Going All Fan-Girl on Margaret Mitchell

In July during the RWA conference in Atlanta, Georgia, author Diana Quincy and I headed into the city center to visit Margaret Mitchell’s home. Yep, Margaret Mitchell, the author who wrote a book I’ve read at least ten times. A little unknown Pulitzer Prize winning work called Gone with the Wind, featuring a heroine still popular almost 100 years after she first appeared—Scarlett O’Hara.WP_000723

We were so eager to visit one of the most admired female writers of all time that we meandered up to her house—now a museum run by the Georgia Historical Society—headed on in, and where told by a gift shop attendant, “You are way too early. The tour begins at 11:00 a.m.”

Okay. We were excited.

Returning promptly at 11:00 a.m., the tour group assembled and was comprised of mostly . . . romance writers! The interesting thing about taking a tour of an author’s house with authors is that you really get a sense of what is fact versus fiction.

For example, there was a wonderful picture of Mitchell typing away on her Remington typewriter propped up on a wooden sewing machine. Her hair was swept neatly back, her dress was fashionable and tidy. There were no signs of clutter, no discarded papers filled with typos, no dirty coffee mugs nor cigarette buds in ashtrays.

Exactly how I look when in the middle of a story—ask the mailman, he’ll confirm it. Of course, the other tour members got a great laugh out of that picture, as well. It’s exactly how you’d expect an author to look in the movies. Again, fact versus fiction and in this case, fiction won.

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My Favorite Romantic Moment

This month on the Femmes, we’re talking romantic moments. This was actually tough for me because I’m generally not a fan of the grand, sweeping gestures that can be associated with a genuine “romantic moment.” To qualify as romantic in my mind, it doesn’t need to be someone hopping on a plane after watching Cuba Gooding, Jr. score the winning touchdown so he can interrupt Girl’s Night Out (hello, TIMING!?) to declare, “You. Complete. Me.”

Blerg, as Liz Lemon would say.

I am not a cynic, however. I have plenty of favorite romantic moments, but they’re on a smaller scale. I’ll take Jake Gyllenhaal’s “I wish I knew how to quit you,” over Jerry Maguire any day.
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