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Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Benefits Of Travel



Just returned from a nine-day visit to the East Coast, Rhode Island specifically. I love to travel but circumstances had prevented it for some time. Yes, unfamiliar situations can be challenging.

Like getting into a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid with no introduction and being expected to drive this modern vehicle. Guaranteed to get the adrenaline stirred. Like driving Interstate traffic at night while learning how to turn on headlights and windshield wipers. Like depending, for the first time in your life, on Google's impersonal phone voice to get you to your destination ninety miles away. Like pulling out the manual to find the latch release for the gas tank and learn the tank's capacity so you can tell the attendant how much gasoline you need to fill the tank.

But, the pleasurable experiences far outweigh the stressful ones. Meeting someone you've been friends with since high school days for lunch and not opening the menu for the first thirty minutes. Getting together with two sisters; sisters you live 2,000 miles away from and its been years since the three of you have been together. Returning to a well-loved stretch of beach just to stand and watch the waves crash along the shoreline. Strolling a narrow street between homes that were built in the 1700s.


Traveling allows me to store up sights and smells that are not a part of my regular world. The salty tang of ocean air; a hidden walkway consisting of granite markers commemorating the ministers who have served a local church since 1711; a tucked-away bay cluttered with anchored boats sitting out choppy waters; climbing the stairs to a modern third-story condo.

All fodder to feed a fertile mind when the time comes to put words to paper.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

All In A Writer's Life

In the midst of preparing a manuscript for re-publication, I'm taking a break. Thanks to a generous gift from a precious family member, my wish to see siblings in far away places is being realized.  

This Saturday I'm flying to New England to visit a sister who lives in Rhode Island. While I'm there, another sister who now lives in South Carolina will be visiting a daughter living nearby. It has been several years since we three have been able to get together and I'm ready for a lot of talking and catching up.

I look forward to this break from the demanding physical work this summer as we cut down trees and cleared the way for my son's house to be moved onto the property. Now, the end is in sight and before the heavy season of book events is upon me, I thought I'd do this getaway.

Already I've committed to three events in October, added to my goal of getting Living With a Depressed Spouse back in print because the publisher went bankrupt. Saturday, October 14th, I'll join other members of East Texas Authors-Connect at the Hawkins Oil Festival in the park/pavilion area. After the parade, come by and say hi.

On Thursday, October 19th, I'll be participating in the Longview Art Walk. Several of us will be set up in Citizens National Bank from five to eight. This will be my first time to take part in this happening.

Although I've been invited for the past seven years to join other authors at the Gathering of Authors that takes place in Texarkana, this is the first year I've been able to attend. I am so looking forward to what promises to be a grand weekend, visiting with lots of author friends and meeting, face-to-face, others whom I've known only through Facebook.

So look for an announcement sometime toward the end of October for the re-release of Living With a Depressed Spouse. It's a blend of memoir/self-help/informational book that offers much to anyone who finds themselves either coping with or living with someone suffering from depression.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Tale of Two Bookstores

Out and about yesterday and I stopped by two local bookstores as different as day and night. I'd driven past Gladewater Books many times and never took the time to check it out. Oh my...what I had been missing out on.

Located on Main Street in a long, narrow two-story brick building probably built around the turn of the century, Gladewater Books is chock-a-block packed with books. With its inventory of over 40,000 books, this store is also the home of Alibris.com, an online bookseller. Floor-to-nearly-ceiling shelves form a delightful maze but Pete Adams, the owner, eagerly takes you to whatever section you're seeking. All books are reasonably priced and I look forward to making this store a favorite place to browse.



A brand-new bookstore just opened up in Kilgore called The Bookstore. It also houses the Coffee Cherry that dispenses yummy drinks. Located in a historical home on Houston Street, Stephen (a lawyer & author) and Paige (occupational therapist) Woodfin have poured their hearts into this new venture. The stately former residence exudes charm and welcome with books galore both old and new. The fact that they encourage local authors to bring their books to sell just makes they special people to me.

So...if you're the kind of person who adores the smell of bound paper, here are two hangouts to discover. I know you won't be able to stay away.