When I was in junior high school, I joined the debate team. I still don’t know why. I was awkward. I didn’t know how to speak up for myself at thirteen, especially when it meant arguing a point.

What I remember about being dropped off at the library for hours and hours of research was the team’s collective interest in two people. A couple. Who were dating. We followed them all over the hidden corners of the library, trying to catch them in various states of making out. Rather than report findings on our next great point for argument, we whispered about whether they kissed with tongue and whether we could see their hands and what they must be doing RIGHT NOW.


I can’t promise such a raging show of hormones at the main branch of the Charleston County Library tonight at 6pm in the main auditorium. I’ll just be there. Talking. Enlightening attendees on the trials of my walk of the Natchez Trace. Telling them how it relates to my novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis. Meeting readers and playing music and introducing Dad to all and sundry.

For those of you who aren’t in Charleston, we’re going to set up a Google Hangout. If you’ve been squeamish about participating in a Google Hangout before, please don’t worry. It’s so easy. You merely need to log in to Google Hangouts, download the software they specify, and set it all up ahead of time. If you let me know you’ve done that, I’ll include you in the group invite.

You’ll be able to participate almost like you’re there. You can hear my talk. You can see Dad. You can ask me questions. You can be in on any big announcements with the initial group.

If technology cooperates. If you have the time. You can be at my Charleston County Library talk wherever you are. If you’re interested, please let me know in a comment today, and I’ll include you in the global invitation.

Regardless, thank you for reading. I wouldn’t be at the Charleston County Library, or ANY library, without you.

Join me in the Charleston County Public Library’s Main Auditorium on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 6pm. I’ll give a short talk about my epic walk of the Natchez Trace.

And Dad will be there.

You can see the best pictures from my Natchez Trace walk.

And Dad will be there.

I’ll talk about how walking 444 miles fundamentally altered my life.

And Dad will be there.

I’ll sell you a copy or several of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Friends of the Library. I’ll even sign your books.

And so will Dad.

I’ll also give you a sneak preview of my upcoming project. It’s participatory. You can be part of it. It may even change your life.

Dad will be there to tell you it might.

So please plan to come to CCPL’s main branch auditorium for a little talk, a little inspiration, and a lot of Dad.

What:        Author Appearance at Charleston County Library’s Main Branch Auditorium

Address:   68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401 (Click for map)

Time:        6pm – 6:45ish


parnassus books


Because I have a lot of readers beyond the Charleston area, we’re going to try something special just for you. I’ll give you more details in an upcoming post.

Need a reason to keep fostering connections through your own blogging home? Every time I get frustrated with the latest round of online ‘improvements,’ I remember Big Al and the Lizard of the Loo.

I’ve never met Big Al. He’s just a child. In England.

But I have met his Auntie Kate. I started following Kate Shrewsday’s blog several years ago, because I love the oddball English trivia, weird Russian stories, dog-and-cat extravaganzas, and her husband Phil’s dedication to authentic pudding burning, I mean, making technique.

I love everything Kate writes. So much that when I happened to be in London several years ago, I begged asked her to meet me. We dragged our husbands to a pub, and it was like we’d been friends for years. (Meeting the people I read in this space is still one of my biggest arguments for doing it in the first place. With the dwindling connection we’re likely to feel in social media in the coming months, where better than to try to foster deeper connections than here, where we control our own platforms???)


My most favorite topic on Kate’s (or just about any) blog is when she gives updates about her wee nephew Big Al. I’m such an Al fan that Auntie Kate even sent me video from one of his school events, and I watched it like a preening relative.

Several years ago, when we had a lizard living in our bathroom, I even made a video for Big Al. Because they don’t have weird pink lizards in England, I thought Big Al might like to have a vicarious pet all his own.

And, according to Auntie Kate, Big Al and his family STILL watch the Lizard of the Loo video. It was one of my first Reader Questions, really. Since they’ve been so popular, I thought it would be fun to revisit early days.

To remember why we seek connection in this platform.

To reinforce why it still matters.

To see photos from my appearance at Landmark Booksellers Main Street Festival booth in Franklin, TN yesterday (and to see me really giddy over meeting Jim Crutchfield, author of The Natchez Trace: A Pictorial History), click here: Andra Watkins Tumblr