Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Test Of Endurance

Did you ever hear your mama say she'd been, "stretched to the limit?" Lord, I sure have. It reminds me of how I feel today. But the good news is the Book Launch is here. Thursday evening should be quite the event. Anyway, I'm hoping for one. Not for me. For the book. Southern Fried Women was a test of many things for me.

This week, it's endurance. How many more places in the Triad can I find to hang posters ... check the list ... cake, wine, chairs, music ... it's like planning a wedding reception ... only there's no bride and groom!

The RSVP list is long and I've been getting good radio and TV coverage. The books are available from southernfriedwomen.com or at all book stores after June 15th. They will be in Ingram and Baker & Taylor data bases, where all good stores go to buy their book inventories.

I have a feeling, there are more tests of endurance in the future. This is only the beginning.

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dreaming and Driving

We do a lot of it. Not drinking ... DREAMING.

Michael and I have had to start over too many times in our lifetime. Meaning ... not acquiring much when you're moving from place to place. Not that either of us are materialistic ... because that's certainly not the case. God knows, we've had very little to even know how it feels. But when you get to our age, all the "stuff" you wanted in your 20s and 30s isn't so important anymore.

Since we married later in life (now going on four years) we want a new home ... together. Not just any home ... but land ... and possibly a log home. A goal ... a dream. And we dream together. On sunny, warm days ... like today ... we take long drives in the country. (Who cares about the price of gas, when you're looking for just the right spot to park your butt until you die.) We have dreams of entertaining ... the kids (and God hopefully someday ... grandkids.) We want to relax on a wide wrap-around porch that overlooks acres of land, with no noise --- other than nature. A pond, a stream, trees, views ... yep ... we want it all.

A place of refuge that we can hide away. After road trips, we can head home ... to a place we can call our own. I can bake pies, make dinners, or have just wine and cheese dinners should we choose NOT to eat. A place to bring antiques home and hang out my sheets. Call up friends, and have them in for dinner or the weekend. Christmas in front of a big log fire. Ahhhh....who in their right mind can blame us for dreams like this.

Not that the little house we live in isn't just fine. It is. The flowers are beautiful again this year, due to my gentleman farmer of a husband.

But what we wouldn't give to look out over a pasture with horses and a barn, and not hear traffic, or music in the cars that drive by the house, or the neighbor kid's basketball until 11:00 at night, or the other thirteen dogs in the fenced yards around us.

A place to write, a place to hike, a place to live and to die.

So we dream and drive ... from one side of the Piedmont to the other, up into the Blue Ridge and south of Madison and McLeansville. I've had blue prints ready for over a year ... I think I'll just faint the day I see the house really go up.

I'll let you know when I wake up from this dream.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Can you hear me laughing?

Nobody is flawless. Nobody. Not a single soul on God's green earth is flawless. Whew. That's a relief. I'm so tired of people in their blogs pointing fingers (especially those in the writing business) at all the mistakes and blunders of others. Never having walked in another person's shoes, we have no idea what makes a person tick.

Short of murder, or any horrific crimes to another human being or animal ... I think we should all stop passing judgment on men and women who frankly, screw up and become an idiot for a while. We don't know what events or problems in their lives caused them to do what they did. We're so quick to broadcast somebody's screw-up. Typical. The news is full of it.

Sorry for the rant today ... I just want you to remember the next time you're ready pass judgment, don't throw that stone so fast. Unless you're a flawless individual, reserve preaching about your ethics. I doubt you'll find everyone you've known or have come in contact with in your lifetime will agree with your perfection.

On a lighter note ... how about that last American Idol show, huh? They get better every year. Frankly, I didn't care who won. I thought they were both awesome. Katherine's powerful pipes will take her on her own path to stardom ... and did you notice (or is it just me) that Taylor has not only the moves but facial twitches and body language just like Elvis? I mean listen to him ... really listen ... it's eerie. We've not had anyone in the music industry that's come close to replacing (if such a thing could be done) Elvis. Taylor Hicks is truly unique, but he carries Elvis personna and that .... I would venture to guess ... will make him a super star.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend ... go out and be as close to flawless as you can ... but when you watch somebody flip the burger into the grass ... just laugh, pick it up and blow off the dirt, then put it on Aunt Bessie's bun for gossiping the past two hours about every woman in town.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We Never Know Until We Try

I wonder sometimes ... if this road I'm on will have fewer bumps than in the past. Giving my speech yesterday to the Rotary Club, I heard myself talk about my life to a group of people I'd never met. I'm afraid I teared up in a couple spots, where I never thought I would. I'd gone over it and over it. In my head and out loud to friends and family ... and yet, when the "spotlight" was on me ... it was as if I'd never heard it before.


