Weekend Notes from Maryland

UPS logoIn the back room at Turn the Page books is this poem: Why I Have A Crush On You, UPS Man by Alice N. Persons. 

I had to share it here. Since that's a link to a picture, and isn't readable by screen readers, there is also a version of it read by Garrison Keillor.

I don't have permission to reproduce it here so I didn't, but oh, please, click either link and enjoy. 

Speaking of Turn the Page, the signing on Friday was a lot of fun, and so well attended. You can see some pictures on their Facebook page. My scribbled notes:

  • I met many women who were “at doctor's appointments” that morning. Clearly medicinal books are needed! We prescribed them freely. More books! Take six and call us in the morning!
  • First in line were two women who flew from Ireland just to attend the signing. They were supposed to go from Boonsboro up to Boston, but since travel there was not like that week, these two were treated to travel recommendations from everyone in the room. I have no idea where they ended up touring to, but I hope they enjoyed it. 
  • A short time later, two women who had flown from London for the signing – just for that signing – arrived, and they were so excited they could barely speak. 
  • Some women coming through the line were buying books to prepare for cancer treatment (kick cancer's ass, ma'am), for birthday presents, for friends, for co-workers, and every time, they bought a few more books for themselves. It was lovely. You know that thrill when you see a stack of books to be bought, even if those books aren't yours? Oh, yeah. All day. It was the best natural high ever. 
  • Because there was some waiting to meet each author as the line snaked around the room, there was a lot of chatting and discussion and making friends. It was probably the nicest line a lot of people had waited in. 
  • There are people who go up to Nora Roberts and ask her to please write faster. That is absolutely meant as a compliment, but… is that even possible?

The Washington Romance Writers retreat is a lovely and friendly conference. One thing I liked was that there were no more than two sessions going on at the same time, and everyone was extremely friendly. I won't bore you with too many pictures, but here are two nice images for Sunday. 

First, in the raffle, where there were baskets and prizes and bags of treats going around the room for people to drop in their raffle tickets, there is one prize I want to win So. Bad. As I write this, the prizes haven't been drawn yet, but have a look. Patricia Gaffney donated the original cover art to Sweet Treason plus a copy of the book itself.

Sweet treason cover art framed - turquoise dress against a purple background with a guy with a mullet - and I think he's eating her ear.


I don't know if I can describe how much I want to hang that on my wall. I put a loooootta of tickets in the basket. Cross your fingers for me. 

And finally, I went out to run on Saturday and found myself in the middle of the Sarah Redmer Rupp Memorial 5k, with signs telling me and everyone else to keep going.

It was encouraging, not only because a lot of people were there to run and raise money to fight cancer (fuck cancer), but also because I was surrounded this weekend by writers, authors, agents, and editors all trying to create new books for us to read. No matter how dire and sad the news about publishing is, there are still writers who want to publish a great romance – and this is excellent, since I always want to read them. Books were my comfort this week, and I know they were for you, too. Keep going. 


Path winding into the hills, Westminster MD


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Kate says:

    That poem was adorable.  Seriously, where DO I sign?

    Also, does anyone else think the UPS man in the picture on the wall of Staples copy and print centers is hot?

    Word of the day is: not57.  That’s right, I’m 23.

  2. 2
    Darlynne says:

    I love to hear about visitors traveling across the world/ocean to be at book signing events. I’ve done it myself and it is so much fun. That pile of books you mentioned, SB Sarah? A universal cure—or at least a good band-aid—for so many things. I hope you win the artwork.

    Capcha: perform29. Wait, what happened to the other 40?

  3. 3
    donna ann says:

    I don’t blame you for putting a bunch of tickets in the bag for a chance at that picture, so would I—it’s is beautiful and so says romance.

  4. 4
    Kari Young says:

    I’m bummed. I couldn’t get it to play Garrison Keillor reading it, but I can imagine. So good and true. 

    I also love the idea of women asking Nora Roberts to write faster. Her hands would melt off. She must type a 1000 great words a minute as it is.

  5. 5
    laj says:

    Oh Sarah I would want that picture too!  It’s amazing and what a nice thing for Patricia Gaffney to do.  I hope you win, I really hope you win.

  6. 6

    Oh, please bore us with more photos!  I attended the retreat once … and look forward to attending it next year (once we move back to Baltimore). 

    I enjoyed your tweets from the fun run!

  7. 7
    SB Sarah says:

    Alas, I did not win the awesome art, but the woman who did was SO excited. I hope that framed art goes in a prominent place of awesome.

    I love the original art illustrations and paintings for romance covers. SO MUCH. I think I might have a potential problem. *ignores ebay* *ignores ebay some more*

  8. 8
    marjanna says:

    No, you did not win Patricia Gaffney’s painting… because I did!!! But then, I stuffed that basket with tickets. As soon as I heard the rumor of its existence and that it would be coming to the Retreat, I knew I just had to win it! It will hang on my living room wall (bwahahaha)!!!

    Lovely to see you again in Westminster instead of Bethesda.

  9. 9
    The Other Susan says:

    There’s something about the UPS men’s summer uniforms…and the winter uniforms too.  Maybe it’s the shade of brown.

  10. 10
    SB Sarah says:

    @marjanna: AWESOME. We clearly think alike. Congratulations on your successful basket-stuffing campaign which was clearly superior to my own. I want pics of it on the wall! I’m so happy you are so excited about it – congrats and well played.

  11. 11
    library addict says:

    I would love to make it to a TP one of these days. They look like so much fun.

  12. 12
    library addict says:

    Oops, that should be TTP.

  13. 13

    The collective hush in the room when Marjanna’s name was called was excellent. I think a lot of people were gunning for that painting ;)

    If she’d had it sent home via UPS, it would be double the pleasure, no?

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