Friday, August 17, 2012

Best Selling Book - Beryl Singleton Bissell


August 17, 2012
Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic bookseller. Yesterday, I learned that The Scent of God had made the best-seller list at Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, "all because Heidi, one of the women at the store is crazy for your book and makes everyone buy it." The note was signed by Ann Patchett, who opened Parnassus Bookstore with business partner Karen Hayes to fill a gap left when two bookstores closed. What a thrill, especially as some book distributors say they can't get copies to sell even when customers request the book.

Last week, I drove five hours to sign books at Sister Wolf Bookstores in Park Rapids. Sister Wolf is a popular independent known for it's exciting author and artist festival every summer that attracts people from all over. I'd had to cancel my appearance at that event due to a severe injury and was delighted when they requested I make a separate appearance when I was finally healed enough to commute a long distance. Again, enthusiastic booksellers directed patrons toward "the author in the store," making the signing, which can sometimes bomb (customers scurrying around the author and avoiding eye contact), a success.

I left Park Rapids later that afternoon and drove down to Little Falls, an hour and a half away for two events to be held the following day at Bookin'it Bookstore: a signing in the morning and an intimate three-course tea at the historic Waller House Inn later that afternoon. I spent a delightful morning in Bookin'it's cozy store and an exquisite afternoon with enthusiastic book-lovers at the tea.

Those three great happenings launched me back to my computer where the response to my latest newsletter generated several hundred wonderful responses waiting for my replies, and into the writing shed to pick up the abandoned sequel to The Scent of God for a fresh look prior to an extensive rewrite.

I hope your week has been equally generous with you even though the halcyon days of summer are growing perceptively shorter and there's a definite hint of fall in the air here on Lake Superior. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finding happiness midst disability - Beryl Singleton Bissell


June 27, 2012
Once I stopped fighting
And gave myself up to
limitation and pain
I realized how supremely happy I was
Just being here

On May 29, I slipped on a stairway and landed hard on my backside. First diagnosis revealed cracked open right and left sacroiliac joints. Three weeks later I wasn’t making the expected improvements despite the medication, ice packs and physical therapy, so the doctor ordered a CT scan. This diagnosis included, besides the sacroiliac joints, two hairline fractures in the sacrum itself.
For almost a month I’ve been hobbling around using a walker, frustrated out of my mind at the limitations this accident place on me. The smallest movements send spasms of pain throughout my legs, lower back and buttocks. I have been unable to go downstairs to my office or walk to my writing shed. I am confined to a home in one of the most beautiful places on earth but unable to get outside for even a short walk. Fixing a meal is all but impossible. Forget cleaning up. Six days ago I started to weep. My 13-year old granddaughter, whose been trying to help, put her arms around me and laid her head against mine. She’s been an angel and I could not manage on my own without her help but a 13-year old is not into noticing what needs to be done and I hate asking for help. Feeling sorry for myself sends my self-esteem plummeting. I don’t even feel like a writer. I’ve had to cancel book signings, a gathering of writing friends five hours from here, and a 10-day retreat. I haven’t even wanted to write.
But guess what? Today, while sitting on our deck, face turned to the sun, I realized what a good time I’ve really been having. I’ve discovered that by bending to the right rather than to the left I can pull on pants and tie my shoes. I’ve learned that placing my left foot flat on the ground as I step forward with my right alleviates the spasms caused by walking. That a really soft pillow cushions the pain of sitting down and a cup of afternoon tea provided by a precious teenager is simply delicious.
In giving myself up to healing, I’ve had time to read back issues of favorite magazines that have been amassing on a side table for close to a year; to make a perceptive dent in the heap of books I keep buying but never found time to read. I've watched the gold-finches and hummingbirds at our feeders and listened to the lake caress our ledge-rock. I’ve taught my granddaughter how to create hand-made cards with the flowers I dried for that purpose but never got around to. Sending her to report on the status of our river after weeks of pouring rain, revealed the poet hiding within her. Today I sat on the deck and gazed upward at the cloudless sky and realized how totally, thoroughly, happy I am.

from my post of June 27, 2012

Missing Gather

In an era when the internet spawned networking communities like geysers in a desert, was one of the first to appear. When it was ...