Monday, March 29, 2010

Leaving Dauphin Island…

Hey folks, River’s driving and I’m throwing pics up on the blog to get us half-way caught up as we are going to be hitting Fairhope with a host of other things awaiting on the to-do list to be attacked in the hotel room before our event at Page and Palette. We’ve heard so much about this bookstore and the wonderful reading environment they’ve created. We’re excited about seeing and hearing from those of you who’ve been in touch letting us know that you’re coming out, as well as the many surprise conversations that we’re always finding at every stop. 

Last night we were treated to the warm hospitality of Herman and Ginger King on Dauphin Island. Among other gifts, Herman writes for DeSoto. I’ve included a pic of his article in the zine I picked up in the living room as well as a neat shot of him holding a hand-written poem he read us aloud this morning. I enjoyed it and have plans to include it here when we emails it.

Below that you’ll see them pointing us out of the neighborhood as has become the custom on this great road trip and towards Shell Mound Park where I, of course, had to climb a tree to pose for a picture as I spent my childhood reading in a tree—and writing important works that have yet to be published. (I have not given up on the hope that someone will buy “Martha and Her Horse”.) Please note that “good pics” of the tree experience were taken by Herman while the one with the moss draped across my face comes compliments of River. Thanks, pal. (FYI: River says, “Shellie, I was going for the mysterious writer look and you must admit it looks mysterious.”) 

I hope you’ll enjoy the scenery, but please don’t miss the last pic. It speaks to us as we feel a little more like road-kill at this moment (and, alas, I did see a pic of a dead possum that would fit really well right here but, we didn’t stop and let me get it) than the raring to go wordsmiths  we were about fourteen days ago---- WAIT ----breaking news alert----FRESH BOILED PEANUTS –we’re pulling off now. Later dear ones…


























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On a wing and a prayer,

River and Shellie

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Road Warrior is a Child



Meet Shelley and Jake. Good looking young people, right? But, oh, they were so much more than a photo op. Let me tell you a story…

We are more than half-way thru the Great Southern Wing and a Prayer Tour and a single most familiar line from literature sums up my thoughts on this most unique experience, a trip that has truly taken on a life of it’s own. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

I hope that admission doesn’t surprise you. It shouldn’t. Not if you’re still doing the human thing with me. All is well between me and my traveling buddy, but the road has been long, the miles many, and this traveler misses home. During the first leg of the tour one of my favorite cousins went to meet her Jesus face to face. I’m talking favorite cuzin, you know, the one you played with as a child, the one you hid in the closet with and ate stolen Thanksgiving turkey before anyone was called to the table—that one. I was one of only two first cousins that weren’t able to make the funeral. Miles away I could see them in my minds eye and hear them in my heart, reliving old times and holding onto each other while I grieved from a distance. It wasn’t pretty. River kindly gave me space, physical and emotional space and I thank her for that.

Let me stop before you misunderstand and reiterate that there has been much joy in the journey. The good has been great! As the days rolled on I have laughed and cried with equal abandon. Months will pass before I come close to processing a fraction of what I’ve seen and heard. We’ve celebrated, talked, ate, cried, ate, muttered, mumbled, sang, ate, praised, grumbled, and did I say ate? And of course, we’ve stacked stories on top of stories, ours and those we’ve met along the way. I’ve met people I will carry in my heart as long as the Good Lord lets me walk this earth, and that, dear ones, brings me back to Shelley and Jake.

I walked into a coffee bar yesterday morning in Homewood, AL. It was a fall down gorgeous day, it was, but if you’ll let me be honest, I was feeling the onset of a “I Must Go Home and Never Leave Again” mood as I pulled my  bottom and my rolly tech bag behind me, determined to edit some footage while River tended to a multitude of other things. With a Caramel Macchiato in one hand, (I’d like to thank God for Caramel Macchiatos as He does say that every good gift comes from above), and checking the bberry with the other hand, searching for fresh pictures of the Baby Czars, I parked at a table and began the “unpacking of the bag” for a long work session.

That’s when they caught my eye. The two of them, with their Bible open and their notebook, poring over a Beth Moore study. Of course we struck up a conversation. Of course we talked about our Lord—about how, if you want your life and His you’ll never know His sweetness this side of heaven, but that if you abandon all you’ll find Him nearer than you could ever dream of or imagine.  They even allowed me to take a little video footage of them which I will edit asap, really, and throw it up here shortly.

Did I mention that her name was Shelley and she reminded me of both my daughter, Jessica Ann and my daughter-in-law Carey? And what about the fact that his name was Jake—the name of my other “son”, my BFF’s boy, Rhonda Perry’s firstborn, AKA the Madness Czar? The work session took a backseat as those two sweet young people ministered to this tired traveler. And right there, right there in that coffee shop, we bowed our heads and prayed together. I may never see Jake or Shelley again this side of heaven, but I will definitely see them again. And I look forward to that day.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hello Alabama!


Blog in progress…

























On a wing and a prayer,

River and Shellie

Friday, March 26, 2010

New YouTube Videos from the road


We’ll be catching the blog back up in just a bit. Right now we’re about to head off to the next event. Just wanted to let y’all know we have more videos edited and up!

Keep reading, Keep  Believing

River and Shellie

Yawn Books, Bound to Be Read, and SIBA within 24 hrs? SURE!

Hey, hey, I said hey - do you know the way to . . . scroll down to blog post to see just how many times we will ask anyone or anything that stands still long enough for directions.

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The quaint town of Canton, Ga where we wish we could have sat here, enjoyed sunshine, and the southern hospitality.

Books, ice cream and lunch? Now folks, What more could you ask for?
OKAY - so MAYBE you could ask for the Great American Trailer Park Musical. Now, why can't we stay in one place long enough to see a great musical. 
Our favorite bathroom picture yet.
Our friends Carmen and Tara at Yawns.

We were having a creative moment here. Wonder if the Cohen Brothers have these kind of consultations in the middle of the stream.
Shellie, Michelle, and Tara discuss why they love Yawn's, books clubs, and their current reads.

New tech toys? SURE! One more for the road. Thanks John for pointing us in the right direction at Best Buy.
Jef and our earliest visitor at Bound to Be Read Books.

Pulitzer award nominee finalist Charles McNair shares a secret - he really did come from Alabama with a Banjo on his knee.
Best-selling author Patti Callahan Henry, Pulitzer author Charles McNair and the Wing and Prayer girls.
A beautiful global traveler who has been in 88 countries and came home again. So happy you found us and Bound to Be Read Books.
Then our gracious friend Patti Callahan Henry opened her home to us. God bless you Patti and Faye and all the other angels on the road.

OH we miss our dogs! This one is a real good hugger with much love. Patti's dog Hank who told us stories we are not at liberty to reveal. They were confidential.

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This is Tracy, Patti's assistant. She is a superwoman and we want one.

Thanks Patti for a refreshing pause and a great interview to be featured on our respective radio programs.

Hold our breath - we found our way to the SIBA event at the Spring Book Tour.

Check out the digs. Yes, it did have special hotline telephone.
The SIBA visitors and board members were the greatest! Everyone gets their name tagged to their picture tomorrow but for midnight - smiles, places, action. We told stories and celebrated the same. Thank you booksellers across the south and the U.S. for loving books and making them a life long passion!





See you tomorrow in Birmingham and yes - We'll be coming in On a Wing and A Prayer -

River and Shellie