I had the wonderful experience on Friday of going to hear Anne Lamott speak at First Baptist Decatur. Lamott is the author of several novels and non-fiction books. I haven't read any of her novels (yet), but I devoured her books Traveling Mercies, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Grace (Eventually). She has a son, Sam, who figures prominently in most of her books, as she raised him on her own. He recently had a son, and they wrote a book together called Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. It was in response to her earlier book on the first year of Sam's first life called Operating Instructions.
Okay, enough introduction. Suffice it to say I love Anne Lamott and she was just as funny and hard-hitting in person as she is on the page. I honestly got a little giddy and star-struck when I saw her walking out onto the stage! She has these kooky dreadlocks and a dry, slightly raspy voice. She can joke and curse and pray all in the same breath, and she says things about God that make you go, "Wait a minute. Am I allowed to think that?" But you know her thoughts stem from a deep and personal relationship with Him (or Her, as she sometimes like to say).
Sam read with her on Friday, and he was not at all what I expected! He's a tall, dark, and handsome type, currently in art school to be an inventor. The rapport between them was incredible. While the readings from this current book aren't particularly applicable to my life, the writing was still incredible, and the live format allowed the session to be infused with more of Lamott's trademark general discussion of faith. I've of course forgotten most of the gems, but hearing them made me want to a) go back and re-read all the books of hers I have read, b) find them all at used bookstores so I can have my own copies to write in and lend out, and c) read everything else of Anne Lamott's that I haven't yet. My Kindle wishlist is ridiculously full at the moment.
I'll leave you with this bit of wisdom that she used to close the night. Someone asked what her advice was for someone who wanted to be a writer, and here's what she had to say (which is relevant to someone who wants to be anything, really):
It's not in anybody's best interest for you to pursue your dreams, so it's gotta be in yours, because that's what you're here for.
Simple, to the point, and utterly true.
Have you ever seen one of your favorite authors in person? What's your favorite piece of advice from them?