Some way overdue thank-yous here. First, to my buddy Rob E in St. Louis, who sent me a scarf with a bold print for possible doll fashion along with bottle caps for my paintings. The scarf is already packed away with my fabric, but it sat on the desk next to me for a couple of days before I really scrutinized it, and then I started laughing because I was reminded of Diane Wiest’s character in the movie The Birdcage as she puzzled over a provocative design on some dinnerware. The scarf depicted people doing all kinds of naughty things, so the fabric must surely be used for some future fashion event. Thanks, Rob.
Another friend, writer Jeffrey Ricker, has temporarily relocated to Canada to pursue his MFA. But he sent me a couple of St. Louis mementos to add to my collection:
Pressed pennies from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Thank you very much, Jeff! And the dog card makes me happy, too.
It’s funny how old and dear friends come back into our lives when we need them most, and such is the case with a good friend from my high school and college years, Jim S. I won’t embarrass him by describing how much our ongoing conversations mean to me. Recently, he sent the most wonderful package of goodies to Tom and me: these clever steeping tea mugs, along with some tea blends, and honey from BACK HOME to sweeten our tea.
The honey is from a beekeeper in a rural area where I lived many years ago, though I don’t think Jim knew that. Check out the tea products and blends from The Tea Spot. If there’s not a retail supplier near you, you can also order from them online. Saturday morning provided the perfect chilly weather for Tom and me to enjoy the Bolder Breakfast blend of Black Tea, Pu’erh, and Chocolate. It was divine and went well with our brunch of eggs, grits, bacon, biscuits (with more honey!), and grapes.
By the way, from The Tea Spot: Our full leaf teas include organic and Fair-Trade Certified™ estate teas and signature blends. Committed to giving as we grow, 10% of each sale is donated in-kind to cancer wellness and community programs. A gift with heart from one of the best hearts I know; thank you, Jim!
Our friend, writer and blogger Josh Helmin, was in Houston last week and came by The Compound to have dinner with us. He and Tim graciously agreed to pose for a Reading Is Hot photo holding two new novels by other author friends of ours.
Josh is holding Greg Herren’s Timothy. Greg sent me a copy before anyone else could buy it, and I was honored to read that he dedicated the novel to me because of our shared love–as teenagers and beyond–of romantic suspense writers like Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, the incomparable Mary Stewart, and Daphne du Maurier. Tim’s holding Famous Author Rob Byrnes’s third in his hilarious caper series featuring Grant Lambert and Chase LaMarca and their entire gang of misfits, Strange Bedfellows.
To bring this full circle, I received a photo from Rob E who reminded me that reading is also sensible WHEN it’s hot, as this was what he was enjoying in the middle of the Midwest’s recent drought.
Y’all know how I love writers, and I want to share Indiegogo projects from a couple of my writer friends.
Author, webmaster, and columnist Linda Gentile founded Markeroni in 2003. Markeroni is the oldest website that helps people find and record historical markers and landmarks. Markeroni is a history resource with more than 150,000 landmarks in their database and 31,000 with a Catalog entry. Markeroni is in need of an upgrade, so Linda’s raising funds at this Indiegogo site. If a few people contribute even a modest amount, this resource can be updated and made more accessible to the public. If you can’t contribute, you might become a Markeroni member, or share the link on your Facebook and Twitter sites. Linda and all the Markeroni volunteers are a fun and passionate group, so thanks for any support you can give them between now and October 31.
Another Indiegogo project with funding that will close on October 31 is Michael Thomas Ford’s prospective novel Lily. Here’s how Lily begins:
On the morning of her thirteenth birthday, Lily kissed her father and knew that he would be dead by nightfall. The image of his death dropped into her mind suddenly and without warning. As her lips touched his she saw behind the thin skin of her closed eyes his face, pale and wet, rising up from the waves surrounded by caressing fingers of sea grass, and she screamed.
Mike is an award-winning novelist who’s written more than fifty books for both young readers and adults, in genres ranging from humor to horror, literary fiction to nonfiction. He’s one of my favorite writers, so I really want to see Lily happen. It’s a bold new endeavor that won’t happen without funding; you can read more about what you’ll receive at the different levels of giving at the Indiegogo site. Again, if you can’t give, please share the link on your social networking sites.
Thanks on behalf of Linda and Mike.