About nine o’clock west coast time tonight, Elaine and I returned to our hotel from an absolutely amazing day. We secured the perfect booth for Separation of Faith at the festival, right by the stage and in a high traffic area on the way to the crafters. We then ran a bunch of errands–had copies made of flyers, endorsement quotes, etc., went shopping for items to decorate the booth (tablecloths, flowers), visited an independent bookseller in downtown Colville, and experienced at least three of those life-extending fall-down-on-your-face laughing bouts. We also took a lot of pictures, a sampling of which is attached at the end of this post. There wasn’t much to photograph at the festival site yet, but by tomorrow morning at 8:30 when we arrive, there should be a lot more to capture.
After picking up all the copying, we went back up to Kettle Falls (about a five-mile drive from our hotel in Colville) to visit an antique store we’d been passing repeatedly. Next door to the antique store was a market where I found several copies of a local newspaper featuring an article about me and the novel based on a phone interview last month.
We then returned to the hotel, with the intention of walking next door to a great little eatery for a takeout salad that we planned to eat in our rooms with a little bit of wine and closing conversation for the day. But a message was waiting for me at the hotel from the woman in charge of Saturday’s program. She said she needed a headshot of me and asked if we could come up to meet her at T.J.’s Tavern & Grill in Kettle Falls within the hour. (I called my daughter immediately because she’d dabbled with some modeling in her teens, and I knew she’d get a kick out of my needing to report for a headshot! )
Upon entering T.J.’s Tavern & Grill, we were met by about ten women who were preparing t-shirts for a festival fun-run tomorrow afternoon associated with the Kettle Falls Grouch. (See the attached pictures of the Kettle Falls sign.
The Grouch is an elected position, decided during the festival.) Several of the women had already read Separation of Faith, and several others said they are planning to get a copy of the novel from me tomorrow at our booth. We thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with each of the women, learning many fascinating things about Kettle Falls, not the least of which involves the incredibly impressive programs in the Kettle Falls elementary school, details that I will incorporate into my posts as we move through this adventure.
T.J. (the owner of the establishment) and his wife Betty were also filled with seemingly endless morsels of information about the town and about the convent as well. We hope to see them again tomorrow night at T.J.’s, after our duties at the festival booth are over for the day.
As we drove around this afternoon, I was struck (as I was when first here in 2004) by the uncluttered and unspoiled beauty of this valley. The clouds changed their formation frequently as rain came and went through the hours, and I commented several times to Elaine that those clouds somehow seem closer to the ground here. A few pictures are included at the end of this post to show you what I mean.
Now I need to turn in, though. I’m all ready for bed and quite tired. But I suspect that I’ll wake up early again in the morning, ready for Day 2 of the adventure and the first day of the festival. Wish I could bottle this feeling so I could take a sip during discouraging writing days that might be ahead. Actually, I guess this blog is one way of doing just that!
Hope you all have a good night. I’ll return sometime tomorrow with a fresh report.
P.S. Also included in photos are a few shots of my new office on my apartment’s enclosed terrace. Pictures were taken the night before I left on this trip, so the light wasn’t great. I’ll take more when I get home.