Saturday, January 8, 2022

2021 Christmas

 

Christmas Day at Jason and Ellen's place

CHRISTMAS IN LONDON

 

Doug and I spent Christmas with Jason and his family. Everything was great about the trip except the airport, which was a headache, foot ache, stomach ache...you get the idea. 

 

(L to Rt.) Jason, Ellen, Lola, Milla, Me, Doug

We were treated royally by Jason, Ellen, and the girls. I can see why a person would choose to live in London, tho you need a padded wallet. Bookstores still exist, for one thing. Busy streets with little shops of every make and model. Variety of eating establishments—pubs, cafes, restaurants, carry-outs, coffee shops. Food prepared on the premises --very little fast food.

 

I'm with granddaughter Milla at Abney Cemetery in Hackney
  

One of the places I return to when we visit is Abney Cemetery, which is a short walk from the house. It's a forest with chaotic graves and ancient headstones overgrown with vines.

 

Jason and Milla at memorial for soldiers killed in war

The Hackney Theatre is a glamorous venue with gold gilded trim, chandeliers, and a ceiling light that looks like the sky filled with stars. We attended a panto (short for pantomime, a uniquely English interpretation) titled "Jack and the Beanstalk." It was musical slapstick, fun for children and adults. 

 

We went to the Barbican Centre one night for Beethoven's Ninth. I'm reminded of the difference between hearing music on my earbuds and hearing it live in an auditorium. I'm not a classical music fan but when "Ode to Joy" came on, it was a unique and heartfelt moment. 

Me and Jason at the Barbican

I was reminded of not just our musical heritage, but of our history as humans, as creative creatures who re-invent the world with the passage of time. And what is new can only exist because of what existed before we arrived on the scene. 

 

One of my favorite photos, Jason at Abney Cemetery

Monday, December 13, 2021

Lexington Library Dec. 11, 2021

AUTHORS FOR LITERACY

 

Saturday I was with 17 other authors signing books at the Authors for Literacy event at the Lexington Library. I spent more time visiting with writers than selling books. Was glad to catch up on news of several writers I don't see often enough -- Kathy Widener, Pat McNeely, John Starino, Johnny Bloodworth, and Halina Schafer.

 

Thanks to Johnny Bloodworth for photo.
 

In the photo, I'm telling my writer friend Johnny to take several shots--too often my eyes are shut or my mouth open or both.

 

This is the last author event for me for 2021. What a change from 2020! With Covid on the run, this has been a come-back year with business getting back to normal.

 

I'm having an early Christmas dinner in Fairview, SC, with my Rawls family this Sunday. For the holiday, I'm heading to London to visit son #1 and his family. 


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Bonnie Appearances

 Photos of Book Festivals

At Aiken Book Fair Nov. 13

It's been my pleasure to participate in several recent book events, opportunities for me to meet readers and other writers. To get my work done, I spend a lot of time alone in front of a computer. Thanks to our libraries, writer associations, and other art organizations, people like me have a chance to get away from a desk.

At Aiken Christmas Craft Show Dec. 3-4

I know I'm not the only author who finds selling books an onerous task. However, these occasions combine socializing with selling, which lightens the load. The work that goes into packing books, tables, posters, displays, tablecloths, and sometimes tents, is worth the effort.

 

At Lourie Ctr. Books for Gifts Nov. 18
 

If I had the means, the finances, and the influence, I'd make an Art, Pottery, & Letters festival with books, paintings, photographs, and pottery. Painters and pottters have as much of a challenge selling their products as writers. Those of us in the arts, by going our singular ways, don't attract the interest that a combination would.

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Bonnie's Books @ Aiken Market

 


SHOP FOR UNIQUE GIFTS 

At Aiken's Christmas Craft Show this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3 & 4, I'll be selling and signing fiction, poetry, and children's books. 

LOCATION:  H. Odell Weeks Activities Center

ADDRESS:  1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC.

TIME:  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

INFO:  803-642-7631

With 100+ exhibitors from across the Southeast, it's a great place for Christmas shopping.

My booth will be inside the building, but the show will also be on the park grounds. You'll find crafts such as wreaths, wood furniture, paintings, baked goods, ornaments, clothing, ceramics, needlepoint, resin art, and BONNIE's BOOKS. Food vendors will be there with your favorite treats.

