasons for Faith's not opening Claudia's letters but leaving them in an accessible drawer. Did this imply that Alzheimer's had begun a long time ago and/or that depression had a role to play in the onset of the dementia? We don't need the answer to enjoy pondering the question. Rutledge also shared that she originally wanted to leave the mystery of the ring unsolved but that her publisher had guided against this much open-endedness. Lynda accepted the publisher's advice, and I think most of us were glad she did!
A write-up does not do this author visit justice, just as the photos don't quite capture the animated Lynda Rutledge's outbursts of mirth. Even though I took a lot of photos, I got very few of Lynda in focus until we all got behind her and posed! We had a lot of fun with Rutledge and wish her well with this and her next book!