Friday, January 29, 2010

XXXII ~ February 2010

It's still winter here, though we had a lovely day in the fifties before the snow began to fall again. Eighteen or more inches is a possibility -- and that includes the possibility of another power outage. We're prepared -- generator, wood, gas, kerosene, dog food, people food . . . and in further preparation, I'm posting this a few days early -- just in case we're without power on the first.

I've seen some preliminary cover art for The Day of Small Things -- I can't show it to you yet but I was very pleased with it. The cover features a young woman atop a rail fence, looking off into the woods -- very much like the young Birdie I'd imagined but for one little detail.

In my manuscript, the young Birdie's hair is a pale, moonlight blonde. This cover shows a girl with long dark hair.


When I pointed this out to my editor, she asked the Art Department to try to photoshop the hair color to blonde and they gave it a try but the results were less than pleasing.

So, I went back through the manuscript and turned Birdie's pale tresses to dark brown. It wasn't that big a deal -- and I wasn't that attached to a blonde Birdie. But for all of you who think that authors have input or control over their covers, I say to you, ha! ha! and au contraire.

Maybe by next month I'll be able to show you the cover. The book is listed on Amazon now, for presale, which does make it seem a little closer to reality.

Here's a slide show of various and sundry photos from January. Click on the picture to view.


Mary B. writes: The Beauty School of Kabul was interesting and kind of fun. Have you read it?
It was interesting and kind of fun. It's about an American hairdresser who started a cosmetology school for Afghan women -- non fiction. You can imagine the problems she had! Also -- have you read The Lacuna?... I love Barbara Kingsolver and am anxious to read it. I'm interested in the whole Frida Kahlo/Trotsky/Diego drama.

Pat in east TN says: I'm reading The Coal Tattoo right now and they're talking about the mineral rights that folks had signed years before not really knowing what they were signing... now the coal company was coming in to do more mining and all ~ell was about to break loose. It's a good book but then I am a fan of Silas House.

Tipper in Brasstown (who has a terrific blog - The Blind Pig and the Acorn - about all things Appalachian asks: Have you ever heard of Peggy Poe Stern? I just finished reading one of her books and loved it. She too writes about Appalachia. The book was so good I just cannot figure out why I haven't heard of her before.

Elaine in Hawaii says:I have been reading Christopher Fowler: Full Dark House, 77 Clocks, etc. He's a v. funny guy...or he writes funny stuff.


High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver - Wonderful essays --what a writer this woman is!

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool - If you read (or write) novels with a 19th century English setting, this is for you. Or if you're just curious about that era. I loved it!

Growing Up in Davie County by William Jamie Moore and Jamie W. Moore, ed. -- a detailed glimpse at life in small town North Carolina in the early 20th century. Great archival photographs!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- a recent mention of this book by a comment from Miss Yves in France sent me to the book shelf to get reacquainted with this old friend. Next, Good Wives and Little Men.


Monday, May 17 ~ Meeting with the "Read Between the Wines Book Club" in Morganton, NC.

SEPTEMBER 28 -- MISS BIRDIE FLIES!! Release date for (the long-awaited) The Day of Small Things!!!!!!!!!!

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Mary said...

What a lovely photo! I like "moonlight blond"!

Vicki Lane said...

So did I . . .

Coco said...

Vicki, you not only write great books, you also take fabulous photos!!! I especially love the ice crystals one and your charming kitchen shots, and because I live in Florida, I love your snow and icicle pics!!! I miss winter! Try to stay warm. Cozy thoughts are sent to you!
Coco Ihle

Vicki Lane said...

Joan C wanted to post the following: Our book group is reading "Founding Mothers" by Cokie Roberts. What a different slant on that history! Well worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Vicki, stay warm! I'm going to have to check out Peggy Poe Stern. And I love all the photos - especially the Blue Jay, the Primroses, and the moon. As for the icicles...well, I'm seeing enough of those on my house!

Victoria from Brushstrokes (it would only let me post as 'Anonymous' ... no idea why).

Nancy said...

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder is quite a story of the founding of Health Care Partners in Haiti. In fact, quite a description of Haiti's history. This book is a must-read!
Nancy Burns

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Coco in FL and Vicki in CA! And thanks Joan and Nancy for the reading recommendations!

tipper said...

Lovely photos as always-I think you could be a professional photographer as well as a writer : )

Can not wait for the book!! I was already anxious-but now that I know my beloved Birdie will play a big role in it-I am so excited. The character you created as Birdie rings so true-that I could start down the road and before I've walked more than a mile I would find more than one precious lady who is similar to her.

Thank you for the shout out : )

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Tipper! The next book is all Birdie -- no Elizabeth at all.

Birdie, as she is in her eighties, is a composite of a bunch of ladies I've known.