Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hello VK my old friend....nice to talk to you again...oh, the sounnnds of writing....

Yesterday I received an email from someone who wrote: "I miss Virginia Kate. I wish the second book was already out...."

Do you know what this feels like? To have someone actually miss your character? These are the kinds of comments that make me want to grin and cry all at the same time. That and "I couldn't put it down," or "I didn't want it to end."

Which is why yesterday, I highlighted and deleted 30,000 words from VKBook2 -- that's a lotta words, friends. But, they were not our Virginia Kate's words. Writer, get out of the way. So, I got out of the way. But, 30,000 words! Oh Geez, get crackin, Kat.
See, I love Virginia Kate, too - and I want her to have her own voice. When you all pick up VKBook2 and read, I want it to BE Virginia kate again; I don't want you to be disappointed. I don't want book2 to be second rate to book 1. It must feel seamless, as if you just kept reading from book 1 into book 2 without hardly taking a breath. That's what I want - and it is worth the "sacrifice" of taking out those 30,000 words and going from where that LINE I told you all about is to forward. That free feeling tells me I did the right thing, as I also have said.
30,000 words - think about it.
But what I want to stress here to you who write is: There are ALWAYS MORE WORDS! Don't be afraid to write crap *laughing* -- what I mean is, write it all down, write write write, because later you can cut and paste and cut and not paste and put in and take out and rearrange and etc etc etc! There are always more words! You won't dry up! Don't be afraid to take chances with words and language!

When I wrote that original manuscript, and then split it in half, I never knew what would stay and what would go, what would change in the original half that would affect the second half. You have to just trust the process. You have to trust yourself. You have to trust your character's journey. You have to be FEARLESS sometimes!
You have to be able to delete sometimes. And you have to know there are always more words. Maybe I am being too simplistic. Maybe for some writers it comes more naturally, more "easily" -- maybe you are thinking: It would take me months and months to get 30,000 words! Okay, I understand this. Every person is different, every writer different - every journey different. Take from this what fits you. I never tell writers: "You aren't a writer if you....." I hate it when writers do if there is a club and you have to have secret passwords, or special handshakes, or certain credentials to join this club. We're all lovers of books and words and language. We all have our own journey to take how we will take it. What separates success from "not success" is the ability to Keep Going. No matter what: you keep going. Do you think I'm not terrified? Even with a book out I am terrified sometimes....but, I love what I do. I love books, language, words, my characters, the feeling of someone out there reading my words....I put aside that fear and just plow forward.

But what I want you to take from this is sometimes you have to be fearless. Sometimes you just have to do what is best for your Character's Journey. Sometimes you have to quiet that voice that says, "But what if I don't have anything else to say?" You will always have something to say. If you feel as if you do not, it is because you are self-editing yourself, you are getting in your own way. Yes, somtimes being fearless and just vomiting out words will mean more work....but better more work than to present something to the world that isn't your best.
Maybe when book2 comes out, people will still love book1 better - maybe not - I can't predict that. But, when book2 is completed, I will know that I was true to Virginia Kate and her journey. At the cost of thousands of words....but new thousands of words will come and they will be Virginia Kate's voice...not some shadow of her.
If you delete delete delete - you can always retrieve it by pasting it somewhere else - just try it and see if by deleting something it makes you feel "Free" to create or if it does not.
Now, go be fearless! In whatever you do. Trust your instincts. Do what feels right to you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Presenting: Barbara from Serenity Gate...

Hi Y'all (yawwwllllll)....Isn't that a lovely face? Barbara from Serenity Gate - what a light inside she carries- and look at her sparkling eyes.

Before I brag on Barbara, I guest blogged at J. Kaye's Book Blog. Had a fun ole time, too. Still having fun - reading comments and answering questions. Teehee. She's having a contest there, too- for a signed copy of Tender Graces - This is her contest, and the contest rules are outlined there (my apologies to my friends outside of US and Canada who may go there to try to win a copy ...dang....!)

Now, there are so many of you who have taken the time to write up a praise blurb, or post about Tender Graces, or write up a review, or email me your thoughts, et-cetera. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. So, I'm going to spend some time bragging and talking up all of you! My first "brag" was on Deb Leblanc.

