Thursday, September 22, 2016

And The Winner is....



Congratulations on winning Love to Win - I know you will love it!  I'll be getting it in the mail soon!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Love To Win

Hey all you book lovers... your chance to win Love to Win!  I have to extend this a few days before I draw a winner.  Pass the word around and tell your friends. Just leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing!  See previous post about Love to Win!  Check back in a few days for the winner!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Garage Sale in St. Louis, MO

I know not everyone who reads different blogs are in the same area, so this is for the folks in and around St. Louis.

There's a "Ten Family Plus Garage Sale" this Saturday... the 17th from 8AM-2PM.

Here is the link for full details and what items will be there!

I had put the wrong date in on the site GSALR.COM, so when it is up again, I will post a new link. Sorry.

Here's in the new link for GSALR. where the post is for the sale.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mary Karr - The Art of Memoir

I received the email from the library—Mary Karr is coming to St. Louis—debuting her new book The Art of Memoir. I thought that she’d be someone I’d like to see. I love memoir. Next I get an email from my friend Sioux forwarding the library notice, stating she was going. I waffled. And Linda was going too. As an introvert, if I do too many things, my brain can’t take in any more. I knew I’d be busy that week, then life added something else—my brother fell 12 feet from a ladder and was helicoptered to Columbia. My two sisters and I traveled there and back… all is well, considering. He has two fractures in his pelvic bone, but if he got up and could walk, no surgery. He was determined, walked, and miraculously went home the next evening. Not to say he isn’t suffering…

It’s yesterday—the Mary Karr event. Should I stay or should I go? (Ever see that commercial? Once that song is in my brain, it doesn’t let up and I just discovered from my youngest daughter that song is a real song by a band called The Clash. Had no idea.)

I quieted myself and decided to let Spirit decide for me whether to go see Mary Karr as I was too wishy-washy. The answer struck me late afternoon, from out of nowhere—Go! And so I showered, texted my friends that I would be there.

And it just goes to show when we listen and act upon the message given, how valuable it is.

Mary Karr was a delight. I discovered through her talk that I am NOT a fiction writer. I am a memoir writer. If you get right down to it, I am a letter writer. And that’s OK. I have three NaNoWriMo fiction drafts that have weighed me down like a library full of books. I felt like a failure as a writer. I somehow had it in my head that I had to write non-fiction and fiction in order to qualify as a writer. I could at least choose what genre in fiction because I know I can’t write Sci-Fi or Fantasy or a number of other genres. I vividly recall when my critique group encouraged one another to write for fictional romance. I rolled my eyes and thought, good grief, this will be a complete waste of my time. But I decided, oh, have fun with it. Who cares? And I didn’t care. I did work hard on it, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t care at all whether or not it got accepted. I knew my chances were zip. Imagine my shock when it ended up published in Fifty Shades of Santa…Oh my. You would think that would have raised my confidence level. Um, no. But that was another thing that Ms. Karr stated – my own interpretation – that after each book she wrote, it didn’t make writing the next one any easier. Whew, what a relief.

And another thing she said was her drafts are really bad. Really. She told a story about it and I believed her—that her drafts were bad. I heard this from other well-known writers who claimed their drafts were bad, but never quite believed it. It was the story she told that confirmed it for me. What HOPE I then had.

She also mentioned that memoirs are what gave her HOPE. She’s right. We do feel hope after learning of someone’s experience and how they survived (in some cases, not only just surviving, but becoming completely transformed in a positive way). Or what magical thing they encountered from the lesson of life.

Now my youngest daughter, Rita said to me about five years ago after asking her to give me some feedback on a fictional piece… she handed me the paper, “Mom, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re a much better non-fiction writer.” Naturally, then I was a little disappointed as I wanted to hear, “Wow, I didn’t know you could write such good fiction.” In my heart, I knew she spoke the truth, but wasn’t ready to hear that. Didn’t want to accept that because it meant, for me, then, that I wasn’t a real writer.

I’m here to tell you… I am a writer. The Queen of Letter Writing, for sure. Not that it’s great writing—it’s a lot of babbling, but it’s honest, it’s from my heart and mostly, I absolutely love to write letters. Perhaps love is the key, too. I didn’t love to write fiction. It gave me a headache.

Oh yeah, and another revelation from Mary Karr. She doesn’t like to disclose the next project she’s working on as it diminishes it in some way, and I know exactly what she’s saying. I loved her answer when someone in the audience asked her what she was working on. Couldn’t tell you what it is at the moment. When people ask me, it feels so awkward to say, ‘oh, I don’t really want to talk about it’ because then I think they think I’m not really working on anything. How do I know what people think anyway? I think I think too much. But now I’ll just say, ‘my creative process works better if I don’t talk about it until I’m finished.’

Thanks Mary for all the hope.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a copy of Love to Win (see above post). You have until September 17th!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Love To Win

First on the list – Lisa Ricard Claro’s third book – Love to Win – is out… ha, well, it’s been out. I’m just behind in posting. I read the book immediately. I loved, loved every page. Usually in a series, the last book falls a bit flat and I’m a tad disappointed, but no sirree, not this series. You’ll love all three! Love Built to Last, Love to Believe and Love to Win. Get a glimpse of Love to Win here.

