Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th The Reading Divas hosted its 5th Annual Literary Event, and for the first time, by Myneko Broadhurst's invite, I attended.
The Reading Divas (only half of them photographed in the caption) truly captured and embraced my passion. I counted at least 14 ladies who hosted this spectacular event that included 3 other avidly active book clubs, 24 great authors, and over 200 guests.
One Book Concubine over a moon it was an enormously empowering treat (almost to the point of overpowering) to meet so many exceptional authors and avid readers, as personably, in one venue. This is where I really credit The Reading Divas for doing a fine job pulling together a strong group of storytellers, to include myself, who are still hidden treasures among reading communities looking to supplement their literary experience.
It was an honor to meet Pamela Samuels-Young (one of the keynote speakers) and learn about her latest book Attorney-Client Privilege. I've read Pamela before (In Firm Pursuit), and agree she does have that John Grisham quality to her writing.
Karen E. Quinones Miller (another keynote speaker) was an honor to meet as well. I have not read her work, but rest assure I wasn't the only one in that filled room regaled by parts of her life and latest book; (An Angry-Ass Black Woman). Karen's energy was magnetic, almost as galvanizing as the powerful moral of her new memoir; "changing a flat tire with no jack, and no spare, and reviving her journey in spite of..." —My quote in other words... "I must get the book."
And as if I really needed that extra boost over the moon, Mary Monroe—"the keynote speaker," nicely provided this lift. Not only did I read her book, 'The Upper Room', which everyone by now knows I really enjoyed, but she kept me fixated on her words in the same way that held me captive to her book. Everything from her wisdom imparting advice to those of us shadowing her footsteps, to sharing some very familiar family confessions, along with the story about the other Mary Monroes', and dousing us with reading habits that varied very little from my own, while pirouetting as she talked (really like that part), made this presentation one not easy to forget.
I'm just going to go on and be honest, something not wholly obscure about me, but I really do need to get out of the house and attend more of these exceptional functions. I can read, write, analyze, plan, and (online) social network my BE-hind off, and still none of this compares to the actual business of real socializing. Meeting the speakers was enough to call this a spectacular affair, except I also met twenty other authors, all for the first time, some of which I've read, others I want to read, who, in addition to The Reading Divas along with many avid readers and book fans, made for a literary experience that far exceeded my expectations.
Other mementos taken from the event;
~ I will continue to write, read, review, and promote books I really enjoy… this memorabilia fortified by the panel discussion; 'Is Urban Lit Really Literature?' I think we all agreed (through a great dialogue) that urban lit is literature, however out of this dialogue also raised other key themes I hadn't considered, even as I stay convinced that books must not be censored…in any form or capacity. The potential of inspiring those who do not ordinarily enjoy reading, to read, can be lost by activities that seek to separate readers from 'certain' books.
~ I added to my to-read list Gossip Line by Nanette Buchanan, and When Love Evolves by Lonz Cook. Nanette's reason for why she wrote Gossip Line was just too good to pass on, and I really appreciate Lonz's approach to storytelling.
~ I as well learned about the power of book giveaways when attending events like this. I'm actually kind of annoyed I didn't giveaway more.
~ Also wanted to attend the other panel workshops, except there was so much happening, in addition to trying to stay with my table and chat with readers about my own books, that it honest to goodness put my multi-tasking skills to shame.
But guess what? On the outside of all things bookish and literature, I now have Beyoncé's song, 'Love On Top'. Man-o-man… what a powerful note to close on.
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Visit the Reading Divas on Facebook.