Hawaii Book & Music Festival

I’m in Hawaii.  Tomorrow I fly back to Seattle after a whirlwind trip here to participate in the 3rd annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival.  I arrived Thursday afternoon.  Friday at 6:15 am, I reported to KHON-2, which is Hawaii’s #1 morning news station and was interviewed along with Linda, another author, about the weekend festivities.

Friday night I attended Laura Schank’s wonderful book club.  Ty drove me to the 7 pm dinner and discussion and hung out at a local restaurant until he returned at 10 to whisk me home.  I dragged him inside to meet everyone and he was more popular than me.  We both had fun chatting with everyone and posing for pictures with members of the book club.  Several women asked Ty to sign their copies of Flirting with Forty, too, making him a bonafide celebrity now.

Saturday and Sunday were book festival days and I was really lucky to finally be able to meet authors I’ve read, authors I’ve emailed with, and authors I’ve wanted to get to know.  Hawaii is such a laid-back place and despite the crazy vog (heavy gray fog-like conditions made up of volcanic ash from the Big Island) on Saturday, everyone was in good spirits and easy to talk to.   Along with finally being able to meet Mia King, Jill Marie Landis, and Patricia Wood for the first time, I was able to visit with bookseller friends, Pi Phi friends, and reader friends.

Sunday the vog was finally blown out thanks to the return of the trade winds.  The trade winds also meant waves and after wrapping up at the festival I headed with Ty for a late afternoon surf and barbecue on the beach.  Ty surfed with Greg and I happily cracked my new Mary Balogh novel, a book I bought days ago but wouldn’t let myself read until I got some writing done.   An hour later my friend Stephanie and her husband Lance joined us in time for food and conversation before the guys went out for one last surf session.  It was so fun to just sit in my folding beach chair, read, eat yummy grilled food, and savor the company of good friends.

Tomorrow is another goodbye to Ty.  I hate the goodbyes.  Hate them so much and can’t wait until one day the goodbyes are just two day trips away, not two to four weeks, but at least last night was lovely.  We stayed on the beach until the sun went down and the moon began to rise.  It was a full moon and beautiful on the water and such a pretty drive back to town.  Last night Hawaii truly was paradise with every curve of the highway revealing another moonlit cove.

Trips like this are hectic but they also remind me that I do have a place here in Hawaii.  I might not be local, but I have plenty of family here, and dozens of wonderful friends and writer friends–even if they do live on neighboring islands.

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