I watched the hourly weather the night before, and the forecast was rain all the way through 1:00 p.m., then sunshine and only a 10% chance of precipitation. Would the book signing, we had scheduled from 2:00 to 3:00 last Friday, be soggy or bright?
The day turned out to be one of those absolutely glorious gems, cool but sunny, no longer summer, but not quite fall either. A perfect day, and well deserved after last year's "Liquid Sunshine." The planned book signing of Real Estate the Rome Way was scheduled for an hour at 2:00. That hour turned into four, did not leave until after 6:00PM.. just too much going on.
The MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association booth was at the hub of the festival, near the Washington Monument, right in front of the Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church with its gingerbread spires. We heard the sounds of bands from the nearby stage, saw colorful people, pets, neighbors and friends.
Students from the Institute of Notre Dame strolled the festival escorting characters from children's books like the hippos George and Martha, and Frogger.
Right across the way was the LiveBaltimore booth (last year they were easy to find with their bright yellow umbrellas.) The people-watching was excellent!
My publisher and friend, Peg Silloway,was there to volunteer with me, and we had a great time talking with the MBPA President, Sheila Ruth. Last year, Sheila's husband Nick – author of The Remin Chronicles series – and her son, David, where with us, and we missed seeing them this time.
But we met and enjoyed talking with Lucinda Clark of P.R.A. Publishing who came from Georgia to help at the booth and attend the National Book Festival in Washington the next day. Bill McAllen came by with his book, Spirit of Place: Baltimore's Favorite Spaces, a wonderful collection of essays and photographs (Bill is the photographer, Sarah Achenbach is the writer.)
There was so much to see, but I was not able to take my eyes off the church that stood behind our booth.The plaque commemorates the Charles Howard mansion that stood here before the church; it was in that home that Frances Scott Key died.
A news helicopter kept circling overhead and I tried so hard to get a shot of the helicopter over the church and in between the Washington Monument column. It was tough holding the camera in the moving crowd -so eventually gave in and just took the chopper!
Camaraderie, new friends, great weather, book characters, and magnificent architecture all around. A perfect day of books and blue sky in Baltimore.