Monday, May 28, 2007

Being Home

It feels like weeks since I've been home but it's only been a few days. After Chicago I headed to Sunriver and Redmond for book groups and events then Jerry drove me back to the airport for a trip to St. Louis. I loved both cities, by the way. Especially St. Louis. Everyone there was so friendly. The staff at the hotel, people riding the elevator, people at the restaurants, really, it was very small town-like. I commented about that to the events coordinator at the Missouri History Museum and he said it was a way of disarming people, that when they greeted them with exurburance then walked away the person was too stunned to do anything criminal to them. I think he was kidding. My publicist and I also did a little tourist trip up the arch. The sign at the ticket counter said "conditions at the top: movement. Enter at your own discretion." Gee, that could describe my life sometimes....though the movement part hopefully is a good thing. We did take the ride up the tram, felt the arch movement at the top, looked out two windows then walked to the other side and rode down. Flying is fine...standing on top of a moving piece of cement at 680 feet isn't.
We had a brief tour of the Missouri History Museum built during the time of the 1904 World's Fair. As we moved into one of the sections I noticed a glass case housing red and crystal glasses, shot glasses, tumblers, etc. with "1904 World's Fair" written on them. I have one of those in my own cabinet at home and I realized at that moment that my grandmother, from whom I received it, must have been here! It was a delight, really and made me ask about photographers at the fair. I learned there was only one official female photographer and that got me thinking along a story line since my grandmother was a photographer (not the official one!) and so was my grandfather. It peeked my interest anyway and who knows where it will take me.
Meanwhile, I signed a contract for my quilt book! What follows is the official news release.

Jane Kirkpatrick, author of thirteen award-winning and bestselling historical novels and three non-fiction books has just signed with WaterBrook Press/Random House for a new project combining history, quilts and crafts. Her agency, Hartline Marketing and Literary Services announced the agreement today. Stitching Stories: The Quilts and Crafts of the Aurora, Oregon Colony will be published in the fall of 2008.
Both a gift book of inspiration and a tribute to the longest-surviving communal Christian colony in the western United States, Stitching Stories is set to coincide with renewed interest in the American craft movement as well as the 150th anniversary of Oregon's statehood in 2009. Kirkpatrick's Change and Cherish Historical Series is based on the life of the only woman sent west to help found the western colony in the 1850s. Book three in the fictional series, A Mending at the Edge will be released by WaterBrook/Random House in April, 2008. A Tendering in the Storm, book two, has received critical acclaim since its release in April.
Settled in 1856 as a German-American Christian community whose members traveled from Pennsylvania and Missouri to Aurora, Oregon, its artisans were known for their weaving of beauty, faith and function through their colorful quilts and fibers, unique basketry, fine music, hand-tooled furniture and the culinary arts that served their neighbors and each other. The colony disbanded in 1884 but the town it founded continues on the historic register as one of the oldest settlements in Oregon and its history is one of a faith community living with relevance to the outside world. A fine museum houses the artifacts including more than 80 original quilts many of which will be highlighted with photographs in this coffee table gift book.
Keep your good thoughts coming for me as I finish the final revisions on A Mending at the Edge and begin work in earnest on the Quilt book.
Hope your days go well.

1 comment:

Janet Grace Riehl said...

Jane, We came to visit you at home (through the technology of the computer world)to see what you're up to and what you're thinking about. I enjoy seeing your rhythm of going out and coming back to your base and how that sustains and nourishes you.

Janet Grace Riehl (and my sweetheart Daniel Holland)