Off to the Ball!
Reflecting on this time last Tuesday, I was praying for mild and dry weather for the last day of January. That evening was the HarperCollins Alumni – an event of a lifetime! I had my outfit planned for weeks and a backpack fit for the occasion. I was excited and nervous as I had no clue of what to expect. But little would I have guessed that a few hours would become like tales in books. It was not a challenging quest to get to the ball (thankfully!) as there were no train strikes that day. So with no pumpkin carriage, I made my way on a slow, smelly train to central London (I’m sorry…you can’t go back once you’ve been on a shinkansen!). Feeling fancy dressed in my best attire, I pounced out of the station and took a big whiff of stale city air that I immediately regretted.
Having arrived early to my destination as I don’t like being late for a very important date, I seeked out a place for an early feast. Being German and Sri Lankan…food is always on my mind. Once I tamed my belly, it was time to meet my acquaintances for the first time. One by one the fellowship was forming, and what a fine group they were! The nicest bunch one could wish to be part of. Finally, it was time to head to the main event. Fortunately we were not heading to the heights of Mordor. Instead our destination was the swanky News building - just opposite the Shard! There I was…on the top floor looking down at the city of blinding lights feeling like Don Draper (if you don’t know who he is, google him. He is a very hamm-some man).
The room was bustling as all the alumni from the four realms, I mean cohorts gathered. It was uplifting to hear the array of writing journeys and their progressions. As my mentor found me, whom I was eager to meet, it was time to be seated and then…there she was – the creator of this Academy! Who took to the stage gracefully and joyously. Although she wasn’t holding a magic wand, she was wearing the most spectacular white boots. After an inspiring opening speech, writing veterans and newbies followed – telling their stories and passing on their wisdom.
The clock did not strike at midnight but the time had come to bid temporary farewells. Coming back down to earth, with high spirits I strolled back on the clickety clack train back home. As I stood at the front door of my humble home – hoping this wasn’t all just one epic märchen dream, as I truly had a ball!