Unwinding From A Fun Weekend

There were so many wonderful aspects of the few days away with my daughter last weekend, and if I wasn’t so exhausted yesterday, this would’ve been a Monday blog. 🙂

We went to an art and craft fair where I set up to sell books, something we’ve done for almost eight years now, with the exception of the two years shut down because of COVID. Here I am with some of the books I’ve written. We were lucky that we didn’t have to pack them all up at the end of the day to bring home.

When we go to this event every year, my daughter and I stay in a cabin at the Holly Lake Resort and just chill when not at the fair. We bring knitting, and I’m working on the same scarf I started, (mumble) years ago. She has a new project every time, but then she knits a LOT more than I do these days.

We also just like being out in the peace and quiet of the country. Sometimes. we see lots of deer, but this year only three as they dashed past when we went for a walk. We did see some cats by the activities center, but they were feral and didn’t let us get close enough to take a good picture. I think the cat in front was a tom, perhaps protecting his mate from this human with the funny thing pointed at them. 🙂

Saturday, the fair ran all day from nine until three in the afternoon, and I was pleased to sell quite a few books and make some new friends. We had nice conversations about what drew them to a particular book, which is always such a great part of these face-to-face meetings with readers. Sharing the love of books and getting their thoughts about what they like in stories is so energizing.

The other wonderful part of the fair is the shopping. My daughter and I take turns perusing the other tables, and we always discover unique treasures that make perfect gifts. This year I came across something for one of my sisters at a booth where I always find just the right thing for her, and the artist and I chuckled at how that happens all the time.

Artists bring new merchandise every year, so there’s always something fresh to find, and my daughter and I load up the car with bags of gifts. Good thing the book load is lighter so there’s room. 🙂

The weekend topped off with a visit with long-time friends in Winnsboro, Texas where I used to live. I loved visiting the place that meant so much to me for so many years, and it was so great to see Barb and Becky, and catch up on things that we had missed in the year or two since we’d last seen each other. We had a wonderful lunch at Pyke’s Pantry, a new restaurant in town that I’d go back to in a heartbeat. In addition to the wonderful food from the kitchen, the Pantry offers gourmet spices and oils that they create themselves and use on some of their signature dishes.

The highlight of the afternoon was an amazing present that Barb gave me, with a hand-painted card that reads: “For one of my favorite authors!”

To say I was stunned is an understatement. Of course, I cried as I held this to my heart, and Barb even had a few tears as she told me how much she loved the book.

I didn’t ask Barb where she had this made, but the cover image is on metal about a quarter of an inch thick with holes for mounting when I find a place to hang it. I’m sure she found an artist friend to do this as creativity abounds in Winnsboro.

If the cover image intrigues you, here are some of the reviews for Evelyn Evolving:

“A poignant story that demonstrates, through real experiences, how much our choices matter, both to ourselves and our families, especially our children. From childhood to adulthood, one generation to the next, the reader sees a cycle of hurt that persists its tragic rotation, breaking lives anew with every miserable turn. It gives one pause to think on one’s decisions, how imperative it is to consider their short and long-term consequences.”

“This isn’t a fairytale or a sugary romance; it is a novel told with a gut-wrenching clarity from real life events. Whose life? The author’s mother’s and by the end, it dovetails into the author’s own. Be prepared to keep turning the pages once you open the cover of this poignant book.”

“After finishing Evelyn Evolving, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The beginning concentrates on the life of Evelyn’s mother, a woman who consistently makes bad decisions, including abandoning her two daughters to a Catholic orphanage run by cruel nuns. At that point, the book reads like a Dickens novel in the harsh and brutal treatment of the young sisters, especially Evelyn. I don’t want to tell too much of the story so it doesn’t spoil the read.”

“Ms. Miller’s well-written novel will stay with you long after you read the last page. Brava. Five stars all the way.”


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