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Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's My Line?

Today is my book signing at Borders. After much kerfuffle! However, all this book promotion has provided for my education in some things I'd never imagined I'd need to know. Things like business licenses, tax certificates, self-employment taxes (oh, my! 15 3/10 % of the NET!) and the invaluable advise of a tax preparer. Thank you, Jean! This is not the fun part of having a book published. I think what I'm worried about most is what to write in the books I sign. If it's someone I have a relationship with, then that's fine - it's personal. But, I need a signature line of my own for people I don't know or don't know well and I'm drawing a blank. I guess there's the ever-popular Red Green sign-off: "Keep your stick on the ice." I am looking forward to this afternoon, though - 1:00-3:00. And then tonight . . . more hockey!

Last night's game against Lindenwood U was intense. The Ice Bears prevailed in overtime, though, and it was pretty! Tonight's game is the last home game until mid-December. Bummer! When they're back on home ice, though, I've been honored with an invitation to do a book signing at the December 12th game against KU. The people involved with the games and the team there at the Ice Park have been so terrific to promote No Penalty for Love during the games these two weekends. I nearly laugh every time they announce it. I'm really a shy person, so this kind of thing, while very welcome - and I am so grateful for their interest and kind attention - is hard for me. I'm just a fan cheering the home team. Go Bears!

Perhaps the upcoming holidays will spark some inspiration for writing. I've been suffering through too many false starts ever since I submitted my last manuscript. I need a new interest. It seems all of my manuscripts, novel and play, grow out of a passion for something. Usually it's something new I've become intersted in. Welcome to Joe's came out of spending so much time at Mudhouse (it's one of my favorite places to be). Related Spaces from a fascination with historic architecture. No Penalty for Love, obviously, hockey. My newest out of my infatuation with Dr. Who and branching off into reading sci-fi (although it is NOT a sci-fi book). I think I need a new fad.

If you're in the Springfield area, be sure to swing by Borders this afternoon and pay me a visit. I promise by then I'll have something pithy to write in your book! In the meantime, keep your stick on the ice!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a Launch!

Last night's launch party was perfect. It was everything I'd planned and more. Of course, when you start planning an event a year in advance, you have a better chance of it working out nicely.

We had the Club Room at Mediacom Ice Park. A gorgeous (and very delicious) cake that looked just like the cover of No Penalty for Love baked and decorated by Julie's Chewies. Flower arrangements to match the colors from the cover including a hockey stick decorated with flowers for the head table (thank you, Mom!). Most importantly, though, we had around 80 guests - friends from church, work, old friends, new friends, and lots of family.

The Missouri State Ice Bears won their game against Northern Illinois and about 50 of the 59 people who requested tickets for our event got to see their very first ice hockey game. I think we made a few new fans! The front row, mainly people from our church, began pounding on the glass by the second period! Others took ice skating vouchers and spent some time in the west rink under the disco ball.

There was only one surprise for me the whole evening and, though I'm a shy person and normally would have hated something like this, it turned out very well. The General Manager of the Ice Bears is Stan Melton. His wife, Cindy, was a substitute teacher in my high school classroom a few years ago and she noticed my Ice Bears memorabilia on the wall. She also did some long-term subbing across the hall from me, so we had lots of opportunities to talk hockey. Since then we've spoken at games. Last night she had me paged during the second period to come to the tunnel at center ice. I watched the second period from next to the penalty box and between the second and third periods went out to center ice (in slick shoes and praying not to fall) and was interviewed about No Penalty for Love. The announcer also mentioned my book and where it can be purchased three or four different times throughout the game. So, unexpected publicity!

At any rate, when you write your book I highly recommend doing a thematic launch party if you can. It was an experience I will always treasure. Thanks to Kelly for grabbing up my camera and taking so many great pictures for me (pictures to come soon); to my mother for the decorations; to Bruce for keeping me grounded and for being so protective of me so that there was nothing put a damper on the excitement; to Shawn for sneaking off to give them the initial announcement about my book and to Cindy for making me go out on the ice; to the Ice Bears for a well-played game and showing our guests how fun hockey is; to Trey and Megan and the others on staff at Mediacom Ice Park for the accommodations and all the attention; to the ladies at Julie's Chewies for working so hard to get the colors just right and for baking such a sinfully good cake, and to each of my guests for helping me celebrate!

Go Bears!


Saturday, November 7, 2009


Tonight is my launch party. I'm excited and, truth be told, a bit nervous. Almost everyone we invited is coming. Because No Penalty for Love is a hockey-themed romance, the party is at the local ice park during a college hockey game. I believe for most of my guests it will be their first game.

What fun it has been planning all this! I think I started brainstorming ideas for the party the same week I heard from Chelsea that Avalon wanted my book. It's been just over a year in the making, so it ought to be good.

My book signing at Borders is still on for next weekend, though there were some snags in getting copies of the book. Snags I do not understand at all. But, I guess things are bound to happen that way sometimes. I'm thinking of asking Victoria's Secret let me do a signing there near Valentine's Day. (For those of you who've read the book, that will probably make sense to you.)

It's November now which is my second-favorite month. It always puts me in mind of Robert Frost's poem, My November Guest - My sorrow, when she's here with me thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be. . . However, I think it's supposed to be 72° today and I'm going shopping for a new outfit for upcoming Christmas parties. Funny to think about Christmas on a 72° day.

This past year has been really a great one for me. I didn't know how different life would be when I turned 40 and if I had guessed it I wouldn't have dreamed of all that has happened. Besides the book, I lost 38 pounds. Since turning 41 I've lost 14 more for a grand total of 52 and am at a normal weight and BMI for my height for probably the first time in my entire life - seriously. I wonder what new and wonderful things the next year will bring? I should write a memoir.

I keep hoping to hear soon about my second submission to Avalon. I've got another started, but keep stalling out. This was parent-teacher conference week which required late nights at school. With the holidays coming it gets more and more difficult. But, I'm determined.

Meanwhile, since it's still early November, I have the opportunity to relish the season. Romance is all around this time of year!

How about:
1. Pumpkin Butter on toast for breakfast
2. Watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles
3. Don't forget A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
4. Light your pumpkin spice scented candle every evening once you're home to stay
5. Crunch through the leaves before you mulch them
6. Read Robert Frost (how often has he shown up on my Romantic Things To Do lists so far?)
7. Buy a new pair of soft gloves (no leather, suede or fur, please!)
8. Go to an art gallery or, if your town has one, attend a Friday night art walk
9. Try dinner at a quiet restaurant if you can find one
10. Go see something live on stage - The Importance of Being Earnest is my favorite one to watch for. If you live in a college town someone's bound to be doing it.

And, because November and December bleed together as far as holidays go - grab your tickets now to some wonderful, not-to-be-missed Christmas event. Around here that would be the Missouri State University Elizabethan Dinners!