This past Saturday, the town of Blue Springs, Missouri, hosted the annual event known as “Corks & Canvas.” Artists, musicians and wine vendors set up their tents up and down the street and hawk their wares.
After a month of August weather in May and June, the heatwave broke and we were grateful for cool morning breezes and clouds. Although sunshine prevailed as the day progressed, it was still cooler than the past few weeks have been.
This is our second year to participate. When I say “our” I include my husband Jan who takes charge of the heavy lifting and set up. I don’t know what I’d do without my Chief. 😉 (You should hear his sales pitches for my art and books. Makes me want to buy them.) Things went smoother with set up this year since it was no longer our first rodeo. Last year we spent months shopping for display supplies such as tent, tables and walls. This year the only thing I needed to do ahead of time was paint, frame and have a few more prints made.
Although it seems that fewer people showed up this year, it was an enjoyable time, nonetheless. A few friends I hadn’t seen for a while showed up to visit and lend their support. Did I think to take pictures of them?
One thing I appreciate about signings is the way my books, informed by my Eastern European family, often inspire others to share their histories with me. No exceptions here. I sold out of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and sold a few of the sequels FROM SILT AND ASHES and AS ONE MUST ONE CAN.
The wine glass note cards were also a hit. Many thanks to Alexis at Print Graphics for her diligence to details.
We received an invitation to participate in another wine fest in September in Independence, Missouri. It looks promising. I’d better order more books and do a few more wineglass paintings. 😉
Note to self: Bring a change of shoes next time.
L to R: Nettie Weinberg, Edith Weinberg, Miriam Wisoff
One of my favorite song quotes comes from the late John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” August was a busy month, but September has followed suit, leaving little time blog. I suppose better late than never applies.
Traditionally for the Fields of Belton, Missouri, the first two weeks of August is when Jan goes to Sturgis, SD for the annual bike rally. It’s also the time when the missus, ie me, has time to relax and hang around the house. However, this year, I didn’t spend nearly as much time relaxing as I’d expected.
Yours Truly with Diane Yates
The first weekend, I packed up the purple tent, books, and artwork. With my good friend Barbara I drove to Fayette, Missouri for the weekend to take part in the Fayette Arts Festival where we stayed with my co-author and friend Diane Yates. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and wet, we girls had a great time. We even sold a few books. 😉 With all of our husbands off and running, the three of us spent Saturday night watching a movie, sipping wine and gabbing into the wee hours.
One of the things I love about doing these signings is the people I meet. Drawn in by the artwork and my novels’ connection to my family, someone will tell me, often in great detail, about their own backgrounds. Great fun.
Wednesday, August 9th, my cousin Kent and I headed to midtown where I was scheduled to do an interview on ArtSpeak on local radio station KKFI, Kansas City’s answer to NPR. He took the picture below during the interview.
Here’s the podcast of that interview. Note: I wasn’t the only guest. You’ll find my slot at 27:39. Friday Fictioneers gets a nod as I read three flash fictions and told Maria how I stumbled into one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Following the interview, Kent and I spent the afternoon meandering around KC’s famous Country Club Plaza. We spent at least an hour in Barnes & Noble’s media room geeking out over DVD’s. We capped off the day by devouring our favorite barbecue at Snead’s BBQ, another Kansas City tradition.
Leawood Barnes & Noble book signing, August 12.
Truly, the crowning moments of the month happened in Branson at the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) conference which happens four times a year. I’ve been a part of and learned much from this generous group of writers for the past ten years. This year I had the opportunity to give back in leading a workshop entitled “Using Flash Fiction as a Writing Tool.” Two FFr’s, our own class clown, Russell Gayer and Cuzzin Kent Bonham served as my peanut gallery (for those who remember Howdy Doody).
A month ahead I sent out the photo prompt and challenged the OWLs to write a 100 word story, giving them a taste of Friday Fictioneers, using the same prompt we used that week on the blog challenge. As always, it’s entertaining to hear the different takes on the same photo. OWL president, Diane Yates and her husband Ricky both took part which was fun since the photo is that of their converted closet shower that he built with his own two hands.
August is the month of the OWL Annual Art Contest with three categories: 2 dimensional art, 3 dimensional and photography. Best in Show (not to be confused with the famous dog show) is awarded by the entry the judges consider the best of the 3 first place winners. I was pleased to learn that I won first and second place for 2 dimensional and the trophy. 😀
Since my husband Jan, my favorite roadie, cheerleader and wind beneath my wings, took the photos he isn’t in any of them.
Yours Truly took Best in Show in the OWL art contest.
Presenting Flash Fiction as a writing tool.
Russell voicing his surprise at being a part of the power point presentation.
Kent Bonham reading his entry.
Diane Yates reading her entry.
Of course I included my darling granddaughter in the presentation. Bubbie’s prerogative.
Workshop participant, Margarite Stevers.
Workshop participant, Jane Hale.
Winners of the annual OWL art contest.
Everyone received a certificate, suitable for framing.
Ricky Yates’ Masterpiece. The converted closet shower.
Russell in the flesh. What a treat to visit with him in person.
Ricky Yates giving the history of the shower and reading his entry.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
~~Henry Ward Beecher
Last November I was asked by an LA Talk radio host, Jim Christina which I preferred–writing or painting. I had to think about it for a moment for I consider both of them to be facets of creating art. With one I paint pictures with words, the other with pencil and paint.
To listen to the interview which I enjoyed so much click HERE
My next book will be out sometime next year and will be the companion to the HAVAH GITTERMAN SAGA, filled with illustrations and captions for those who’d rather look at the pictures. 😉 Of course, my preference is that one would enjoy reading the novels first.
In any event, this month marks a milestone for me. Nineteen pieces of my artwork, some illustrations for the upcoming book, are on display at the Colbern Road branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
I’m somewhat late in posting this, but can only excuse myself by saying that I was waiting to gather all of my photos. I hope you enjoy the following photos, or, even better, drop into the library. While you’re there feel free to request my books. 😉