Mahalo Morning

The last few days have been blurry. Of course, it could be that I need a new eye prescription, but I don’t think so.

Hawaii lingers on the mind, the odor of plumeria and tropical breeze, the song and raucous cries of mynah birds. Black earth, white coral, both scorched by the sun, but gently … gently.

Wednesday morning I woke up and stared out at the view from my room lanai … the mountains in the distance, the palm trees–somehow more fragile there than in California–waving against a bluing sky.

A little later, I ate breakfast–how I miss the papaya!–and attended the awards brunch, loving Lee Goldberg’s humor and Rhys Bowen’s wonderful version of “I’m Evil” (she’s also a fabulous singer!) and Barry Eisler’s story about taking a long, hard fall in Japan. And jumped up with everyone, cheering on Bill and Toby Gottfried to a so well-deserved standing ovation. Then my world erupted into a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and absolute wonderment.

I was, and am, immensely honored at my nomination, and so proud to be listed among writers whom I admire so much as artists and people and friends. I can’t really remember anything except the kaleidoscope and somehow making it to the stairway of the podium (thanks to the kind souls in the audience who were shouting “Go around, Kelli!”) … and wondering how I’d keep from either crying or imitating Sally Field or just freezing. I don’t remember what I said — it was a moment when words fail wordsmiths.

All in all, it felt a little like some kind of wonderful, spectacular concussion … and it was a moment I’ll treasure the rest of my life. Thank you, LCC and the amazing, incredible mystery community–and thank you, Hawaii. 🙂

I managed to get home on the red eye, red-eyed, no sleep. Slept a bit on Thursday, a little more on Friday, and then it was off to Sacramento and Authors on the Move, a formal gourmet dinner fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Libraries. Great fun, getting to drink Buena Vista pinot noir, meeting lots of other authors from all genres, and talking to three different tables of patrons about books and writing. Borders handled the book sales, a percentage of which went to the library, along with the profits from the live auction … all in all, a spectacularly fun and exciting event in California’s capital.

My luck held on the way back … after a drive of more than 90 miles, our front tire went flat as we pulled into a Trader Joe’s parking space. So it was an emergency visit to Sears Auto Center (Sears is a kind of family tradition), the only one open on a Sunday. We made it home, bedraggled, with my mom (who attended the Sacramento event), and dog in the back seat. And a lot of not-so-fresh produce from the Valley. You should see the size of the oranges!

And now back to work and focus … though at the moment, I’m enjoying the blur. 🙂

Mahalo … and aloha!