Monday, May 24, 2010

Dayton Book Expo and More...

Needless to say, it's been awhile since I've updated the Blessed2Write Blog. Charge it to my head and not to my heart. It's not that I've not had anything to write about, but very much the opposite. My calendar has kept me so busy lately that I haven't taken the time to break away to journal in my web log. I guess that's both a good thing and a not-so-good one. I often say that in this business (the world of writing) "busy" is a wonderful thing. It means that there is a demand for you and/or your work. The alternative would leave you sitting at home looking at a blank computer screen or twiddling your thumbs, wondering why the telephone isn't ringing. So I thank God for being so snowed under that I haven't had the time to blog.
It's nearing two o'clock in the morning as I share these thoughts, and no doubt, it will be after two by the time I finish this entry. I just finished looking back on some of the photo memories that I have of my participation in the inaugural Dayton Book Expo in Dayton, Ohio, and decided that before I shut down my computer and call it a night, I'd take the time to share my experience.
The Dayton Book Expo took place at Sinclair Community College on Saturday, May 1st. There was wonderful fellowship among the attending authors (saw some faces I hadn't seen in awhile and met others I'd never seen before), very informative panel discussions (I facilitated one about traditional publishing), and great support from the reading community (met some faithful followers of my works). Traffic was constant throughout the six-hour affair, and the Dayton community supported in good numbers in spite of the off-and-on rainfall. And I must say that I received remarkable red carpet service from Charlotte Brown, owner of C's Gifts, who not only served as my onsite bookseller, but also arranged ground transportation for me to get everywhere that I needed to be over the course of the weekend. Though the DBA took place on Saturday, my tour of Ohio went beyond the expo itself.
In addition to the expo, I had a book signing appointment on Friday afternoon at a local library where I shared my writing journey, writing tips, and other information with an intentive group of readers who gathered there to meet and speak with me. I have to give a special thanks to my sister-friends and supporters, Rhonda Bogan (of Mocha Readers) and bestselling author, Vanessa Miller, for coming out to support my appearance at the library. Saturday evening at the Dayton Convention Center during the production of the gospel play, "Don't Drive Mama Away", and then on Sunday afternoon, I was escorted to an area right outside of Cincinnati, Ohio to a local Pappadeaux restaurant where I hosted a signing and enjoyed a great seafood meal along with Charlotte Brown and local playright, Stephanie Hammett. Then just before I had to head back to the Dayton Airport to catch my flight back to Atlanta on Sunday night, I was fortunate enough to have some extra time to stop by a local Dayton church where one of my favorite contemporary gospel groups, Christopher, was performing live in concert. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long enough to enjoy their music ministry, but I took advantage of the opportunity to hang out with them off-stage for a few minutes before my 7pm flight home. All in all, an excellent trip.
Congratulations to Dayton Book Expo visionary, Valerie Coleman, for a job well done. With a first year as well-organized as DBA's was, I predict that it will be even more enjoyable next year. For those who are interested, save the date (April 30, 2011). Visit the Dayton Book Expo website reguarly for more information and updates.