Today, I want to talk about Barbara at the Serenity Gate.

And I do find peace, inspiration, and joy there. And lovely music. And lyrical poetic musings. Barbara's blog is a lovely breath of air. There is always something upbeat to read, to feel, to ponder over.
When Barbara won books from my book give-aways, I sent her a bonus book. I never expected anything in return. But one day a package came. Inside was a layer of cloud! Barbara sent me the most beautiful pashima - it is the softest wrap I've ever had. Stop by her Fatimas Treasures!

Barbara wrote this about Tender Graces- I am overwhelmed by her words (and Barbara - I saw your review on Amazon reviews - *laughing!* yes - I went by there...but just for a second, only a teeny second!):
I didn't realize just how gifted she really is until I read her new book! How did I love it? Let me count the ways: 1. Poetic 2. Imaginative 3. Clever 4. Unique 5. Exciting 6. Haunting 7. It made me laugh/it made me cry 8. It's one I'll never forget. The story is beautifully written, haunting, profound, and develops the characters in a way that makes the reader feel personally connected. It should be in Oprah's book club (for the complete post, you can click here)
Thank you, Barbara, for your words, and for your Serenity Gate.
Now, I need to Git to Work (yes GIT!....said like mean old Aunt Ruby!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fa la la la la la la tee dahhhhhh!

My feet are cold. Just thought I'd share that. La la la tee dah.... do do doo ...teetle dee...dum ta dum....fa la la la la la la la LA!
Oh? what am I doing, you ask? Welllllll - I'm procrastinating! I was rocking along with VKBook2 and then it all fell apart. I just went "Huh?"

You see, when I first wrote VK - that Really Rough Draft of long ago, I wrote 200,000 words in a fury--it was ...well, it was AWESOME, even if the novel sucked and needed much work. Because I was writing and writing and writing my very very first novel ever, and all because Angie Ledbetter prodded me (bless her bless her!).
I later took half of that manuscript and worked on it - let Virginia Kate's voice shine through, and the end result is Tender Graces. Well, the other half was long put away. I took it out once a few years ago and worked on it, but I didn't remember how far I'd gone into the story. Until today. Yup, I saw how far I last was. It is obvious. There is an obvious LINE of "Good Virginia Kate," and "Bad stilted yucky bleah gork barf Virginia Kate." I mean, from one chapter ending to the next chapter beginning is so very different. It's quite interesting to see. It shows the growth. It shows all kinds of things I could teach in a class! I could take that manuscript and point to the Before and After and we could discuss the processes that brought it to one point from the other.

So, lots of work to do. I am considering just trashing everything from that LINE forward and again letting VK speak through me and tell her story...yes! EUREKA! The stuff after the LINE isn't her. It sounds more like, well, more like ME (I hadn't gotten out of the way yet) may make another book somewhere down the road, but not this book. Not my Virginia Kate. I do think putting my fingers to the keys and letting Virginia Kate and all the other characters tell their story will be much better than trying to keep any of the stuff after that LINE. I'll take the stuff from the LINE on and put it up somewhere.
Oh, I'm so glad we had this talk! Thank, back to work!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Good day with sunshine, good day plenty of sunshine....

Carol Murdock gave me a Renee Award - and I have been horrid as usual in thanking her and doing anything I was supposed to do...and she is such a lovely person.
Angie gave me a Zombie Chicken award and I messed that up, too --forgive me friends!

Just a fast drop by before I get to work.

I was interviewed on Riding With the Top Down!

Jake finally quit moping because he missed Kimmi and her Beloved. He stayed at Kimmi's beloved's feet most of the time: he knows good people when he sees them.
I am becoming facinated with this Amazon monster. Yes yes, I know, I said I would not pay attention to it--and I am not, no really, I am not...teeheehee....but my publishers sent me the weekend stats. I simply can't figure the system out. I went from 80,000 to 50,000 and then end of last week to 400,000, then yesterday I was around 20,000, today back to 80,000...laughing! How does that much change in a rating occur within hours?....! It's all a big mystery that I don't have time to unravel--writing is where I'm putting my focus. Yes, authors should just shrug their shoulders and worry about the words, the language, the characters - and do as I have been doing: Bask in the wonderful words and reviews found right here in Blog Land. I feel grateful and excited and happy! I'll be posting more about that as the days go on, as I did below for Deb Leblanc.
Now, finish my Deep Creek Blend coffee, and it'll be warm enough to work on VK2 on the porch today - glorious! Sunshine and everything turning green!
Now, everyone - go DO the day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Today: Presenting Author Deborah Leblanc

