Friday, December 30, 2011

Nothing to whine about in 2011....

Well, maybe one thing! I'm still disappointed that Lifetime dropped my movie, but at least it was a segment on Investigation Discovery. All in all this was a great year. Everyone is happy, healthy and my new novel is soon to be released. I've got a release date but I'm not tellin' til after the New Year.

Speaking of the new year, for New Years Eve, Sally, Violet and me will be snuggled in front of the fire. Sophia will be here, too and you can guarantee there'll be pizza, party hats and all the Dora the Explorer a girl could want.

Y'all be safe. I wanna see you back here in 2012!

Til next time,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jesus take the handles

I had a meeting in New York City yesterday and afterwards as I was trying to hail a cab, this young man offered me a ride in his three-wheel bike-cab. Always up for an adventure I thought, 'Why the heck not?'

I have never been so terrified nor so exhilarated in my entire life!! Cabs/buses/limousines/cars/delivery trucks were within a hairs breadth of turning us into a grease spot in the road! I mean, folks, when you can smell the Halal on the breath of the yellow cab driver as he drives past you with his window down, madly cursing the bike driver, you know your life in in grave danger. I can't wait to do it again.

As a matter of fact, I'm getting dressed to go see 'Wicked' and rather than wait in that long taxi line I may have to hone my hog-calling whistle and hail a bike- cab to the show. If you don't hear from me later, you'll know why.....

Til Next Time (hopefully)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A note from Sally

Dear readers,

Please forgive Mom for her sporadic writing. She asked me to fill in for her until she gets back. Her life has been a whirlwind the past few weeks and while I know she is having fun, I miss her like crazy.  I hope she doesn't mind that I've uploaded a few pictures to show you what she has been up to.

First, she hosted a luncheon at our house for some of the finest ladies in Washington, DC.  Why, I've never seen such beautiful, well-dressed women! I wanted so bad to get a closer sniff look, but unfortunately Violet has a tendency to yap-yap-yap- when we have company, so I was put in charge of staying outside and tending to her.

Then, Mom (and Dad) were invited to judge the Mrs. Missouri pageant. Mom used to be a Mrs. Missouri, you know - waaaayyy back before I was born. That's her and Dad behind the new Mrs. Missouri - on the second step.

She was back for just a few days before she flew off to Indiana for a speaking engagement. (Mom always talks with her hands.)

She also did a book signing while she was in Indiana. She had fun, but I know she missed me and she got home as fast as she could! 

For about a month, our life was back to normal. Plenty of hugs, lots of belly-scratches, and long, long walks.  But then.....

Mom was off on another adventure and she took Dad with her again! This time they were gone for almost two weeks! Two weeks! It was their anniversary so they went sailing in the Bahamas. Dad is an awesome sailor, but Mom? Well, from what I hear she sits on the bow and dangles her legs over the side, looking for dolphins. Poor Dad.

They're home now, and right now she's upstairs resting, getting ready for her next trip - New York City!

Which means I am going to be responsible for taking care of this little squirt again. But that's okay. Mom has promised me that I am going to get take a very long road trip with her after Christmas. A very special road trip to a very special place!

Until next time,


Monday, December 5, 2011

New cover and new author photo

This is the cover for the next book. One of my endorsers describe "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" as "Fried Green Tomatoes meets Steel Magnolias and Mayberry RFD with My Name is Earl sprinkled on top."

Another: "...reminiscent of a cross between Garrison Keillor and Phillip Gulley." (gulp!)
But the best? ((holding back tears)) Southern Lady magazine:  "....Kathie Truitt is the southern voice of great storytelling." Please tell me I'm not dreaming!!!

And this is my new author photo with my two best friends who also happen to be characters!

credit: Robb Jolly, official Hillbilly Debutante photographer

That's right! Violet and Sally are fixtures in the plot. There was a similiar pose that was actually better of me, but not the girls and of course since they're the stars of the show we (Sally, Violet and myself) had an emergency meeting and they decided that it was best to portray them in the best light, rather than me.  I totally concur - after all, who am I?  Only the author.

Still no release date. We will let you know as soon as we hear the news.

Til next time,

Kathie, Violet and Sally

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chef Roble on Bravo....

Watch this show if you get a chance and when you do, watch for Che Gravy. Why? Because you'll soon come to know his fiancee very well. Jennifer Papula is the name of one of the lead characters in "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe". And the literary Jennifer Papula is heavily based on the real-life Jennifer Papula. She's from Poughkeepsie, NY and not only has that New York-Italian tough-girl-I'd-just-as-soon-kick-your-a** accent, but exudes the aforementioned attitude as well. I thought it would be hilarious to take that personality and 'redneck' it up a bit by making her an "Ozark-girl" instead. Hopefully she will forgive me after she reads the book.

