Like the butterfly I am watching….


A butterfly poised on a branch crowded with Orange Jubilee blossoms (Tacoma stans) is moving his wings so fast it brings to mind the expression, “butterflies in my stomach.” That’s what I have.

On Saturday my first mystery book was “launched” at Clues Unlimited, the only specialized mystery bookstore in Tucson. The event was scheduled for 5-7 pm. At 3:30 I was at home assembling the refreshments to be loaded into the car. Clouds were gathering above us, a cause for celebration in Tucson, and my daughter sent a text message: “The thunderstorm is a good backdrop for this event.”

My husband came into the kitchen and started to carry out the things we needed to feed the readers who would be kind enough to attend. I expected maybe 20, but prepared for 60. It had to include wine, Christine Burke, the store owner said. And water, of course. I had purchased black and white plates and napkins with a design in the corner like cut-out paper flowers, or maybe Spanish Moss.

As Roger picked up a six-pack of wine bottles that had been on the countertop between the refrigerator and stove, the bottom fell out, and the bottles crashed into the front of the oven, breaking the tinted glass. I’m dealing with that today, but I am happy.

We had 44 people at the signing, and many more called or wrote me to explain they would like to be there, but….

This morning, Christine handed me a check for $296.01, my portion of proceeds from the sale of 33 books. Yesterday I received my first royalty check from the publisher. I think for March 10-31. It was $28.28. (I get $1.09 per book.) In December I’ll find out if sales picked up in the second quarter. But never mind…

I am preparing for my home town book store signing and discussion. Jane Johnson has been a tremendously helpful partner in planning the September 11th event at her 153-year-old family business. Janke Book Store on the main street of Wausau, Wisconsin, was a frequent stop when I was very young. Jane gave me press names. I will be on “Feedback” on WSAU Radio, interviewed by Pat Snyder at 8:45 a.m. (CST) Friday, September 10th. I’ve been listening to his podcasts. I might be the first Democrat he’s had. (But my parents were Republicans.)

I will be featured in City Week. Rick LaFrombois asked me to send my cover photo in “high res.” Eeeek!

I am so not-a-celebrity. Over the past 40 years I have written about other people or for other people. I am comfortable backstage. It’s true that I was a student speaker at our high school graduation, but I can’t remember now a thing I said, other than parts of Corinthians I 13., especially : “…our knowledge is imperfect…” and  “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.”

My 55th class reunion will be held September 10 and 11.  Is this the face to face?

I do look forward to the Janke book signing and discussion. I’ve begged some key people in the health care community to

Five Friends Reunite Again

come and prop me up with their expertise when I talk about my mystery series and the underlying themes of bad things that happen to older people because we are not ready for what today NPR called “the tsunami of Boomers” that will begin hitting shore next year.

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