There are so many of you who have taken the time to write up a praise blurb, or post about Tender Graces, or write up a review, or email me your thoughts, et-cetera. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. So, I'm going to spend some time bragging and talking up all of you! Today, I'm starting with my good friend, Author Deborah Leblanc. She is not only a powerhouse of a business woman and author, she is a good friend to writers, educators, children, and schools--and to me. Add to that her supernatural thrillers that will send chills down your spinal column and raise up your goosebumps, and you have a one-of-a-kind writer, friend, and mentor.

Here's her blurb about Tender Graces (Thank you Deb!): Every so often, if you're fortunate enough, you'll find a book that not only captures your attention and imagination, it captures your heart. Kathryn Magendie's characters are so vivid and memorable, and the story so poignant, one hates for TENDER GRACES to end. The voice of the West Virginia mountains holds true in every aspect of Magendie's work, which leaves one begging for more and wondering where this gifted writer has been hiding all these years! Deborah LeBlanc, Author of Family Inheritance, Grave Intent, A House Divided, Morbid Curiosity, and Water Witch

Some information and links on Deb Leblanc.

Author Deborah Leblanc Home page

From her Bio page:
"People often ask if I consider myself to be an author or a writer. My answer is always the same. Neither. If I consider myself anything at all, it’s a storyteller who happens to write her stories on paper.

My love for storytelling came from my grandmother, who, in my opinion, was the best tale-spinner on the planet. I remember sitting at the foot of her rocker, utterly spellbound as she told story after story, all of them fact, not fiction mind you, of supernatural events that some uncle, aunt, or cousin had encountered ‘back in the day.’ Being Cajun, it was only natural that her entire body played a part in the telling of the tale. Her hand gestures were emphatic, her eyes widening or narrowing for effect, her entire body tensing and leaning forward as she reached the spookiest part of the tale. I remember wishing I could be just like her..." for more click on Deb Leblanc's bio page.

Literacy Inc. is a non-profit organization started by author Deborah Leblanc Literacy has been a national concern for years as evidenced by the foreword noted in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, “…too many children in America are segregated by low expectations, illiteracy, and self-doubt…But if we succeed in educating our youth, many other successes will follow throughout our country and in the lives of our citizens.” Click for more on Literacy Inc.

Her books.

And her contest extravaganzas!

And the Pen to Press Writer's Retreat. Angie Ledbetter and I attended P2P last year and stayed at the beautiful Monteleone Hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. Pen to Press is returning in 2010.

Go Deb Go! And thank you for your support.

Let's all support one another. I appreciate you all. I'll be back with more "braggin' "

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank you for being my friends, they traveled down the road and are now going back again....

Well, my company has left the cove at Killian Knob on this beautiful mountain morning. Kim Richardson and her husband are two of the most gracious, delightful, down to earth people you will ever meet - or I should say, that I have had the good fortune to finally meet. In a way, it was like looking at the mirror image of GMR and I as a couple: Kim and I are jittery and talky while Kim's husband and GMR are more the strong silent type--and both GMR and Kim's hb love to show their love and affection and thanks by cooking and presenting something tasty. Kim's hb made the most buttery delicious pralines, and these no-bake chocolate-oatmeal cookies - oh geez, I have had a sugar/butter rush since they arrived! GMR made pasta jambalaya and then shrimp creole - he also made a banana's foster bread pudding (little did we know that Kim's hb favorite dessert is bread pudding!).....

Also, Kimmi's beloved made GMR and I "Tom-a-hawks" (which we re-named in honor of Kim's hubbie but not "Tom") - out of hard-to-find smooth flat creek stones and he whittled branches - later I'll snap a photo, but I was so touched and delighted. I wondered why he was down at the creek so long looking for "a rock" - laughing! not that I don't do that all the time- especially with my brother Tommy...haw!