The reaction? "Beautiful," said my friend Gail Gurley. A couple of the women said they teared up right along with me. Some enjoyed the funny parts, when I spoke about my childhood ... and some shook my hand afterwards, and said, "Thank you, thank you for coming today ... that was inspirational."

When I think about the adversities of some, the old cliche' "it could always be worse" rings in my head. Lord, let's hope not. I think talking about the past to the public puts it in a whole new light. I can only hope the road I'm on will not lead me in a circle, but straight to whatever my destiny truly is. And with any luck, it will be peace and quiet ... fulfillment and satisfaction.

Out Of The Dark And Into The Light Of A Writer may inspire some, make a few laugh, piss a few zealots off ... but it is what it is ... and I weave bits and pieces of it into each story I write. It's not something I can help, for it is the life that has called my name.

You can never be sure how you'll be seen, accepted, loved, until you put it out there. It's a risk. A roll of the dice. A shot in the dark ... but you never know until you try.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Time To Start Speaking

Last minute notice, the Archdale Rotary Club lost their speaker yesterday ... and guess what?

My friend and fellow author, Gail Gurley, called and asked, "I think it'd be a good idea, a week before your book launch ... could you fill in and speak at Rotary tomorrow?"

"Sure, what time should I be there?"


I've been practicing my newest speech ... preparing for the speaking engagements my publicist is booking for me. I feel I'm close to ready. So ... I might as well find out. I guess this group is as good as any to cut my teeth on. The Archdale Rotary Club will be the first to hear COMING OUT OF THE DARK AND INTO THE LIFE OF A WRITER.

Having worked hard on this presentation, it's my life unfolded for the world to see ... revealing why and what caused the edge in my work ... not just why I write, but what events I draw from to create memorable works of fiction.

I remember delivering this particular speech to my speech coordinator ... (of course, the fabulous Dena Harris.) We'd worked on it for some time when she said, "I got goose bumps when I realized what you've been through ... if I were in your audience, I'd be enthralled with this speech."

Let's hope the rest of the world feels the same.

I'll stumble through the first few deliveries, I'm sure ... but this is my life ... I know it well. I'll have no problem making a crowd feel as if they haven't wasted their time. Sometimes, to appreciate a book, a work of fiction, or even non-fiction, it's helpful to understand where an author is coming from.

When we realize who we are, we understand that nothing can stop us from becoming that person. - Christine Lincoln

It's time to present my work and along with that comes my story.

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Our Nation's Capital and the Book Expo

Don't you just love that line in Forrest Gump when he thanks Jenny for walking with him around "our Nation's capital?" I think about it whenever I travel to D.C. or through it on my way to New York. This week-end was like a scene from the movie ... the Washington monument, the breathtaking buildings, the publishing world all converging to the Convention Center for the 2006 Book Expo.

SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN sat proudly in her spot on the shelves of the New Title Display. We moved through the tightly packed isles of Warner, Putnam, Simon & Schuster, McGraw Hill, Little Brown, and on and on. Stood in line for our favorite authors. Made a few more connections, talked to booksellers. The day was grueling on the feet, but the book environment makes my heart sing.

If you're a writer, write it on your list for next year. The 2007 Book Expo will be in New York City. A must for any aspiring author. It puts it all in prospective. Meaning ... how small you are in the publishing universe. How microscopic small.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Book Expo 2006

Mike and I are off to the International Book Expo in Washington, D.C.

SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN is on the New Title Display, and I've got to see it! I'll be working my way through the crowds ... visiting every publisher's booth, publicist, agent, and otherwise that I possibly can in the short time we're there.

This is our third Book Expo (2004 in Chicago, 2005 in New York City - next year I think it's back in NYC) ... but it's something every writer needs to experience at least once in his or her career life. I'll be reporting back after I'm home. This year for me, it's more about networking, learning, and promoting my book rather than picking up every freebie I can stuff into my sack.

The Book Expo is an amazing place where the world comes together for the glory of the written word. Don't deny yourself the privilege of seeing it at least once.

My book launch is right around the corner ... it's going to be quite the par-tay. Last night I met with folks that will be attending (a surprise) and then I stopped in at the Open Mic again for the Winston-Salem Writer's Group. I didn't have time to drive to Greensboro in time for the WGOT event at the college, otherwise I would've been there listening to Mary Elizabeth Parker, Chairman of the Dana Awards, talk about "What Editors Are Looking For."

