Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cairo Caravan 2011 recap

My how time flies when you're locked away in a writing cave. Has it really been nearly two weeks since Cairo Caravan? Hardly seems possible. The whole weekend was amazing.

On Saturday morning, I had a lot of fun talking about the Ghawazee dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (dim lighting made it an intimate affair) and talking to everyone who stopped by the table I shared with my friend and fellow author Shauna Roberts.

I saw so many old friends, met Facebook friends in person for the first time (I'm looking at you Liliana!) and made quite a few new ones, too (Mindy, Kareenah, CheriMarie, Nichole, Marguerite, Darleen, Nanette, Denell, Arlene, Lonnie, Veronica with her darling daughter, Lana, Tammy, Marianne, Cindy, Stephanie, Lisa, Jolie, Melisa, Sherree, Vivi, Pamela, Aruba, Toni, Monica, Jocelyn, Trish, Betty, Denise--maker of the amazing "Prop Transporter," Ma*shuqa, Antoinette, Amy, Amber, Connie, Jennie, Carol, the fabulous Penny Rose, Poppy, Oscar and JoAnn!).

I spent so much time gabbing, I didn't get in nearly as much shopping or see nearly as much dancing as I would have liked. So I was extremely happy to get an email from Lee Corkett with a link to his gorgeous photographs. You can see them here:
So if you missed this year's event (or were too busy shopping, or gabbing like I was) be sure to check them out.
Keep and eye on MECDA's website for news on next year's event.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday Night at Cairo Caravan

My Friday at Cairo Caravan:

* Drive to Queen Mary.

* Check in with the festival organizers.

* Find authors table (second level, awesomely renamed "Thebes Level" for the festival).

* Find my friend and tablemate, Shauna Roberts.

* Set up the authors table.

* Move authors table to a spot with a view of the stage (and the terrific dancing!)

* Set up the authors table again

* Find the Boiler Room, where my morning lecture is taking place.

* Wait for eyes to adjust to the room's darkness, search in vain for additional lighting, and -- finding none -- seriously consider changing focus of talk from the belly dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to belly dance ghost stories or something more suited to a scary dark place like the Queen Mary's Boiler Room.

* Sell first book of the night -- of the festival! -- to the lovely and talented and vivacious and darling and -- well, you get the idea -- Ansuya. This Bellydance Superstar has always been a superstar in my book, and I finally had the opportunity to tell her how inspiring I found her Santa Monica classes to be waaayyay back when BDSS was just a glint in Miles Copeland's eye. (Yes, this was a big fangirl moment for me, hence, the goofy grin in the picture...)

* Meet Liliana, a Facebook friend I have never had the pleasure of meeting in person before, who stopped and chatted and let me sign a book for her.

* Meet and sign books for several sweet and delightful ladies who stopped to chat and share our chocolate.

* Drive home, exhausted but happy, to rest up and be ready to head back in the morning.

Still wondering about those ghost stories, too...