Kimmi and I talked about our books and life and all manner of things. We sat on the porch over-looking the cove in the day and at night the still-visible lights of Maggie Valley (which will soon be hidden by the growth). We drank tea and we ate food and we ate pralines and no-bake cookies and we yapped and we rocked. We've had the warmest days yet while they were here and the porch was an oasis of calm and quiet (well, except this happened to be the weekend of "Thunder in the Smokies" and a bunch of motocycle people are roaring around everywhere!).
GMR and Kimmi's beloved were like old buddies. Made me smile to see them chatting quietly away.

I also met another really cool woman who came up here from Asheville to meet Kim in person. More on that later.

A truly wonderful visit.

Fat Labrador Jake was sad to see them go - he stayed by Kimmi's beloved's feet for much of the visit. He knows another Good Man when he sees him!

And of course I called Kimmi's hb by his name, but I am not here, because I simply cannot remember if Kimmi showed her beloved's name on her blog, and I don't want to disrespect privacy.

Ah my friends -- I feel fortunate to have met three beautiful blogger friends who are now "in the flesh" friends.

Kimmi snapped a few photos - more later.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, you gotta have la la la tee dah, you gotta have fireendss....

Yesterday was such a lovely day. Debbie from Suburb Sanity and I walked along the street of a tourist town and gawed at all the shops and places to eat. There was a haunted house hawker who slipped up behind her and scared the bee-jawses out of her and I laughed me arse off....teeheeehee....haw! We had lunch at an Italian place and yapped until our yap boxes were all worn out. I know this about Debbie: she is passionate about reading and books; and, she is passionate about her family -- I respected that and I respected her...she's fun to be around as she is on her blog. Our two regrets were that we forgot to take a photo, and that we didn't get our "gooey treat" we'd said we wanted. Ah well, another time! I feel fortunate to have met her
*big grin* We vowed to get together again as soon as we can.
Today a guest arrives. I'm keeping this one under my hat for now, but I am looking forward to the visit. Since my book signing on the 17th, this will be the third blogger I have met! What are the odds of that? I met Kathleen of Katsoup at the signing, then Debbie of Suburb Sanity yesterday, and now another blogger will be visiting my little log house. How fortunate I feel to come to know such beautiful women in person.
Oh! if you can stand another thing about Tender Graces (yes, I am sick of talking about myself and my stuff - but when something happens, I can't help but share it -- lawd!) - I was interviewed by our little mountain paper -it's a print publication, but they put it online as well. Here's the link to the Interview. It was fun.
Beginning Monday, I am burying my head in VK2 -- and that means "I mean business now, Kat!" to myself from myself. I'll come by probably in the morning to my blog to say "hi!" but, that will be about it -- I will be living and breathing VK2 -- it must be done and I can't play around any longer. The manuscript simply needs a lot of work and all my attention, but I'm excited to get back to work - that's the great thing!
I've finally stopped going to Amazon (like I said I would days ago and didn't listen to myself) to see if there are new reviews or check rankings - the rankings thing is too confusing to me - how an author goes from like a 40 or 50,000 ranking and two days later is 200,000 ranking makes absolutely no sense to someone who doesn't understand the process one whit - *shrug* - so since I don't understand it, why bother looking at it? >HAW< - and, frankly, I get embarrassed asking people, "would you go put up a review on Amazon for me? teeheehee...blush teeheehee..." Best thing I can ever do is just Write The Next Book, as BB has said. So, there you go.....

later gators! Gonna finish my cuppa deep creek blend coffee and fix up the guest room with some flowers and fresh linens.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh where oh where has our little kat gone? oh where oh where can she be? with her hair cut short and her something something la la la can she be

I'm peeking in just for a moment, because today I am meeting a very special person! Who is this mystery woman? Well, more later....I'll only tell what I can tell and no more....sounds cryptic!

If you haven't visited with my guest blogger, David, from yesterday, give him a hello and leave a comment if you have time; appreciate you! Go by and give him a visit at his blog; he is such a delightful man.

