Tour News & Tour Blues

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So this blog is supposed to detail our idea of having a book tour, the preparation leading up to the tour and finally, when we hit the road and how things go along the way. I am sincere about telling our followers the real story, the triumphs and trials, etc. There will be no unicorns and rainbows, I’m afraid.

That said, I am on the venue hunt. I’m mailing today over 240 letters to our destination coffee shops, bookstores a libraries in each city we are visiting.This doesn’t even count the church groups we would like to speak to as well.

As I’m furiously searching for shops and places that seem like they would be a good fit for P&C, of course my mind wanders to the heartache of self-publishing versus traditional. Who are the interns that do this busy work for Random House? Do they even do book tours anymore? I mean, really. Nowadays we feel like we know our favorite authors already, because we’re on their Facebook. An author can’t sign a Kindle and really, when is the last time I remember a signing being advertised?

I know this sounds nuts. Not exactly self-promoting right? I just wonder. Has the publishing and literary world evolved to a place, due to technology, where face to face is not so valuable?

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Naturally I laugh in the face of adversity, so searching for venues remains on my todo list. We only need 12. 🙂

 

ch

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The Speech No One Asked Me To Deliver

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Well it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. As usual I am over run with life and so I am combining two blogs that have been swimming around in my brain, which is at capacity, by the way.

Last Friday, I stood and graduated from Wichita State University with my Bachelors Degree.

It. Took. Twenty. Years. 1994-2014

As I looked around me I wanted to tell the predominantly twenty-something graduates what they had done, how far ahead of me they were, how they needed to stay focused, stay selfish, stay young! I looked into the stands at my children, willing them to postpone marriage & family, the two most important things in my life…until later; begging them with my mama eyes not to do as I had done. With nothing but the wisdom of age, I wanted to shower the whole stadium with my thoughts and advice. “This is awesome! Don’t let it slip away!”  

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Now I don’t have to insert that long paragraph here where I apologize and promise I love my kids do I? ty

So…. fast forward to today. I am half-way through a summer pre-session at WSU where I just graduated but needed to get a few more credits. So, pre-session means an entire semester, nine credits in 9 days. I have been an online student for 20 years mostly, but I had to take these classes here on campus. So here I am, daughter in tow, hotel room, etc. Fourteen hours of classes a day, but in four more days I am free until I start my Masters program in the Fall.

I am so glad I did this. I’m exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed and I am so glad I did this.

Being on a university campus every day is…amazing. There are art galleries and coffee shops, architecture and libraries, new people and so much to see and do and talk about and share and experience. I almost went my whole college career, Masters included, without knowing this. I’ve already promised my daughter (special needs) who is not degree seeking, that I will send her here for at least a semester, with a paid companion, to just live in dorm on campus, take some classes and experience this once in her life! I have another daughter who isn’t speaking to me, but I’m tempted to make her the same offer!!  Maybe if she had a tiny taste of what the world has to offer, she would stop settling! One of our sons is for sure college bound so I am not worried about him, but the other one hates school and wants to get out there and make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m already wondering how I can bribe him into one semester!!

It’s like that semester abroad or spending a summer at camp. It’s just getting out of your box and into another one! I don’t care if my kids get degrees or make millions, but I want them to hang out in a coffee shop where hundreds of cultures pass through daily! I want them to hear teachers tell stories about Indian Reservations and sweat shops and Mardi Gras. I want them to spend hours getting lost in a library, not because they like to read or have to write a paper, but because they have no where else to be and every book has a different title!

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I got my college id the other day. I had to have one to use computers and labs and things. I’d never had one. I go to class early and take my time walking to the car just to look around.There are sculptures everywhere, a church, restaurants, it’s like an aircraft carrier. It’s a little city!

My daughter, who does go to a community college in our small community, came to class with me once and she was overwhelmed. Why do the seats in the classrooms go up like that? Where is the car? Are those apartments? *Mom…where are you. I’m lost.* 🙂

From the golf course to the book store, I am just in love with this little piece of life. I’ll take my two weeks, but I recommend everyone else take more! On Friday I will go home, back to my husband and kids and the farm and the small town I love. I will still be me, but I know something now about what I almost missed. Almost.

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Save the money, get a loan, sell your car. Go to college.

 

ch

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An Epiphany…. Never Worrying About Your Next Book…or Your Last. ~

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So….having gotten married, I grappled momentarily with the whole name change predicament. My previous name, the name all of my books have been written under, is just a married name. Not a name I am particularly attached to and certainly not a name I would keep. But yes, the eight or so books I have published are under that name. So, again, just briefly I panicked. Would I change all my books to my new name? Would I have some type of freakish hyphenation or explanation or what? Let’s face it, I’m not J.K. Rowling. It’s not as if I will lose millions of followers and my notoriety will just plummet without my old name.

But what if my old books, my current books, get lost in the shuffle? 😦

Enter epiphany.

 

I will write more.

That’s it.

