Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tell Us One Wonderful Thing!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: It’s been a rollercoaster week for the Reds. Each us of us has had wonderfully amazing things happen—and had deep sorrows and losses and illness. And that is life, I guess, and I am so honored to be part of this dear Reds family. And a big question for you coming up below.

My week? Along with my ridiculous cold and pre-event hideous allergy attack (but all fine and show went on just swell, thanks to  goodness and allergy pills) WHAT YOU SEE is getting AMAZING reviews: “superb,” says Oline Cogdill,  “Flawlessly done” says Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore, “With echoes of Dennis Lehane at his level best,” says the Providence Journal, and “Drop everything and pick up this book!" says Associated Press. (You can do that here.)

So I am on the road, and HAPPY and crazed. Audiences at my signings are FABULOUS and I am so grateful. (Sunday at Book Carnival in Orange County, and Tuesday at Poisoned Pen! See you there?) 

Thursday I headlined with Tess Gerritsen and BA Shapiro.

 Lookit the crowd!

 And last night Susan and I had a signing together at Jabberwocky Books in Newburyport! It was fantastic.

(We seem to employ similar gestures. Love that!) And it was an amazing night. Thank you, owner Sue Little! And the terrific Connie Hambley and Donald Bain's daughter Laurie were in the house!

But here’s one thing I could not have predicted.  This was the signing in Indianapolis.

See the woman in the front row, in kind of the middle, in a gray jacket with a scarf? That is my High School home ec teacher! In 1966!  Mrs. Teeter came to my event at the Carmel Library, and joined about 65 others to celebrate WHAT YOU SEE.  But I celebrate Mrs. Teeter. She must be what, 90 now? And she remembered me totally. Aw.

I said to her—I loved home ec! But, I confessed, I can tell you now, fifty years later, I did not really enjoy the baked bean burgers you taught us to make. Nor was I a big fan of your tuna pizza.

She allowed as how they weren’t her favorites either.

But you taught me how to sew! I cried. And really, almost cried.

And  then I remembered my skirt. We had to make skirts, and Mrs. Teeter had told us a gathered skirt was the easiest.

So I decided to do pleats. Of course.

She also warned us not to choose a fabric that was plaid, or had any kind of one-way-only design, because it was really difficult to match the seams.

 HA! I thought. No problemo.

Problemo! Mrs. Teeter and I reminisced about the skirt I made, which was beautiful, and the pleats actually worked, EXCEPT the one-way pattern (which included little fringe) was right side up on the front, but wrong side upon the back.  Sigh. Can you imagine? Don't, actually.

I will never forget that, and from the look on her face, she hadn’t forgotten either! I guess I was a lesson for her future classes.

But how sweet is that moment? And how amazing of her to come.
So let’s focus on the great things, the sweet things, the memorable things.

What wonderful thing—one wonderful thing!—happened to you this week?


  1. What wonderful news, hearing that your week has gone so well and that "What You See" continues to receive the rave reviews it deserves.

    Something wonderful this week? A small project that I had voluntarily undertaken was very well received and the wonderful thing about it is that the friend for which it was being done was so pleased that her special request had been honored.
    There is nothing more wonderful than bringing smiles and making someone happy . . . .

  2. So sorry I missed you and Susan in my home bookstore! And how fabulous to see your old teacher. Boy, do I also have some funny home-ec stories...

    My wonderful thing is having a brand-new series debut, and then taking it on book tour to the state where it's set! Which is also where my Maxwell ancestors are from. I wandered into the statehouse yesterday and thought of my g-g-g-grandfather there as a state representative, always supporting public education.

  3. Sounds like an amazing week Hank! And Edith too, and Susan. Congrats to you all on the new books.

    My hub lost his mom this week and we spent many days in hospice with his six siblings and some spouses and grandkids. That was the one great thing--being surrounded by the wonderful Brady clan during this hard, hard, hard time.

    and ps, I would never remember my home ec teacher, but I sure remember every item that I sewed and cooked!

  4. Hank, I think you've gone over the rainbow! And we're all cheering!!

  5. Well, its crazy. YOu never know what's going to happen. Or when an allergy attack will hit. Or when there'll be a MONSOON like there was in Madison. But Red Susan is here, and she is wonderful and we are having a great time. Today she's off to Providence and I am off toe Los Angeles. And then I will see so many pals at Crime Bake next week. Cannot believe it's so soon.

    AND THE WNNERS of Kaye Kellerman's books ! are *****Elaine Roberson & Angela Lee******

    Contact me via h ryan at whdh dot com and we will get you your books!

  6. A year ago, I published my first short story in Kings River Life. This week, "The Headless Horseman" made the top four in KRL. I already have the first line of next year's Halloween story jotted down.

    Congrats to you, Hank, and happy travels. Lucy/Roberta, I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Junior High Home Ec? I vividly remember the teachers, the dreary recipes, AND the sewing projects which we had to wear to school. Patch madras wrap-around skirt, anyone? Or a corduroy A-line jumper?

  7. I think my one wonderful thing was that I got to see Hank on Wednesday night. =)

  8. WRAP AROUND SKIRTS!!! Yes! SO funny! xoxooo

  9. Hank, love that you got to see your home ec teacher! That is so wonderful. I'd have cried.

    Hank and Susan are dealing with the ups and downs of touring (mostly ups, I'm sure, but it is hard on the system), while Lucy and Hallie have had very difficult weeks. My only bad thing is that I got stomach flu, which while really horrid for a couple of days, was a nice reminder of how seldom I am really ill. And then when you start to feel like a normal person again, and food starts to sound good, it is SO wonderful and you appreciate how great it is to do normal things--like eat dinner and drink tea--every day!