Good Man Roger got a part in Asheville Community Theater's production of TIL BETH DO US PART! He plays Gibby....this will be his second ACT part - how exciting! WHOOHOOO! GO GMR!

GMR received his order from OCTAVIA BOOKs in New Orleans, the coolest recipe book: Cooking up a Storm, Recipes Lost and Found -- these are recipes from people and places that were destroyed or almost destroyed during Katrina: they want to preserve South Louisiana recipes. GMR is already marking recipes to try. What a great idea - to make sure those recipes are written down and not lost to the winds.

Reviews are coming in and so far, I am thrilled....more on that later. I know the time it takes to read and review, so I give happy thanks.
Enjoy the day. Hug someone who needs it. Put on a grin. And, for the whole day, wonder where I am and who the very special person is - unless she tells you herself before she leaves her place
....laughing... or unless we keep it secret --ha! There is that "privacy" thing to being online that I respect...but I can tell a little bit later *smiling*
Oh, and don't forget to send me photos of you with Tender Graces! I'm loving it!
Update! ha...! I am HOME -and what a wonderfully fun time I had with our Ms Debbie from Suburb Sanity walking the streets of a little tourist town! *BIG FAT GRINNIN'*.....more later....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guest Blogger: David Pereda: On Hooking the Reader…and not Letting Him Go

My guest today is award-winning author and college creative writing instructor David Pereda. He is going to talk to us about that essential element of any great story -- “the hook.” David is the regional director of Florida Writers Association's Western North Carolina division and the founder of Asheville Writing Enthusiasts (AWE). His latest novel, Havana: Top Secret, published by Eternal Press, has garnered him rave reviews and will be available in May.

Kathryn: What's a hook?

David: A first line so powerful that you absolutely have to keep on reading the story.

Kathryn: What are the primary objectives of a hook?

David: To interest the reader and to set the tone for the book.

Kathryn: What would you consider a good hook?

David: A good hook has the ability to grab you by the neck and plunge you into the story. A good hook goes beyond that initial encounter with the reader. It extends to the opening paragraph, the opening page, the first chapter, and the entire book.

Kathryn: What would you consider a bad hook?

David: A bad hook is like a piece of wood at a camp fire that stands alone and fizzles. There are two types of bad hooks – “not strong enough” or “too strong”: (1) If your opening line is “not strong enough,” the reader will close the book and go buy something else; and (2) If your opening line is “too strong” or “too good” for the rest of your story, you'll disappoint the reader too, and he’ll do the same thing.

Kathryn: Can you give us examples of good hooks?

David: With pleasure. Here are some examples from great writers:

"Maman died today; or yesterday, maybe, I don't know." The Stranger (Camus)

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." The Metamorphosis (Kafka)

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." Lolita (Nabokov)

"In the cold, nearly colorless light of a New England winter, two men on horseback traveled the coast road below Boston, heading north." John Adams (David McCullough)

Kathryn: Thank you for being my guest today, David. It’s been quite informative. Would you consider being my guest in the future again to discuss some more writing techniques?

David: It would be my pleasure, Kathryn. Thank you for inviting me to be your guest today.

To find out more about David Pereda or his new novel:
To become a Pereda Pal and read David’s musings at his Front Porch Chat:

CHCHCHCHanges, turn the page and read, chchanges....

Send in your photos! *smiling*
Sharla and Marcy
Hello All. Today will be an intense work day. I do have a couple of things this week that I am most looking forward to, besides work.
I am also looking forward to my guest blogger tomorrow: David Pereda. Stay tuned!
And! I am so proud of my friend Joyce O'Neil ...
BOONE – A fog-shrouded parkway vista by Waynesville photographer Joyce O'Neil has been selected as one of 47 finalists in the sixth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, co-sponsored by ASU Outdoor Programs, Virtual Blue Ridge, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, and other merchants. O'Neil's image was chosen from 918 international submissions. O'Neil's image, "Pounding Mill Overlook" was chosen as an outstanding here's the rest of the article and the image!

There's a lot of talent in these mountains.

I forgot - the other day on my book giveway question - Missy was first. She has a copy of Tender Graces to review, so Missy, let me know what you want me to do - send another copy of TG? Two other books? Email me!