But right now, it's all about Che. Tune in Sunday nights on Bravo at 9Central/10EST to Chef Roble. I am hoping to feature Che and Jennifer in one of my upcoming articles!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Soakin' up the sun for a couple of weeks

Going away for a while. Sailing, beach, sand and sun. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bye, Bye Ugly Blog

I have thought for sometime now that Hillbilly Debutante was in dire need of a makeover. That opinion was confirmed when my dear friend Brenda, with whom I share one of those rare relationships in which she can and often does offer her unabashed opinion blurted, "Your blog is ugly!" She took a deep breath. "There I said it."

First of all, let me explain Brenda. We are close. Very close. As in like a sister, close. She is the only person (outside of Mr. T) that has the privilege of weighing in on 'all things Kathie'.  For instance, if you told me that I was gaining weight, I would plot and plan how to make you suffer forever! BAWAHAHAHA (evil laugh) - as I was starting my 6th mile on the treadmill. But if Brenda told me I was gaining weight I'd simply shrug and say, "I know. Pass me another piece of cake, please." That's how close we are. So, if my usually-intrepid friend was afraid to tell me pride and joy was ugly, then it must really be...well, ugly!

So, today I am taking steps to fix that. Sometime in mid-February, right before the release of my new novel, we will unveil a brand new "Hillbilly Debutante".

Not only will she have a new physical appearance, but I hope to breathe new, fresh life into her content as well.  I've been sporadic and stale. And I have just the cure for that. We'll be taking our yearly sailing trip over Thanksgiving. There is nothing better for 'bloggers block' than sea air! So while my husband and his friends do all the work, I will take up my usual perch on the front of the catamaran, dangle my legs over the side, feel the sea water splash on my face, ponder my next move, and thank God for all that He has blessed me with....

Til next time,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I will be back with a vengeance very soon! I am in the final stages of editing "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" while still doing events for "False Victim" (tonight was my 125th event).

Thank you for checking in with me whether it be via e-mail or facebook. You all are THE best!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Cover!!

Tonight (Oct 24th) I will post the 2 cover options for "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe". Here is the catch - ONLY those on my facebook fan page can vote. So, if you haven't done it already - run, don't walk - and click 'like' on Kathie Truitt Author Fan Page.

Designer Leah Flores has outdone herself again! They are both just adorable and I can't decide, so I really want your feedback.

See you at 9:00 EST at Kathie Truitt Author Fan Page!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Richmond, Indiana here I come!

I will be the guest speaker at at Genesis Annual Dinner held in Richmond, IN...

If you live in the area please see below for ticket information. This event benefits their local women's shelter.
 Y'all come! It's for a wonderful cause.

What: YWCA of Richmond, Indiana-Friends of Genesis annual dinner

• When: 5:30 p.m. social hour, 6:30 p.m. dinner, Friday

• Where: Forest Hills Country Club, 2169 S. 23rd St., Richmond

• Cost: $35 each. Reservations required.

• Reservations and info: (765) 966-0538 Friday night October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Editors - who needs 'em anyway...(I do!)

Edits are finished! Whew! This was a particularly stressful, intense time for me. I have never been so happy to wrap up a book as I was "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" and here's why.

You see, I was assigned a new editor with this book. I thought I recognized her name when she sent her introductory letter. Then it hit me. Right between the eyes. I know who this is! I opened up my computer and went to Goodreads and sure 'nuff, there it was: Her Name - with a 3 (out of 5) star rating.

Great. My new 'boss' thinks I am mediocre at best. Ugh. I stewed. I pouted. And I stewed some more.

Sure enough, when it came time for my first edits she was tough. There were things in the manuscript she insisted I take out. There were things that 'bored her to tears' and 'spaces missing' in parts of the storyline. Did I mention she was tough?

One thing I am not is a prima donna. You just can't be one in this business. For every two people that think you're talented there's three more that think you stink.

I know the importance of an editor.

So, I took a few days to just re-read my own story. Then I opened up my laptop, and because I'm not a prima donna I made every single change. I added parts and took away some - some that I really, really liked. One day before deadline I sent it back to her - and waited.

Fourteen days later I got it back. ''Looks good but I think you can do better. You have three weeks."

