Saturday, I spoke at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. My presentation went well and I sold some books. I had a terrific time.
The weather was great, the event was extremely organized and well-attended, and the roster of participating authors was awesome. Some family members came out to support me, and I got a chance to catch up with several writing friends.
I had the pleasure of meeting a Pulitzer Prize winner (David Hoffman), pictured here with me and Festival Chair Jud Ashman in the center (Kudos to Jud for a fantastic event! BTW, he donned his blue blazer shortly after this picture was taken.)
I also met two sports writers I admire (John Feinstein and Fred Bowen), and got a chance to hear Keith Donohue, Alice McDermott, and Wes Moore (The Other Wes Moore) talk about their books.
I met the mayor of Gaithersburg.
I met and talked to a slew of other writers and readers and book lovers.
But the highlight of the day for me?
My 12th grade Calculus teacher showed up for my presentation.
And in other news, when I got home from the Festival, there was a note waiting for me on the counter. It read, "Raccoon in toter." (For those of you who don't know, a toter is a big plastic trashcan that you wheel out to the street.)
Part of me just wanted to pretend like I'd never seen the note. But, responsible soul that I am, I leaped into action.
First, I tried tipping the toter on its side so the creature could leave on its own. Nothing happened.
Then, I took a hockey stick and banged on the side of the toter, trying to "inspire" the raccoon to leave. Nothing.
Next, using the hockey stick, I flipped the top of the can up. Nothing leaped out. Unfortunately, from my angle (behind the toter), I couldn't tell if it was just waiting until I showed my face before it sprang out at me. I decided not to test that theory
Instead, I took my wife's suggestion and got in the van so I could back out of the garage and get a clear view into the toter. So, for the first time ever, in 19 years of living in the house, I clipped the side of the garage with the passenger-side mirror, because I was focused on not running over a crazy, rabid, man-eating raccoon.
Turned out he was long gone. D’oh!