I found this on our YOG -- right now I am in CHANGE; it's Good Change, but any change feels strange sometimes-- we can welcome it, or fight it,, I'll just leave you with the Yog Post:

Nothing remains static. The world turns with all our energies both expelled and absorbed from pre-beginning to after-end; we become a part of a greater energy. Everything is pulsating, a part of each other. So how could something so dynamic not change and morph? Even require it. There is The Good Change, and there is The Bad Change, and there are the changes that no one notices until one day they say, “Hey…wait…whatever happened to…” And there is that moment of bemusement, or maybe of loss for what wasn’t even missed until some fluke in the atmosphere caused a flick of the memory-wrist. And then there are the snapshots filed away in drawers, albums, and the parts of the brain made just for remembrance.

I have this snapshot shouting loud. It comes uncalled and unbidden, but it comes. It is winter, and the snow is falling, blanketing an already white-washed world. The backdrop is sepia-toned, shades of black and white with that tinge of old-timey photograph brown. I am dressed warm, and by my side are my husband and my two dogs. We’re on the Muse Trail, Level Two. I have my camera and I’ve set it to video and as I turn 360 degrees, I say, “Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this the best life ever? Don’t you wish you were me?” My dogs, off their leashes, run in the snow, their paws kicking up sprays of snow and arcs of ice that hover for just a moment before falling back down to earth; some catch prisms—I know; I saw. The branches are laden with snow and some hang heavy, ready to smack a head and sent showers of cold upon them—I know; I was showered. We walk in the most perfect silence ever: you know the silence? The one that muffles footsteps, but makes bird calls ring so clear through the air that you hear it in perfect pitch. I have that snapshot because there have been changes come since that Perfect Day. Changes that make the memory one I am grateful for, even as I wish for all of it back, Human that I am. Yet, would the memory stand in such sharp gorgeous relief if the changes had not altered it beyond repair? No. I’d have taken it for granted, knowing I could have that feeling over and over again. That Perfect Day has become one I feel the most profound sense of gratitude for—I know; I was there before the change.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Work Work! Get to work, work - Watch me get my arse to work now!

Good Morning Everyone, or maybe by time you stop by it's afternoon, or evening. Just wanted to stop in and tell you all that I'm reading your comments and they are giving me the biggest smile....thank you.

(the bluebird of happiness in the photo)

Today, I put my mind in the frame of "Get. Your. Arse. To. Work. Right. Now." -- the first signing is done. My YIPPEEE BOING BOING is over. Time to put my feet back on the ground and get busy.

Virginia Kate waits. She still has her story to tell. Last night I thought of a new opening scene. I'll file that away for now. I'll get through the entire first draft and make any changes (oh, the first draft I have was written before I made many changes to Tender Graces - so it's a mess!), and once I get through the entire thing, I'll know if that opening scene still works.

I have received emails from you who are reading VK (or comments!) and enjoying her - thank you. My friend Mike wrote and told me how his wife Tanya didn't want to put down the book and read it late into the night - and that she laughed and cried. I replied how I loved it that she laughed, and was it so wrong that I loved it that she cried? *grin* - but, what a compliment! All of you comments and emails are major huge wonderful glorious compliments to me, and to the words, the language, to Virginia Kate. I can't thank you enough.

I even stopped my running to Amazon to see if there were any new reviews *laughing* - I figure that things will work out as they will. I also think in this way: I have already achieved the goal I had dreamed about: Getting my words in my hands; getting my words in your hands; having a signing in my little mountain town; giving VK a voice that others besides me and a few readers can hear. So, everything else is langniappe....oh, Angie, I've been away from South Louisiana too long - is that how you spell Langniappe....?

Thank you all -- if you look at those photos below, you can see the joy - that's how you can picture my face when I read your words about my words....*MUWAH*

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Signing Pics....

Good gawd, I gotta big Mouth! laughing................Frances and kat

I am barely hanging on the chair - I am exhausted by happy -

awww, Good Man Roger....

I got by with a little help from my friends, I was high on a little help from my friends...

