Juvenile Arthritis & My Fleeting Love Affair with Baltimore

On Friday, I donned my little black dress and my cherry red Fluevogs and moussed my hair for the trip down to Baltimore, where I had the pleasure of joining the fabulous Sophia Nash to benefit the Sixth Annual Jennifer Vido Author Dinner for Juvenile Arthritis.

Every year, author and reviewer Jennifer Vido, who was diagnosed with Arthritis at the age of eight, brings two authors to Baltimore to speak with the wonderful donors and staff of the Arthritis Foundation about writing.  I was honored to be asked, and I came away from the evening so very inspired.

First, Sophia Nash is amazing...she's fun and funny and she drives a fast car. She told a beautiful story about her coming to be a writer at the insistence of her father, who never had a chance to see her first book published, but who I am certain is one very very proud papa these days.  And let's just say this...if you have to choose someone with whom to share a Maryland crabcake sometime...choose Sophia. She's so fun.

Second, I'll confess to never having thought of Juvenile Arthritis before, but after hearing Jen's amazing stories about not only her own struggles with the disease, but also those of the more than 300,000 kids living with JA now, I'm so happy to have had a chance to be a part of this fundraiser. Sophia and I helped to raise nearly $10,000 to help send kids around Maryland to a summer camp specifically for children with JA, and I'm really touched to have been asked to be there.

Now...I'll admit that since watching the first episode of The Wire, I've had a bit of an obsession with Baltimore (I mean, have you seen Dominic West read Pride & Prejudice?) But, unfortunately, Friday's trip was a quickie...down and back in six hours, and I only saw the train station and a few blocks of a neighborhood that I'm pretty sure inspired parts of Season One. That said, after spending an evening with the fabulous ladies of Baltimore, I am now determined to get myself back for a weekend.

Of course, I couldn't leave the event without getting Sophia to sign me a copy of Love With the Perfect Scoundrel, which I'm now giving away to you! Comment below and tell me the one place you've been where you feel you didn't get enough time...and I'll choose a winner on Friday for Sophia's book!

Don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you win! xo