Who cares how many books I have written under the old name because I have ten times as many still in me! This was an instant answer, without hesitation or doubt. It was such a great and confident feeling! So, panic is over. Cherilyn Fienen wrote seven or eight books. Cherilyn Hearn will write seventy…at least! 😉

ch 

Prom Night in April

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Well it’s prom season where I am and of course, like everything else, it gets me thinking.

My oldest son’s girlfriend went to prom with a friend while he stayed home, which is somewhat of a trend these days and as a photographer I had one prom sitting, so I had a little bit of first hand experience in the affair. Beyond that, I perused mother and prom goer photos via social media late into the night.

What I saw was a little disheartening.

I saw a lot of young girls who seemed stressed, miserable, unable to see through their mascara or walk in their shoes. I saw preoccupation with windblown hair and out of place hem lines. I saw a lot of make-up and a lot of money. So I wondered if everyone had as much fun as prom is intended to be. I hoped.

I saw a lot of kids who clearly had some parent’s Mastercard bankrolling their evening. I saw other kids who looked like they had done a great job doing what they could with what they had and others still who chose their own unique flair and style regardless of the price tags involved.

Obviously prom is a tradition beyond compare that will likely never go away. I just wish, I wonder if the kids would enjoy it more, stress less and spend less if they could just find a way to let go of expectations and demand and imagine what they really want to wear, do and be!

I didn’t go to prom. Not because I was too cool or so evolved. I was pregnant and though I wasn’t showing, it just wasn’t on my list of priorities. 

All of these thoughts reminded me of my three weddings.

I had two expensive, fancy formal weddings. Neither marriage lasted. I was 20 and 29 when those marriages took place.  A couple weeks ago, at 38, I married for the last time, in a small ceremony, on our property, in clothes we already owned. I wasn’t nervous or stressed. I had a fun and carefree, meaningful day.

The young girl whose pictures I took for prom was fussing and fretting throughout our session, with her mother in tow. The comment was made that when she has a wedding it may kill them both. Her response was, “no, I’m having a Cherilyn style wedding.”  

Amen sister.

Looking for Venues…

So we have to find twelve locations to graciously welcome us into their quaint environments to share our work, our time, our spirit and hopefully we learn something from each and every one of them along the way….

Book signings are a tricky thing. Some shops are happy to host any kind of event, to have something to advertise, attract patrons, etc. But others really want someone well-known, dare I say, ‘famous,’ which of course, we are not. So understanding all that…I am starting early and casting a wide web. I have already posted on craigslist in every city we’re visiting and guess what? Zero responses so far. 😦  So here I am blogging…reaching out to the masses. If I have to cold call… I will!! So…here’s my post from craigslist. If you live in or near any of these cities and think you know of a location that might welcome our visit, please let us know and I will take it from there. We really require nothing but space and time. We bring our books, etc. Some places have a routine they like to follow, some just wing it!

 

Looking for venues for the upcoming Pen & Cup Book Tour…two authors…six books!! Travelling in Spring of 2015. Looking for coffee shop/bookstores that add character to their community. Need one or two locations in each of the following cities…

Seattle, Washington

Portland, Oregon

Washington, D.C.

Boston, Massachusetts

St. Louis, Missouri

Atlanta, Georgia

New York, New York

Chicago, Illinois

San Francisco, California

Dallas, Texas

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Denver, Colorado

Tour blog and author Facebook links below….detailing the six books, etc…

https://pencup2015.wordpress.com/

www.facebook.com/CherilynWrites

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-S-Black/738558446169032?fref=ts

Please like our pages, follow our blog and let us know if you have a location that would be a good fit for our tour!! 

 

So what do you think? Comments? Suggestions?

 

Questions & Answers

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Don’t most people read books for answers? I’m sure the truth varies. Some read for entertainment, for escape, for information. I’m plugging away at one of the two non-fiction titles for our upcoming book tour and though the jacket describes it as a “path to discovery,” I’m finding I ask my readers a lot of questions. So, not just about my own book, but considering others’ and writing in general; what is more valuable? Questions or answers?

You may be saying, ,”How can a question be helpful?” We are the society that seeks out cure, solutions, answers! Right?

Have you ever been to a psychiatrist? Or for that matter, seen one on television? The common cliche is that while patients see them for answers, the doctor often sits on the other side of the sofa, doing the asking.

I like to think I’m asking questions that a person would have never thought to ask of themselves. If all questions could be designed this way, the question itself is the eye opener. In the instant that we answer, even silently in our head to ourselves, we have learned something. We have learned something more important than things we learn in school or in book or in social circles; we have learned something about ourselves.

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Have I Found the Best Fundraiser/T-shirt Maker? Yes, Yes I Have!

Have I Found the Best Fundraiser/T-shirt Maker? Yes, Yes I Have!

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promise me you’ll just go check this out…. it’s such a great way to raise money, but with a quality product and just pennies go to the fundraiser!!  I know …what do we want with pennies? They add up. We are optimists and realists. 🙂   http://teespring.com/PenCup2015

Sidebar: I AM almost 10,000 words into The Quiet Republican and my cover is literally renting space in my head…it’s all coming together!!!

Has anyone heard from Pammy??   PAMMM!!!!!???   Where are you??  LOL.