The world loves books, but it hates writers. Not like noxious, irrational dictator hate. More benign, like a why-are-you-writing-when-we-could-be-having-queso-dip-at-Chili’s hate. It’s a time thing, a lack of understanding the process. You want to protect a hard-fought Saturday saved for writing. The world will forever offer you cheese dip.
Think about it: The avid reader you’ve watched slowly devour novels–for years–is the same queso lover pressing you their writer pal for lunch on Saturday. “Come on,” they’ll say. “It’ll be fun.”
They had me at “rolling tailgate party.” There it was in plain print in the invite. Please join us down here in Alabama, the organizers said, and don’t worry about Friday night icebreakers because Margaret’s rolling tailgate party had things covered. Yes, I admit envisioning some mechanical lovechild of liquor cart meets Bama game, but that only added to the intrigue. Plus there would be talk of books. So it was with much excitement, and a taste for a gin and tonic, that last weekend I drove the three hours to Birmingham. No, there wasn’t a liquor cart with grill and sauce attachment.*
They did way better, Margaret and Tammy and all the volunteers who worked their tails off.