As I blogged at the time, I was honored to be invited to speak/read at the Fair with graphic novelist Neil Kleid. I liked Neil a lot and think our session went well. I met Mr. Blount--a terrific prose stylist with a distinguished writing career--at the end of my long first day: fuzzy-headed from a cross-country flight, hungry from missing lunch and dinner, whisked off to a boozy author's reception without a chance to change (which explains my casual attire). By the end of the evening I'd lost my voice, which was probably a blessing because I doubt I was making much sense anyway. This photo was shot around midnight as a group of us waited on a balmy Miami street corner for a chartered bus that took forever to arrive.
I'm a fan of Mr. Blount's but, as I also blogged at the time, I am probably the worst sort of fan he could have: I've read a lot of his work and loved it, but I could not for the life of me think of a single specific piece of his to talk about. "Remember that one thing you did that one time? That was great." I may not have used those exact words but that how stupid I sounded in my head. He was nevertheless gracious and charming, and remembered me kindly the next day when I happened to run into him at the Book Fair. Having a chance to chat with him was a definite "not in Kansas anymore" moment for me and a highlight of the trip.
I have no larger point to make. I was just surprised to find this picture in my e-mail folder today and wanted to share a happy memory. Thanks, Charlie!