Sunday, March 5, 2023

Elephant Ear Book Signing

Writers Minnie Dix and Ruby DeLoach standing with me.


Doug and I, along with my sister Nila and her husband, enjoyed the afternoon in Sumter, SC, at the Elephant Ear Gallery yesterday. Beforehand, we distributed promotional flyers about the book signing at the Sumter County Museum’s craft show, which was held in the museum’s park-like back yard under old, impressive trees. Nearby is the museum’s Carolina Country Homestead with examples of colonial buildings such as a blacksmith’s shop, outhouse, loom house, bread oven, and kitchen where they stage Living History Days. 


We went for lunch at the Sidebar restaurant, a good choice for food, service, and atmosphere. 


The weather was perfect for outside activities—sunshine and 72°—which made attracting people inside a challenge, not just for myself but for the other two writers as well. I enjoyed spending time with writers Minnie Dix and Ruby DeLoach as well as our hosts Shelly Brown and Pam.

Front door with sign, thanks to Doug


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sumter, SC Book Signing

Venue for Saturday's Book Signing




To celebrate Read Across America Week (March 2-6), a nationwide effort to promote reading among children and teens, the Elephant Ear Gallery (and gift shop) is hosting a book signing on Saturday, March 4, from 2:00 - 5:00 PM, at 672 Bultman Drive. Light refreshments served. The following local authors will be available for discussion and to sign their purchased books:

  • Award winning Bonnie Stanard, featuring "Cat's Fur," "Lizard Brew," and "Tenth Full Moon," plus others.
  • Ruby H. DeLoach, author and illustrator of nonfiction science books for children (3 - 14+ years).
  • Minnie Dix, featuring her four-book series for children, "Oak Trees That Talk." (Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter).




Saturday, February 25, 2023

elephant ear





The Elephant Ear Gallery in Sumter is a great place for my book signing event in conjunction with Read Across America, which celebrates student readers. I’ll be at the Elephant Ear Saturday, March 4 from 2 – 5 PM along with several other SC writers.


Make a day of it in Sumter and take in the Sumter County Museum’s Craft Fair with handmade merchandise and food trucks. Takes place 9 am – 3 pm. at 122 N. Washington Street.


Book signing in a nutshell:

DATE: Sat., March 4

TIME: 2-5 PM

PLACE: Elephant Ear Gallery

ADDRESS: 672 Bultman Dr. Sumter, SC


Hope to see you there!



Monday, January 30, 2023

Women's Day, Columbia Conference Center



Yesterday I, along with writers Kasie Whitener and Jerry Pate, were installed at a table during the Women’s Day event at the Columbia Convention Center. We were ready to sign and sell our books, but alas, the public didn’t show up in numbers, at least not what the festival claimed (2,000 attendees). Sparse traffic, of course, means sparse sales. I suspect I’m not the only disappointed vendor. 


The day wasn't a complete washout, for I enjoyed conversations with Kasie and Jerry. We didn't debate the world's problems, but we did get into the knotty subject of being a writer in the 21st Century.


There were numerous vendors with unusual crafts for sale. One was a lipstick that lasts for 48 hours and requires special products to remove it. I was sold on that one until I found out how much it cost. A local potter displayed colorful bowls, vases, cups, etc. I’m on the lookout for handmade pottery, which isn’t easy to find locally. A highlight was a musical show by three glamorous belly dancers. Also, the mimosas from the bar were good.

Waiting for book sales....
(Photo Courtesy Doug Stanard)

Monday, January 16, 2023

Midlands Women's Day



WOMEN’S DAY, Men Allowed


I’ll be at the Women’s Day extravaganza Sunday, January 29 to sign my novels. Other writers at my table will be Kasie Whitener and Jerry Pate. There will be over a hundred vendors with entertainment and shopping opportunities provided by artisans and retailers in the Midlands.


Can’t wait to check out some of the vendors in the list, such as Pure Romance (gotta have some of that), Burn Boot Camp (ouch!), and LipSense (could it cure a foot-in-the-mouth habit?). What about Sweet Beyond? Is that a mortician? Not to worry—at a nearby table is Salim’s Shining Light. Others on the roster are individuals (or companies) offering accessories, portraits, bags, beauty infusions, body art, haircuts, pillows, etc..


Take a Sunday afternoon to go to the Columbia Convention Center and wander around (11:00 am-4:00 pm), no ticket required. Should be fun.





Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas Flash Fiction @ The Aristocrat


My aerobics friends came to The Aristocrat for Christmas flash fiction by local authors. My story was about a mouse who ran up a Christmas tree. Linda, leader of my aerobics class (second from left), keeps us moving with fun music, exercises, and stretches. She’s an inspiration!


Membership at the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission (ICRC) is quality at a reasonable cost. In addition to exercise programs, there’s a workout gym with equipment. Other programs on offer are things such as senior travel, after school programs, therapeutic recreation, martial arts, music, and dance.