Haven’t read it? Well, now is your chance as I’m going to be giving away a free copy of Love to Win to anyone who comments. Since I’m slow these days, I’ll give y’all three weeks and announce the winner on September 17.  Bravo, Lisa!

Here are some other highlights I’ve wanted to share.
  •  My son Casey was in town for two months from the Netherlands. Not sure if I ever shared the road trip that my daughter, Rita and her two dogs and I took to pick up Casey from Los Angeles, California, where he resided for the past 11 years. He was home briefly before heading to the Netherlands. Was there for about seven months, then came home for a few months… until he left for Iceland for a week, where he met with other artists. You can see more about Light Grey Art Lab that held the event. One thing all the artists did was give a workshop—Casey did his workshop on dreams. He practiced on me and all I can say is Bravo, Casey! When he comes back in town, I’d like him to do this workshop for anyone interested. Let me know if you are. From Iceland, he went back to the Netherlands and he’s now in Spain. (It's hard getting a good picture of my son who doesn't like his photo taken - what can a mother do?)

  • Sometimes you just need an extra pair of hands and I loaned mine to my daughter, Jessica as she worked on her full size woman sculpture—which is going to be a part of “Sculpture on Campus” at SIUE on Friday, October 7, at 4:00 PM. The sculpture will be up for a year, so if you can’t make the opening day, you can always visit another time. But this event allows you to meet and hear what the sculpture artist has to say about their piece. I have a new respect for welders and for sculpture artists as well. Bravo, Jessica!

  •  And I can’t talk about two of my children without mentioning the third, the baby—the baby who just turned 29. I wonder if that means I’m getting older? This one transformed her front yard into a vegetable and dye garden. And oh, those veggies! What’s a dye garden? Plants you grow and use for dyeing materials… like fiber. Rita is a Fiber Freak, along with my sister Ruth. They sometimes sheer their own fiber (off sheep). But they dye it, spin it, make their own yarn and knit it, too! Bravo, Rita!

  •  The three kids and I spent the day/night together at a Treehouse in Grubville. What a treat. It was a great way to relax and spend time with loved ones. Bravo, Laura Lynne!

  •  I got to hang out with this cutie one day – my granddaughter. She’s a rock climber superstar. In the photo, she is hanging just the way you see it. She has as much strength as anyone else who was there. Bravo, Logan!

  • Friends invited us to AZoo-Ado - a fundraiser for the polar bears! Thank you Jim and Alice!

  •  A friend invited me to a Chicago concert. Something I hadn’t done in a LONG time. It was such fun. Thank you, Alice!

  •  Speaking of concerts—two in one year is a record for me. I think I can count on two hands the number of concerts I’ve been to in my lifetime. And this last one was the concert of all concerts. Paul McCartney. I’ve never seen so many people in one place before. My husband took me and his two kids, Todd and Robyn. We had a lot of fun. We’re all Beatle fans. It was quite the experience especially being in the 8th row! Thank you, Norm!


  •  Some time back, Robyn and Logan stayed with us for a week or so in between a move and we watched this little stinker…

  •           We – my three siblings and I had Sibling Day. We picked the town of Fulton to visit. There’s a piece of the Berlin Wall on the grounds of the Winston Churchill Museum. Fascinating place.

  •  In a few weeks, it’ll be one year since I gave up refined sugar and flour, thanks to Dr. Susan Peirce Thomson. A writing blog friend Robin Brande had a post about it and all I can say is, it changed my life. Thank you, Robin! Thank you, Susan!
  •  In October, I will be facilitating the Community HU at the Eckankar Center (14538 Manchester Rd.). If you haven’t experienced the HU, and are looking for something to help you open your heart, find peace, or a new way to connect with God, well… join me on Sunday, October 16 at 11:00 AM. The HU is my life line. Thank HU!
  •   Even though I’m a bit out of touch with social media of all sorts (except Snap Chat – to my family—I utterly annoy them),  I still hand-write letters. That’s the way I love to stay connected. I know I don’t write all of you, but if you want me to, just send me your address.
  •  I do enjoy the wildlife in our yard... that's my kind of social media.

 See the deer sitting in our woods?

  • And this right now is about the prettiest thing in our yard… errr, jungle. The weeds have taken over. Actually this blooming vine, once upon a time I thought was a weed. I don’t pull it anymore and it’s in many places in the yard and I love it.

  • Do you love garage sales? I know of one coming up and if you’re interested, send me a note.
  • There have been a lot of loved ones in my life who have been experiencing or have experienced some major issues in their life. Bravo to All of You! You know who you are. Send them love, won’t you?

 ·         Speaking of love, don’t forget if you LOVE TO WIN, leave a comment, even if it’s just a Hi, and your name will go into the drawing.

Contact me at lober13(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to send me your address or need some info from the above.