Admission and parking are free. Ho! HO! HOOO! Hope to see you there!


Monday, November 15, 2021

Book Events to Visit

 

 

Let's Get Together
 

 Upcoming Events

 

I'll be at the following venues soon.

Come and visit with local authors

and with me!

 

 

Books for Gifts

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021

6PM - 8PM

The Lourie Center

1650 Park Circle

Columbia SC

Entry $5 includes

wine, refreshments

free gift wrapping

Meet and Visit 25 local authors

Including ME

 

Aiken Christmas Craft Show

Friday, Dec. 1 & Sat. Dec. 2

9 AM - 5 PM

H. Odell Weeks Activities Center

1700 Whiskey Road

Aiken, SC 29803

Bonnie joins artisans

from across the Southeast

for this show.

 

Authors for Literacy

Dec. 11, 1PM - 3PM

Lexington Co. Main Library

5440 Augusta Road

Lexington, SC

Bonnie and local authors turn out

to raise funds for Turning Pages




Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Noir at the Bar

RUMPUS AT THE ARISTOCRAT

Last Wednesday night at The Aristocrat in Columbia, eight local writers, including me, read short fiction to a room jam-packed with noir characters, some of them in our stories. We put over some dicey plots, plugged a few lowlife characters, and teamed up with the audience for a swell evening.

 

Here's a photo of me reading my short story "Six Inch Heels." The gal in this story starts with trouble and ends with more than she started with.

 

Thanks to Chris Maw and Raegan Teller and The Aristocrat for a darkly entertaining night. 

 

Thanks to Raegan Teller for the photo.

 


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

SCWA's Authors Corner

 

AUTHORS CORNER...

WHERE I'LL BE TALKING ABOUT WRITING 

— I'll be live today (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM 

on the SC Writers Association Facebook page 

with host Kasie Whitener 

and suspense fiction author M.Z. Thwaite. 

The program will also be on YouTube here:

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl5vOXywR8RK59loMMmAuxg 

         In case you miss it, check-in later 

        and watch the recording, 

        also on YouTube and FaceBook.



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Inman Harvest Festival

WHERE I WAS LAST SATURDAY

 

Inman, a small town located in the foothills of upstate South Carolina, held its annual Harvest Day Festival last Saturday. Their claim of 20,000 visitors is credible, given the traffic on Main Street, which was lined with artisans' tents. My tent was number 44.

Here in my tent, after set-up

I usually let shoppers look over my books without interference. If they pass the time limit of just-passing-through, I'll get out of my seat and ask them a question.

 
Should I approach these ladies? What to say?

I'm not a good salesperson-- but below I'm doing my best to convince the lady to buy one of my books.

My husband Doug, on the other hand, strikes up a conversation with anybody who wanders into our tent. He's good at telling jokes and loves meeting strangers.

I should pay Doug (right) a sales commission

Festivals are a lot of fun, but they're also a lot of work—setting up a tent, putting up tables, banners, displays, books. Inevitably the afternoon gets long and fatigue sets in. I couldn't do this without my husband Doug and sister Nila.

Nila (seated) is welcome company at festivals

Monday, September 13, 2021

magical realism


WRITING MAGIC

 

Did realism in novels get too gritty for readers? Too horrific? Is that a reason for the rise of fantasy, sci-fi, and magical realism? Fantasy and sci-fi create other worlds where suspense and violence are a step removed from the reader. Magical realism, on the other hand, takes place in a real world where magic is as common as clouds.  

 

How do you make the incredible normal? Inevitably, the writer must blur the line between reality and fantasy. Tropes that have been used to accomplish this are telepathy, dead persons as characters, psychological disorder, paranormal phenomena, and a washy way with time.

 

See more on magical realism on my blog, featured on Columbia II Writers Workshop's website this week.


Monday, July 19, 2021

Guest Blogger - Columbia Writers


FOR GOOD OR BAD

 

Do books have morals? Maybe it's easier to ask "Do movies have morals?" I'm suggesting that words and pictures that appear for public consumption are not just entertainment, but they have an effect on us. And by extension, on our culture.