And I didn't take one day less than that. Three weeks of being homebound, dishes piling up, wearing my cleanest dirty shirt, and my poor family existing on pb&j and pizza. After making my last change, I pushed 'send'. Then I sat down and had a good cry.

Am I complaining? No. Okay, maybe a little, but I knew this editor would challenge me. I knew that she wouldn't quit until this book was as good as it could possibly be. Which is exactly what I owe you, dear reader.

 Reading is a treat for me. When I get the opportunity to actually devour a book rather than write one I go to the book store and go hog wild! Lately I have been so disappointed in my favorite author. The last couple of novels have been awful. I feel like she does the least amount she has to do just so she can get a book out every year. All I could think is, 'where the heck is her editor?'

That is such a disservice! If you are willing to spend money on our books then you deserve the best we can give you!

I have an acquaintance - a gentleman - that is absolutely brilliant. I am talking genius, here! He has several doctorates, well-spoken and an expert on several different subjects. He told me that he'd written a book and had publishers interested but he was afraid to proceed to the next level because, and I quote, "I am just afraid of some editor picking it apart." What?? This is a man whom people pay for advice, they listen with pens poised to document his every word, but yet he's afraid some lowly little editor is going to step on his ego. Sorry, I can not relate.

Writing is my passion, it's my life; it's who I am. And it's not for sissies. You have to be 'man enough' to accept the fact that you are not 'as good' as you think you are. I know I'm not. I need my editor.

And if we have done our job - my editor and I - and I think we have - then I think you will enjoy this novel.  It's good, clean, fun with characters you will fall in love with. I will leave you with the words of one of my endorsers. I believe he's summed it up best.

"The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" is a combination of "Fried Green Tomatoes" meets "Steel Magnolias" and "Mayberry RFD" with a bit of "My Name is Earl" sprinkled on top."

Wow, I'm not worthy! But I can't help but hope you think I am.

Til next time,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

News of my demise are highly exaggerated.....

I'm still here and I've missed you all terribly. Thanks for the sweet comments and e-mails. Please be patient a while longer. I'm in the second editing phase for 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe".  I have several posts in the works for next week.

And before I forget!!  Only those who are members of the "Kathie Truitt Author Fan Page" will get to review and vote on the book cover for "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" so if you're on facebook simply 'like' my fan page and voila - you're a member!!

Til next time (which will be sooner rather than later)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Well, summer is over. ((sigh)). School has started and all is quiet in this big ol' house. I was never one of those mom's that was happy to see September. As a matter of fact, if I had it to do over again I would home-school. Not because I think they would have had a better education (are you kidding? I can barely add 1+1), but because I could have kept them closer and never let them out of my sight.

This is tough for me, watching my last one grow up, knowing that he will leave me soon. I know if I have done my job right it's supposed to be that way, but still....ouch.

I feel cheated when it comes to Will. I spent so much of his childhood protecting him from a crazy, psychopathic stalker that I didn't get to relax and just 'enjoy' him.  Even though we moved and she didn't know where we were, it wasn't until he was about 14 when he had a growth spurt and his looks began to change that I began to relax a bit. And he's seems to understand that because unlike most boys at 17 he is never embarrassed to tell us he loves us or hug us in public.

When he was first learning to talk I would rock him to sleep each night - when his sister would let me (she was 10 years older and always thought he was hers) - I would look deep into his blue eyes and say, "William you are a gift." To which he'd reply, "Mama, I not a pwesent - I a boy!"

Oh sweet William, that's where you're wrong. You are a present. A precious, special, wonderful gift sent from heaven - as is your sister.

til next time,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We're all 'shook' up....

pun intended. I experienced my very first earthquake ever today while shopping in Georgetown. However since the earth always seems to move beneath my feet when I shop in Georgetown - especially when I step into Ralph Lauren - I had no idea that's what it was until people started panicking and screaming, "Earthquake!"

Besides that and the wretched, worse-than-rush-hour-traffic and discovering one of my 'horsey' pictures had been knocked off the fireplace and scattered big chunks of glass all over the living room floor, it really wasn't all that bad. So life goes on.....

To my Northern Virginia/Washington DC readers, here's a heads up: I will be signing copies of "False Victim" at Glory Be in Occoquan, Virginia this Friday morning from 2-4, and then again on Saturday from 9-11. Come by and see me - even if you've already purchased the book I'd love to chat and tell you all about my new novel coming out next spring. Also, it's Glory Be's Fall Open House. I know for a fact that Marla has just made it back from market and a buying trip in Pennsylvania. I'm excited to see her new collections and home decorations! Once again, join me this Friday from 2-4 and then again on Saturday from 9-11.