But I'm super glad I stopped at the Open Mic, because I couldn't believe my eyes. The group is growing by leaps and bounds. This fantastic writers group is over 100 members in just a year. They're doing things that amaze me ... doing something right, obviously! And everyone, it seemed, opened me back with open arms and enthusiasm.

A writer's life is full of trying to make time for everything. Book Expo, writer's groups, networking, publicity ... how do we find time to write? I tell you what I did lately. I deleted all blogs (except a few of my friends I know personally) off my bookmarked favorites from my Internet home page, as well as other sites I just don't want to spend any more time on. Use the Internet for research. Read blogs, study the craft, research the Internet but spend your time wisely. If you're reading blogs all morning or evening ... well you know if you've done it, you've used hours up that you could've been writing.

So I zapped the blogs and sites I no longer want to be tempted with! It's easier to ignore them if I don't have them bookmarked. Otherwise, I have to google them or look up their web site to type in, and I'm less apt to do that. No more blog reading unless it's something I want to research, or occasionally catch up on a favorite author or agent from time to time. But if I tune in every day ... add that time to the time I take up writing my own blog and answering emails ... there goes half my day.

No more. That advice includes you reading me ... I'd rather see you spend your time on your next book!

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Shelia Kay Adams - Born Storyteller

This was my second encounter with the amazing storyteller, Shelia Kay Adams. The first time was in the spring of 2004 at the North Carolina Writer's Network Conference at Peace College. Mesmerized, I couldn't get her out of my head for days. She talks about her heritage and the people of Appalachia with such grace and truth. The words that come out of her mouth are like cotton candy when it goes in. Sweet and soft.

When I saw she was going to be in town for the Storytelling Festival, I went to hear her speak and read from her book, My Old True Love. Her first book, Come Go Home With Me ... are short snippets of her life. Both excellent.

She's the first author I could sit and listen to ... all day. Expecting her first grandchild in June, a boy, you can watch her eyes sparkle when she talks about him. I felt as though she's itching to get her arms around him ... family means everything to her.

She talked about recording your family, getting their stories down on paper before they're dead and buried. I could kick myself for not talking more to my own grandparents who are all now deceased. But my plans are to get the rest of my family recorded. My parents, Mike's mom, and some of the old timers at my family reunion. There's still lots of story gathering to do.

Shelia's background so closely mirrors my own that I feel kin to her. If you love the music and the stories of Appalachia, then read her books ... and go hear her sing next time she's in your area. The love ballads she and her husband sing will melt your heart.

Shelia Kay Adams can go home with me anytime.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Speech Writing 101

(First I want to bitch about how slow this damn Eblogger site is. If you're considering setting up a blog ... go elsewhere. Use another blogging company. This one sucks. It's like using dial-up.)

Geez, rant is over.

I'm in the process of fine tuning my speech. This is the speech I will be giving to groups who are not only interested in me as a writer ... but my book, and more importantly ... what was it that cultivated my writing career. I've been reviewing this with a coach, friend-Dena Harris-who has taught speaking, is a member of the NSA, and of Toastmasters ... (and has also ghost written work for a life coach.) Dena says she gets goosebumps when she hears me give this speech. And all I do with Dena, is read it back to her ... I'm not really "giving the speech" just yet.

But Dena's reaction is exactly what I want. Goosebumps. I want the listener riveted to the seat, mouths gaping, and goosebumps. Because, in truth, certain events in my life have given me something to write about, and I want those who take the time to come listen to me speak, to understand that and come away with a feeling of triumph.

Writing a speech is not easy. First, as a writer, I write the darn thing and then wonder if I can deliver it, all the imagery ... if I can speak it as well as it's written. It's a tough project ... so in comes Martin Rader ... speech coach to the stars. I'll be working with Martin on the delivery, getting it into the hearts and minds of my listeners. Not wasting their time.

Another step in the writing process. You see, writing a book ... is just the beginning. You have to promote the book. (I know ... you've heard that already.) But how much do you think about speaking to hundreds, and hopefully thousands ... yeah, that's what I'm talking about it. If, as a writer, you cannot fathom yourself speaking in front of a group of people, then it's time to reevaluate what you're doing. If you want to write for pleasure ... never intending to sell you work, then no problem. Just write. Enjoy yourself.

But if you want to sell, then take a drama class, speech class, join Toastmasters! Do what you have to do to break that fear of speaking!

