Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Talk at Susan’s Parlor Party

Susan Cushman set up the most beautiful table, a special area with a few of our books, and began to host the Book Talk in the Parlor!


Friends and smiling faces!
And a table fit for a Queen!
At the last minute we discover that Real Simple had all the advice we needed - More Time for You and how to find it. IF only we had found this at the beginning of the trip we may have seen Rock City and Graceland!
Ann wins a drawing from Panola Pepper!
These tired, road weary Radio hosts were still all smiles in Susan's gracious company.
DSC_0022Once again - someone had to point the way out of here as our tour draws closer to the end. We'll be on the road to Tupelo, Mississippi tomorrow and then turn the Jeep North to Nashville for one last stop. ON a Wing and a Prayer and a Shoestring! 

River and Shellie

WREG Live at Nine out of Memphis welcomes Great Southern Wing and Prayer Tour

Special thanks to WREG out of Memphis, TN for welcoming the Great Southern Wing and a Prayer Tour to Live at Nine’s Morning Show. And thanks to the viewers who dropped what they were doing and rushed off to That Bookstore in Blytheville right away! We talked about - what else? Story!
On a wing and a prayer, (and coming in on a shoestring!)
River and Shellie

That Bookstore in Blytheville

These arch gateways into downtown Blytheville are so perfect because everyone knows what a mecca this store has been for writers for generations.


Shellie grabs a shot of the store but captures more. See that little white, darling, Jeep Angel in the reflection, just like the logo - she's been getting us down the road for 1000's of miles.

The shelves overflow with the most incredible stories of our day.

Friendly faces abounding. Someone here loves putting the right book in the right hands.
Mary Gay Shipley's High Profile was well earned. A lifetime of promoting authors and their good words is due a little recognition.
We wanted to take the neon home for a night light. Mary Gay said NO, NO - it must stay in the store.
If this character looks familiar it's because it is none other than Pat Conroy - Really. These dolls are from the story that his beautiful daughter created titled - Poppy's Pants.
Four friends for forty years. Is that what they told us? Can that be true? Retired School teachers who drove for an hour to join us. Love you every one!
Now we're missing some folks here but we  managed to corral a few and snag this photo. Thank you to all of those who also saw the Channel 3 Live at Nine Segment and dropped what you were doing to get in the car and rush to the bookstore. We are honored by all of you!
Oh thank you beautiful for making a special trip and coming in to Grace us with your presence.

All we can say to this poster is AMEN!

Sometimes what you really need after a long day on the road is a little puppet play time.
But some puppets, just like their people, are a little camera shy!
What was the last thing we asked Mary Gay even with the gps systems and an Atlas? Oh yes we did, we asked her directions.
DSC_0065And some stories we just had to wonder about and leave behind because we had to continue on down that highway. On A Wing and A Prayer folks!

Cordova Library, Memphis TN

Fresh from our stop in Jackson - by way of Fairhope, AL that morning, the Cordova Branch of the Memphis Library looked like a Welcome beacon.

 And it was. We had smiling face holding the door, literally holding the door open for us and greeting us, as we walked through with a smile and a sigh. Philip and Norvel were the greatest of hosts.

 We may have been blurry-eyed but we were having a great time.


 This is the beautiful sculpture that awaits library patrons. Incredible!


 A little gator anyone? A little bear time? We can't speak highly enough for Cordova. We walked through the door to discover little gift bags which included Memphis b-que sauce and bowls of fresh fruit. More things we MEANT to take pictures of but were too busy telling stories. We closed the library down and wanted to stay another hour in the parking lot but an early morning TV appearence was on the  schedule. Thank you so much Cordova for making our visit so memorable.

The Lemuria Gang

We pause for pics with Jonni Webb, the original, founding, let's do a book club Pulpwood Queen of Jackson Mississippi. We loved visiting this famous bookstore and perusing the shelves. Then we joined the readers for a little storytelling time in the room. All we needed was a stage, a mic, and a little encouragement and the stories started flowing. As you can see from all the photos below no doubt about it we were having a great time. If laughter is good medicine, we were over-medicated when we had to say our good-byes and get on down the road to be in Memphis. And if it looks like that one of us grew a little - that would be a special someone who surprised "her Keggie" with a visit to the Road trip. I do believe the Bellerina Czar even helped her sign books!

