Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh, Atlanta.

I admit it: I love all things Southern.
Today, my husband and I had the kind of day that reminds me why I like living below the Mason Dixon Line. We stopped en route to Atlanta at Staples in Carrollton, Georgia to get the full manuscript for DELANEY'S PEOPLE printed. Met a lovely young lady named Crystal McCartney, their copy and print expert.
To say I'm a bit picky about my printing needs is a massive understatement. I am the kind of person who can obsess over fonts and card stock and graphics for hours at a time.
I may well be outlawed at Staples in some states.
But Crystal - bless her heart - spent two hours putting together a professional presentation  for me while cheerfully trying to wait on about twenty other customers with their own needs. The thing is, all of these people were sweet and patient and polite and charming and delightful even though a strange woman rolled in and took over their store.
This is typical in the South.
We then drove to beautiful Buckhead to visit the Atlanta History Center. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with their incredible exhibition, "Turning Point: The American Civil War". It was moving and poignant and is a must for history lovers.
Atlanta History Center

"In a weak moment, I have written a book." - Margaret Mitchell
Made it to the Margaret Mitchell House five minutes before the gift shop closed. As you can see: I am capable of shopping under pressure. I will most definitely return to be inspired by the birthplace of the novel I was spoon-fed as an infant. (Okay, I think I read it when I was eight. But you're dealing with a woman here who once wanted to name a cat Scarlett O'Hairy.)
The Margaret Mitchell House

Had a wonderful, delicious dinner at an Atlanta institution, Mary Mac's Tea Room. How can you not love a restaurant that starts you off with a tiny, complimentary bowl of collards in pot likker accompanied by a mini cornbread muffin?
Mary Mac's Tea Room

Every once in awhile, something wonderful comes south from the frozen Northland - tonight it was author Chris Bohjalian. I've been a rabid fan of his since I encountered The Double Bind years ago, and have read his entire oeuvre (except the early novels he seems to have paid to have hidden away...). He is funny and charming and witty in person - not always the case with authors - and I am grateful to have met him.
And he gave me my very own SECRETS OF EDEN ROCK AND ROLL BOOK TOUR t-shirt.
That's enough to make a Scarlett-type just faint.