Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book comments keep coming!

l. To my friend and colleague, Pat Laster, Just finished reading A Journey of Choice. Good job on bringing these characters together. They blend into a story that ends in a fast-paced, satisfying style. Your title is appropriate. I think the book needs a sequel. Your last chapter practically leads into the beginning of another episode. Write it!
Your friend, Freeda Baker Nichols
2. Billie Ferguson, Benton, called the book "interesting--the different points of view." She'd never read a book like that. It kept the characters straight along with their inner feelings. She, too, said, "It has sequel written all over it."
3. High school ('54) classmate Marie Zoellner said, "I cried; I didn't want it to end."
4. High school ('54)classmate Mildred Craig left a voice mail: "If anybody'd told me I would go home on a Saturday, sit down with a book and read 70-something pages, I'd have told them they were crazy! But I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only stopped because I had things to do."
I thank all who read and commented on my first novel. I DO have a folder marked "Sequel" and a computer document titled "Liddy Grindle's first Christmas..." PL

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February: short month; short poems

hawk eyeing the squirrel
it followed to a cypress
squirrel eyes the hawk, too

(picture by Rick McFarland,
Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
yesterday, plucking
6-inch frozen stems with buds
now, yellow showing
without those who care
no reason to make
snow ice cream
cat sitting in snow
black on white
next glance, only white
cat stalking leaves
not quite buried
by the snow
cardinal, bluejay
bright against snow-laden gray
of bare branches
five inches of snow
yet she bundles up and car crawls
five miles to the gym
on the snowy heap
of garbage a handful
of wilted jonquils
c 2011 - Pat Laster, dba lovepat press

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chester drawers or chest of drawers?

In last Thursday’s Saline Courier was an account of a woman whose father “had passed” and who gave a great number of furniture items to a burned-out family. The reporter is a young woman who seems to be a go-getter—always involved in the newspaper’s sponsoring some charitable event or another.
In the list of items given to the newly-bereft family was “chester drawers.” I yelled out an “Oh, my gosh! I’m not believing this!” and immediately wrote the phrase in my journal.
“Chest OF drawers, sweetie,” I said to her, though she was not in my dining room, “chest OF drawers.”
I Googled (I know some hard noses who will sniff at using that as a verb, but it is SO right; somehow ‘I search-engined’ leaves something to be desired.) “chester drawers” and—I’ll be switched—several sites came up.
The first one I visited was eBay where a twelve-inch, hard record was for sale at $9.99 or best offer. The performer was Chester Drawers; the song, “Rock the Turntables” and the source was shazamsrecords.
Chester Drawers was a real person? Oh, sure, like Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Greenjeans, I supposed. Yep, er yes! Next in the list was Eddie Bowman aka Chester Drawers. This site (eBay again) advertized a book, “Crazy Cat,” for $15.99, o.b.o.
Then there was Chester storage. A furniture company, Chester, made accent tables. On Shopzilla were links to stores selling chester drawers, but all entries and pictures were drawers, and chests, not chester drawers.
I returned to Eddie Bowman’s website. A picture of a sort of hillbilly type with a funny hat, large spectacles, mis-matched, gaudy shirts over overalls and topped with a LOUD tie—he was a Mr. Greenjeans type.
Here is what I learned. “Eddie Bowman, better known as Chester Drawers by people around the world (Have I been hiding under a rock all these years? Who else has heard of this singer?), has been writing songs for many years. Living near Branson, he has also been a professional entertainer and comedian.
“Eddie has entertained people and children from all walks of life all across the US. He is most famous for his children’s books, especially his “Silly Song Series.” All of Eddie’s children’s books are on the national readers program, Accelerated Reader. He has also written three additional humorous and inspirational books.”
Next, I investigated what looked like either a thesis or a position paper, 17 pages with tables, graphs and pictures on “the bureau question: what do you call it?”
Last, I found “100 most often mispronounced words and phrases in English,” ( which I added to my favorites list. Here is the item: “DON’T SAY: chester drawers;DO SAY: chest of drawers. COMMENT: The drawers of Chester is a typical way of looking at these chests down south but it misses the point.”
Who’d a’ thought a person could learn so much about one phrase? Certainly not me. So, is Miss Reporter correct or not? Do you say “chester drawers”?

by Pat Laster, d.b.a. lovepat press c 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Additional observations - A Journey of Choice, Pat Laster

A note card: "Jan 3: Dear Pat, I have finished reading 'A Journey of Choice. I could hardly put it down to do my work. It is so very well written and entertaining. Thanks for letting me know it was published and how to order it. Love, Joan B." (Malvern)
A phone conversation: " I like the dialogue. I liked the thoughts and especially the thoughts about happiness. I stopped once and said, 'I know this person.'" - Beverly L. (Benton)
An email: "Dear Pat: I have your wonderful book here and am really enjoying it. I intended to read it only early in the day, but last night I couldn't help myself and brought it to bed. I want to go slowly and savor every word, you see. It's a fine story, memorable heroine, beautiful language. I was wondering if you had finished it. Congratulations. Dot McL. (Somerset, New Jersey)
Another email: "I finished the book (2nd time) Monday evening.I read it as if I had never read any part or parts of it - and WOW! I enjoyed it twice as much!" Jeanie C. (Hot Springs, member of the former Steel Magnolias, a writers' group from central Arkansas, who was privy to the earliest chapters.)
A third email: "I just finished your book this weekend... Nice twists and unexpected things. I very much enjoyed it." Vicki K.-S. (Eureka Springs)
_ _ _ _
Re book signings: Thirteen folks bought books during the Saline County AR library book signing events during late January. Thanks to all those and to the ones whose comments are above. pl