 

Writers are encouraged to grab the reader in the first sentence and keep them in suspense for the duration of a novel. That's one reason we see fiction take off with a sex scene and continue with murder, fist fights, and drugs for 300 pages.

 

Some thoughts on this in my blog for the Columbia II chapter of the SC Writers Association.

Friday, May 28, 2021

 


New website

 

Take a look!

 

Just for my children's books.

 

Cat's Fur and Lizard Dream get their own website. Illustrator Marlaena Shannon's drawings underscore the concept that these are not your usual children's books.

 

Cat's Fur is a mystery about a runny nose. Kids will figure out the cause of the witch's problem on the last page.

 

In Lizard Dream, the witch discovers how to get over the problem that came up in Cat's Fur. She deals in potions, so she spends time in the woods with the cats searching for herbs.

 

Both books teach kids a most important lesson -- they need to learn to read to have fun.

 

Click here to check it out.

 

My ongoing site -- bonniestanard.com is still online with my historical fiction novels and poetry. 

 




Friday, May 21, 2021

artfields 2021

 

I'm surrounded by art.

ART FEAST

 

It’s over. And it was great! My favorite spring thing. Art Fields. There weren’t as many art entries this year but they were amazing.

 

My sister Nila and I strolled around Lake City (South Carolina), guidebook in hand, penciling in our score for each work of art. We used a 1-5 rating, 5 being the best, i.e., art we’d like to have in our house, or some house, considering the installation art. It’s added fun to be able to vote for your favorites at the welcome center, and I gave 28 works of art a score of 5 and voted for each one of them.

 

I'm cozy with a scary bit of art.
 

I down-scored art that was in-your-face political, and it seems there was more of that this year than in previous years. Even if the artist is preaching to me about political views I already accept, I don’t like preaching.

 

We appreciated the new restaurant Green Frog on Main Street, at least new to us.

 

Art Fields is an event I look forward to as if it were Christmas or Easter. I’m grateful for Darla Moore and her support in making art an adventure.

 

Nila and red wolves


 

     



bully amazon

 

Bully Amazon

 

"Please consider this a first warning."

 

How polite of Amazon to use please! About as nice as an executioner asking the condemned to pardon them.

 

"Failure to comply with our policies may result in your account being banned from taking part in Community features."

 

Oops! The gamekeeper threatens to use a shotgun on a fly. Seems I didn't follow their guidelines in making a comment or comments about some product(s).

 

"Thanks for your understanding in this matter."

 

Aren't they nice to thank me for understanding? Understanding? I have no idea what comment has their dander up, and they're not saying which one or why.

 

Thank-you, Amazon. I'm duly intimidated. I'll try to write only nice, positive comments in the future, especially if a product is made by one of the 104 companies you own.

 

 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Not Tomorrow, but May 26

 


Witches Rescheduled

 

Sorry to have to reschedule my “Witches of Loudun” presentation.

 

I’ve spent the day on my computer with Carol Kay trying to get my Keynote document to work with Zoom. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been a frustrating day.

 

Guess I brought on the problem myself. When I agreed to do the presentation, I owned a computer that dated back to 2009. Upon beginning to work on visuals, I discovered that PowerPoint doesn’t support dated versions.

 

So I bought a new computer. Second thing I learned is that interface is a nasty word. Couldn’t get Keynote and Zoom to talk to each other on the new computer.

 

Tomorrow I’ll get more technical help. In the meantime, the “witches” will have to wait until May 26 at 2:00 PM. If you’re interested in seeing it, get a registration email from Carol Kay. Email her. The address is carolk at sc.rr.com.


Friday, April 16, 2021

thoughts on grieving

 

How We Say Good-bye

 

My niece Tracy passed away in the early hours of yesterday. This morning we got word that her body had been cremated and a memorial service will be at some future time. Her departing was short-lived and we’re still trying to take in what has happened.

 

During her illness, her immediate family discouraged the rest of us from making calls or otherwise communicating with them about Tracy. In her final weeks of hospitals, doctors, and agony (and from all accounts it was agony) she was attended by her husband and parents-in-law. Most of us kept our distance and depended on the occasional family member able to get updates.

 

Now we are dealing with devastating emotions without the consolation of being together. This is not a criticism nor am I suggesting this is a bad thing. It’s an observation that our experience is unlike what is usually expected.

