So what kind of party could entice me to drive for almost an hour and sit in a room with a bunch of strangers? A book party, of course! Author J.L. Mbewe was launching her second book, Darkened Hope, and I was invited to the celebration at a library in a nearby town. Guests were asked to come dressed as a character from a book. It was an easy choice for me. My green renfaire outfit works just as well to turn me into the “lady of the green kirtle” from The Silver Chair.
There were several activities to entertain the guests, from a group-written story, to a game table, to puzzles and even coloring. My favorite was the book tournament.
Famous fantasy books were set against each other in pairs, and we kept voting until we came up with the ultimate winner. The Hobbit edged out The Princess Bride to take first place. I enjoyed the suspense and seeing how the votes turned out at each stage. I also got to spend some time visiting with fellow writer Kassy Paris, who came as the happy medium from A Wrinkle in Time:
It was a fun afternoon. I came home to find my husband tearing apart our “shanty,” which he built with the kids many years ago and which served as their playhouse. In recent years it has been in such poor shape it hasn’t been used for anything but a photo backdrop. It was built at least 16 years ago when I was in the throes of reading the Little House on the Prairie series to the kids. After reading about how the Ingalls family built their shanty on the prairie, our kids were determined to build a shanty of their own. Walter got the wood and the kids watched and helped him build it. When we moved to this house, we recruited a bunch of college students at a chai party and they lifted the whole thing over the fence and then set it down in our new yard, where it has stayed until today. Now it’s gone. That was a huge chunk of our kids’ childhoods. At least Jasper still has his treehouse.
One of the guests at the book party brought this stunning antique accordion as part of her costume. Her great-grandfather brought it from Germany. It still sounds pretty good!