AS tempting as it was to put our feet up and stay awhile, library folks were waiting for us up the road in Memphis.




















On a Wing and a Prayer (and a shoestring now)

River and Shellie

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Shellie is driving and we are lamenting. What else should two southern girls be doing while they are riding a thousand miles.

THIS IS our OFFICIAL WOULDA, SHOULDA, COULDA list but this does not mean that we are signing off on it permanently. It has been a growing nest of despair as each day had ticked by with the delightful feeilng of getting closer to the finish line and yet . . .

At the same time there is this horrible sense of loss, of mighthavebeens, and if only's knocking at our door.

It started with the fact that we had both looked forward to SEEING ROCK CITY like 4th graders on a spring break bus trip. We longed for statues of dwarfs without reason, photo ops at the Ruby Falls, a quick peek at Lover's Leap (not a good way to express your love we might add) and collecting some great items to bring home to family and friends like little birdhouses that say so poetically - SEE ROCK CITY.

We passed up Tallulah Falls, Gorge Overlooks, little restaurants by the water with cafe tables and umbrelleas. We have missed F. Scott Figerald's House, The little House of the Poet of Tolstoy Park, The Blue Angels Air Show (kinda), The graves of the famous and the dead unknowns (and by the way - I'm using that for a book somewhere). We have longed to wander under magnolia trees drapped with moss and pick our way through tombstones with stories. All for naught our wanting.

Our wandering has not led us down any of the paths here that we would have chosen or included on this trip, our little passport to paradise of things we wanted to see has not been punched. However and so on - -
We have made incredible friends along the way and then stayed up till three posting, cutting and editing those interviews so that those of you who couldn't be with us - somehow still were with us. Yes, we missed discovering Dauphin island on bikes or meandering down precious sidewalks in Fairhope. We have drug (past tense of drag) around cards to mail from our families from the beginning of this trip but there hasn't even been time to find aPost Office.

What we have found is the inside of bookstores across six states and dipping into seven. What we have found are stories that have been waiting for us to show up and pluck them. What we have found everywhere we've pulled up,  set up our radio eqiupment and opened up a book is YOU reader, behind the door or behind the page.

I guess our woulda- shoulda - coulda list just disappeared into thin air. We''ve been right where we were supposed to be all along.

On the road to Jackson, MS. And coming in on a Wing and a Prayer (and a shoestring!)

River and Shellie

Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Fun at Page and Palette

We entered Fairhope with incredible Sunshine, a festive Spring air and with everyone dancing! See, we mean it.

 Where we received the key to the city upon our arrival. (okay - we received the keyhole but that was good enough for us. We felt welcomed.)
 Page and Palette corners the market on most, excellent reads.
The Cat was waiting. With attitude.
 And so were old and new friends. And enticing things to buy.
 Our newest friends were waiting patiently when we arrived. And no, we were not late. They were early and that really is the truth. What beautiful souls and how much fun they were.
 Ellen made that great dish the Caviar of the South. Yum, yum. Really.
 Love this sign and it is all true.
 We love it when children feel so welcome.

 Ahhh, stories, stories, stories.
 Beautiful Rita graced us with her presence. Thank you for listening to everything.
 Rick gave us a little technical advice, and just cracked us up. And he made our other new friends from Chicago feel a real, southern welcome. Love that fact that the family visiting had never once before been to an author reading, signing, or tapdance. Rick said  that it certainly wouldn't be their last he was sure of that.

 Bookstore Ellen and Sandra.
 WE have a pocket full. A double fisted pocketful!
DSC_0032These boards of welcome have been some of our favorite things on the trip and we are saving all the pictures for the Mama's. 


 Ellen was so nice to host us. She made our night.
 Ummm, which way do we go?????
 We walked back to our home away from home  away from home like tired but happy pups, still telling stories, still staring at that great full moon,

Love a town with a clock. We wanted to take this one home with us. For the record it's glued down!

 Somewhere in here is a place to lay our tired heads. 

Shellie is missing March Madness and she has whined about it a lot! Really, really a lot. She is so missing it she wanted to find a place with a tv when we discovered there was no hotel restaurant or room service.

So we roughed it like any good writers on the road. A little fireplace, a bite to eat, and a whole lot of Thankful.

Turn the page folks, we are in bed and then down the road to Lemuria Books and Jackson, Mississippi.

Coming and going on a Wing and a Prayer!

River and Shellie.