#123–Looking back at 2013 . . .

 

The Crossings Guide came out in January.

The Crossings Guide came out in January.

My new book The Crossings Guide to Oregon’s Coastal Spans didn’t make it out in time for Christmas last year as we had hoped; it came out January 10. I made up for lost time; by the end of January 11, it was in 10 venues in Florence. And The Crossings Guide remained a big part of my life throughout 2013

In early February, I was the tour guide to 14 bridges in 8 ½ hours. It was part of the community college’s Outward Ventures classes. (Check out blog #88–– crossingsauthor. wordpress.com.) We had a 14-passenger bus with large view windows, and it was full. We stopped at all but a couple bridges, and walked up on more than half of them between Depoe Bay and Coos Bay. We all had a good time.

Here I'm giving my spiel on the Cummins Creek Bridge on the bridge tour.

Here I’m giving my spiel on the Cummins Creek Bridge on the bridge tour.

By February, The Crossings Guide had made it to Crescent City. That’s because I took an extra day to distribute the book when I went to Gold Beach to the South Coast Writer’s Conference over President’s Day weekend. I always enjoy this conference because I get to reconnect with writer friends and attend workshops taught by respected writers.

Throughout the year, I made trips south to Bandon, north to Lincoln City, and over to Eugene placing the new book, filling orders for Crossings, and doing presentations.

In April, I drove to California to visit family and friends. I visited Virginia Hall in Ashland on my way down. She was still in her own home and under the care of a caregiver since a recent stroke. I had lunch with her and son Jim. Then onto the Bay Area and a couple days visit with college roommate Teeta. We visited wineries in Sonoma County, the Cliff House in S.F., and saw the Golden Gate from the Marin Headlands.

My mom continues to amaze all of us at 101 and still in her own home. It was a great two weeks of visiting family. On my way home, I spent a couple of days each with Rosemary at Discovery Bay, whom I’ve known since 7th grade, and another college roommate, Phyllis, who lives near Nevada City. Nothing like having long-time friends!

At Lindsay and Anna's wedding in Las Vegas.

At Lindsay and Anna’s wedding in Las Vegas.

In June, I flew to Vegas for a wedding––not mine! It was my brother’s son, Lindsay. His fiancé grew up in Las Vegas. All of my family––including Mom––were there. Even though the temps were outrageous at 112 degrees, it was a lovely wedding and great reception. We all had a good time, but I could hardly wait to get back to cooler temps.

Later in June, I headed to Ashland for a celebration of life for Virginia, who passed away on Mother’s Day. Many family members and friends gave her a grand send-off.

Before leaving on the Ashland trip, I made lots of calls and was able to distribute my new book at venues that already carry Crossings in Grants Pass, Medford, and Ashland. On my way home, I detoured to two new venues in Shady Cove and Eagle Point that now carry my books.

From this point on, my life was greatly impacted by yet another book. In June, I was contacted regarding doing a book about the history of Florence for Arcadia Press as part of their Images of America series where the books are filled with photos and the text is mostly in captions. I realized that with my connections as a docent at Florence’s Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, I could do this. So I spent a week in June writing a book proposal.

I was also busy from May through September with the Florence Festival of Books as co-chair for the third year in a row.

I had some wonderful tasty tomatoes this year.

I had some wonderful tasty tomatoes this year.

So during July and August, I alternated between festival stuff and working on the new book with some time spent each day in the yard and garden. I had great tomatoes and green beans this year.

Then in September, my tenant downstairs, Trudonna, moved out, and in October, the sister of a friend moved in. During September, I wallpapered, painted, and cleaned out all of my furniture and got ready for the new tenant, who had her own furniture. I even had a garage sale. Never again––too much work for too little gain. Between the tenant change and the book festival, I didn’t make any progress on the new book during September.

At  the Florence Festival of Books, author Gary Hartman shows a boy something he made following the directions in his book for kids..

At the Florence Festival of Books, author Gary Hartman shows a boy something he made following the directions in his book for kids..

On September 28, the Festival of Books was a great success in spite of a huge rain- and windstorm. Only a few of the 91 participants called to say they would not be there. Eighty-seven showed up with their books, as did 525 attendees.

With a mid-November deadline on the Arcadia book, I hunkered down from the first week of October until the week before Thanksgiving. I only surfaced to interview old-timers or business owners and to take photos. All 183 photos were sent by deadline, and the text followed a few days later. A few of the photos were not good enough. So I spent the next couple of weeks finding replacements. December 10 was the deadline for those and caption changes. I think I can finally say that Around Florence is done! It’s due out May 1—in time for the Florence Rhododendron Festival.

Here is how the Around Florence cover will look. I couldn't resist picking one that had the bridge in it.

Here is how the Around Florence cover will look. I couldn’t resist picking one that had the bridge in it.

On December 4, I went to Tillamook and points north to Astoria and the Long Beach Peninsula to place The Crossings Guide in all the venues where Crossings is located. Something I planned to do last May. So now I can finally say that the book is on the entire Oregon Coast and even in Ilwaco and Ocean Park on the Long Beach Peninsula. I sold 87 books on this trip.

I also got waylaid by a snowstorm. I planned to go up Wednesday and return Friday, but Mother Nature had other plans. By Friday, it was in the low 20s, snowing, and windy. So I stayed an additional two days. I read a good book and relaxed. Then I came home very carefully on Sunday because of stretches of packed snow on the headlands.

I will be flying to California to spend Christmas with my family for a couple of weeks. I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday, and I wish you the very best in the new year.

Sir Groucho continues to be a great companion. As always,  Judy

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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2 Responses to #123–Looking back at 2013 . . .

  1. Evelyn says:

    What a spectacular year you had! Doesn’t appear you could’ve made it any busier. 🙂

    When you’re in Gold Beach for the Writer’s Conference, we’ll have to get together for coffee/lunch/whatever. Maybe we can coordinate with Laurel & have a real chat fest.

    Best wishes for 2014!

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