    And if I can add one more wonderful thing, I got the first round of cover comps for the new book yesterday, and all I can say is that it's going to be fab!

  10. I won the Stick with the Wickeds Contest and I will be (vitually) heading to Crime Bake next weekend!

  11. Home Ec is long gone but I think that is a mistake. Young people should know how to sew on a button, boil an egg, etc. Good, basic survival skills.
    Bless her for coming and making your night!

  12. Aw, thank you, dear Mary! It was a terrific night at Mystery Lovers Bookshop! Are you there today for the big party?

  13. Oh Edith! I thought you were stuttering for a moment! My brain, not on coffee. Madras and wrap skirts, that was high fashion. I wouldn't want to run into my home ec teacher. She was awful. And kept trying to hook up her poor son with her students. My nice moment this week? One of the new friends from a tour to India I was on earlier this month actually sent pictures by email like he said he'd do. That was so sweet. So far I've heard from him and one lady. I have got to figure out how to do the same for others who are in my pictures. I had never been on an organized tour before and I lucked out. Everyone in the group was so nice and got along well.

  14. What a fabulous time for both Hank and Susan. Hank, your home ec stories are classic. I LOVED my home ec teacher: Greta Burke, tall, attractive Swedish woman. I couldn't sew worth a darn. Did manage to make a pillow case --- ha --- and the pants I tried to make came out looking like clown pants if the clown had one leg 3x the other, but good memories nonetheless.

    My one wonderful thing this week: hearing my son be interviewed on the radio shortly after becoming no. 1 SunPower solar company in Northern California.


  15. Hank, you have had an amazing week with your book and the fantastic pairings with other authors, especially Susan. How I would have loved to have attended the event featuring the two of you. I wish you both all the success that I know will come. I've read What You See, and it is on my favorite book list. I hope to start Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante tomorrow, Susan, and I already know I'm going to love it. Edith, congratulations on your series debut, and I'm hoping to see you Monday night and buy the book there. I have a small entanglement that I'm trying to disentangle to get there.

    Lucy, I'm so sorry about your mother-in-law's passing. So glad you and John have such strong family support in your extended family. And, the fact that your MIL was 102 was amazing. Hallie, I'm not sure what was going on with you this week, but I hope things are better. Debs, I am all too familiar with what was going on with you, as I, too, had a stomach flu this week.

    Hank, what a lovely reunion with your home-ec teacher. She sounds like a gem. When I was in junior high, I had a wonderful home-ec teacher named Miss Howard (Talitha Howard), and she and I had such a special bond that I will always have a place in my heart for her. I was an English star, not expected to take to home-ec all that well, but Miss Howard's love and belief in me showed me that I didn't have to set limitations on myself. I wish she were still alive so that I could give her one more hug.

    Before I got sick this week, I spent Monday with my two granddaughters, ages 6 and 14. They were off from school, and my daughter had to teach, so I got to enjoy the whole day with them. So, this day is where my wonderful thing for the week comes in. After spending some time at their house watching a Halloween movie, we decided to go out to eat at a nice restaurant (meaning white table cloths and not McDonald's) that we all liked. The activity that we all agreed on for after our lunch was going to Barnes and Noble and the girls picking out three books. My joy at their excitement over going to the bookstore was off the charts. They both exuded such happiness and exclaimed how much they loved to read. Well, it doesn't get any better than that for a Grammy who loves to read.

  16. YOu got sick, too, Kathy??? Whoa. We are dropping like flies.

    Thank you, Tricia!' SO glad it wasn't just me…xox

    Pat D madras wrap skirts--remember how COOL??

  17. My one wonderful thing this week was receiving news from Southern Writers Magazine that my short story, Picnics With Aunt Kathryn, was one of the finalists in their annual short story contest and will be featured in their 2015 Short Story Edition available in print or on-line. And yes, I am TICKLED PINK!

  18. One wonderful thing this week... Amy, my assistant, figured out how to get the duvet cover on the duvet!!! And... she fixed the Dyson! Okay that's two things. I'm sorry, but how could I leave out one of those?


  19. Kaye! STANDING OVATION!! (And will you tell us all about it tomorrow???)

    Reine--awesome. The duvet cover thing is an entire blog, truly. HOw is that supposed to work, anyway

    ANd the vacuum cleaner? Must have, right? xoxoooo Yaay, AMy!

  20. My one wonderful thing this week is a secret but has to do with all the Murder, She Wrote novels I co-authored with my dad, Donald Bain. Stay tuned! Thanks.

  21. My wonderful thing this week was going to dinner and a movie with my sweet husband. We saw The Martian, and it was great. :)

    Earlier this month and right before Bouchercon, I came down with a nasty stomach flu. Luckily, I recovered in time to attend my sixth Bouchercon in a row, and I had a wonderful time. Looking forward to NOLA next year!

  22. Wow, so great to hear so many good things happening to people. And, even in the midst of pain and grief, the welcome news that clan had gathered and touched base again for some.

    My good week included my short story, A Grave Development, ran in the top four at Kings River Life Magazine's Halloween contest and appeared this week. This is my fourth story there; they have been very good to me and for me. And of course, We'd Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share..., came out at Amazon and my black beans and brown rice dish is in there. I'm making it this morning for a party later today.

    I'm so looking forward to New England Crime Bake next week and can only hope that November is as productive and emotionally rewarding as october has been.