Thanks to Linda, our aerobics class, and ICRC for helping me keep in shape!




Sunday, December 11, 2022



Holiday Party

Wed., Dec. 14

The Aristocrat, 1001 Washington St, Columbia, SC

6:00 PM



This is a chance to get in the holiday spirit with local SC writers. Have a glass of wine and listen to us read aloud short stories that are magical and/or fantastic. Order another wine and think of it as wassail, think of The Aristocrat as a Medieval alehouse. Think of us writers as bards.


The show starts at 6:00 PM. Kasie Whitener has added a competition to the program. The audience will have the opportunity to vote on the presentations, and the winner will be the MOST Outstanding reader/writer.


I have two different stories, both of them magical with icicles and snow. Not sure which I'll read.


If you haven’t been to The Aristocrat in Columbia, it’s worth visiting—a quaint historic building, cozy bar and diner with live music scheduled weekly, emphasis on jazz.


Hey! Come to the show and vote for me!


Sunday, November 13, 2022

Review of Béjart's Caravan


The Historical Novel Society’s review of my novel Béjart’s Caravan says that the “ribald adventures never fail to entertain.” Set in 17th Century France, the man named Béjart holds together a troupe of troublemakers and actors.  


Here’s an excerpt of the HNS review.

…Character-focused, the tale follows the troupe through their adventures with peasants, nobles, religious fanatics, and the dreaded plague, always in the shadow of the great French writer, actor, and poet Molière…Indeed, the Augusto Troupe displays “few virtues and many vices.”


Stanard wields the deft pen of an experienced novelist as she relays this earthy, delightfully period-appropriate tale. It’s filled with vivid detail that makes France and its people come to life, and readers can rest assured that their money is well-spent on this rousing tale of ambition, art, and the foibles of human beings.


The complete review can be found at:


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Pecan Festival, Florence, SC


Tent is set up, ready for the crowd


At the Pecan Festival yesterday.



“It offends me,” said a young, well dressed black woman, when she discovered I had written an antebellum novel from a slave’s point of view. “How can you know what it feels like to be a slave?”


I said, “Have you ever been a slave? How do you know how it felt?”


“But my ancestors were slaves.”


I said, “What about this? Can I write a story from a man’s perspective, though I’m not a man? Or can a male author write about a woman’s life?”


“That’s a different thing. Where do you get background information? How do you know what slaves suffered?”


“I used the slave narratives, many of them available at the Library of Congress.”


“What’s the slave narratives?”


I told her about the many interviews of former slaves that were recorded in the 1930s as a Writers Project when FDR was president. Within these interviews are many poignant and heart-breaking stories.


The well dressed young woman walked away, apparently still offended. 

The scene in front of my tent, a slow time


Another black lady, who said she was born in 1938 but hardly looked her age, became engrossed in a small book about slavery that I put together using Macintosh Word and a stapler. The text came from the LOC narratives and photos from my collection from the internet.


We went through every one of the 30 pages, and I explained to her what I understood from the photographs. At the end, she said she was glad things weren’t now as they were then.


She suggested I publish and sell the book, and maybe I will. She thanked me for writing it. 


Doug, my partner and business manager


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Cincinnati Visit



Just home from Cincinnati and a visit with son Davis and his family. They threw a Halloween party Saturday night and prepared gruesome treats for the guests (looked scary, tasted good).

Spiders are black olives on deviled eggs.


cookies w/frosting=ghosts and witch hats

Black walnut trees grow beside their house, and I spent time trying to get walnuts out of the shells. Now I know why they are so expensive. Doug and I picked out about a half cup in the three days we were there.


On the patio with black walnuts

We carved jack o’lanterns, put them on the front steps.

Davis carved the biggest one.


Davis and Cindy, ready for trick or treat

Lots of little monsters came by their house Monday evening. I took a mask that was so scary it bothered me. Only wore it for a short time.


Back in Lexington now, about five pounds heavier…



Thursday, October 27, 2022

Wadsworth Reading @ the Aristocrat


Photo left to right: Kasie Whitener, Rex Hurst, Anne Catharine Blake, Raegan Teller, Buck Brinson, AJ Brown, Bob Strother, and me.


Last night, I, along with six other writers, read aloud a flash fiction story at The Aristocrat in Columbia, SC. My story, "Wadsworth Walked Home After Losing His Horse in a Card Game” is about a shifty character who fell, hit his head on a tombstone, and landed in an open grave. The ending is true to our Halloween theme.


At Doug’s suggestion, I kept cutting this story until it’s half the original length, and I probably should have cut it more. And mine’s not the only story from last night that could have been edited shorter.


It was great to see Linda, Linda, and Debra from my aerobics class there.


Today I’m packing for a visit to our son and his family in Cincinnati. We’ll be back on Tuesday. I’m packing my Halloween mask.