Side note: I read a good book this week ... Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg ... I love it when authors break the rules set up by "experts." No less than six points of view in this book, and it works! Plus, it's been made into a move ... with Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman ... but my suggestion is to read the book ... it's much better than the movie.

Okay ... back to cleaning up the speech.

Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What If It Didn't Matter So Much?

A person very close to me was asked this question recently. What if what people thought of you didn't matter so much?

The question, right off the bat, brought out a great answer ... "I suppose I would do a lot of things different."

Think about this. Isn't it amazing, mind-numbing in fact, that so much of what we do is all because we want to please somebody, make others happy, want others to think well of us. Oh yeah, I hear it said so often ... I don't give a damn what others think of me ... but their actions tell a different story.

I think most of what we do in life, is because we want our families, our friends, our co-workers to like us, not disappoint those we care about. What if it reeeaaallly didn't matter so much what anyone thought of you? How would you change? How much of a people-pleaser are you?

I think we all are. Some of us more than others. Is it so wrong? How much does it hinder our own happiness?

I don't have any answers. It's an interesting question, though. One I thought you might like to ponder on.

What if it didn't matter so much?

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Big Love

Okay, I’m no TV freak. In fact, I rarely watch it. Some people I know can’t live without it and have it on 24/7. It drives me crazy, but I’ve learned to ignore it. Anyway … I have to admit – I look forward to Sunday nights. I’ve watched the Sopranos forever, but now … I’m hooked on the show, BIG LOVE. Have you seen it? It fascinates me.

It’s about a polygamist, his three wives and all their children. Another look into the minds and world of those who embrace the out-of-the-ordinary. However, this family is not part of the “order.” They live in the real world and try to hide their polygamist life-style. Bill Paxton plays the husband of these wives, and the plot, needless to say, is riveting.

I found myself appalled by it at first, because all we really hear about polygamists are the child abusers and those that abuse the welfare system … we see weird people on TV that look like they’ve come right out of the 19th century. They live in a commune in Utah and we think all Mormons are like that. Have you heard about the horrific Warren Jeffs? Google him. Read up on this madman.

So going into the first episode, I was ready to turn it off before it even started. Then I watched the first fifteen minutes, which turned into twenty, and so on. Now, I’ve not skipped an episode! If this type of polygamy truly does exist, I can see how some would embrace it. The children are loved and always cared for by a family member, and the women really do have a mind of their own, choosing among themselves the nights who gets hubby. But, alas, it's not an easy life, as the actors are quick to point out.

It's true that the problems seem to far outweigh the benefits. It’s definitely a fantasy world for a man, but for women? Other than the fact we all know there are some days you just need your space from your spouse, I can’t imagine sharing my husband with anybody, not like that. It seems this type of polygamist (other than sharing the same husband sexually) lead wholesome lives. (But what is wholesome to one could be pagan to another, I suppose.)

On the flip side, the whole religious issue, obviously, interests me. The way these people bring religion into their world amazes me. The Bible also talks explicitly about adultery … so where do they, how do they, draw the line?

In the meantime, it’s fascinating table conversation, and the show is fun to watch, as the writers do great work with the plot. The actors are stellar, but you need to see it from the beginning. Of course, HBO will run it all over again … and again.

I asked my husband, after last night’s episode, could you handle two more wives, honey? He laughed. “Are you kidding? I can’t handle you!”

I rest my case.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ghost In The House

I'm dead serious.

Well ... serious. This thing thinks it's funny to scare the crap out of me. (Only for the moment.) The first time we noticed it was about two months ago. I work late at night, usually. The house is quieter, I can think more clearly when there are no phones, TV noise, Mikey interruptions. So, it's late and Michael is already in bed, but still awake with the bedroom door closed and his TV on low. I'm in my office with the door open, the rest of the house is dark. Suddenly, across the hall from my office -in a dark bathroom- my hair dryer (which is plugged into the wall) comes on.

I think, what the hell is he doing up using my hairdryer? Michael hears it and thinks what the hell is she doing using her hairdryer this time of night? I roll my chair back, look across the hall, the bathroom is dark, the hairdryer is running. Now you have to see this hairdryer. It's a Vidal Sassoon with knobs that give your thumb a bruise every time you roll it on. Maybe because it's new. But it's still a tough push with your thumb to roll it on or to roll it two clicks to HIGH. Which is exactly where it was. Rolled to HIGH.

