Watching the movie “Julie and Julia” last weekend with my gal pals, I was more than just a spectator in the movie theatre with a torn ticket in my pocket and a box of thin mints on my lap; I was right there with Julie, seeing her as my inspirational guide and friend, cheering her on as she high-fived a co-worker when her blog reached record hits. I clutched the cupholder arms of my seat as a surrogate, reassuring hug to Julie as she sunk to depths of disappointment when a meeting with a reporter was literally rained out. Our connection was real – a fellow writer finding her way in life. As she felt a sisterhood with Julia
However, unlike the famed author who never met Julia, I did meet Julie Powell in person back in July of this year. Forget the fact that there were a hundred or so people with us at the bookstore. Julie was talking directly to me, her fellow blogger, as she discussed her adventures with her husband, Eric, and the excitement of meeting actor, Stanley Tucci. Ever engaging, she personally signed my books: one for me and one for my friend, Joni. I cherish what she wrote on the title page of my mini-tome: “To Barb – many successes in the tea business!” (While you ignore the hundred or so people that were around me, please also disregard the fact that Julie was willing to sign the book with any inscription you requested.)
So, seeing the movie on Sunday was a bit of reunion for Julie and me as I introduced her to Joni, an award-winning writer in her own right, (who Julie – with the help of a prewritten post-a-note tagged to her title page - described as an “entertainer extraordinaire”) and our college sophomore daughters: Annabelle and Rachel. It was another sisterhood connection at its finest.
It was a fitting occasion for “all” of us to get together. Rachel and Annabelle were starting their second week of their second year at
After sharing two hours of tears and laughter with Julie and Julia, we drove to the nearby Claddagh Pub, an Irish restaurant with outdoor seating, for our late afternoon repast and rehash. Sipping Irish Breakfast tea and supping on soup and salad, we talked about Julie and Julia as though they were right there at our table, extending one of their forks into our shared bread pudding dessert.
Back at home, I'm once again faced with that empty house feeling, now that the kids are all gone and it's just Chris and me and the dogs, but this afternoon it felt a little more occupied. As I sat at my computer and fired up the blogspot, Julie was there with me, urging me on, like Julia did to her when she created the 500th recipe. You can do it, she says to me, and you are not alone!
And, like Julie, I am thrilled with "my readers". I, too, think of them as friends and hope not to disappoint. Even though it's me tapping at the keyboard, I always view a blog as a dialogue. (By the way, you're a very good listener.)
So, in the spirit of thanking not only those that inspire, but those who hear you out, share a comment, send an email, follow a tweet or make a call, Barb's TEA Shop is sponsoring a CONTEST. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and your favorite tea. BTS will select one winner at random to receive a new, autographed copy of Bruce Richardson's, "A Year of Teas at the Elmwood Inn", a retail value of $19.95. (Remember we sell the whole Elmwood Inn series here - watch for some super deals coming soon, just in time for the holidays!)
All entries must be emailed before noon EST on October 1, 2009. BTS will identify and notify the winner on the evening of October 1, 2009. (One entry per person, please).
We'll post the winner and tally up the favorite teas, too.
Note to readers: this copy is already autographed by Bruce Richardson. No additional post-a-notes with this book. : )
And so, to all my fellow tea enthusiasts, an Irish Breakfast tea toast to mentors, autographed books, and good friends. Look forward to hearing from you soon. . .