Monday, October 24, 2022

Summerville House Tour




On Saturday, I, along with sister Nila and her husband Richard, took the Summerville Neighborhood Assoc. house tour. Perfect weather and luxurious houses to dream about. Not that I’d want to live in them. High-end interior decorators had a field day.



Of the seven houses we toured, six were done-out in mostly white. It is hard to imagine a 6 or 8 year old kid sitting on a white upholstered chair eating jelly and toast at a shiny breakfast table. Though beautiful, the houses ultimately came across as sterile.


Wallpaper is making a comeback, much to my satisfaction.



Nila noticed that of the seven homes, not one had a room used as an office, only two computers in evidence and both of them were tucked away in corners.



Is it a trend to put photos of yourself in every room of your house? Not just photos, but huge painted portraits or yourself and/or your kids? Over the mantle. In the dining room. The living room and bedroom. Precious posed shots of parents hugging kids, a bride in wedding dress, husband kissing wife, the cute dog.


There was a smattering of original paintings, but given the money that went into these homes, you’d think the owners would put something beside photos of themselves on the walls.



I liked the Ty Cobb house, in particular because the owners have kept the radiator heat. Our Richmond home had radiators and they’re wonderful. They sustain a constant warmth without the puffing that comes from the blower fans of gas forced air. Sometimes modern “improvements” aren’t really better.



Without realizing it, we saved the best for last— four apartments at 2421 Central Avenue. Touring them was like seeing a boho museum of art. Owner Anna Avrett put together a magical setting of wildly enthusiastic colors with coordinating furniture and accessories. Every room was a different color concept, but somehow it worked. The apartments are on Airbnb.


One of the apartments at 2421 Central Ave.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

SC State Fair


Step right up and take a chance...


First thing Doug and I did was to take the gondola ride across the fairground. It gives you a panorama view of neon lights, vendors, rides, and swarming people. You can smell the hamburgers cooking and hear the screamers on the rides.


More food vendors than games or rides. Corn dogs come in three sizes, but a foot-long one is more than I want. Doug and I bought a funnel cake, since we hadn’t tasted one in a long time. They look great, all that powdered sugar. And you might like it if you like gummy dough.


The barns with the animals are favorite attractions, especially the fowl house. Chickens are all sizes and colors—red, white, brown, black, or a combination of colors. But I look for the guineas and bantams. You can count on hearing the roosters crowing. 


I'm holding up the moon.
The art show is a reminder that we have talented artists in our state. I’d love to have taken several of the paintings home with me.


On our way out, we stopped and listened as a live band performed. What a show! Lively music sung by a group of double-jointed dancers. We knew the parking lot was full, so we left before the closing hour and avoided the traffic.

History Club Presentation

Had a Great Audience


Last Tuesday’s presentation of “Death & Dying, Antebellum Rituals” to the Four Seasons History Club in Moncks Corner came off without a hitch. I was nervous because, although I’ve made the presentation before, I hadn’t done so with audiovisuals.


For a couple of weeks prior to the presentation I reviewed the rules for using the application Keynote (I have previously made a Keynote presentation to a Zoom group). Most of what I know about using a computer comes from watching instructions on YouTube. With its help, I formatted the pictures and text. And it worked!


A dark room makes for poor photos...

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Author Presentation, Moncks Corner, SC


Been brushing up on “Death & Dying, Antebellum Rituals” for a presentation Tuesday night at the Four Seasons History Club in Moncks Corner. I’ve spent time rummaging through books and the internet and finding more information…there’s always more information. To try to completely cover the subject would take days.


I’ve rearranged some of the sections, removed some information, such as info about medical care in the 19th Century. Treatments were based on a theory as old as ancient Greece, i.e., that illness was caused by in imbalance in the four humors (blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile).


Students at 19th Century medical schools generally learned by textbooks only. You could practically buy a degree, they were mostly diploma mills. No medical license was required even in the 1870s.


Anyway, I try to keep focused on “Death & Dying,” an apt subject with Halloween around the corner.


A slave funeral was different from an owner's


Thursday, October 6, 2022

Mercedes at the Airport published


My short story "Mercedes at the Airport" is on page 62 of the New Reader Magazine's issue number 19, THE TOWER. My years of living in Brussels, Belgium, provide the background for this story. While I was there, I heard of a woman who was in a similar situation to the one in the story. Not that this story has anything to do with her. It's all fiction.
The link is below. It's easy to download the file for the magazine, open with Preview (or Acrobat), and READ!


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Aiken Book Fair



Coming Saturday—Book Fair in Aiken


I’ll be there and so will about 40 other authors from central South Carolina. We’ll have books to sign and sell. The fair will be held at the Etherredge Center, which is located on the west side of the University of SC Aiken campus.


    DATE: Saturday, September 24

    TIME: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

    PLACE Etherredge Center, USCA

    ADDRESS: 471 University Pkwy., Aiken SC


I hope to see you there!