Temporary hermitage

So it’s been a very busy few days…How appropriate is it that my daughter lives in a Tennessee town called Hermitage? No monks there, though. This whole trip has been a retreat from my usual world, and I haven’t really had time to ruminate on my new book launch. December the second, the first day of our road trip and the first full day WOTS was on sale, was a truly blessed day: A big cluster of sales right out of the gate, and a lovely review (4 stars!) from one quick (but astute) reader! And we were having a great time making our way through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, some of my favorite country in the whole world; strolling though the quirky town of Martinsburg and ending the day with very good long-time friends on their farm in the Shenandoah Valley: A hearth-cooked dinner, wine, great conversation.

The next day, getting though the rest of Virginia and Tennessee was a bit of a challenge, under gray skies: Passing by Sevierville and Gatlinburg, we saw virtually no sign of the terrible wildfires of just a few days ago, but not many signs of tourists, either. My repeated checking of sales stats while on the road not only wore down my phone, it earned me a scolding from my husband.

At my daughter’s cozy little hermitage here in Hermitage, we were served yet another wonderful meal, cooked by her and her significant other. It was a very moving thing, since it was the very first time my daughter served us a full meal in her own home, and it made me realize she has moved completely into adulthood. This was followed by a rainy day exploring urban Nashville, visiting the Parthenon (yes, they have one of those here) and at night, the ‘honky tonk’ row of bars and venues, where you walked past and heard a different singer or band blaring out of each one. It was a scene right out of a novel, and I was riveted by the sight of a tall man strolling past us, with longish white hair and a ruggedly handsome profile, in a black cowboy hat and tweed jacket, and thought maybe I could write a novel around him.

We’re in Pensacola now: After a long gray rainy ride right down the middle of Alabama, we awoke this morning to the sun glittering off the bay, and balmy breezes: Perfect for a walk on the beach, and for a while I actually completely forgot that I was an author with marketing chores to do. My parents patiently accompanied us to the various museums and tourist sites around town, then took us out to dinner; my mother surprisingly upbeat about her upcoming surgery for thyroid cancer. But I think that attitude will get her through it.

In case you weren’t aware, the paperback version of “Wives” is up for sale now. The Kindle version has already flat-lined, but that’s to be expected at this stage of the game, especially when I’m prancing about the South and not doing any significant promotion. No worries here. I’m just enjoying this little bit of sunshine in December, and this precious time with my family.

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