Log on to to see why this is one of my favorite home decorating stores!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cowgirl Glamour....

The suits/dresses I wore when touring for "False Victim" just won't work for "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" series. So, I've moved all my 'serious, business clothes' to the back of the closet and dustin' off my 'cowgirl chic' wardrobe.

Of course, those of you who have been following me for some time know that my signature wardrobe staple is my rain boots. While I normally don't have good luck at thrift stores when it comes to clothes, I just happened to stumble on to these brand, spankin' new Hunter's. You will absolutely keel over from a heart attack when I tell you how much I paid for them. Are ya' sittin' down?
$17.90. I know! crazy, huh? (These babies retail for over $200).
I can't wait for it to rain!!! Aw, what the heck? Who needs rain? I'll wear 'em to water my flowers in. Or ride my bike. Or go to the movies. Grocery Store. Church. Bed

Anyway, I am now up to 10 pair of rain boots. Somebody! Please stop me!

I am also about to take the plunge with the below prairie skirt from Victorian Trading Company.

Relax, just the skirt, not the camisole. I wouldn't dare bare that much skin. Nope. (Even in high school I used to wear my Dad's t-shirts over my swimsuit).  But wouldn't the skirt be great with my cowboy boots?
and with my denim jacket....
tossed in with these fabulous jewels by Glamorella Junk? You MUST visit her website.

So, there you have it...

Any other suggestions? Please let me know.

Oops - gotta go. Granddaughter Sophia is here and it's time to play dress up and have tea!

I'm going on a road trip this weekend so I'll be back with you on Tuesday.

Til next time,


Monday, August 8, 2011

This last week was the first anniversary of the release of "False Victim".

Sales are still increasing, ratings are good across the board and I am still travelling for book signings, book clubs and speaking engagements, although this ol' gal is getting 'tard' so I'll be winding down  soon.

Who'd have thought that being the victim of a crazy, stalking psychopathic neighbor and being forced to pack up and leave the county would turn into such a lucrative career? Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "God works in mysterious ways", huh?

I want to thank each and every one of you who have purchased and/or read "False Victim". I have heard from so many of my readers either through e-mail or facebook, and I've literally met hundreds of you at my book signings and appearances across the country.

For those of you that like a lighter, funner (yes, that's a word - it's in the hillbilly dictionary) read, then I'm happy to announce the release of "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" in Spring of 2012.

Have a great rest of summer. Please take a few moments to drop me a line and let me know what you've been doing this summer. Oh! And if you're on facebook, please mosey on over to
"Kathie Truitt Author Fan Page" and join!

Til next time (which hopefully won't be too long)


Monday, July 25, 2011

Part Two: How I live a simple 'country' life in the city.....

This is part two of my response to an e-mail I received from Miss Gina out west. She and her family have relocated from a very small, rural town to a big city and was asking my advice on how to adjust.  Well Gina, first and foremost I want you to remember that while you have been thrust into a world that measures your 'coolness' by how fancy your 'ride' is, how expensive your clothes are, and how massive your house is,  your life is not defined by these things. It will be hard, but don't lose sight of who you are and where you're from. Keep a firm grip on those small-town values you grew up with. I'll be the first to admit that at times I've lost sight of these things, but thank God for friends 'back home' that remind me from time to time to never forget that I'm still and always be a 'small-town girl' at heart. So, here we go:

First of all - and I admit this was the hardest for me - don't be a slave to fashion. I was like a kid in a candy shop when I saw all the wonderful clothes I was surrounded by and I still have to have my credit card yanked away from me reign myself in.
Fact is, at the end of the day, nothin' beats my old tattered jeans and worn-out cowboy boots. They're like long-lost friends. Yep, people look at me real funny when I wear 'em, but that's okay. If they don't 'get it', then they just don't get it.

Kind of like my house. When I first moved here I decorated my house just like I thought I was 'supposed' to. It was beautiful but when you decorate from someone else then you're really not going to be happy.
So, when I moved to my new neighborhood I decorated the way I wanted to. True, some people don't get my way of putting fresh roses in mason jars with a ribbon tied around the top, but that's okay. Those that 'get' my creativity love it! Those that don't? Who cares? It's my house! And it makes me happy!

Surround yourself with things that you find beautiful.

Create quiet places throughout your home....

and warm, homey spaces...

