2 weeks ago (continued)… Thank you Charles de Lint and MaryAnn Harris

My husband and I drove down Bank Street until we came to Patty’s Pub. We were seated in an area where the stage was mostly out of view. I spotted Charles and his wife MaryAnn right away. So I knew we were in the right place. Robin (yes, that is my husband’s name) and I ordered supper. I ordered a cooler to calm myself down. I don’t usually imbibe. Why do I not drink? Silliness and obnoxious behaviour usually ensues. Sigh. However, I felt this evening would be an exception. Mistake? Perhaps.

In the middle of our meal, tables became empty and we moved closer to the stage. At this point, Charles and MaryAnn had begun their music session. They played original songs and some Tom Wilson, Fred Eaglesmith, and Steve Earle. Okay, I admit I wouldn’t have known if no one had told me. I only knew when they were singing original songs. Either way, I very much enjoyed their style. I especially enjoyed a song about Crow Girls that MaryAnn sang. It reminded me of Julie Delpy’s singing on the Before Sunset soundtrack. Ah, so lovely! Oh, and Charles’s rendition of Phoebe’s “Smelly cat” (which he sang as “Stinky cat”) was an unexpected pleasure as Robin likes to sing his rendition to me on a daily basis (“Mellybird, mellybird” replacing “Smelly Cat, smelly cat”)

A couple sat down at the table next to us shortly after the session began. A friend of theirs came over to chat with them and we invited him to sit at our table so they could talk. It turns out these are friends of Charles and MaryAnn. Robin got talking to one of the men and told him why we came to the pub. I was talking to Kenny (who later joined them on stage) and he said Charles would be delighted to know we were here. He said I should definitely talk to him. I told him I was too shy. He then asked if I had brought books to get signed. I hadn’t. I didn’t want to make Charles do “business” when the focus was on his music. Had I read http://www.charlesdelint.com and Mary Ann’s website (www.sfsite.com/charlesdelint/mah/) carefully I would have known they encourage their fans to talk to them, to not be shy, and to bring books! Oops!

During their intermission, MaryAnn sat down at our table. The friends told her that Robin and I had come to hear them perform. We had a lovely chat. The problem with my writing this blog two weeks after the event is that I’ve forgotten details. Not to mention I was on my second cooler by this time. Oh dear! She called over to Charles and he joined us. Introductions were made. He thanked me for reading his books. I thanked him for writing them. I mentioned that I even named my blog after one of his books. When I told him it was Tapping the Dream Tree he said to thank MaryAnn as she had come up with the title. So, I did.

We talked about how authors don’t make a lot of money unless their books are optioned as screenplays. I’ve often wondered why his books haven’t been made into movies. There could be a whole series! Why stop there, let’s make video games too! I’m serious. I’d play video games if they took place in Newford and Mabon!

They toasted us to our new marriage. That’s very cool, if you ask me.

Charles was about to return to the stage and asked if I was sticking around until the end of the set. I said I was. He said “okay, then I’ll wait and say goodbye then”. Very nice of him! Back at the stage, Charles dedicated a song to me. He asked me if I had read Medicine Road. I said “uh, no” then added “but i’m honest!”. I just meant that it’s hard to tell an author you haven’t read one of their books when you’re asked. It would have been easier to say “uh, yeah, sure…great book, yeah”. Plus, I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t read it. I’ve read so many that I can’t put the title with the book all of the time. Turns out, I haven’t read it. Anyway, he asked if I was familiar with the Crow Girls and I said “yes!” a little too enthusiatically. So, he played a song for little old me!

At the end of the show, one of the men at the table asked if I had brought my camera. I had. He offered to take a photo of me with Charles. So up to the stage we went. Charles was busy packing his equipment. I told MaryAnn that I wanted her to pass on a message to Charles as he was busy. I told her that his books meant a lot to me because I was able to connect with the characters when I couldn’t connect to anyone in life. It’s very true. His writing is unlike anything I’ve come across before. The characters and the writing sing to my soul. That’s the only way I can describe it. I didn’t mention that part to her. Just the connecting with the characters part. Anyway, that led to a really good conversation with MaryAnn. She is such a warm, engaging person. We had lots to talk about. Let’s just say that I really should get off my bum and work harder at being an artist. Life is too short to shuffle paperwork. Charles had finished for the time being, and I had the chance to tell Charles what I had just told MaryAnn. He seemed pleased to hear I had been affected in this way by his writing. He then went and signed a postcard and bookmark from his latest release “Widdershins”. I haven’t read this book yet. I’m going to buy it soon. It should be a wonderful read as the plot, involving two of my most favourite characters, has been building in several previous books. Yippee!! Then we sat for a photo and I asked MaryAnn to sit with us. It’s a lovely photo. I’ll post it if I get permission first. Then Charles gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek! Hazukashii!!!!!!! It was at this time, that I really should have left but instead I felt compelled to finish my drink. So, I sat talking to Kenny for a few minutes. It’s enough that I was slightly looped the whole evening but I was starting to babble and get annoying (to myself and others I assume). Luckily, I was with it enough to suspect I was annoying and bid adieu. So, Robin and I returned to our hotel where my dreams were very sweet.

I also have to admit something. When I read books with the characters Cerin and Meran, I always picture them as Charles and MaryAnn. Ever since the first time I saw their websites. Now that I’ve met them in person, I can still agree with my initial assessment. I hope that is alright with them!

(I have forgotten much of what we discussed in the evening. Funny how I was able to obsess for several days or what I said, or didn’t say, or should have said and now two weeks later I don’t remember any of it anyway.)

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