South Louisiana is a strange place *laughing* – I mean that fondly, though. The food – lawd be! the food! I ate too much. And forget any “vegetarianism” when you go to So Louisiana. I just shrugged my shoulders and ate the meat when I needed to- although, I still said no to pork! Which by the way, did you know that “ham” is not pork? Nope, not in certain areas of the south. *laughing!* One time I asked if the soup had pork in it, “No Ma’am” said the waitress. She brought my soup—there was stuff floating in it and I asked, “Um, what is that?” She said, “That’s ham!” Okay… laughing! … and that’s happened before, “Oh, I know you don’t eat pork, so I’ll do a nice ham!” haw! Anyway, I’m going to have to detox from all the food running round in my innards.
South Louisianians are crazy and one of a kind. They are wild and wooly crazy. Yes, we all are one of a kind in our areas, but So La’s people are just in their own special category. And talk about football fans! For every ten cars, nine of them sported an LSU sticker—and sometimes more than one and sometimes with flags, too, and sometimes with a Fleur de Lis and Saint’s sticker to boot. And they are busy. Always going somewhere, always on the move, always eating, drinking, laughing, partying-go go go go go go go go go go! So different from my mountain life.
And, I don’t know what it was about my BoopMobile, but several times young men rolled down their windows and shouted out at GMR and I, grinning and smiling and giving us whoohooos and the like. I haven’t a clue why. Maybe it’s the Black Bear on our license plate, or the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains. Or the Boop. But, made me laugh. Although, one time I saw where there was a camera at a red light, and I rolled down my window and pointed to it like a country bumpkin – the fellow next to me gestured and laughed and pumped his fist in a whoohoo and etc. It wasn’t until later I thought maybe he thought I’d flipped the camera the bird *LAUGHING* – lawd.
The smells are different in Louisiana from here. There are food smells everywhere—you can’t gently toss a small pebble without hitting a restaurant or food place of some kind, and the aromas linger in the atmosphere. But, there’s also the chemical plants smells, and at one place on the interstate on the way home, I had to cover my mouth and nose—it was so strong my eyes burned. I worry about Louisiana in that way.
The noise is something I am no longer used to. I’m a mountain-born girl, but I lived in South Louisiana many years before I moved here five years ago. When I opened my car door to go into the hotel, I was blown back into my seat by the noise! Cars, horns, sirens, people, zoom zoom whoop whoop, awooga awooga, shreee, roarrrrr, va-rooom – it was incredible and I am overwhelmed by it now, but facinated by it as well.
The Louisiana Book Festival was wonderful. I will write more about that later, as I am catching up on hundreds of emails—gark! And I haven’t worked on Secret Graces in days-lawdy be, don’t tell my publishers I said that *shhhhh* Also, I want to read all of your comments, too, and catch up on BlogLand goings-on. But, I enjoyed my panel and thank you to those of you who could make it – and I apologize to those of you who tried to find me and could not. Thank you for buying Tender Graces. Your support means a lot. And thanks, y’all, for stopping by here while I was gone and keeping my blog feeling warm. And thank you Wally Lamb and your lovely wife, C, for stopping by my signing table and buying a copy of my book (and to your wife, Mr. Lamb, thanks to her for coming to my panel. How gracious and lovely you both are.)
The worst part of leaving Louisiana was leaving my friends. I miss them terribly. *sob*
While I am here, I want to give a shout-out to a new blogger. BelleBook’s thriller writer, Mark Nykanen, author of PRIMITIVE, has started a blog. As we all know, when we first start our blog, we need bloggy love from other bloggers! So if you can, stop by and say hi to Mark by clicking on his name here: Mark Nykanen.