Next incident - I'm working late at night, Michael has gone to bed, turned his laptop off and unplugged it. We share an office, his desk is in the opposite corner of the room, so our backs are together when we work. Needless to say, I'm working away on edits of Southern Fried Women, and I hear his laptop come on. I look over and there's a picture of me on the monitor --- his screen saver. I'm thinking that's unusual, he went to bed without turning off his computer. I keep on working, say to myself that I'll turn it off when I go to bed, then a while later I realize it's off. I look down ... it's unplugged. I shake my head, thinking about the hairdryer, and keep working. Moments later it flips back on again ... showing my picture on the monitor. I kid you not.

Third incident - I'm standing in my bedroom by the closet. The only time we watch TV in the bedroom is at night. You have to use the remote and one button turns these on by holding it down. First the cable box turns on then the TV. It's sometime after dinner, I'm looking in my closet for something, and the cable box and TV snap on. By themselves.

Fourth incident - Michael's cousin comes to stay with us, and the walking sticks we have displayed in the room she uses, (which haven't moved for a couple years - shame on us) suddenly fall over in the middle of the night.

Fifth incident - I walk into the kitchen, my mother-in-law is watching TV while fixing dinner. The TV goes haywire. We both think it's the cable acting up as it has been known to do. We think nothing of it. I go back to my office. The fuzzies on the TV stop. Later, I walk back into the kitchen. It does it again. We think nothing of it. I walk out, the TV goes back to normal. Third time, it happens again, we look at each other ... the TV in the family room is also on but is not doing what the kitchen TV is doing and they're on the same channel! It stops when I leave the room.

Sixth incident - Michael's in the livingroom, I'm (where else) in the office writing. All of a sudden I hear the TV blaring in the bedroom. It come on by itself and is turned up extremely loud. Guess what's on? A televangelist, no less. We NEVER watch that channel. This incident bugged me for days. My book, Televenge, is about the dark side of televangelism.

Most recent incident - Last evening. I'm in the bathroom, getting ready to go to a book signing at Barnes & Noble, and I try to open the door to leave the bathroom. It won't open. I'm locked in. The door can only be locked from the inside. It's one of those that you just push the button on the knob. But it's NOT locked. The button is up. But the door won't open. I BANG on the door. The dogs go crazy, Mike is working-he's not home, my mother-in-law starts kicking the door trying to get me out, I'm thinking maybe I can squeeze out the window, but even though the house is a ranch, it's still a drop to the ground. We're freaking out by now.

Finally, I holler for her to go to the tool box in the garage and get me a phillips screwdriver - "Shove it under the door, Mama! I'll take off the door knob." Me being the physically challenged person that I am around tools, I finally manage to get the door knob off after five minutes of being all thumbs. But it still won't open! Damn it! My hands are greasy, my hairdo is gone, I back up and slide down the wall. I'm going to spend the rest of my life in the bathroom!

Finally, I tell her to slide a flathead screwdriver under the door. Bada Bing! I pop the hinges off and tell her to push the door in from her side. She does (the dogs are still going crazy at this point) and the door - yay - comes entirely off. We stand there looking at each other, sweat pouring down our faces, our eyes as big as half dollars ... drained. What would've happened had I been alone in the house? I suppose a bubble bath, a pedicure, and possible cleaning out the medicine cabinet I've been putting off, would've been involved.

Okay ... enough is enough. This haint has to go. They say Southerners own their haints. I don't know where I picked this one up. But it's not funny anymore.

Am I scared? Well, it does give you the heebie geebies, but NO, I recognize these things. I know what it is ... my mother had all kinds of experiences in her lifetime. Enough to fill a book. Some people will read or hear about this and think we're crazy, and that "everything can be explained away." Typical reactions to the unexplained. For centuries.

I have to laugh. You can say that all you want, until it happens to you. Then you explain it and let me know what you come up with. Ha!

I've heard it follows families. It really does not scare me ... like I said, my mother has been dealing with it all her life, kind of like diabetes or a hearing loss. Do I believe in ghosts? Not sure what it is. I just know these things don't just happen. There is another realm of existence out there. There is the unexplainable. Whether people want to admit it or not. All I know is that ever since I started writing about my family's history ... weird stuff has happened.

Maybe it's my grandma. Who knows. I know I have authority over it, I know we laugh about it a lot, and I know ... it just may be trying to tell me something. I went to the book signing anyway and everything was fine.

Perhaps, there's a local ghostbuster team I can call?

