We had a great time going to Atlanta for the booksigning there. It was at Charis Bookstore, the feminist bookstore in the tres hip Little Five Points area.I think they said that Charis is only one of a dozen feminist bookstores in the country now. Our nearby hotel, the Highland Inn, built in the 1920's, was definitely funky. It was a European style hotel reminding me of something out of Greenwich Village. The "suite" was only $125.00 a night. There were artsy prints on the walls, a shower only (not the shiniest one in the world, but passable) and a sink in the bedroom. Funky for sure. But I liked it because it was not your basic (reliable but predictable) hotel, motel, Holiday-Inn that you can find anywhere. They had a black mascot kitty there named Jack who they said eats better than anyone in Atlanta, eating the guests' and staff's leftover food from the fine area restaurants all within walking distance. Little Five points, where the bookstore is located, is super cool. The bookstore itself was purple, my fave. They were very hospitable. Charis has a 35-year birthday party coming up with Alice Walker, Gloria Steinham and the Indigo Girls. What a line-up! Anyway, we had some great people come out. Some wonderful Georgia cousins and friends' of my dad's came. It was great to see them. Also, my ol' childhood buddy, Sandie, who I hadn't seen since we were teenagers. It was a little emotional because she had a hard time getting her baby, too- two failed IVF's and now an adoption to an adorable toddler who was with her. We all have our own stories! Great to see her after all these years. Also, Amy De Simone, another AFE survivor and board member of the newly launched AFE Foundation came and I got to meet her for the first time. She was able to give some valuable information to the group about amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) and I learned a couple of things that I did not know (and I did research for the book). One is that it is not uncommon for amniotic fluid to get in the mother's bloodstream. What is so rare and uncommon is the allergic reaction some women (like us) have to it which is usually fatal. The AFE foundation is going to fund the first known study of survivors to see if they can find a common thread. However, we are such an exclusive group- that there are only 35 survivors that they have found worldwide so far to participate in this study (I am one of the 35)! They would like to study 100 people for their stats. I hope to meet the founder, Miranda, soon too! (For more info visit www.afesupport.org) Anyway, it was great to meet Amy, and it definitely made singing the song, December 11, about my complication that much more intense knowing she was there and had gone through the same thing. It was a great group of folks though, and I so appreciated them coming out! Thanks to my husband Jim for his roadie work and little man wrangling during the reading, and thanks to Don Henry for making the trek to play with me! We went to dinner afterwards but little man was so spent after a long night that he, um, let me know it was time to go. He is usually good in restaurants, but he was just done. The next day we stopped in Chattanooga on the way home and visited the Tennessee Aquarium there which was very impressive. I think a highlight for our guy was seeing the deep sea divers in the tank swimming with fish and waving to him. Also the sharks were quite the sight. After going all the way through one of the two buildings he was tired and ready to leave. We came home and lit a fire to offest the cold that has set in and cuddled up with our kitties who were glad to see us. There's no place like home!
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com