The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wow in More Ways Than One

   I thought I was doing well having purchased a couple of boxes of Christmas cards from Target. No, they're not sent yet nor are they even addressed yet, but it's more progress than I've made, compared to some years. They are not spectacular, but they are real...

     However, today I got a handmade card  from Lynn that made me want to pitch my two boxes of cards into the trash. The photo does not do it justice, but understand--it is made from tiny strips of paper, some sparkly, and there are a couple of decorative brads to augment it, and holding the strips into the tree shape, Lynn has sewn them on--via a sewing machine--using gold thread and a zigzag stitch.

      She even numbered and signed them, and made 150 of them! Wow!  I got number 71. If I had made those cards, I would have been into the eggnog and by the end, they would not resemble Christmas trees in any way.

      The other "wow" comes from the Women On Writing site. Check out the Muffin on Friday. I'm doing a guest post (the "Friday Speak Out"), and after reading it, you might be able to get a fresh start on a piece that's being persnickety.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Val the Victorian and Validation and Value...Oh, My!

      On Saturday we had a bookstore-hoppin', Chicken Soup Signin' and canned good collectin' gala affair. If you brought in a canned good, you got a great discount on your book purchases. This is the value part of this blog...

      Eleven local authors appeared at three different independent bookstores. Beth M. Wood, Donna Volkenannt and I appeared at The Book House.  They sell used as well as new books, and were delightful, hospitable, and accomodating hosts.


This is The Book House. It's on Manchester, 3/10 of a mile west of McKnight, and is betweenTitle Max and
a Computer Resale shop. It's easy to miss, because it's set far back from the road, but well worth the screeching of brakes
to make the sharp turn to ensure you don't miss it. Three floors of books, each floor covered--floor to ceiling--with books.'s haunted!


Here are the four writers who appeared at All On the Same Page--a Creve Coeur bookstore. From left to right is
Nina Miller, Patt Pickett, T'Mara Goodsell and Theresa Sanders.

This is T'Mara Goodsell. She not only signed books, she entertained multiple suitors (they were like bees after honey, there was such a flurry of activity and attention from Tammy's male groupies), and she also chatted with fellow WWWPs. T'Mara and Theresa Sanders did the behind-the-scenes work that made the day run smoothly--the press releases, the emails bouncing back and forth, the "drive bys" to ensure the directions were right and all the other tasks they handled with efficiency and grace.

Here are three of the authors who appeared at Main Street Books. From left to right is Linda O'Connell, Cathi LaMarche and Pat Wahler. Not pictured is Lynn Cahoon, the 4th author who signed at this St. Charles book shop.

T''Mara Goodsell, Theresa Sanders, Pat Wahler (working the crowd) and Donna Volkenannt (her gorgeous hair serving as her only calling card, from this angle) at Main Street Books


Linda O'Connell, one of the WWWPs, is not new to Chicken Soup nor is she new to book signings. I think this was her
8th signing...this week.

Donna Volkenannt was one of the three writers signing at The Book House. She generously shares calls for submissions,
she's a wonderful friend and critique-er AND she's the most recent winner of the international Erma Bombeck humor writing competition.

Beth M. Wood is the other writer who signed books with Donna and me. She is one of the five founding
members of the notorious writing critique group, the WWWP.
           The validation part came with the friends and family and community members who showed up to chat and mingle as they got their books signed. Lynn Obermoeller, a fellow WWWP, came to each of the book shops, but was mum when asked about the details regarding her upcoming reading. Lynn was one of only 12 writers who were accepted into the Fifty Shades of Santa anthology (Donna, Pat and Marcia Gaye are also among the twelve talented authors whose stories are part of this much-touted collection.) If you're in St. Louis, keep the evening of December 17th open. The gelato shop at the corner of Grand and Wyoming will be the place, and although Lynn is keeping the other details a secret, there was whisper of a disco ball being installed to add to the ambience... 

Lynn Obermoeller

       Saving the best for last...Val. Val the Victorian, Missouri's own JD Salinger, made a rare appearance. Each of the WWWPs and Donna got a private sitting with Val. This was an unprecedented public appearance, as many expensive arrangements had to be made. The pope-mobile had to be rented for the hour-plus trip (each way)...otherwise, she would have been injured, as her fans were lined along the highways with pens, ready to hurl them at her in their eagerness for her autograph. A sky-writer was hired to scrawl across the skies "Val is coming to The Book House around 5:00" in case there was anyone in the Missouri/Illinois/Iowa area who had missed the earlier blog postings trumpeting her upcoming debut. And two of those giant spotlights were set up, to criss-cross across the night sky, to help the many groupies find the spot.

      We not only got to meet Val, we also got to chat over cocktails and cheese balls with Hick and The Pony. (The Genius was at home. He didn't want to be eclipsed by The Pony, I imagine.) Fudge was offered to her long before Saturday (I made it without nuts--as per her preference, even though it's against my religion to make fudge sans nuts), and since Val's family is the bartering sort, she brought her famed Chex Mix to trade. (It's real and it's spectacular...)

       I got to hook her up with one of my favorite books about writers, Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk. I hope she enjoys's truly twisted but is--in my opinion--a gem.

Val the Victorian

I apologize for the scads of photos. I usually am not crazy about posts that have nothing but pictures of silly things like vase after vase after vase, but since there are lots of blog friends who were unable to attend, I thought I'd fill this post with pictures...just this once.

And if you were looking for a picture of me, happily, there are none. I am part of the witness protection program, so photographs of moi are not allowed...