Home From China... to New Events!
January 1, 1970Hello Everyone!
I’m back from an astounding trip to China, where I visited the lovely Lu Shan, the mountain that I described as Cloud Mountain in my novel of that name. My father’s family used to summer in Kuling, the valley at the top of the mountain, in the 1920s. The town there was built by Americans in the early 1900s, and most of the fieldstone villas are still intact, now being carefully tended and kept by their Chinese residents. We discovered that the home my grandparents built was bombed by the Japanese in 1938, but with the help of a local architect and historian, we located my grandfather’s name inscribed in a stone tablet beside a bridge that he had built in 1926. And my grandparents’ house is memorialized inadvertently in another way – Mao Tse Tung had a villa built on the general site of their house in the 1950s, and that today is a museum!
The journey reminded me how adventure, exploration, and travel can help us all gain a fuller sense of ourselves. You go halfway around the world and discover that you still are connected, related, and relevant. Perhaps more today than ever; our tour guide, a 19-year-old language student, loves South Park. “Who killed Kenny?” she mimicked. Her boyfriend is a Puerto Rican student studying Chinese. The universe is shrinking, making each of us more – not less – important to each other.
I highly recommend the occasional change from routine and everyday responsibility – even if all you can manage is an excursion to the beach – as a reminder that our habitual anxieties, preoccupations, and patterns are not all there is to life. We can transcend ourselves, and in the process become more connected to the universe around us.
I’m sure I’ll write more on this as these latest travels steep, but in the meantime, I want to alert you to a few of my upcoming appearances. In their different ways, all celebrate the richness of life.
For those of you in the Los Angeles area, this Sunday, June 3, I’ll be speaking at the El Segundo Library Author Fair. My panel, “Family Connections,” will be from 2:25 to 3:25 p.m.
Other members of the panel are Chris Erskine (Man of the House); Hope Edelman (Motherless Mothers and Motherless Daughters); Ed Humes (Monkey Girl); Karen Stabiner (The Empty Nest). The moderator will be El Segundo Mayor Kelly McDowell.
The El Segundo Public Library is located at 111 W. Mariposa at Main St., in downtown El Segundo. For information, call (310) 524-2729. The event is FREE.
From June 8th - 10th I’ll be among the more than 75 authors speaking and reading at Book Group Expo at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose,CA.
My panel, titled “Is It Hot In Here?” is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, June 9. I’ll be speaking along with authors Louann Brizendine (The Female Brain), Sara Davidson (Leap), and Jane Ganahl (Naked on the Page).
Here’s the “official” description of the Expo:
“Meet (famous) authors. Eat chocolate. Attend lively discussions. Taste wine. Have your books signed. Sample desserts. Meet other serious readers. Meet (not yet famous) authors. Savor fine tea. Browse books—lots of books—to your heart’s content. Listen to literati. Enjoy friends. Eat more chocolate. Learn about book groups and book clubs. Have fun. Serious fun.”
Go to www.bookgroupexpo.com for more info.
Then, on July 7, I’ll be visiting St. Louis (for the first time in my life!) to speak at McCallum Place’s 1st Alumni Weekend at the Center of Clayton. This event is for former patients only, but if that includes you I hope you’ll come and say hello. www.mccallumplace.com
I’ll check in again when I get past jet lag. In the meantime, stay well!