Buffalo, Minnesota, and the rest of the state will be hot and steamy tomorrow, but I’ll be there for the 40th Arts and Crafts Festival. From 9-3:30.
One week later, you can find me at another of my favorite events. Downtown St. Joseph, MN, hosts a wonderful art event, Millstream https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=688520409985640&set=pb.100064830605047.-2207520000.&type=3
The weekend after Labor Day, Saturday AND Sunday, Sept 9 and 10, I’ll be sitting under my large umbrella at the Rice, MN, Arts and Crafts event,
I’m proud to be counted among this group in Mankato, as well. The Deep Valley Book Festival is an amazing event for published authors. This event is Oct. 7. https://fb.watch/mvf5M_Kvzv/
More events to come but keep November 11, 2023. I’m hoping to launch Where Two Rivers Meet, my prequel to the two other Main Street Women novels. Place, time, and new information coming soon.
The doctor put away his needles. I am on the mend. Join me next Wednesday, August 2nd, for a little presentation, a bit of conversation, a few tales, and a tidbit of gossip in my Minnesota Main Street novels and “Around Clearwater.”
I have to apologize for not writing sooner, but I have been writing like crazy, preparing Where Two Rivers Meet for publication. My deadline has changed, thank you, Lord, and I should be ready to launch in August now. I especially wanted to send regards to all women in March Women’s History Month, but as I said, I had to make some choices, and that was to keep writing.
Of course, in addition to my first two protagonists, Jennie Phillips (Scruples & Drams) and Maude Porter (Pins & Needles), I would have saluted my new protagonist, Abigail Robinson Camp Porter, who became the first woman in our little village. She had the spunk, the style, and the nerve to take on duties as the housekeeper for the village hotel in a wild-west burgeoning town of all men in 1855. She eventually married fur trader, farmer, and future Minnesota legislator–Thomas C. Porter, who also was an earlier settler.
I can relate though to Abigail’s aloneness and vulnerability. I began a new career at what was Northern States Power at the Monticello Nuclear Plant in Monticello, MN, while it was still under construction way back in November 1969. I felt a bit overwhelmed when I found out at the time, the plant had like 3,000 men from NSP and other construction and electrical companies working on site and I was the only unmarried woman. I met a few men and dated a few, but still went to Rapid t City to find the one.
So much news to tell you—I signed a contract with Heritage Books, Inc, out of Maryland, my current publisher of Pins & Needles, Postcards from the Old Man, and Steppes to Neu Odessa. They will now be carrying, publishing, and promoting my first novel Scruples & Drams as well. For those of you who did not realize it, North Star Press, my first novel publisher pretty much cut down on their business after the owner died. Now all of my books except for Around Clearwater, which is published by Arcadia, will be living at Heritage Book, my long-time associates. This will make my life so much easier. I will always have a number of books on hand for selling at various events.
What a surprise! Browsing through some of the books at Target, I found my book, Around Clearwater, along with others like it. I know Barnes and Nobel carry it as well. Don’t forget, I have copies of my books and charge less. It was a treat to see.
I have not signed up for spring events. But my summer/fall/winter are on the docket. I will be sending the information on to you soon with dates and times. But I am excited to add at least one new event in July at the St. Cloud’s Munsinger-Clements Botanical Gardens. I am so excited to be accepted.
If Jennie from Scruples & Drams were still alive, I know she’d have made the same decision to carry DOVE chocolates in her drugstore. Oh, she’d carry Cadbury, Fry’s, Nestle’s, and Hershey’s of course. There is nothing like good chocolate whether you love dark or milk, or with nuts or with caramel. Good chocolate should melt in your mouth. Last year, I made a life-changing that I hope I can continue on for the remainder of my baking life.
My husband and I had stopped at one of our neighborhood grocery stores so I could pick up a quick couple items to finish baking cookies. It was a crazy house with attitudes blaring. Customers caught me every other aisle to announce, “All out of flour, all out of sugar, or all out of salt.” In addition, wire bins stood empty, and shelves glared out of stock, shouting, “Bah Humbug!”
We were coming to the end of Covid, or so we had been promised, but it was the continuation of shortages everyone was facing. I had to think fast, my husband was waiting in the car. I had plenty of staples, but time had grown short, and I hadn’t bought little things like Hershey Kisses for my peanut blossoms, a recipe given by a dear friend, yes, you, Marian K. I don’t mind making changes but what else could possibly top a blossom???? The store had a couple of shelves of different types of sweet delicacies like Old Fashioned Christmas hard ribbons and crystally candy in yellows, reds, and greens, some with sweet fillings, but no Hershey Kisses. They had a scattering of chocolate stars, peanut butter cups, and many varieties of Dove. I grabbed two bags of the milk chocolate Dove and checked out, hoping I had no reason to return soon.
I mixed my peanut butter blossoms–double batch because I felt hopeful. After peeling each little squarish bundle of goodness, I topped each of the dozen freshly baked and still hot cookies with a promise. I finished the job of plopping and pushing down, just a bit, promises. After a cooler bite of the new concoction, still warm and melty-like but one that was kind of deformed and broken, I was sold. Jennie, Maude of Pins and Needles, and Maude’s mother Abigail in Where Two Rivers Meet, the girls of Main Street, would agree. They are the best cookies in the world. They wish you the Merriest of Merry Christmases and the happiest of happy New Years.
Take a few moments during this busy season to focus on Dove’s “promises”: 1. Compliment someone. You’ll feel better than they (he/she does) do. (Sorry, the English teacher in me can’t let it go. 2. Life happens between an inhale and an exhale! 3. When life isn’t going right, go left. And the girls’ favorite: 4. Dare to cross the line. If you remember the messages in the books, you’ll know the line they crossed to help someone or two.
And a word of wisdom from me. Put on a pot of tea, pot of coffee, or even make hot cocoa. Grab a whole cookie, one that isn’t broken or deformed, sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a few minutes of solitude and deliciousness. You deserve it.
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