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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Report: Day 4 Manchester and Nashville

Tennessee is a beautiful state. I now understand why so many people, including tourmate Bryan Davis, have up and moved there. A lot of the main highway was cut into the sheer rock of the meandering southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. So as we drove through, it was like passing within dwarven mines delved in days of old. Strata of gray, brown, orange, red, and white stone glistened in the sun. And then, the road would spiral down between great green humps of mountain, shrouded in gossamer white mist. It reminded me so much of the mountains of New Zealand as they appeared in the Lord of the Rings movies. I half expected to look over the guardrail and see two slender gray boats, directed through the currents of the Anduin by a reluctant king and his motley fellowship. {sigh}

Our first stop on the Tour took us to a wonderful little Methodist church in Manchester, TN for a meeting of Homeschooler Moms. Very nice people--as Tennesseans all seem to be--and the Fantasy Foursome had the first chance to test our speaking program. Funny how God works. Each of the 4 authors developed a 20 minute speech/reading, independent of the other authors. In fact--way back in the formative stages of the tour, we discussed topics so that we WOULDN'T overlap. But God had other ideas. Turned out that there was a wonderful thread woven through all four messages...a thread God seemed to wish to use in the lives of those who came to visit.

Then, that evening, we visited Borders in Nashville. The staff there had us set up nicely with posters and more than ample space to wield swords {ahem}, which we did. Bryan Davis even had an impromptu duel with a customer. She defeated the Dragon Master without breaking a sweat. If you ask me, he let her win. ;-)

We also met a brilliant young man named Austin who {prepare to feel intimidated} at the age of 13, has written a 400 page manuscript and submitted it to Thomas Nelson. FOUR HUNDRED PAGES. I don't think I'd written anything longer than 2-3 pages by that point in my writing career. Christopher said, "I think I was still climbing trees when I was 13." The next Christopher Paolini, maybe?

There were several other wonderful young folks, three young ladies in particular who seemed to enjoy bantering with us in British accents. Too fun.

The photo you see above shows some of the wonderful kids who came by. And by the way, look to the right of author Christopher Hopper. See the guy in the brown shirt? That's guitar legend Phil Keaggy who happens to be Uncle Phil to Christopher. Eddie Van Halen was once asked, "What's it like to be the greatest guitarist in the world?" Eddie replied, "I don't know. You'll have to ask Phil Keaggy." Nuff said. That was a blessing.

We finished the evening with a long drive to Oak Ridge, during which we all realized how exhausted we were. Sharon would turn and say, "Wayne, what day is it?" To which I would reply, "It's still Wednesday...I'm pretty sure."

Tomorrow: Knoxville, TN and Asheville, North Carolina...


Brett said...

NO WAY! I have some of his music! I used it to write some of my scenes in my story. Way cool.
(Yeah, I listen to music while I write. I normally listen to the Wicked gets me pumped up!) :-P

everlastingscribe said...

Oh wow! He is one of my all time favorite authors! I listen to his instrumental stuff when I'm writing. Lights of Madrid is one of my favorites. :-D I actually have a signed CD of his (sent as a bonus) to our store. I kidnapped it from a co worker and she is not getting it back. She's finally realized this, and gave up trying to get it back.

I've been praying hard for all of you, and it's interesting to see what Christ is having me pray as well as what you all are doing. :)

Pais Charos said...

Hehe - I know the kids that were bantering in British accents. They're a lot of fun!

Two more days till Richmond, Elicott City, then Alexandria on Sunday! Woohoo!

Valerie Comer said...

LOL, I sure know which one of the four authors keeps up the blog the best! You're my first stop in the morning, Wayne, as I prepare my own blog post for the tour.

Hope you don't mind that I'm stealing, linking...the YouTubes on my blog.

Oh, is there an easy place to find the master list of all your stops? Could somebody post it on the tour blog and link it prominently so it doesn't disappear? I'd appreciate it immensely. I think the one I found doesn't have all the stops on it.

Your PARTNER (!) in prayer...(and blogging...)

Pais Charos said...

I know that Bryan Davis has it (I think) on his website., then click on Appearance Schedule.

Valerie Comer said...

Huh. I could be just blind, but I don't see the schedule over there either. I've seen a couple versions, and they weren't identical (Sharon has one way back that I copied into a file), and some bloggers are posting stops I hadn't seen. Just looking for the One True Word!

Pais Charos said...

Hmm.. Yeah, the one I've been going by is the one on Bryan Davis' website.

Roheryn said...

Fun fun fun!
I can't WAIT 'til the tour makes it up this way!

Looks like all ya'll are having SO much fun!

Kare Alethieas said...

Pais- who were the kids with the British accents? Forum members?

I've yet to visit the Davises in their new place; I'm sure it's gorgeous.

Pais Charos said...

I think it was Lisse, HK, DB, and GodsGirl. They're in the picture :D

It is gorgeous! I was just there a month ago. *sighs* I can't wait to visit them again.

everlastingscribe said...

If you go to the official tour site and look at the Journey Dates that'll give you the who what where and when. I think that they are pretty much set but that could change if they squeeze more 'flying' visits.

chrisd said...

Phil Keaggy? (wide eyed, mouth agape)

He was my first Christian concert back in the day. I thought, Well, I'm single and it's a Saturday night. We'll have pie afterwards, who care?

I was blown away. He will always have a special place for me.

Praying for you too!