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Countdown To Launch

The book is done ... printed ... complete. The list has been made ... and it's time to get even busier ... getting it all done will take take every bit of the four weeks we have left. I saw a quote by Oprah the other day and it resonated with me. "The universe is a complicated place, and if you're going to thrive, you'll need to dance to your own music." I suppose it can be said that every book published can be promoted differently.

Sometimes, though, I feel like I'm flying blindfolded ...

Four and a half weeks until SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN is officially launched.

My head is swimming.

Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pat Conroy and Friends

I attended the NC Festival of the Book in Durham last Sunday. The campus of Duke University was filled to the brim with literary types ... book lovers of all sorts.

Michael and I had just stepped out of our Honda and walked up the sidewalk, when Pat Conroy pulled up in his Lincoln with his wife, Cassandra King, and Anne Rivers Siddons in the back seat. Another relative of Pat's, a kind, sweet gentlemen (who teased me ... stating he couldn't believe I allowed Cassandra to blurb my book ...) stepped out of the car and needed assistance getting into the building. My husband went to look for security to come to his aid, while I stood and chatted with the group. Pat was adorable, to say the least, shook my hand, and ushered me right up to his wife in the car ... then he was quickly swooped up by "festival people" and taken to the Page Auditorium where he would be on stage (in rocking chairs) with Doug Marlette and Bill Ferris ... giving the thousand or two in the audience what they came for. A talk about their lives, their work, and their decades-long friendship. Funny, touching, and mesmerizing to have these great writers in our midst.

I gave Cassandra a signed copy of my book, which she had happily blurbed, and was able to visit with her and Anne Rivers Siddons for a few moments before they were also bombarded with people wanting to get close--wisk them away to the place they needed to be before starting their own panel, along with Mary Kay Andrews, Writing About Southern Women. Right up my alley, eh?

But before I headed to the Reynolds Theater to listen to three of my favorite women authors, I caught most of Pat's talk and then ducked in the signing line in time to meet Pat again and have him sign my copies of Beach Music and My Loosing Season.

Of course, you know, I network while standing in any line of book lovers. When I started handing out post cards about my book SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN, (I'm a blatant self-promoter--as you have to be in this business) a feeding frenzy began. Everyone around me, about a dozen people, wanted my post card and then ALL of them asked me to sign it! One woman even asked me to sign her autograph book! HA! I was awed beyond belief. What a feeling. And all I was doing was standing in line, just like they were, waiting for the famous Pat Conroy to make an appearance and sign our books.

But they found out I was an author. I'm quickly realizing, that title carries with it a mystic and a certain small amount of celebrity. I've always felt it about other writers, but never thought for a moment it would happen to me. BUT (a huge but) ... I know where I stand in the scheme of things. My humility and sincere appreciation that anyone would want to ask for my autograph, will astound me all the days of my life. Because I know who I am and where I came from. I'm just a country girl, that likes to write books. Anything beyond that, will always amaze me to no end.

I'm sure Pat and Sandra Conroy feel the same way. They're just Lowcountry folk, humble and precious people. Writers I aspire to. I was blessed to have met them, touched their lives if only for a moment.

Blessings you and yours.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Update on Dad

Three hours on a conference call with my sisters and my parents … is there a drink strong enough for that?

We worked it out. Still can’t tell you what burr got up his butt for the letter he wrote, but it doesn’t matter. We hashed it out – aired our grievances, and declared our undying love for each other.

Sometimes you just have to … let it go. Realize, your parents aren’t perfect, but they’re the only ones you’ve got, and I didn’t want to loose them to such silly and stupid stuff as “why aren’t you calling me more?”


We’re strung out in four different states; it’s not going to be easy. So, my sisters and I decided (collectively) to do the conference call thing with my parents every Sunday. At least for a while. It’ll make them feel better, I think. And truthfully, it’ll make me feel like we’re all a family again. Gone are the days when we could all drop into mom and dad’s house at the same time. We all used to live within hours or minutes of each other. That doesn’t happen anymore. I think the years have taken their toll on daddy, and maybe, he’s just a little sad.

We'll still keep tabs on his physical state more, and try hard to "watch" him (and mom) more closely over the coming months. Make sure they're happy and healthy 70 somethings.

So, we buck up. Do what we can, and realize … family is family. No matter how you look at them. I have my best friend, Tina, my husband and his family, my children, and my dear friends here in North Carolina and I love them dearly. But we can’t choose our family. They’re our past, present, and future … so we might as well make the best of it and love them all … unconditionally.

Blessings to you and yours.