Just a little throwback to when Antigua and Barbuda was ahead of the curve with this literary festival – first held in 2006 – that attracted some of the biggest names in literature (especially from the Black diaspora). It’s not a thing anymore and that’s a shame. That’s me in green between, far left, Linda Duggins, who was at the time director of publicity for the Hatchette Book Group, acclaimed author Elizabeth Nunez, and, on my right, Eric Jerome Dickey. Yeah, my imposter syndrome was itching like a rash that day – though to be honest, there was some external reinforcement of it (something said) but also affirmation (something else said). The something else was from Eric Jerome Dickey who affirmed my place at the table; the late New York Times bestselling author also opened the door to me landing an agent and endorsed me on his social media when my novel came out. Eric died last year and things like this that he did grow bigger in my mind. He was just a real, generous dude. The lady to my left, Elizabeth, while continuing to write acclaimed books, has also done things to boost my writing and that of others – including reccing my novel Oh Gad! on NPR. Blessings to her for that; she didn’t have to do that – and because of how no-nonsense she is, I know she wouldn’t have picked it (nor add it to her course list) if she didn’t think it was good. I remember Linda as having a warm presence and this was reaffirmed when I ran in to her in the crowd at the Miami Book Fair and she greeted me like we had seen each other just yesterday – when I was sure she wouldn’t remember me at all – it was 11 years later, after all. Yeah, I’m pretty sure this was 2007 because one of the things I remember about this event was I met the head of the Friends of Antigua Public Library, Beverly George, on the lawn of Anchorage Inn at this event, and she right away invited me to New York where I went that December as the FOAPL’s first Author in Residence and FOAPL would host me again in 2012 when Oh Gad! came out.
What I like about the flashback memes sometimes is it can be a reminder of how far you’ve moved when it feels like you’re stagnating or maybe even moving backwards, or maybe are just too busy working to pay attention to those movements at all.
Anyway just a pic and a reminder to self and whoever needs to hear it to keep moving.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.