Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, located on the campus of McKendree University, Lebanon, Ill.
So, I’m still floating high on the energy that I soaked up last Wednesday night as I sat and listened to a most prolific author share her thoughts on surviving, as Prince once said, “this thing we call life.”
I got to share perhaps what will become a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenal event with my husband Kevin on the evening of April 12 as we journeyed to the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on the campus of McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., to take part in the last of their Distinguished Speakers series on campus for the season.
Now I have several “favorite” authors that I enjoy reading and following…but there are only two that serve as my secret mentors inside my mind as I travel through my daily world as a writer. These two women have had life roll out in many ways that are nearly parallel to that of my own.
Two authors, two females, that have rocked my world both personally and professionally. And I finally got to see one of them live and in person! I am still in awe, shock and excitement over it all.
I wish I could say it was J.K. Rowling…but I guess I’m going to have to be patient a bit longer before meeting that mentor of mine.
But I can finally report that the other amazing role model in my world of authorship is really real—and really authentic.
You know—Big Magic, Eat Pray Love, The Signature of All Things, Pilgrims, Stern Men, The Last American Man. The journalist, the magazine and short story writer who became a best-selling author and not just once—yeah her!!!!!
It was incredible. The love, the synergy. The anecdotes she shared (a broken vagina?) …the wisdoms she quoted. She was real, genuine and just as you might imagine her to be. Portraying authenticity is part of what motivates her too, as Gilbert noted, “I really want to be seen smokin’ what I’m sellin’.”
For me, her words offered a validation that the path of my thoughts that continue to lead me toward all my future books, short stories and other published pieces was on target. I’m going to keep on doing it my way, writing not only what I know but how I know. Rules are good guidelines, but I will still break them whenever I deem it necessary.
My own Elizabeth Gilbert library collection so far…
If any of you still haven’t checked out any of her works, first I say shame on you. Then I say, get to it. Whether you’re a fellow writer or a fellow reader, I’ll use Liz’s words from that evening and encourage you to go ahead and allow yourself to “dance with the mystery of consciousness and inspiration.”
As Gilbert described her journey, she said, “It’s kinda epic and beautiful and worth it.” I say the same back to you, Liz. Oh, and by the way, to help Liz’s own project along I’ll ask, “What are you excited and passionate about today?”
Until next time…peace, love, light…and words…always!
P.S. Sorry about the less-than-quality photos of Liz herself…I was so awestruck I forgot to adjust my camera settings. She kinda looks angelic, doesn’t she?