I’m smitten. After this past week, New Orleans might have just become my favorite city.
Last week I left behind zero degrees and blowing snow to set down in a land of palm trees and jazz music, cafe’ au lait and beignets, gorgeous antique shops and over-the-top costumes.
I spent the first morning walking down Royal and Chartres streets. I discovered lovely Crescent City Books and bought a book of poetry for my mom. Around one corner, I came across a Bohemian young woman with dreadlocks and fishnet stockings, and playing classical cello. In a central square, a brass band ripped out the kind of music that makes you want to dance. It was sunny and warm, but a pleasant breeze blew off the Mississippi River. It was a Thursday morning, but I suspect it always feels like Friday night in New Orleans.
Thursday evening, I met hundreds of booksellers from around the country — Boston and Denver, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Some of them I knew through Twitter and Facebook. Some of them had never heard of The Snow Child, so I told them a bit about it and myself. Others had read it and were excited to talk to me about it. A few got tears in their eyes as they described how much it meant to them. It was an incredibly moving experience for me as a writer.
So now I’m back home, and glad to be with my family and breathe the cold Alaska air. But if anyone has need for me to come to New Orleans next winter for a few days, just give a shout.