I was looking forward to being at the Authors on the Move event in Sacramento last weekend. Not wanting to be behind the wheel for the round trip, I responded to the organizers' offer to find car pools for those of us coming in from out of town. They sent me a name, Josie Iselin, from San Francisco. A recognizable name.
I know I have cousins named Iselin, and sure enough, it turns out that she and I are third cousins once removed. (How 'bout that?) Josie is a multi-talented photographer/author/designer: for an array of knockout images, check out her web page, www.josieiselin.com. It further turns out that she has a daughter at Washington University in St. Louis, where my high school senior granddaughter, Bryn McLaughlin, has just been accepted and is thinking of going. So that generation of cousins will soon be in touch.
The event in Sacramento raised more than $100,000 for the library, especially for their program that provides disadvantaged kids with the opportunity to read in the summer. The 40 authors each rotated between three tables during the dinner, talking about our books and chatting with the diners. Afterward, we sat at tables and signed books for people who bought them. We were a varied crew: on my right was an author with a book about the gyre of plastic floating in the Pacific, on my left the writer of a children's book about the Gay Pride parade in San Francisco; the keynote speaker was Lemony Snicket himself, aka Daniel Handler. Big thanks to the organizers for doing a splendid job.