Well, it’s about time I got to share this big news with you! Earlier this month, I finally signed a contract with a publisher for a book that will be a collection of my best and favorite columns from the newspapers from the past four years! The paperwork has been bouncing back and forth between me, the publisher and lawyers, like a ping-pong-ball and I thought it would NEVER get finished and signed!
In the photo above, taken at my desk, can you see what is framed behind me? It’s the autographed map of Mitford Jan Karon gave me. Nothing like working beneath a little inspiration every day. And let me just say here, meeting Jan and also Mary Kay Andrews have been a treat and a huge inspiration. (and Fannie Flagg too!)They’ve taught me great things and given me wonderful advice. When people are kind enough to help someone just starting out in their field, it lets me know how confident and kind they are and has meant the world to me!
Well, I only have all of my nice readers like you to thank for this. Your dedication to reading my blog, and my newspaper columns have encouraged me and given me the incentive to keep going. My articles appear in the Sunday editions of the Mobile Press-Register, Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times, but even those of you who live outside of Alabama have also been readers through this blog and on AL.com, and for that, and all your nice comments, I deeply and sincerely thank you!
And I’ll add this too . . . it seems there are several columnists and bloggers who talk about how nasty their readers are — so I feel amazingly blessed to have an audience who is kind and sweet. Every now and then, I’ll get a weird or negative comment, but overall, you are a really nice bunch of readers!
It’s harder than I thought it would be, but then again, when is anything good easy?
Umm. Yeah, I’m bonafide, because I’m scared to death!!! What if no one buys the book? I’ll have Christmas gifts for the net 20 decades!
Another way I need your help is to let me know what stories you’d like to see included in the book. If you have a favorite you remember, let me know. You can go to the sidebar over on the right-hand side of this page and look for “Topics” and click on “articles” to see most (but not all) of them. You can comment in the comment section or email me at: email@example.com (and yes, the strapless wedding dress story was one of the first I threw in!).
I thought most of the writing was done, since I am going to use my previous columns, but HA! Fat chance! I’m having to rewrite most of them, because there’s a slightly different tone when you write a story for a newspaper audience vs. a book audience. Also, I’m going to be including some new material, so I’m furiously working on that as well.
If I only had a little writer’s cottage like this in my backyard, I could sit in and write all-day-long!!! But instead, I still have the cooking, mothering, and laundry to do, not to mention, let the dogs out-let the dogs in . . . it never ends. The saddest part of writing the book now is I’m not going to be able to volunteer for my church’s Vacation Bible School. It’s the first time in AGES I haven’t been able to help and it’s killing me! I love those little children and their sweet faces. I’m trying to talk my husband into sending me to the beach for a month or so . . . ha.
I’m also stuck for a name for the book. I kind of like, “stories from the Front Porch,” because these are stories I’d tell you if we sat together on your front porch. (Don’t you love this porch?)Do you like that name, or is it too dull? How do you like, “Fried Okra — and other good things?” “Sweet tea” is also in the running. It always comes back to food!
We’re hoping the book will be out in time for Christmas, so if you know of a bookstore or civic or church group that needs a speaker around October or December, I’d be happy to visit and meet everyone!
Thank you, my kind, sweet readers. You’ve made me very, very happy! And now you know if blog posts are sparse over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m frantically writing for the book! I’ll keep you posted on developments!