CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.

Thirsty for the latest releases in Christian fiction? Ready for a peek into the world of publishing and writing conferences? Hungry for spiritual and real-life nourishment? Pull up a seat; you're in the right place, and I'm so glad you've stopped by.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Evening at the Harwelden

The Harwelden mansion is home to the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council and is lovely. Rich wood and great slabs of stone in this Collegiate Gothic-English Tudor home speak in hushed tones of a grand era. Indeed, the home is located on the famed Black Gold Row among rolling hills, lush greenery, and overlooks the Arkansas River. It's one of the popular spots for literary and music events in Tulsa.

Local Authors with Pianist for the evening 
This year, the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers chose Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer prize-winning writer, as the Tulsa Reads author for her work as a columnist, essayist, and novelist. She made a recent trip to Tulsa for several events. Sadly, I was out of town, but was honored to be asked to participate in an event where local authors responded to Anna's works. I read a selection from Anna's 1998 novel, Black and Blue, and then read a selection from my newest novel, Broken Wings.

One of the more interesting things that I learned was that Anna didn't set out to write a story about domestic abuse, but rather to live inside her "Frannie" character for a time and just tell her story. This resonated with me at a deep level. I didn't really want to write about the ugliness of abuse, either, but through the eyes of two unlikely friends in Broken Wings, I was honor bound to tell the truth of their stories - what connected Mitzi Steiner and Brooke Woodson. In doing so, I was also compelled to offer hope to those whose lives are tarnished by abuse and Alzheimer's.

This is what I shared with the audience at the Harwelden on the most gentle of evenings. Wonderful time spent with friends and authors. A little slice of heaven on earth.

Layton Isaacs, the coordinator of the event, had this to say in her article. Thanks, Layton! And thank you, Tulsa, for being a city that supports the arts. I'm honored. I'm blessed.


Julie Garmon said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Carla. I loved reading this!

carla stewart said...

Thanks, Julie! It was a night to remember.