Saturday, February 1, 2020

February! Where Did Last Month Go?

Well, January went to a lot of literary activity. That's where it went! I had a book signing at Time Tested Books for Deadly Vintage. It was a small crowd (it was the Super Bowl playoff Sunday, and also a lot of worthy programs were going on to celebrate Dr. King's inspiring life), but those who attended were attentive, and after the reading, we had time to interact more personally than usual: One couple said the excerpt and my lead-up convinced them that their next trip has to be to Portugal!

The gentleman with the camera and the woman next to him
are the couple who now want to go to Portugal.
Here are a few pictures:

Me, reading.


Neighbors, writing partners, and a few total strangers!
Writing-group friends.

Also, this morning, Kings River Life Magazine, a California online magazine full of great information about books, writing, events, news, etc., highlighted a nice review of Deadly Vintage. Here is the link to the magazine.   And Here is the link to the review. Check it out. They are also featuring a giveaway for the book for those who live in the U.S.

Then I firmed up an order for copies of my poetry chapbook, Saudade, Thirty Poems of Longing, which is being released February 14th from Finishing Line Press. ("Saudade" is a special sentiment or emotion that is typically Portuguese.) This is the first print run, and you can order a copy directly from them here: You can also read some nice blurbs about the chapbook by other poets. 

At the same time, I firmed up two school visits to read from my story collection, Carnival of the Animals, at a school where I used to teach. I will be speaking to an assembly on February 28th, and then reading excerpts to individual classrooms on March 2nd. (For those who want to know more about Carnival, you can go to my interview with Craig Briggs, here and order the book here.)

Aside that, I've been going to writing groups and poetry workshops, and beta-reading a friend's book. I've also been reading a tone of good books, some mystery, some historical novels, some poetry. Pretty soon more book reviews will be coming.

And last, but not least, last night I went to an even called Stories on Stage, here in Sacramento, where Pam Houston was one of two featured authors. The event is structured so that the author is present, but a person with good stage history and background reads the excerpt and dramatizes it as they read.  Houston's book, Deep Creek, is a memoir. Her other books were for sale, and at the break, I bought Cowboys Are My Weakness, the book that launched her so to speak. I had never read it, and the wonderful writing that showed through the reading made me realize I needed to read more of her terrific writing. So far I've read two of the stories, and, frankly, her writing just grabs me, even if the lifestyle doesn't. 

Speaking of reading good books, what books have you been reading this month? Any good mysteries you want to share? Any poets? Story collections? I mostly read books recommended to me these days, so . . . any recommendations? 








22 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

You have been busy and productive.
I recently read and enjoyed The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.
I am currently reading Swimming with Seals by Victoria Whitworth. The emotional journeys with both of them speak loudly to me.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

"the emotional journeys . . .." These sound like good recommendations. Thank you.

DMS said...

You did start the year off with a lot of book related events! Sounds like you have been having lots of fun and getting stuff done. Congrats on the review being published in the magazine. How exciting!

Hope you have a wonderful February!
~Jess

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Jess, thanks for stopping by. I sort of feel the year started more with "a bang!" It was fun, yes, but now I want to get back to work on my next book. I miss writing! I even miss staring into space, spinning my wheels and wondering where my muse went. That's actually kinda relaxing, lol.

Rosi said...

You have had a busy and productive month. Congrats on all. I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Thre is a reason it's been on the NYTimes bestseller list for a hear and a half. It's amazing. And it is a mystery. I recommend it.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Rosi, Yes. I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing. It was awesome! A terrific mystery, and thethe artistry of the writing, just gobsmacked me. And I have to say the ending did catch me by surprise—I had decided something else. Masterful job by the author. I loved it. And I will probably read it again, more than once. Meanwhile, thanks for the congrats. I'm ready to slow down and write, though!

Kenda Turner said...

Sounds like you had a terrific month engaging in lots of writing/reading kinds of things. A great way to start out a new year :-) And more to come with the upcoming release of your poetry book, and school visits. Lots of interesting things going on in your life. Enjoy!

Kate Larkindale said...

Sounds like you've been super busy!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Kenda, that is so true. It WAS a great (if exhausting) way to start the new year. I just never expected to be juggling two book promotions at once, so to speak. But it's a happy problem I never thought I would have. :-)
Thanks for stopping by.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Kate. Busy, yes! I'm ready to slow down and smell the coffee for awhile. (I'd say "smell the roses," but there's no longer a rose in sight in our garden, lol.

Sandra Cox said...

Wow, you are really getting your name out there. Way to go.
FYI: Vintage has an honorable mention on the blog Wed:)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Oh, Sandra, thank you! That is very kind of you. That gave me quite a lift today! I'll check it out Wednesday. Have a great day.

Mirka Breen said...

I'd have attended your event rather than a football game had I lived closer. :D

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

How kind of you, Mirka. I appreciate that. Although I do understand football fanatics. My husband is one. He made the supreme sacrifice to be there with me, taking pictures. :-)

Mark said...

Looks great! Sorry I couldn't make. I'll try to make the next one:)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

wow, you have been busy.
Your book signing looks like it was a wonderful event.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for the support, Mark. You were one of my beta readers, which I really appreciated.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Lynda, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the signing was small but the attendees were great. And it was nice to have a cozier relationship. It was more conversational than formal, and I'm not a very formal person.

Sandra Cox said...

I especially liked the picture of you reading. You looked in your element.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Sandra. In one way, reading to attendees actually relaxes me, and keeps me from feeling nervous. Every new event still makes my stomach flutter a little initially. :-) Thanks for stopping by again.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats on the great review in Kings River Life.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks so much, Sandra! It was an enjoyable set of questions. And I like the format of their magazine. Thanks for stopping by.