Tag Archive for: Oxford University

Highlights of The Southern Tour

Give me my ruby red slippers, there is nothing quite so satisfying as coming home. I miss my kids (hubby was with me), my bed, my dog (more on that later), my favorite mug full of my favorite tea. I am a creature of habit.

But that being said, this trip was exhausting (6 events in 5 days), but oh so satisfying. Authors can easily get obsessed (or maybe just this author?) over Amazon rankings, checking constantly to see if there is any movement. The mood swings from exhilaration when the numbers suggest books have been sold to the depths of despair when it looks like no one will ever buy any book again – well it’s enough to give you a bad case of whiplash.

But when you’re on the road, actually meeting mystery lovers who have shown up and want to talk about whodunnits, is incentive enough to kickstart the next book in the Sullivan Investigations Series.

Some highlights of the trip:

Selling out twice at Barnes and Noble in Manassas! The manager had put up an end display a couple of days before my event. Sold so many books, he had to reorder – and then I sold every single one of them in two hours.

Visiting Mystery Loves Company – a wonderful bookstore in Oxford, Maryland, in an idyllic setting. Sold out of Murder Takes the Cake there!

Visiting Warrenton, Virginia – the setting of both Murder Off the Books and Murder Takes the Cake. The people were friendly and helpful, and I saw exactly the place where the next murder will occur! I also heard some fun and scary ghost stories about the area. Definitely fodder for Murder Ups the Ante (book three).

My talks at the libraries in Middleburg, VA, Cambridge, MD, and Delmar, DE. The librarians, Sheila Whetzel, Leslie Grove, and Veronica Schell were warm, welcoming, encouraging, and enthusiastic. In a time of economic difficulties, libraries are a national treasure. Many thanks to all.

Fabulous meal at Latitude 38 in Oxford, MD. Yum, Yum, Yum.

Wonderful mini-reunion with old college friends in Washington, DC. All these years later (and it is a looooong time since we were fresh-women together) – and the friendships endure.

Time alone with my husband. With work and family demands, it’s hard to find time to just chat. Long hours in the car were made fun because we were together. Yesterday was our anniversary and I’m so glad I’m married to this wonderful guy.

The recovery of Clio. Wouldn’t you just know that we leave town and the dog gets sick. Good news is she’ll be fine. Even better news, our daughter and son handled the situation perfectly. Poor pup developed a nasty cyst that got infected. Add in a series of thunderstorms which always leaves her terrified, and she’s had a rough few days. But she’s on the road to good health and is back gobbling treats with a vengeance.

My Blackberry. Yep, it was definitely worth the investment. While on the road, I could Facebook and Twitter, and keep up with business e-mails.

So I’m home (hooray), but there are more book events planned for the summer. But first, laundry, grocery shopping, and maybe even a chapter or two of book number three!

Evelyn David

I Love You Dad

I should have written something for Mother’s Day because I really adored my mother, the original Evelyn. She was smart, feisty, independent, hysterically funny, and the original feminist. So Mom, I owe you a blog.

But next Sunday is Father’s Day. The kids and I will celebrate the wonderful Dad that my husband indeed is. But I want to take a moment to honor Carol, my father. He died much too young. He’s been gone more years than we had together. And yet, that bedrock of love he gave me as a kid accounts for much of the person I am today.

First, the name. He spent his life explaining it because Carol is usually reserved for girls. But the family lore is that it was supposed to be Carl, the hospital got it wrong, and my immigrant grandparents didn’t want to argue with authority. So Carol it was.

He was intelligent, kind, gentle, generous, good looking, with a twinkle in his eye and a sense of humor that often saved the moment (especially for an over-dramatic teenage girl). It was Dad who took me to the library every week. He’d get a stack of books (always including a couple of mysteries!), while I carefully picked out my own selection. He traveled for business, probably three weeks out of every month, but never missed a recital, a holiday, or birthday.

We weren’t poor, but money was usually tight. Dad was a product of the Depression and for him, spending money was always a gut-wrenching experience. When I was in college, I begged to go overseas to a summer program at Oxford University. The cost was prohibitive, but his hesitation, I think, was primarily because he would miss me. Still, my heart was set on a summer in England and he reluctantly agreed. I bought my cheap charter plane ticket and headed off. Within two weeks, I was back home. I’d been in a motorcycle accident (don’t ask, I was just incredibly stupid). I’d lost a few teeth, my face was banged up, I looked a mess. But once Dad had been assured by my doctor that I was okay, he paid for a full-fare ticket for me to return to Oxford. “You have to go back,” he insisted. He didn’t want me to be scared to travel or to miss this unique opportunity. It was a magical summer, despite the temporary bite plate!

Now that I’m a parent, I realize how terrifying it must have been for him to let me go. Not to mention how hard it must have been to pay for that expensive plane ticket. But Dad knew what I needed, even if I didn’t.

From him, I learned parenting lessons, long before I had kids. He never spanked me (Mom took a swipe or two), but Dad just looked disappointed when I misbehaved and that would be enough. He said spanking just meant that he was bigger than me, not necessarily that he was right. He taught me to always tell the people you love that you love them – never assume they know. By his example, I learned what a real father should be and I wanted that (and got it) for my own children.

This Sunday, my husband will laugh at the funny cards his kids have given him, smile at the thoughtful gifts they’ve brought, and mostly, just revel in the company of his children. Carol won’t be here, but I’ll hear him in the laughter of his grandchildren. Love you Dad.

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David