Meeting Maggie Mei

Three years ago a young lady found my miniature paintings on eBay and asked me if I would illustrate her children's story. That began the long delightful process of creating and publishing Moonlight Memoirs . Two of the truly interesting things about Maggie Mei Lewis are that she is adopted from China and that she wrote Moonlight Memoirs as a thirteen years old. Over the course of our project, Maggie Mei, her mother Greta, and I worked together closely producing this wonderful (and well received) book...all the while having never actually met! This past weekend I flew to Maryland to meet Maggie Mei and Greta plus attend the Baltimore Book Festival for a book signing.

Maggie's family put me up in their "Bambie Trailer" an oh so cute Airstream in their yard that became my little nest away from home. It was a blast!

It was such a deliciously short plane trip (compared to my usual trip across country to care for mom in California), and the anticipation of meeting Maggie and Greta (Maggie's mom) was thrilling. When you get to know someone so intimately online, but not actually face to face...one's imaginations can paint a far different picture of our cyber friends. So, with heart thumping, I walked through baggage claim to instantly spot the sweet cheery face of Greta Johnson. A big hug and it felt like we had been friends for years.

The Lewis-Johnson family consists of Maggie, her sister Irene, her mom and dad, four dogs, five cats, four bunnies, two parrots, a horse...and one Guinea pig, so there was no shortage of animal snuggles this weekend!

Maggie works at the Maryland Renaissance Fair each weekend, so Greta and I scooted over to the fair after my arrival Saturday so that I could finally meet this lovely young woman.

The afternoon was cool and raining, but the atmosphere of the fair was exotic, and richly Renaissance. It was so much fun to approach Maggie's booth, and see this charming girl all decked out in her fair maiden costume...long black hair down to her knees. Maggie and I embraced each other then stepped back to absorb the magical feeling of finally meeting face to face.

The next morning we were all on pins and needles anticipating the Book Festival, and anxious to set up. The Book Festival slowly unfolded into a long day of making contacts, book signing, and book sales. We wrapped up the event with a fun adventure through Baltimore and dinner at the Kali's Court in historic Fells Point for great Tapas. Yum!

We ended the three day adventure with visits to some of Maggie and Greta's friends who are carrying Moonlight Memoirs in their shops. A jaunt to Annapolis (oh, my what a charming town!!) to eat at Middleton Tavern and to visit the quaint Annapolis Bookstore. Finally, a quick stop at a pet store where I met this wee little Chihuahua who seemed to have come right out of our book. I also met an adorable ginger haired little girl who proceeded to tell me all about her long, long, list of things she must acquire for that horse she hopes to get very soon (her mom only giggled with each addition to the list!)

It was a fantastic three days that filled me with inspiration and invigorated me from being in the company of such unique, talented, kind, generous, and happy people! Thanks Greta, Maggie, Irene, Rod, all you furry four legged, and feathered two legged critters who share your Maryland home.


Cheryl Kugler said...

What a cool story! What a great way to meet the author. Congratulations on your book. It looks wonderful!

PaintDog said...

What a wonderful and fulfilling adventure Mel! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us :)

Linda said...

What a wonderful adventure, Love to you both, and good wishes for the book sales. Lindax

DEB said...

What a wonderful story! I've met a few of my online friends too, and it is such a joy! Melody, you were only about 90 min. from where I live! In fact, my husband and I are going to Baltimore for a miniature art show in Fell's Point at the end of Oct. You missed the show's opening by just a few days.

Jennifer Rose said...

that is great you finally met :D you both look so happy in the pictures :)
love Maggie's blue outfit!

Melody Lea Lamb said...

Thanks so much for the comments Cheryl, Ann, Linda, Deb, and Jennifer!
How cool that your were so close Deb...and WE went to Fells Point for dinner!
Jennifer, I know...Maggie's beautiful Renaissance costume. You should have seen that long black hair down past her knees too.

Dors said...

What a wonderful story. a book in itself. :)
Congratulations on the book illustrations. It's beautiful.
I have made friends on the internet and it has been just the way you say it.
A great story, great trip, great friendships. WoooHooo

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