Hello Girlfriends! How’s everyone this morning? We are good here, it’s not snowing and we have MUSICA! I’ve been thinking about booksignings . . .
. . . and where we might go in the fall when A Fine Romance gets here! With the way time is flying, it will be September before we know it — so I’m trying to get ready. I thought I’d show you few of my past book signings. I’m the one behind the camera in this first photo, just before giving a talk to the wonderful people at the Flying Geese Quilt Guild; there’s my mom in the front row sitting next to Joe. This was so fun, I got to meet and talk to everyone here. I wonder if any of you are in this audience?!
This is a signing at the Yankee Book Store in Plymouth, MA — all my Vineyard girlfriends came with me, we piled in the car, got on the ferry and made a day out of it — when I got to the bookstore I found the room, as usual, was full of kindred spirits!
There’s two of them now! While I’m signing, I can always hear the laughing and talking between the people waiting their turn to get their books signed … I can’t help but think what I’m missing! I enjoy one-on-one time with each person who comes up, but I do think the real fun is in the line!
This is the Remnants of the Past Show in San Luis Obispo, California, a couple of years ago. How can you not love an event in a beautiful location that’s all about antiques! BTW, the woman wearing brown on the left is one of our girlfriends who I was just about to meet in person for the first time, Joann, who came to the event all the way from Colorado (she’s at @myheartsathome on Twitter — go say hi if you can!).
And here is one of the most delightful things I love about signings and what makes them such a privilege, people bring their families, husbands, sisters, best friends, moms, and their darling little girls and I get to meet them. It’s always a family affair.
So I’ve been thinking and trying to figure out where we should go on our book tour — we will probably be on the road in the western states from the middle of September through November 9-10 (when I will be at the Remnants of the Past show again). Then we’ll be going home, where we can do more events in the Midwest and on the East Coast.
I happened on that magical photograph of our ship, fresh from the wild Atlantic ocean, sliding back into America at dawn (on the Queen Mary 2) last July, I can still hear the whoosh of the water and the boat horn – it gave me what I thought was a . . .
. . . perfectly brilliant idea (if I do say so myself). The original Queen Mary, that wonderful old ship, Cunard White Star’s RMS Queen Mary (that’s her above), launched in 1936, is now a permanently-docked hotel in Long Beach, California. I was thinking this would be the perfect place to “launch” A Fine Romance! I could plan it now, far in advance so maybe lots of people could arrange to go . . . it wouldn’t be the only place I’d go, just the first. I was envisioning an English Tea Party on board in the Queen’s Ballroom, with cups and cakes; Fred Astaire could be singing (he sailed on this very ship), and we’d have a Book Talk and Signing! You could bring your books, your mom, your sister, your daughter, and your best friend; we could wear Downton Abbey hats . . . on a September day in California on a beautiful old ship with the Pacific Ocean out our portholes? Could it get any better? A girl can dream and I’m good at that. Because when I called to talk to the nice people at the Queen Mary about my brilliant idea, I found out that although they do have an afternoon tea on board (which I’ll take my mom to when I get out there), they don’t have enough equipment, cake stands, teapots, etc. to do a tea party for more than a hundred. ”No tea” was a setback, but the price was the problem. For the ballroom alone (beautiful, old, restored to original), not counting any food or drink or waitstaff, just the room (which can hold 200 to 300 people) and chairs lined up in “theater style,” is $7000 to start, for a Sunday from noon to 4pm. And no, they wouldn’t let me just “set up” on the deck … So. This is what I call the proverbial arm and a leg. Unless one of you knows the owner of the ship … your dad maybe? I realized, I need to get more creative.
So I thought I’d start with you. We’re planning in advance because it takes time to organize and the months go by so quickly, it will be here before we know it. We’ll be contacting lots of bookstores — I’ll be sure to put a schedule here so you can see what we’ve arranged. But I thought I’d also ask, in case any of you are planning a large event out west durning September or October of this year, (or November and December in the East) — events such as a quilt guild gathering, perhaps something at the Quilt Festival in Houston, or a vintage antique show like Remnants, maybe a charity or church event, a women’s club that needs a speaker, or perhaps you know a teashop that would want to host a booksigning and have lots of people descend on them all at once! Somewhere I could go and meet lots of you at the same time. Those kinds of occassions are always the most fun, but they do require a little space. I could give a talk but it could also just be a signing like at Remnants; the best part is, because of the nice people I meet, these get-togethers always feel like a tea party whether there’s tea or not. ♥
Don’t worry one little bit if you can’t think of anything, and there’s no real hurry, I just thought I’d try.
My darling Dad turns an extremely YOUNG 90-years-old this August! So we’re going to his house in Arizona — and from there, out to California — we’ll start our tour after the book arrives in September. Our main problem is we can’t take Jack or Girl Kitty with us! We will have to get our kitty sitter to come back!
Now, just in case you think I do nothing but worry about the book . . .
Yes, I’m still in my chair working away, as spring meanders in on the back roads in the most unnoticeable way possible — here is the view from my desk at my frozen little garden. Our book isn’t quite done, although it’s all written and laid out, I still have handwriting and watercolors to paint, but I am ecstatic every day, doing it. I wake up excited. It’s a pleasure to put the final touches on it. I wrote a book! OMG!
I have three windows in my studio, here’s another view from my chair.
This window is behind me. Yesterday, just at dawn, it was blue outside, the snow was blue, the shadows were blue. The white was ice blue, the coldest looking blue you ever saw. But by yesterday afternoon . .
. . . . we could hear the ice sliding off the roof and watch clumps of it fall past the windows and out of the trees, almost like it was snowing again, so much coming down, We had a major thaw!
That got me out of my chair…
. . . and outside with the camera. This is the kind of thing that makes the newspapers on Martha’s Vineyard, the first sightings of snowdrops! For me it’s knowing that in plenty of time for the daffodils, I’ll be finished with the book, and can start playing house again, making Coconut Cake for Easter, reading a new book, eating lunch in a restaurant with my new British Country Living, all the things I love to do.
When the snow was coming off the roof, it was loud, cracking, breaking up and sliding. Jack kept looking up wanting to know if I needed him to go upstairs and check on what was going on.
This boy gets smarter every day. For instance. The pony tail bands be loves me to shoot for him? We have them in all colors and what’s good about them is they don’t roll. So we have to do a lot less crawling around trying to find them like we had to do with the balls. But, for some reason we could not figure out, the rubber bands began to disappear. Joe couldn’t find any, and I couldn’t either. We asked Jack. This was the expression on his face. Hmmm.
We have a scale like a doctor’s scale, only half size. There’s maybe an eighth of an inch between the bottom of the scale and the floor. One day I noticed that Jack was zeroed in on this scale, staring at it, his eyes big and round and focused with his nose right to the edge of it. Was he trying to tell me something? I picked it up, it’s heavy, and moved it. There were five rubber bands under it. He had to work to put them there, one at a time, and he remembers where they are! Just another day in paradise . . .
OK, Girlfriends, must go work on book! Talk to you soon, have a wonderful day. Love your comments, as you know, you are brilliant and we are the normal ones! ♥