Archive for June 2011

Upon Launching a Novel

June 15th, 2011 — 5:43pm

June 15, 2011

Upon launching a novel, one feels…great.  Grateful.  Excited.  Curious.  Caught up in a whirlwind of experiences, and very far behind on every conceivable list of things to do.  I miss writing my blog.  There hasn’t been time.  Summer is gearing up at the diner, SOUTH OF SUPERIOR is venturing out into the world, and there’s so much to do, every minute.  I can’t believe I haven’t written yet about the launch party at the diner on the 9th.  It was phenomenal.  A mob scene.  It was, as Rick kept saying after the party was over, and he and I and Jenna and my sister Mariann and cousin Mary sat in the dim light of the neon clock, “Very humbling.”  He’s exactly right.

I want to send out a hundred–two hundred–specific and heartfelt thank you notes, but of course I can’t even write one blog with any regularity just now, or keep up on the laundry and the bills (I did whack the lawn down one more time since the last time I wrote, which seems like a million years ago but was only ten days, which leads me to a whole rumination on the nature of time that I might indulge in while I’m driving somewhere, but not right now), so probably I won’t get to it.  Let this be my start:  thank you everyone.

Thank you for the bouquets and the cards and letters, thank you for the dragonfly stepping stone, for the painting, for the journal, for your enthusiasm, for buying the book, for emailing and Facebooking your congratulations and  anecdotes.  Thank you for going into bookstores and asking for SOUTH OF SUPERIOR.  Thank you for lunch, for snacks,  for fashion advice.  Thank you for everything.

There are only ten minutes left before I have to get ready to go to work.   Have this mental list of things to do growing:

*Post some of the tons of pictures I’ve taken of the book launch happenings sometime.

*Don’t forget some of the million things I want to say about all this.

*Have a picture in my head for how I’ll do the Mackinac Island blog–don’t get too much further behind on blogging. Mackinac Island and The Island Bookstore were great.

*Must think of more synonyms for ‘great’ besides wonderful and fantastic.  Need a whole box full of synonyms for that feeling, that reaction, that state.

*Have a little writing deadline to meet in–augh.  Six days.  Note to self:  begin writing that thing.

*And, oh, tomorrow is the day we (me and the SOS) will be featured in the New Voices column of USA Today.  Must look for the paper when I’m on the road to Petoskey (although the reporter who is writing the column, Bob M., very kindly promised to send me a copy).

*Put laundry in dryer.

*Put dress and shoes in truck.

*Water plants.


On a somber note, Rick and I would like to acknowledge the death of Ann Fox, George VanderHaag’s spouse of thirty nine years.  George is the man who brings fruit and vegetables to Grand Marais and supplies the diner with excellent produce and his genuine friendship.   The character of Alfred in the book is loosely based on George, and we had hoped he would be able to attend the launch party.  He couldn’t due to the schedule of his produce run, which I was very thankful for when he called that night to say that Ann was in the hospital.  I was glad he was at home to be with her.  She died shortly before midnight on June 9th.  George, we are very sorry for your loss.

14 comments » | Books, Life


June 4th, 2011 — 1:02pm

What I really meant to write, telegram-like:

A story in pictures.

My pumpkin garden, Day One

My pumpkin nursery, Day Ten or so

My baby pumpkin!

And, also, the mower is running, HA!

Jenna takes the spark plug out, again.

Jenna takes the top casing off.

Jenna mows the lawn! (Well, Jenna starts but I finish)

What there are no pictures of:

Jenna, Rick, and I (but mostly Jenna) stripping the thing down as far as two waitresses and a cook can strip a mower down with a pair of pliers and a set of socket wrenches, then loading it in the flatbed and driving it to Gerry Purple’s garage, and Gerry studying it for a minute carefully, then slowly pulling the choke, depressing the starter lever, pulling the cord (everything we did, over and over), and voila, the mower runs like it never thought of anything else.  Magic again.  Thanks, Gerry.

5 comments » | The Great Outdoors

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