Queen Party with Maria Virginia!

Hey everyone!

Maria and I had so much fun last night at the party... thanks to all of you who came or sent good wishes!  Maria was radiant as always, in a lovely new blouse and anaco with lovely embroidery...

The party was at an awesome coffee shop, Everyday Joe's, in downtown Ft Collins.  Our friend Maria Luisa played gorgeous music... she studied Andean flute music with Maria's amazing musician husband, Tino, and other musicians in and around his Quichua community in Ecuador.

The little kid crowd had fun playing their own music and dancing and running around on and off-stage... (Yes, that's an image of MacGyver in the background, hehehe.... we had a slide show running with photos of Maria's life, some of which you can see here and link to from here ...)

It was such a great feeling to have so many friends come out to celebrate.... here's my good friend Laura Pritchett-- writing group buddy, and incredibly talented author (of Hell's Bottom, Colorado; Sky Bridge, and other books).  She was a big help in figuring out how to shape Maria's story.

 Such a warm atmosphere with our friends...

We had a contest/drawing, and my dear friend Flora (who volunteered in my ESL classes back when I was still teaching) won *twice*... she's super sweet-- we all discovered that she's had crushes on Rambo and John Travolta.  (The entries had to include your name and your first TV character crush (inspired by Maria's crush on MacGyver)....more about all that in another post!)

Choosing lucky winners from the basket...

 Julio (originally from Jalisco, Mexico!)  won a copy of Red Glass... he had some really poignant reasons for his first crush on Matilda (a character from a movie I haven't seen but sounds good.)

Here's my good friend Todd Mitchell, author of The Secret to Lying, one of my all-time favorite YA novels.  And he's got some dazzling YA fantasy manuscripts up his sleeve, too... hopefully soon to be shared with the world.

Beautiful writer/reader girls came-- here I am with Kelly and Lydia!

It's been fun catching up with Maria-- she just came to town from Ecuador a few days ago.  She showed me a bunch of great recent pics of her family, which I'll share with you in another blog post.  I'll also share more pics of the party then... I realized Ian didn't take many of Maria (he had his hands full with Lil Dude, who gets super-excited at these events and tends to bounce off the walls as the evening progresses.)  I know some other people got more pics of Maria, so you'll see them soon...

(If you missed last night, don't despair.... we're doing some other events in the area soon.  You can check my Events page for details.)  Thanks for reading!