Hello, Everyone. As promised, here is a report from my recent New Orleans trip. With regard to my book, OUTSIDE CHILD (OC), set in modern, pre-Katrina New Orleans, I have to say things went well. I did readings at Tulane and Dillard Universities. A really awesome experience. Especially at Dillard, in that I shared the stage with three other phenominal Black, New Orleans born and raised authors which included poets and published writers, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy and Valentine Pierce, and the young author, Debra Johnson. I can't tell you the thrill of being amongst such literary prominence.
And the young people. I loved sharing my stories with and listening to the expectations of our young people. I guess that's why I'm such an Obama fan. It really touched me in a fulfilling way to see how the young people expressed the value of my words in relationship to what they want to accomplish. Things like, "it's interesting how you used the character Big Dee to show literally how politics affect people's everyday lives."
Wow! That young woman got it. I asked her if she planned to vote in the upcoming presidential election. She said she'd been thinking about it because of all the Obama hoopla. But when she read OC, she could see why the Katrina political fallout happened, she was definitely going to get more involed.
I have to say that hanging out and chatting with college kids really made my trip. That and my television on-air conversation with Sally Ann Roberts, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, sister. It was thrilling and I felt so privaleged to have 3-4 minutes air time to talk about my novel. I don't mean to brag, but hey, that was something. Hopefully, you can check out the video soon on my website, alicewilsonfried.com.
As for New Orleans, the other main character in OC, there are still two cities. Get past Gentilly and things don't look so good. My son owns and operates a stone and granite company there and it was intersting to see whose claims are being handled and whose aren't. I might add though, that everyone is faced with insurace company delays. However, those who have other means of rebuilding, be it an outside organization, churches or personal wealth, are treading through the process somewhat quicker.
It's hard, though, to see how desolate and isolated many of the familiar communities still are. Really putting into the limelight, the old saying, "the city that care forgot." As I point out in OC, communication is an issue in my hometown. And even with the Katrina "great reveal," it still is. People are having a hard time connecting with those who can and will assist them.
But don't worry, though, the French Quarter is alive and well.