A signed copy of Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert is birthday gift enough. But the most generous gift that she gave to me was what she did not do for us last night.
At the end of an absolutely delicious conversation with Ann Patchett, Liz Gilbert explained that she was not going to have a meet and greet time, which is often expected from these events. She went on to explain that she only has so much energy and as much as she wanted to share the book personally with her readers, she would not be able to sustain the tour healthfully if she did the predictable meet, take pictures and have little bits of conversation with hundreds of people.
She also said that she hates disappointing people and that she was really afraid people wouldn’t like her as much if she did not live up to their expectations. She said, “Guess what happened when I started saying no? People didn’t like me as much.”
My husband looked over at me and smiled while I glowed and received all the validation I needed from one of my literary heroes. This is my story. This is my song.
And speaking of songs, instead of nodding and smiling and trying to connect with each of us individually, she connected with all of us and we sang together.
It was magical.