 

Years ago my husband worked with a colleague whose father died. This man went from the funeral in the morning to the office in the afternoon and didn’t miss a day of work. We wondered if something was wrong with him, or with his relationship with his father.

 

We’ve come to believe the normal way to face grief or hardship is to pour out our feelings to others, even strangers. We’re told that suppressed emotions cause mental problems, even cruelty or criminal behavior. Sharing our emotions is supposed to help us avoid personality defects.

 

The ubiquitous advice is to find a support group, make connections, get help. Join group therapy. Share your feelings with others, even if it’s online with somebody you’ve never met.

 

Are we getting to the point that we suspect we’re not having an emotion if we don’t share it with others? Do we think that the more people who are “sharing” our suffering, the stronger our emotion and the greater the benefit?

 

What about those of us who want little if any emotional “support?” Or even those of us who find other people as an intrusion to our grieving? What of people who prefer to deal with death (or whatever the problem) alone?

 

As for Tracy, she brought a bright light to our family. Even the tone of her voice projected a sense of happiness—it could be heard in a crowd, adding a note of cheer. We will miss her.

 

 


Friday, April 2, 2021

Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival Review

 Cherry Blossom Festival Wrap-up

 

I'm with the mascot, not sure what it's supposed to be...
  

The Cherry Blossom Festival was a learning experience.

 

Lesson #1 – Location! Location! Location!

Lesson #2 – In-your-face lay-out

 

Location

Our booth was not located on the Midway, and few people ventured into the two courses extending off the main thoroughfare, and we were on one of the courses. That in itself meant little traffic, but to make matters worse, we were surrounded by vendors with nothing to vend—the sheriff’s department, Conyers waterworks, and the Christian Academy. None of these booths had merchandise on display.

 

In-your-face

Books are a hard-sell to begin with. It was unrealistic to assume people would stop and meander inside the tent where my books were displayed. I figured that out by Sunday and placed the display table crosswise the tent and near enough to the strolling public to attract their attention without their stopping.

 

We were rained out on Sunday. I’ve learned to be proactive in packing up if the weather looks threatening. Rained-on books don’t recover.

 

The Cherry Blossom Festival is well organized and the staff is friendly. But it’s a long drive from Lexington.

 

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Conyers, Georgia, Cherry Blossom Festival

 CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

March 27-28

Dressed in pink for the Cherry Blossom Festival

It's been a year in my closet, and at last I'll get to wear the pink sparkly blouse I bought for the Conyers, Georgia, Cherry Blossom Festival. Like every other festival, the physical event was cancelled. But they’re in full swing this year with live entertainment, arts and crafts, and of course, Bonnie Stanard’s Book Booth, which will be dressed in pink cherry blossom garlands. I'll be there with my historical fiction novels, children's books, and beautifully framed photos and art. Inventory includes:

Antebellum series set in 1858, Coastal SC

Kedzie, St. Helena Island Slave

Master of Westfall Plantation

Sonny, Cold Slave Cradle

Westfall, Slave to King Cotton

WWII saga, a family in central SC experiences the war

Dust on the Bible

What Missing Means

Children’s Books, a witch and her cats

Cat’s Fur

Lizard Brew 

It will be a fun weekend. I'm looking forward to it and hope you'll consider coming along.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Cherry Blossom Festival

 

I'll be at Booth number 21 with my historical fiction novels and children's books. Come by and say "Hello" and get a bargain on my books. Time to get out of the house and into a mob of people! 

 

The Cherry Blossom Festival has been named the Best Event in the Southeast by the SE Festival and Events Association.

 

In addition to artwork and crafts will be ongoing entertainment including musical groups (Joe Lasher, Kaitlyn Baker, Ashley Walls, etc.) as well as chainsaw carving, air dog show, puppet show, and a kimono demonstration. And of course, there will be hot dogs, funnel cakes, turkey legs and more.


 

March 27 and 28

Saturday and Sunday

10 AM - 5 PM

Free admission

$8 parking per vehicle

 

Georgia International

Horse Park

on Gees Mill Road

Conyers, Georgia

 

For details, see the Cherry Blossom Festival online. 


Doug is my partner in pitching tents and hawking books.
Here at the Rice Festival 2019.