Last Thursday I went to see Donald Miller and Susan Isaacs at the NYC show on their "Million Miles Tour"
I had devoured both books fairly quickly - I knew I would Don's as I loved "Blue Like Jazz" and "Through Painted Deserts", but Susan's was a surprise.
Based on a ton of blogosphere recommendations, I downloaded the sample of "Angry Conversations with God" to my kindle, and then forgot about it. A few weeks later, when I was between fantasy novels and thinking it might be time to read something more spiritual, I found the sample and read it. A few minutes later I bought the book. Then less than twenty four hours later, counting work and train trips, it was finished.
I was with her through almost every situation in the book, though perhaps not to the same extent, until the very end when she ended up happily married. Lauren Winner did the same thing to me! Ah well, good for you, girls :)
Susan was fantastic in person, the way she brought the various situations in the book to life, including the accents, had me laughing out load. One of my favorite bits from the show, as from the book is the quote (and it's probably not word for word, as I'm too lazy to go find it on the kindle) "Christian men don't date. They've all read that book. 'Kiss My Dating Ass Goodbye'."
I didn't have a chance to meet her, the line was very long and I had to go, so hopefully next time!
Donald's book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" I also read in a twenty four hours period. It lived up to all I'd been reading about the past few months, and spoke to me on several levels - first as a writer how the art of story works. I'm going to be chanting "A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it." the entire month of November.
I loved also the parallels between writing a story, and living the story that God has written. It's fun to think of myself as a character, and to try getting out there and not being afraid of conflict.
Don was awesome in person as well. He had me at his first line "Welcome to Hogwarts." We were in this old very Englishy Episcopal church down in the village.
Before he spoke we had a video presentation on his ministry "The Mentoring Project", which is partnering with world vision, and there was a call for volunteers to sponsor a world vision child and also give to mentoring project as a package deal.
So I volunteered. Because, you know, when you've been feeling like you haven't been giving enough lately, and also slightly guilty about buying a third computer, and a cute and funny guy asks you donate for his project, how can you say no? Plus I got a hug out of it later. :) So I am now sponsoring a young boy from Brazil. I've done it before and it was a great experience, so I am excited.
Don talked about some of the funniest bits of the book, as well as the art of writing a story. My favorite line (and again this is a spotty memory quote), when discussing how the character's conflict needs to be something we care about, preferably a matter of life and death, "Frodo has to take the ring to the Temple of Doom and kill Darth Vader before the last Star Trek planet is destroyed."
He also talked about when "Blue Like Jazz" was first out, going to local book stores and moving his books over to the best seller rack. He then suggested we help with that, and move Dan Brown aside for him. Dude, anytime!
After the talks those of us who had signed up for World Vision were invited back to meet Don before the rest of the people who could line up for autographs. I think I conducted myself with slightly more poise than when i got my picture taken with Jason Momoa, but only just. (Plus there was no dressed up stuffed bear this time) I told him I had the book on kindle, and I was not going to let him sign that, but that I loved it on both levels, like I wrote above. I also then said something silly like he would bring me luck for NaNoWrimo (I was wearing my new hoodie). And I got a hug. Did I mention that?
All in all, two great books and an enjoyable evening, and I highly recommend all three!