Kathleen (Katsoup) drove from Georgia to attend the booksigning- I was honored and proud to have her there....she is beautiful and her eyes sparkle and shine with warmth and friendship - Thank you KatSoup! It was so good to meet a blogger friend - we've known each other on blogger for about four? five years, is it? really? could it be? She was my mysterious stranger I predicted would come!

Mikell and I and friends in background; Mikell left a family vacation to come to the signing - WOW! That humbles and overwhelms me with gratitude.

My book signing event couldn't have gone better. Yup, just as you all tried to tell me, "Don't worry - what if it turns out better than you even imagined?" And that is exactly what happened. It was better and more well-attended than I could ever imagine. The night is one big happy excited wonderful blur. I took a photo of my hand after the signing - it was covered in ink! *laughing*

I posted some pictures on my facebook page....if you want to go look, go there (I think you can look at them? If not, let me know if you try and can't). I'm posting a few here so you can see. Plus I'm posting the two photos I received from y'all reading Tender Graces -- Sharla from "a little salty" and Marcy "Cooking Rut" whoohoooo!...thank y'all! You both look Wonderful!

I will tell more about the book signing - but the photos say so much. Look at that cake by Christy Bishop (Chef/owner of Sugar Buzz)--omg! And GMR made party food -yummmm.

cake -!!! Margaret Osondu and me

Jennifer!GMR preparing goodies

Sharla(top) and Marcy(bottom) -- thank yawwwwwwllllll!

More later........

Friday, April 17, 2009

Laws that's a head of hair, wild messed up hair - here baby there mama, everywhere stickin up haaa-uauah-aiirrrr

Wake up - oh, went to sleep with Tender Graces at my bedside - I am reading it, pretending it is the first time to read this book. What a strange and wonderful experience, although I keep thinking, "oh wait, I should have..." or "oh, that doesn't sound right..." or "Oh, too abrupt ending to that chapter!!!!" or "Oh, 'is' is supposed to be 'was' in that sentence" or "That sounds like a children's book....dang!" or "how will they like this? huhn not sure..." or "I like that....Did I write that? I did!"(laughing) The other books you can see - one is OCEAN magazine - but what is that one that looks backwards? I can't tell, even when I go back to the room and look at the books for real...what is that backwards book - you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it -- what is that? weird!

(PS - I figured it out - see if you can! the first one to figure out what the backwards book is, I'll send them a copy of Tender Graces and a bonus book of my choice...)

Good gawd! Took a look at myself in the mirror - I must have spun around in my sleep all night - although I slept pretty well. Good Lord! look at that hair!
Time for a walk.....oh the sun is shining...standing on my porch taking in a deep breath - snap goes a photo. Book Signing Day will be perfect weather it seems! yay!
and the little log house from the bottom of my driveway! All cozied up in there....soon the leaves will hide it more...hurry leaves! If you enlarge the photo, you can see a big ole orb shining!

little log house from across the creek, across the cove- can you see it hidden there? I wrote on the photo to show you about where it is. GMR and Fat Lazy Labrador and I are standing looking down at our place. You can see a few other houses in our cove. Here, there.

Back home - too jittery to eat. This is the only thing that tempts me: cheese, banana, grapefruit juice, vitamins - huhn erk....meanwhile, Good Man Roger is in the kitchen slaving away to make gourmet goodies for my booksigning tonight -- Bless Him! And Christly L. Bishop of Sugar Buzz (and the photographer who snapped my author photo) is baking a special cake and some lemon squares...ohhhhh~ Wish yawwwll could be there.
I'll be back with more photos of Signing Day - tomorrow.
Also....I've read every one of your comments and they are making me laugh, cry, smile, feel happy happy, excited.....Thank You All! MUWAH! Don't forget to send me a photo of you with Tender Graces, but be sure to let me know if you don't want it posted - I'm going to put all this in a memory box or scrap book....
Now, back to work on VK Book 2.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Over here over here, Kat's book hit the dusty trails...

