Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

John Grisham on Writing

I downloaded these podcasts of John Grisham's book tour a while back.
To be honest, I listened to the first one and was underwhelmed.

But today is a beautiful day here in sunny Florida and I needed something to listen to on my walk. 
So I tried another one. 
And I LOVED it. A must-listen, for writers and readers and walkers and runners.

The podcast took place at Lemuria Books with Greg Iles and Matthew Guinn.
What all three have to say about the way they write, how they get their ideas, longhand v. computers, editors, first readers-- So Interesting!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Writer friends, pass it on.

Today Facebook's memory was a good one.
It was a link to a post I'd written WAY back, on a group blog of southern writers.

But the message is still true. 
I couldn't have published a single book, possibly not a single essay, or book review, or even those little poems when I was nine years old -without the help of friends.

HERE'S THE LINK to the essay. 

(And here's the photo accompanying it. My friend Leslie's porch, where our writing group enjoyed a day in the "mountains" and lunch on the porch.)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Home Going

Is there anything better than going home?

Last week I got to visit my hometown, see old friends, make new ones, celebrate family, and talk to an awesome group of kids about books and writing.

My visit started at St. George's Episcopal School in Memphis. (Thank you to the lovely folks at NOVEL bookstore for the introduction.)
Absolutely fabulous teachers and a librarian I could have sat and talked to all day long. 

I spoke to a large group first. Their questions were so thoughtful.  One asked if I had any "author friends" and if I did, what did we do. This question always cracks me up. 
I mentioned a few, recommended some excellent books. When I said, Barbara O'Connor, there was an audible gasp.  

Check out the library display. Their class was in the middle of reading THE SMALL ADVENTURE OF POPEYE AND ELVIS.  

Those are rambler models on the library shelves!

Of course, I just HAD to go upstairs to see that the entire hall in front of their classroom was a Coon Dog Cemetery. Straight from the book! 
I believe their teacher even told me she'd visited it, in person, over the summer. 
Did I say these are dedicated teachers?

Such fun kids!

The Group!
Talking about writing THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY, 

After a drive through the Delta and a quick stop to hang out with my sister and her family, it was off to Delta State University, Cleveland MS, for the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum's HOME-GOING weekend.

 (Cotton waiting to be picked. Most of it was gone though.)

(Books waiting to be bought. Most of them were gone, too!)

I finally met my Facebook friend Jeu Foon, originally from Forrest City AR, now a California boy, a great writer himself, with such interesting childhood memories.

And Holly Yu, a writer from Rhodes College, Memphis. I met them at the Home Going.  
There were 350 people there to celebrate their heritage and their southern connections.

Here's Jeu, inside the museum, highlighting my book. 
(Thanks, friend!)
 I used the oral histories there to research MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG.

I ate well, talked a lot, made a road trip to Dockery Farms on a blue-sky Delta day.
What a great trip!

And I'll not even complain too much about having to de-ice my car! 
Though I am happy to be home.