When I hired Karen Nichols to do the illustrations for my book, Devil Cat, I had no idea it would lead to me becoming a member of Backstreet Gallery.
After the book came out, I asked Karen if she thought it would be possible to sell copies of it in the gallery, since she is a member and had done the illustrations. She brought it up at a meeting, and someone else suggested I might want to apply for membership. Not long after, I received a phone call and applied.
I have just finished the vetting process or as the gallery would call it, my work has been juried. I picked up the application, filled it out, and returned it with a copy of each of my books. Then I redid all of my PR pieces, so each one could go with the appropriate book. This allowed members to check out “my work.” Then I met with the membership committee where I was interviewed. Finally, the question of my membership was brought up at the monthly meeting of the entire membership, and that was last night. Afterwards, I received a call letting me know that I was accepted. My training will begin in January.
A fairly substantial time commitment is involved that includes being on duty at the gallery a few days a month and attending Gallery events and meetings. Each member is to be on two committees. And there are dues; the amount depends on the size of the display area. I have requested the smallest display area. The Gallery is a co-op, which means each member becomes part owner in the business.
The upside is that all four of my books will be on display and to a different segment of the population than where my books are currently. And the gallery only takes 10% of sales. The location is on Bay Street in Old Town, which generates a lot of traffic. I think it is a terrific opportunity.
There are three Backstreet artists who also have written books. But I think I’ll be the only member that is not an artist. Having me there does fit in with the original mission statement of the gallery: A place where artists can show their work and a venue for musicians and writers to meet and share. So this writer can now share her work.
On other fronts . . .
Victorian Belles Annual Holiday Sale
On November 20–22 once again, Connie Bradley, Karen Nichols, and I were invited to be part of the Victorian Belles Holiday Sale at the event center at Three Rivers Casino. These ladies do incredibly creative and high quality work whether knitting, tole painting, making jewelry, or creating ornaments out of most unusual items such as paint brushes, masonry trowels, wine corks, and bullet casings.
This year, the event lasted three days instead of two and each of us had our own table. That was a good thing, since each of us had four books to sell. We were located next to a popular produce vendor who always has a marvelous selection of fresh produce and jams and preserves. Since it was at the Casino, there were giant TV screens in the corners of the room, so we got to watch the Ducks beat USC on Saturday afternoon. Besides having a good time, I sold 23 books and traded two for produce and other books.
Oregon Historical Society Holiday Cheer
Each year the Oregon Historical Society holds its Holiday Cheer: A Celebration of Oregon Authors book sale. This year it’s December 6 in Portland from noon to 4 p.m. I will drive up Sunday morning and afterwards stay with a friend in Lake Oswego.
The last time I attended was in 2011 with Dick Smith. That was the year that Crossings came out. To be eligible to attend, you have to have published a book in the current year. Since I published Devil Cat this year, I’m eligible. But it’s more involved than that. OHS then chooses among the applications and selects about 85 authors. I feel honored that I was selected. Then you have to send in a fee and drop off (or in my case ship) the books I hope to sell that day. Check out the OHS website to see all of the authors attending–– http://www.ohs.org/events/holiday-cheer.cfm.
I look forward to the event and reconnecting with the authors I know. My only worries are finding the place without getting lost in downtown Portland and finding a good parking spot. (You know, the kind where you don’t get a parking ticket, which is what happened to me the last time I was at OHS.)
In a couple of weeks, we will be ordering 1,000 more copies of Crossings. I’m down to about 150 copies of the third edition, so it’s time to reorder. A year ago, I ran into Terry Nordahl at the museum where I work as a docent. He was there doing research for a family history. His branch of the Nordahl’s were closely involved with the history associated with the river, especially Terry’s dad, Trig, who passed away some year’s ago. I had tried over and over to meet with Terry’s uncles, but illnesses always interfered. So I interviewed those who knew them instead. (Once again, I found that the original source is always the best.)
Terry happened upon my books, Crossings and Around Florence, and gave them a thorough once over. He found a few changes when it came to info about his dad and also about a barge crash into one of the main bridge piers. On the barge crash, I had emailed ODOT about it, but no one seemed to know. So these changes will be in the new edition of Crossings. I also emailed my editor at Arcadia Press for Around Florence and a few changes Terry found there will be made in the next printing. As an editor, I can’t stand the thought of anything inaccurate in any of my books––once I know about them. If I don’t know, I don’t know!
Since my return from sunny California, we’ve had lots of rain and a week of cold temps in the 30s. Thought you’d enjoy this photo of the chairs on my deck with the ferns peeking out. Not only do we have moss between our toes, but we have ferns growing in our deck chairs.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!