These images are blurry - guess why? because I'm hopping around like a crazed bunny (see Easter image in Easter post below)....and, if you feel comfortable, send me a photo of you with Tender Graces - let me know whether it is okay to post it here --- feel free to hide behind the book as I have done...(hey, my hair was wild, I had no make up on, I had a pimple on my chin...laughing)...The book arrival: (teeheehee) and I took photos of my bookshelf before and after and before and after *laugh* I will upload a non-blurry photo of me reading my own book - just to show you I can do it, too -- haw! (and I opened VK Book 2 yesterday - at first I was going "UGH UGH - it's CRAP it's SH****T UGH!...but then, I found it...found VK, found the pace, found the voice, found my way -- oh, how exciting! VK falls in Love - oh oh...No No NO VK...NO....alas, she won't listen to Andy or Bobby, she won't listen to Grandma Faith - she won't listen to Miss Darla -- *sigh* and she certainly doesn't listen to me because I do not exist!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm so excited! and I ain't gonna hide it, I was about to lose control but thank gawd I didn't....haw!

I am feeling calmer. Ommmmm. Ommmmmm. Ommmygawdmmmmmm (teeheehee). Well, an excited calmer anyway ...

First. My brother in Texas has already received his Tender Grace books! No Faiiirrrrr; I'm telling Moommmmmm. He called me up all excited and happy and jumping around opening up the box and then describing stuff to me. I asked, "How heavy is it? What color pink is it? What does it feel like? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?" Then he said he was just sitting there petting my book *laughing*....I said, "I want my boooookkkkssss...." He just laughed and said, "Nya nya nya nya nya; I got the first Tender Graces books! hahahahahahaha!" .....ah, brothers and sisters.
Here is something that eased my mind, too, though, not just that my books are actually real and I didn't dream all this, and the proof is in the call I received from Tommy that he has my book! haw! I was stressed thinking about book signings and promo materials and all manner of things I thought I needed to do to be An Author.....silly me; I forgot that being an author has to do with words and language.
BelleBooks put it into perspective for me, and after that, I calmed. They told me that word of mouth and good reviews are what helps to sell your book. They told me to get to work on the second book - that is what is important right now. To not worry about Promo Materials like bookmarks and the like (for those most times get tossed away and forgotten - it is the words the writer writes that are remembered). They said not to knock myself out trying to do book signings all over - to choose some places I think I'd enjoy and do them there.
The main message is this: Word of Mouth. Good Reviews. Get the second book written!
So, for any of you who read Tender Graces and like/love it, then you tell someone else about it, and/or write up a review/thoughts on Amazon, or B&N, or Target, or your blog - or all of them (laughing!). Telling other readers about an author's book is one of the greatest compliments a writer can have. And the greatest help an author can have. You all have already been doing this - before you even see the book and my gratitude is mighty mighty MIGHTY. Thank you.
In my google alerts this morning, I found a review for TG at Scooper Speaks. It made my morning to read it - when someone takes the time to read your work and then write about it, well, as I said: it is a compliment and a joy.
I have two reviews on Amazon....teeheehee. Made me happy.
So, what I'm feeling today is Happy. Tommy told his big sister: "Sister, ENJOY this -- enjoy all these moments..." And I know that is the advice I have given and would give to others. I'm putting aside the anxiety I had all day yesterday and instead, I am going to enjoy all these moments! These FIRSTS will never happen the same way again....they'll never be firsts.
Soon, my good friends, I will be scarce. I am making some decisions. Like, backing away from book reviews for a while...much as I hate to, for I love doing them, the last couple I have done do not seem up to my standards (I'm too distracted and busy!). I'll be looking at some other things, as well, that need a second look. As for this blog, I certainly am not going to abandon it (gawd no!~) but, as I begin serious work on the second novel in the Virginia Kate Saga, I will need to place almost all my energies there. I would love to post my progress, but visiting will be cut way back - you know how it is; you visit and you read and next you know hours have gone by! So please forgive me if in the coming months you rarely see my little icon and "Haws!" and "LAUGHINGS!" and comments in your comments....although I am selfish and hope you will still come by here ...teeheehee!
Today feels like a good good day. It started off good with that review I found; and from the conversation with Tommy and with BelleBooks last night to pave the way for this good day. I am going to take a mountain walk soon to clear my head, and then get some busy work done.
HAPPY DAY, Everyone! And, soon you should be receiving your books! Oh, I can't wait! I'm so excited!