Tag Archives: ebay

The Birth-days and Book-days of August

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Dog days, too, but there is much to celebrate in our family in August, as that is when my mother and both my sons were born (my uncle and sister-in-law too, I might add).  Not  surprising when you consider that August has the highest number of births of all the months of the year.  Really, it’s true.  You can look it up.

Wednesday, we feted my mother with a lunch out at Boscos at the River Market in Little Rock. But let me back up a bit to show you how this wordamour family celebrates a birthday. First, we stopped at the Main Branch of the Little Rock library where we trolled the shelves for the newest fiction, non fiction and manga releases and walked out carrying books up to our chins. We LOVE this library.

So, we had to put the books in the car first and then head over to Boscos, where lunch was delicious but, to my tween’s chagrin, the macaroni and cheese was the real stuff and not Kraft. Oh well, that was $6.95 down the drain. But I digress.

Next, was the Cox Creative Center across the street, a huge gently-used bookstore and cool gift depository we wandered for another forty five minutes–emerging with another smaller pile of tomes. Sadly enough, when we asked if they knew of any other used bookstores in the area, so we could continue our tour, we were told that there were no other used bookstores left in Little Rock. They suggested some in Conway.  But since we’re from Conway, and can go to those bookstores any old time, we decided to head for . . .

West Little Rock to finish up at Barnes and Noble. On the way there, both kids discussed what kinds of books they wanted to buy when they got there. “You know, ” I remarked dutifully, “just because we’re going to a bookstore doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting one.” “I know, I know,” they said, just as dutifully, humoring me all the while because they understand that in our family, unlike any other retail outlet, if we stop at a book store, it pretty much does mean you’re getting one. I just had to say the other stuff to keep up my image as a not too indulgent mama.

We all walked out happy, me with the newest Artful Blogging (which profiled two of my faves, Inspire Company and SouleMama) and Jill Butler’s Wandering Paris, the kids with their manga, and my mom with some education books (not very fun I know, but she’s getting ready to take over the helm of a k-8 private school in NLR so she’s gearing up).

Today is my tween’s birthday–and he is still a tween but not for much longer. He is pretty much as tall as me now. Sigh. It seems like only yesterday he was chomping on his winnie-the-pooh paci like a cigar. This growing up stuff is hard on parents. Anyway, the plan today is lunch at his restaurant of choice, school supply shopping, bowling, and a family dinner at his restaurant of choice. And gifts of course, more books, books books– The Time Traveler’s Journal, The DaVinci Kit and a subscription to shonen jump.
A day spent with family and books equals a day well spent!

Bye y’all,
SV
PS I just discovered my book, (with Kelly Ritter) on EBAY of all places. No kidding, the bidding is open until August 12. Check it out here. But god forbid, if you want to buy it, go to Barnes and Noble.com , it’s almost 4 dollars less. Sorry Ebay–but if it’s sold by a reseller, our sales don’t go up at all and we need every single sale we can get. Not that we get any money at all from it, we don’t; it was our first book and Heinemann was calling the shots. But if we want to publish any more, we need decent sales.
But Ebay . . . as an Ebayer myself, I find that weirdly exciting.

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The one (won) about the hat

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While we were talking about winning a few posts ago (in a few months there will actually be a picture of me on the Book Guys website sporting my brand new watch!), I was reminded of another thing I recently won. A hat. A Peter Beaton hat to be exact.

Did I ever mention I have a thing about hats? Probably not, because it has so little to do with writing. But I’m going to mention it now because I do. Have a thing about hats. Because I think they’re very romantic and because I think personally, that the right hat can balance me out, draw the eye, ahem, upward, or so they say.

Problem is, that I’m somewhat of a frustrated hat wearer. I have a big head, for one thing, so it’s hard to find one that fits. Or if I find one that fits, it gets so boy-handled by one of my two that it starts to fall apart. Two of my favorite straw summer hats have met that fate in the last few years.

Also, it’s hard to find occasions to wear them. Weddings are one. Nothing like the perfect wedding hat. I got one like this one at Dillard’s a couple of weeks ago and discovered when I got it home, that the tag actually reads, “the perfect wedding hat.”

One hat I’ve long coveted, is, as I’ve mentioned above, a Peter Beaton hat from the eponymous hat studio on Nantucket. For years, I’ve tiptoed into the tiny store on 16 1/2 Federal street and gazed wistfully at their custom wares. For years, the very image of sophistication to me was a woman at a garden party in a Peter Beaton hat. The vintage red roadster parked at the curb of the storefront didn’t hurt either. If you click through to the links, you’ll see what I mean. Victoria magazine even did a feature once on these famous hats.

As you might imagine, they cost a pretty penny. More or less out of my range. Recently, I was gazing at the website late one night, via cyberspace, which is how and when I do most of my window shopping these days, checking out the prices and sighing, thinking sure, maybe, someday, when my ship comes in. And then I had a sudden thought:

Ebay.

So I did a quick search. Nothing. Sigh. Oh well. Then I had another inspiration.

Saved searches.

For those of you who don’t Ebay often, a saved search is when you tell them what you’re looking for and they tell you when it appears at auction. So I entered “Peter Beaton hat” in my saved searches and promptly forgot about it.

Until a week or so later when the email appeared in my inbox.

There it was. On Ebay. It started out amazingly low. So I just watched it. Oh, I watched it. How I watched it. For days. I wasn’t going to bid until the last possible minute. To add to the suspense, my email hiccuped about 5 minutes before the item ended, but fortunately came back up with 1 minute and 28 seconds left–enough time for me to swoop in and grab the brass ring from the two other bidders. Higher than it started, but still within my reach.

So there you have it. My hat story. Nothing to do with writing–just a little vacation reading and a happy ending with a nice little moral. “Sometimes you don’t need your ship to come in, you just need some luck and a little Ebay.”

Bye y’all,

SV

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The Beautiful Typewriter

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I have been made aware of quite a lot of debate these days about the usefulness of typewriters for drafting and to be honest, it keys (hee, hee, pun intended) right in with my discussion about recognizing the value of mistakes and risk taking as crucial to the writing process, something drafting on a computer cannot capture. My good friend and writer Monda Fason discusses this on her blog, which she has actually posted in typewritten form here.

The above Italian typewriter, photgraphed in the design exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art when the guard wasn’t looking (not supposed to take photos there, apparently) is also in homage to her.

 Her friend, the Kentucky Typewriterman also has some eloquent words to say about this on his ebay site, where he sells lovingly refurbished typewriters for much less than it actually costs him to refurbish them. He is also a writer and a writing teacher. Read what he has to say about typwriters and drafting here (keep scrolling once you get there the whole listing, though ended, is worth reading). You’ll also get a look at another lovely example of design.

I have a beautiful, meticulously maintained (not by me) old Underwood in my office. I may have to go see if I can find some ribbon for it now!

Go, search for typewriters at Church thrift stores and flea markets and yard sales or on ebay! Godspeed!

Bye y’all,
SV

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