Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meet Me in St. Louis

320 Mid Rivers Center Drive
St Peters, MO 63376

Though Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel officially was released the last week of March, there's been a glitch. Because Publishing Syndicate has switched printers and obtained a new distributor, the anticipated media blitz has been postponed until sometime next month, and copies will now be going out to contributors this week. I've sold or given some of my personal co-creator copies and a few have sold on Amazon, but so far there's no reviews on Amazon...or anywhere else, for that matter.

It's a curious feeling, like waiting for friends to stage a baby shower weeks after the baby's been born. Sure, the book's on my bedside table, but I've been celebrating its publication kind of all by my lonesome. Like any proud mama, I want others to see my progeny, to coo and ooh and ahh, and enjoy how delightful it is.

Right now I am hoping that's going to happen on Saturday, June 1, in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis, Missiouri. Because several contributors to this book live in the St. Louis area, and because I've dedicated it to my old friend and fellow traveler, Kelly C. Presley, who was born and grew up in that city, I'm thrilled to be staging my very first bookstore book signing at Barnes and Noble that afternoon, from 1 to 3.

I'll be joined by four talented authors who are represented in NYMB: On Travel: Sheree Nielsen ("No Bad Juju Allowed"), Sioux Roslawski ("Half Right"), Linda O'Connell ("Ordering A La Carte") and Gregory Lamping ("They Only Come Out at Night"). I can't wait to meet these writers, and to see Kelly's neices and their families once again.

When Kelly returned from Antigua, Guatemala, to his old hometown in the late '90s, to look after his ailing mom there, I was working for the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, just about an hour away from St. Louis by plane. We visited back and forth a few times, and joked about how odd it was to be living so far from where we'd first met, Southern California, and from Central America where we'd worked and travelled together for so many years in the '80s.

I last visited St. Louis when I attended a gathering of Kelly's family not long after he died in 2008. I especially remember sitting in the garden at Elves Manor, swapping stories about Kelly's Peace Corps adventures, his love of Charles Bokowski, and especially, his quirky hunor.

So I'm  anticipating revisiting St. Louis...and reveling in being able to pay tribute to Kelly in his old stomping grounds. June will be busting out all over!

Here's a photo taken of the Presleys in August, 2008. Kelly's three children are at bottom right, Matt leaning on the pillar, with sister Carson adjacent, sister Kim Slaby leaning against the piller behind, and me, behind Kim. Kim called this "One Moment in Time." A memorable one, indeed!

Monday, April 1, 2013

No Fooling...It's April Love!

April debuted with some interesting literary news. Last week I learned that my stories, "The Valentine's Sweetheart" and "Baby Book Bloopers," originally printed in 2009 in HCI's Ultimate Mom, had been reprinted in a revised version (sans photographs and helpful hints), titled For the Love of Moms. Though I hadn't been contacted to update my bio, when I called HCI, I found I could receive a contributor's copy upon request. It arrived today. It's heartwarming to see these stories in a new book, and to know new readers will be learning about Mama's love of dancing and my eagerness to record my toddler's first complete sentence.

I'd thought that the 75th anthology on the entertainment center would be the one with my name on the cover as co-creator, Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel. I've learned now that it has been delayed for a few weeks because Publishing Syndicate has changed distributors. So For the Love of Moms is the landmark book instead. On the plus side, On Travel, now scheduled to be #76, will arrive before my 76th birthday in late June...probably in the next couple of weeks. And we're still set for a book reading/signing at Barnes & Noble in St. Peters, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, on June 1. At that event I'll be joined by four local contributors, Sheree Nielsen, Sioux Roslawski, Linda O'Connell and Gregory Lamping.

With my editing and promotion responsibilities on hold for a while, I hope to concentrate on writing several new stories. Of course, I always am on the lookout for potential homes for the yet-to-be-published orphans languishing in my file. I'd never consider these stories as rejects, eternally hopeful that I eventually will find an editor eager to adopt them. I take them out, rewrite, polish and send them out to audition again and again. Nonetheless, I'm most rewarded when I remember an incident that I've yet to put into words.

So here's what I'm going to work on this month:
  • How I measured out my late husband's final months in my Wednesday's chore of taking out the trash.
  • How boogying to disco in a Jacki Sorenson's aerobic dance class saved me from despair in 1980.
  • How David Copperfield walked out of the pages of the eponymous Dickens novel and into my life, sweeping me up in a Victorian romance.
  • How lasting friendships can be sustained across decades and continents.
  • How I once celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Chinatown with too many grasshoppers, despite a warning from a fortune cookie.
No fooling...I plan to get these stories written...and April!