Please bear with me as I post multiple blogs, flooding your boxes and facebook pages with Pulpwood Queen updates. These are my people. These are your people. I've made it to Texas after an eleven hour drive in the storm, the dark, the semi's, the maps, the dead phone, the blown fuse the no gps to Nacogdoches, Texas. All because there were a bunch of women (and a few men) who were converging on the town because they are part of a tribe known as The Pulpwood Queens, an international meet and greet and talk in person book club. I've been posting a few old pictures from the past events that I have had the pleasure of participating in I think since way back in 2006. Perhaps I've made it about six years since then counting this one. The friendships! The Fun! The Dancing. And the books.
Kathy Murphy, the creator of Pulpwood Queens has gotten me to do the silliest things over the years. I've worn tiarias and pink feathers, been pinned into evening dresses that would not zip up the back because of too much fatback. I've developed more new stories than I've written. And every year said it is too hard to get down there to Texas and I'm not doing this again and at the end of every event - started planning how I would get back the next year.
I cooked collards and black eyed peas in the INSTANT Pot and ya'll - Mama reports they are good!. I made a red velvet cake, got firewood, fire-starters, dog food and then threw my stuff in the back seat of the car because my luggage I bought on group-on black Friday was stuck behind a piece of furniture. Really. My stuff. in the back seat. (Stay tuned on the unloading process)
The fact is! I made it. I'll try to post a few pics from days gone by so you get a little flavor of the sign of the times. But things change. I've been through a lot since my first trip. Haven't we all? I decided - oh, wait I've gained too much cooking and eating with Mom to go to Pulpwood Queens. Then I realized - that was Satan.
Because 1) Through thickness and thin, better for worse, richer or poorer PWQ's are with you.
AND 2) nextish blog about bucket lists
I walked in last night finally parking in Handicap rushing through the door not having stopped for lunch or air - as Kathy Murphy was announcing well, we were supposed to have one more author on the Panel for this anthology but I guess she couldn't make it. Exactly. Like. That.
Then I had the pleasure of joining my panel with NancyKay Sullivan Wessman, Julie Perkins Cantrell, Susan Marquez and editor Susan Cushman then signing books for readers, sharing a bottle of wine titled TRUE GRIT bought for the occasion since it takes a whole lot of grit to survive and continue what these women and most people have endured in life. And still found a way to rise like Spring and embrace a new life.
THEN OFF TO MY room. A beautiful spot in a bed and breakfast across the street from the hotel that was booked solid, overbooked, and filled to the rafters with happy book readers and writers. The lovely owner of the house showed me in with a wind chill of 20 degrees. For a Florida girl this is north pole temps. Then she showed me where my room was. Up the stairs. More stairs. Yet, more stairs. Up, up and up we go. Beautiful carpeted old big stairs. Many beautiful stairs. Thank you I tell her and now I will go get my 'things' out of the car.
I grab a purse, a backpack, a computer bag, some sound and recording equipment because - you never know- and a coat, a sweater, a pair of shoes, a coat, a scarf, a little miss kittie toothbrush I bought on the road and so it goes. Up, up and up the stairs. Up, up, and up some more.
The wind is blowing, the owner tells me. It will roar down the big fireplaces and sound like a construction crew is hammering on the inside of the walls but don't worry. Nothing is going to hurt you.
Of course not, I tell her. Thinking a little wind. A little hammering. And I climb into the bed so high up off the floor I must use a stool, settle down in the covers and close my eyes. I may have gotten on my knees first to say thanks for making a safe journey. If not I did so in my heart.
And when the wind rattled down the big chimney, roared and banged away I woke gently, not afraid and thought of the sound of the trains that roared through my Aunt Kate's backyard like a lullybye. Just the same, I thought. And, all night as the wind whirled and danced through the house, up the rafters, through the big, dark, chimneys, I slept like a child.
Posts from Texas to be continued.