Like the woman in the airport. As I was wheeling my book laden bags to the check-in counter the man behind me asked if I was carrying gold bricks.
"Kind of," I said. "They're the books I'll need for this trip."
"Are you an author going on a book tour?" he asked. (I should have asked him to keep holding on to that thought.)
"No," I said. "I'm a writer though and I'm going to a writer's residency and this is the reading that will inspire my own writing."
His wife took over then. She'd been taking writing classes herself. She'd been to the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference. What did I write? she wanted to know.
"Memoir," I said.
"That's what I've been learning to write," she said.
I gave her the one-line summary of the book I'd be working on--the story of giving up my son for adoption when I was 17 and reconnecting with him when he was 21. She nodded and as we went to our separate kiosks, she and her husband wished me good luck.
Several minutes later as I was dragging my bags to the scanner, she rushed up to me. "I just wanted to tell you that I gave up a baby, too," she said.