Sunday, October 30, 2016

Grace Happens

Do you remember when there were bumper stickers and mugs and things that said:Grace Happens? Someone gave me one of those stickers when Grace was three or four and I used to have it propped up on my desk. After she died, like so many things, it was too painful to look at every day so I put it away. When I moved last summer I found it again, and now it makes me smile. It's back on my desk where I can see it every day.

I thought about that saying--Grace happens--a lot this week. I did one library talk, three Bookstore readings, and eight+ book club visits from NJ to Sarasota to St. Pete to Tallahassee to Brooklyn to Queens. Lots of miles. Lots of talking. Lots and lots of hugs. And bracketed by two experiences that reminded me that grace does indeed happen.

At the Bernardsville Library in NJ I met a woman who lost her daughter too. She found me here,  and we have been emailing each other for ten years,  finding and giving strength to each other on our daughters birthdays, anniversaries, and the dark hours when grief grabs you and won't let go. But over time we've shared joyful things too. Laughed about our insomnia. Smiled about our other kids as they grow up. To hug her, finally, was grace happening.

Then Friday, exhausted, I made my way to a house in Flushing Queens to visit a book club. I have visited over 60 since August, and met so many lovely people (more grace happening). This book club touched me so deeply that I have to tell you all about it. They were a family--sisters and sister in laws and a wonderful matriarch (85 years young). The warmth and love in that house felt like a giant hug. A hug I still feel. This big happy family had suffered two big losses. A husband/brother  dead too fast and too young; a beloved son lost suddenly. How do we do it? How do we manage to sit together and smile and love even as our hearts are broken? When that mother whose son died four years ago told me that my book COMFORT mattered most to her after losing her son, my heart grew and yes, I felt grace happen.

I've been reminded anew this week that writing and reading and loving hard and big matter most. That grace happens, every day. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Book That Matters Most goes to Florida part 2

If you read my last post you are perhaps wondering: what about Florida? Yes, I am headed there on Sunday after my event at the Bernardsville Library in NJ at 2. Then on to Sarasota and Bookstore One on Tuesday at 10 and the Hermitage at 6:30 that evening on the beach. Finishing up in Tallahassee the next evening at 6:30. Then on to NYC. All details are on my website under EVENTS. 

The Book That Matters Most heads to Florida

It has been pretty divine staying (mostly) in one place these past couple of weeks. Though I had a great time at The Boston Book Festival and the Detroit Book and Author's Luncheon, where I got to share the stage with Richard Russo (BBF), Marisa Silver, Stacey Schiff, and more fabulous writers. And I had a great return visit to a book club (#57!) in Birmingham Michigan after my visit with them almost ten years ago for The Knitting Circle!

But my biggest news is that Annabelle and I brought home two kittens a couple of weeks ago! I always had cats, until my beloved Lewis died in 1994 and his mom Daphne a couple of years later. Living in a household with cat allergies, I happily got our beloved (non allergenic) Bichon Zuzu in 2002, just a couple months before Gracie died. She was so happy to get a dog and ZuZu' was the perfect one for her and Sam--small and fluffy.

Welcome Hermia and Gertrude to the new loft! They are the most lovable kittens I've had the pleasure to know. I will post pictures separately!

Second biggest news: all of my boxes are unpacked! My desk is set up and waiting for me to sit at it and write my new novel, The Museum of Tears. More on that as time goes by. And my dining room table, being built even as I write this, by my pal Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture in Woodstock NY.   Almost all of my art is hung. And my tunnel (yes, I now own a tunnel) has been painted and leveled.

My first party, with cats and a dining room table and a renovated tunnel, is November 6. With a pre party November 5. When you cook for people, you know you have a home. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I have four exciting events coming up in the next 48 hours: October 12 at noon at Hickory Stick Books in Washington CT; the Little Compton Library at 6 on October 12; BUTTONWOOD Books at 10am on October 13; and the Melrose MA Library at 7:30 on October 13. Hope to see you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Buffalo Readers and Knitters!

I can't begin to tell you how much I love the great city of Buffalo and its readers and knitters! To that end, I'm coming to celebrate both. First, I'll be at Larkin Square tomorrow October 5 at 5:30, thanks to Talking Leaves Bookstore. 

On Thursday October 7 I'm visiting the Buffalo Knitting Guild at 7pm with doors opening at 6:15 at the Hyatt Place in Amherst NY. The ever fabulous Jenna Meyer of Knit Buffalo will have her knitting truck there! Yay!