Here’s part of the beautiful staircase at the Shaker village near me. The double staircases have a big part in my next Shaker book, The Seeker.
~~But first I got some good news about my last book, The Believer, this week. Actually it was old news, but I didn’t know about it until now, so it was new news to me. The Believer was on the Library Journal Christian Fiction Bestseller list in February. The list I received included titles most in demand by libraries and bookstores nationwide from Baker & Taylor six months prior to the week ending February 13, 2010. I love libraries and I love people who love books. So whether it was old news or new news, it was definitely welcome news.
~~I do that Google Alert stuff, but all I mostly get are notices that I’ve put up a new post out here on this blog. Not exactly what I had in mind when I signed up for the alerts. Sometimes I get an alert about something that’s been out there on the internet for weeks. Not the kind of alert you want to depend on to keep you off the train tracks when a train’s coming. Alert! I used to go to a dentist who liked to tack things up to the ceiling so that when he lowered the chair until the only view you had was up, you could read whatever witty saying was up there while he worked on your teeth. One of the sayings was “Be alert. The world needs more lerts.” So what do you think a lert is? That person who is first in line when they’re handing our free ice cream cones? The dog who lets you know the UPS guy is bringing you a box of books? The cat who hears you get the can opener out of the drawer? The mom who knows when it gets too quiet she’d better be a lert? Or maybe a lert is a cute little furry creature with sticky feet who runs around on a dentist’s ceiling when the patient has too much happy gas.
~~Oh, I know what that lert is – she’s the writer who figures out what readers are going to be reading two years from now. That’s about how long ahead I’d have to guess at the market. From the time I type Chapter 1 until The End and then the publisher takes those words and makes them into a book takes about two years. But I gave up trying to guess the market years ago. I’m about as good at that as I am at picking Derby winners.
~~The Derby is a big event in this area. A lot of Derby parties and fancy hats and celebrity watching. Not by me. No party, no hat, no celebrity watching. I do like to watch the race. The actual race takes about five minutes with the replay. On television. They say every Kentuckian should attend the Derby at least once in their liefetime, but that’s not something I care about doing. Oh, if you were up there on Millionaires’ Row and you didn’t have to wear a hat, it might be okay. But I think I’d rather see the balloon race in the pre-Derby festivities. Or it might be fun to be on the Belle of Louisville when they do their Derby week competition. They used to race with the Cincinnati Delta Queen, but then the Queen got retro-fitted or something and the Belle didn’t. So now the crews have tug of wars and other like contest before they steam off to pick up some special cargo. The Queen has a handicap and has to go a little farther to get her assigned cargo. I researched steamboats for a book I wrote about Louisville set during the 1850’s, and now it looks as if that story is going to make it into print in the next few years. More good news for me!! I hope you’ll think so too.
~~And I hope you have a great weekend. But if you’re planning to be at the Derby, you’d better make that hat a rain hat and bring an umbrella. The weather forecast isn’t favorable to the horses who don’t like a sloppy track.