Bucket List Book Tour

By Anita Garner

I’m in the book tour thinking stage, which happens before book tour planning, which happens before publication, which happens next year.  Of course I’ll go to the Deep South first – my stories move from the South to Southern California. Then an East Coast swing and other places to combine book talks with friend and family visits.

Then I must take The Glory Road to England.  I’ve never been.  I try not to be jealous of colleagues who work there, with their Abbey Road recording sessions, but I am.

What if there’s a combination bucket list trip/book tour? If that could happen, I’d stay a few weeks, rent a place near London transportation. Something cozy. A comfy bed and a small kitchen, a coffee maker for me and a window to watch tea drinkers go by.

One really should share high tea at Claridges or the Dorchester, business-related, of course, with much talk of books and such.  Then on to seek inspiration at places I’ve had crushes on for ages, places that have more to do with shows I watch and books I read.

Notting Hill, because it’s  photogenic and of course Hugh Grant’s in the movie. If I go into that famous bookstore of his I’ll say it’s work-related.

Holland Park, Jean Hardcastle’s home from As Time Goes By

Cornwall. Port Isaac.  Doc Martin would never forgive me if I didn’t stop in the village.

Lake District.  The scenery.

Then there’s Highclere castle.  Downton and all.

And two very Austen-centric stops, Chawton House, the manor where Jane’s brother, Edward, lived, and Jane Austen House, where she sat by her own  window to write.

 

 

Friends have moved to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and surely I should stop and say hello. Back in London, I’ll need to check on performing friends In the theatre district.

If time permits, perhaps watch Nigella Lawson tape one of her cooking shows or maybe Mary Berry will show me how to make a proper trifle.

My Mother’s people, the  Salisburys, were from England.  Daddy’s people were from Wales.  And getting back to book business, I’m in touch with UK fans of the music my parents recorded, rockabilly mixed with gospel mixed with country and blues and I hope to meet some of those fans.

Everyone says of course you must scoot over to Paris because it’s so close.  Work, work, work.

****** 

 

Autocorrect doesn’t like the way Southern people talk.

By Anita Garner


Reverend Raymond Jones, pastoring.
New church going up – Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1955

I just pushed send on my final manuscript edits to the publisher. This is the exciting part where I get to see the other pages, Dedication, Contents, Acknowledgements and such take their place next to the story in The Glory Road: A Memoir. 

Now it becomes the work of designers, copy editors, proofreaders and a whole publishing team. During every stage I argue with my Word program, which doesn’t accept the way my people talk.  Every time I type “pastoring” I get the squiggly red lines under it, or the highlight over the word insisting I correct it.  But pastoring is an accurate verb in my life. Pastoring is what our family often did for a living.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I dictate to “Hey Siri” when I’m out and send emails to myself, but when I get to my computer and receive them, Mister British Siri (my favorite) has decided what my family says in a Southern accent is wrong.  I would think he’d recognize we don’t all talk alike.

It’s not just the one word, it’s phrases, sentences, paragraphs.  I expressed concern to my editor, wondering whether copy editors and proofreaders will understand. I got this back from him.

… I also want to be sure we don’t institute any sweeping edits that undo your preferences. If there are any particular usages, or passages with a lot of dialect that you are concerned about, I can discuss them in advance with our production editor (a native Southerner), to rough out a plan for how to treat important “isms.”

Bless his heart.  They’re protecting the isms. Now I have to make final photo choices, write the captions that marry them to the story and send them off.  Stuff’s getting serious out there on the dining table.

******

   

 

When your song comes on…

By Anita Garner

This is the view of The Grand when the Peep TV theme song came on.  This would be about 2006.  I wish I’d had a phone with video back then because toddler hip action is sort of tiny J Lo and Shakira.  No holding back.

As soon as the music started, she jumped up to dance.  Anyone in the room was welcome to dance too – either join in or get out of the way.

She’s waving around a blue plastic bowling pin.  As we’ve learned recently from watching movers and shakers at the Super Bowl, props are also important.

I see this picture and am reminded how joyful the combination of toddler and music can be.  And how much fun it is  to just get up and dance because your song is on.

Click the picture to hear the Peep song.

******

 

Hydrangeas Again

By Anita Garner

Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers but I’m not sure the feeling is mutual. It’s a mystery, when I drive past a falling-down building in the wine country with giant old hydrangeas still marching up to the roof line, while I’m lucky if mine grow to be knee-high. I’ve planted every color and every variety and tried suggestions I find online.  Still, they don’t really flourish for me.

I’m indulging in a few hydrangea fantasies today. These for instance are not my flowers, not my picket fence. A girl can dream.

These are from The Greenery Nursery and garden shop in Turlock, a bit south of me,  in the center of California.

These are from  High Hand Nursery & Cafe, Loomis, California.

I’ve never been able to grow the white ones. These are showing off at a Colin Cowie-designed wedding. Ta da!  These are mine. From a pocket-sized Mill Valley back yard. It’s a sweet little bouquet for the kitchen table, but this is almost the total  crop from one plant.  Only a few more blossoms appeared later. Sigh.

I have high hopes for this year.  I’m off in search of new planters and new baby hydrangeas.