Tag Archives: Victoria

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:


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,


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Wordamours unite!

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Like many of us out there, my to do list seems to stretch on into infinity, and yet here I am.  Writing my first blog entry.  Since I’ve decided to give it a shot, I’ve got to be true to another promise to myself:  for everything I add to my plate I’ve got to take something away.  Problem is, I haven’t figured out what–yet the lure to blogging was irresistable.  Suggestions are welcome. Related to this is the fact that even though I’ve got a pretty full plate, with a few non-negotiable exceptions, I love everything on it.  The only thing that was easy to give up was coupon clipping. 

 We just had fall break, which for professors means time to work on other stuff besides class.  I’ve been working on a power point I’m giving Tuesday about a new Creative Enterprise course we’re proposing for seniors at UCA.  It would be a way for senior College of Fine Arts majors–be they musicians, writers, film students, visual artists–to execute a project of their own design that would put them in closer contact with the creative arts community, helping them forge the ties that will sustain them, literally and figuratively, after they graduate.  A music major might set up a downtown lunch hour concert series and learn how to work with city government, musicians, publicists, and so forth, to make it a success.  A writing major might decide to publish a magazine.  The students are really limited only by their imaginations. 

 It’s based on a similar course I saw at Bath Spa university when I toured there last year, the brainchild of writer and teacher Mimi Thebo.  We need to show our students that there is a middle ground between becoming the next Amy Tan or Steven Spielberg and flipping burgers, and that’s where they’ll probably find their careers.  It’s never too soon to start showing them how to find this place and begin to establish themselves there.

Michael Cunningham was here earlier in the week, and his visit was entertaining and inspiring.  He read from The Hours and some new work, dished about the actors he worked with on his movies, and talked about adapting Susan Minot’s novel, Evening, which I’m now dying to see.  He talked about writing as an endurance sport, which our students really needed to hear, and he talked about the fact that novelists should aim to be writing novels just a little smarter then they are, which I really needed to hear.  He also left his glasses behind.  I can’t tell if they’re of the “oh, I have dozens of those, I buy them at the dollar store,” kind or of the, “they cost me a fortune, can you send them Fedex?” kind.  They look pretty nice to me but we can’t send them to him till we have his address.

In other news, in spite of my considerable to do list, I managed to fit in a lot of fun over the past four days.  I manage this in general largely by putting fun things on my to do list.  Things like, “Read magazines.  Go to garage sales.” And yes, by the way, I enjoyed both, savoring, especially, the delicious new Victoria magazine (yes, she’s back!) that appeared in my mailbox Friday just when I’d given up all hope of having actually been put on the subscription list.  I also baked bread, watched Little Man Tate, taught my sons how to vacuum (which, of course, they turned into a competetive sport, as in “Nyah, nyah, I was able to get the cheerio that you couldn’t”), ironed, had my usual Saturday night date with my husband John,  (he cooks a gourmet meal, the kids keep themselves busy and/or go to sleep, prime couple time) and watched John and my younger son, Will, sledgehammer a wall surrounding an old Conway mansion (the owner is renovating and invited all the locals to “tear down these walls”). I also spent a couple of hours with my kids in the Faulkner County Library.  Nothing like Saturday in the library.  In spite of the fact that some parents seem to use it as a drop off babysitting service, you gotta love a library. Especially if you’re a wordamour. 

Until I think of a witty sign off line, I’ll just say bye for now and end with a promise not to regale readers with the woe is me to do list any more.  That would be pretty boring regular reading, now, wouldn’t it?  And no way to celebrate words. 


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