Sunday, November 25, 2007

Meeting Katherine Kurtz & the Festival of Trees

I'd like to report... that I'm preppy. Yep. I didn't think that I was. I thought that I was a relatively well-dressed, well groomed, clean cut, professional gal. But preppy? No.

I think I've reserved "preppy" for those women who wear sweaters on their shoulders all day or those who can wear scarves for ten straight hours (and not just with their winter coats). But today's visit to Darkover proved to me that I fit firmly into the preppy category. What a surprise.

I slept horribly last night. I woke up every two or three hours, and my throat - although it didn't hurt - was scratchy which made me cough a lot. When I woke up with a headache, I decided I'd try to get out for a few hours and do the things that I had intended to do yesterday.

So at noon I went to the Darkover Convention, or as "insiders" call it, the Darkover Grand Council Meeting. Darkover is to D&D folks as Star Trek is to trekkies. I'm not sure I fit in with my 3" black boots, long jeans and Ann Taylor trench coat. In my small world, I am not preppy, but in the larger world of reality that includes fantasy readers... I most certainly am.

My first stop was at the Anapurna booth, where I met up with Jamaila. She has the most gorgeous jewelry. Check out what I bought - a cherry quartz/sterling silver pendant, named "Integrity," a Velvet obsidian/sterling silver/swarovski crystal pendant, named "Velvet and Steel," and (how crazy is this?) an amazonite/czech glass/sterling silver bracelet, named "Charissa."
No joke. I was immediately drawn to the bracelet and when I opened the card to look at the price, I about had a heart attack when I saw my name.
Jamaila said that when she made the bracelet it reminder her of me, so she named it after me. How strange is it that I noticed it and liked it immediately? (Thanks, Jamaila.)

After my fun purchases, Jamaila took me to the "Knit one, Purl two" panel on "How Authors Relax." I slid into the back and listened to the panel (which included Katherine Kurtz) for the next thirty minutes, fighting off a few coughing fits and getting increasingly nervous about meeting her. Jamaila joined me, and after the panel finished, she dragged me to the front of the room and introduced me to Katherine. (If you recall from an earlier post, I am a Deryni-named child.)

Totally cool. She seems like a super nice woman and although I think it was far more exciting for me to meet her than it was for her to meet me, it was a special moment for me. As it turns out, she did not invent my name. She couldn't remember where it came from exactly, but she did remember that the meaning was originally "cherish" and "beloved" - close to the current published meanings, "charity" and "grace." Surprisingly, she also didn't care that my name is pronounced differently that her character's name. I guess I thought she'd be insulted or something, but she wasn't at all - obviously a sign of good character. :)

So here is a photo of me and my new "aunt" Katherine. Yes, I told her that I've always considered her much like a cool aunt, and she didn't seem to mind. So at 30 years old, I have a new aunt. Haha.

After Darkover, I drove around the corner and met CJ at the Festival of Trees. I especially wanted to go because CJ designed a tree that won third place in the "Imaginative Theme" category. I am SO super proud of her. Her tree is a "Toile-TREE," and it was decorated with toiletry items like hair curlers, soap and mouthwash. It also sold for $250! How cool is it?

She also designed a wreath that was the classiest one there. I was going to buy it because no one had when we walked through, but CJ wouldn't let me. If she gets it back she may let me hang it on my front door for the holidays. As much as I want it, I hope that someone bought it because the profits go to charity.

Note: Anyone want to help me design a "Baltimore Blogger" tree next year? How fun would that be?

And so ends my day. I am back in PJs and drinking hot cider/tea. My nose seems clearer, but the sinus pressure is still pretty bad. I'll rest up and see how I feel in the morning.


Anonymous Dad said...

Aunt Katherine, huh? Does that make her my sister? :)

Love, Dad

November 25, 2007 6:34 PM  
Blogger Charissa said...

Sorry, Dad. She's Irish. That makes her mom's sister. :)

November 25, 2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger Jamaila said...

And you say you're not a nerd. Who else blogs about something like three seconds after it happens? ;) It was so good to see you! I'm so glad you found jewelry you liked, including the bracelet named after you, even if it did almost give you a heart attack because I forgot to tell you about it. :) And I'm SOOO glad you finally got to meet Katherine! She's awesome. Now that she's local-ish it's so much easier to catch up with her -- maybe you'll be able to spend time with your new aunt. ;)

November 25, 2007 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I always wanted a sister better yet ..... one who writes!!!!
There is no one more interesting than an author!

November 26, 2007 7:57 AM  
Blogger jwer said...

I was there (FoT) briefly on Saturday morning... I saw Your Company's area, but not you, so of course I left immediately to go home and cry. Or, you know, went to buy coffee.

Hope you're feeling better!

November 26, 2007 8:04 AM  
Blogger cherylann said...

I think my husband loves you now. A D&D convention, you love video games... you're his perfect woman. hahaha.
Hope you are feeling better soon.

November 26, 2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger Carol Ott said...

A blogger tree? Hang some beer bottles from a Charlie Brown-esque bit of greenery, and voila. :)

November 26, 2007 3:53 PM  
Anonymous JJT said...

D&D? Wow. I thought I was a nerd, but dare I say, you win that battle hands down.

November 26, 2007 10:27 PM  

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