Whenever possible, get off the beaten path....

take the road less travelled...

Give yourself time...while there's no place like home, you will acclimate to your surroundings!

As for the rest of you readers - how many of you have had to relocate to the city? What did YOU do to make the transition from country to city life. OR, are you a city person and you had to adjust to country life? We'd love to hear your perspective!

Until next time,


Friday, July 15, 2011

I'll be back soon!

I'm just finishing up "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" manuscript. It HAS to be to my editor by 4:00 TODAY. After that, I'm all yours and can't wait to get you all caught up. Hope you're having a great summer. Please drop me a note and let me know how your summer is going. Hearing from you makes me happy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I would love to blog....

really I would, because I have lots to tell you and show you, not to mention some really exciting things going on! However, until I know where my photos go after I upload them I'll have to hold off for now. It's so frustrating it makes me want to throw my computer up against the fireplace and watch it crumple into a million tiny, little pieces (no, I do not have anger issues) but then I'd be in divorce court. So. I will wait patiently until my sweet, wonderful, husband can help me.

He gets frustrated at my stupidity limited skills so maybe if I make a quick trip to Target and buy him this:

new album by CNN's Robin Meade
he will be more likely to help me sooner rather than later. You see, Mr. T is a big Fox TV man, but every morning at 6:00 am all loyalties come to a screeching halt as he tunes in to see his girl, Robin Meade. This morning they played bits and pieces of her newly released "Brand New Day" and I knew without a doubt that I'd have to sneak out today and buy this for him.

I figure after his favorite steak dinner tonight, and music from his second favorite girl, I should be good to go by tomorrow morning. Yep. I sure know how to get 'r done 'round here. The way to a man's heart is not necessarily exclusively through his stomach. His eyes and ears are a good route as well. (You  have to admit Robin is a beauty, and from what I've heard so far she has a great voice.)
See ya tomorrow with part deux of how to live the simple, country life, smack-dab in the middle of the city!


Friday, June 10, 2011

I love, love, LOVE questions from my readers! And this one is my favorite one of all time. It's from Miss Gina out west. (Did I mention how much I love your questions?)

"Kathie, how did you finally adapt to city life? Between work, traffiic, running kids back and forth to this and that I am exhausted! Not to mention the stress of the faster pace? How did you do it? Please help!"

Oh, sweet I remember those early days when I first moved to the Washington DC metro area. I had a perpetual headache for 3 months while I learned my way around the city and was scared to death I was going to injure someone or worse while I adjusted to rush hour traffic. Even singing along to my favorite Christian station often didn't prevent me from flipping off the cab driver laying on his horn and riding my bumper like a rented mule. I knew I had to do SOMETHING or I was going to commit hari-kari.

So, the first thing I did was start with my home.

I took down the fancy curtains and got rid of the uncomfortable, expensive furniture. Instead I decided to go back to the style I love - to surround myself with the things I had in my country home. So, go ahead - make yours as comfortable and tranquil as possible. DON'T listen to anyone else or style your place in the current fad - decorate with things YOU love! My favorite style is shabby-chic, or Victorian Country which is soooo not popular in my neck of the woods. You've heard the old game of 'keepin' up with the Jones'? Well, these people bring it to a whole new level. You have to resist that urge to impress others. Your home is about YOU and your family. I have nothing against fancy, schmancy houses - really, I don't. But that's just not what brings me comfort. For me, pile on layer after layer of lace, pink roses, and soft pillows. What brings you peace and serenity?

However, since I also live with 2 men in the house I have a room that's a little less 'girly', but still keeps to our country roots and our heritage of riding and the outdoors. (But if it was just me it would be nothing but pink and white all throughout....just sayin...)

I am very fortunate to have a big back yard. It's completely fenced-in so Sally and Violet have plenty of room to run. I created this little reading/writing nook underneath a tree so I can breathe in the fragrance of our flowers and sit out here and watch the fireflies light up the night sky - just like I did when I was a kid.

There is a busy two-lane highway that runs in front of my house, but nestled amongst the trees in my back yard the only thing I hear is the soft coo of a mourning dove, and other various types of song-birds that make their home in the huge maple tree that shades the above table. I feel like I am a million miles away from the beltway.

There are so many other ways I have learned to simplify my life and I've decided to break it down into several posts. Tomorrow I'll post about where I get some of my inspiration and how I was able to take that leap of faith and jump out of my comfort zone and live my life the way I wanted. Baby steps, Gina. Baby steps.

Til next time,


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memphis Booksigning!

Oh my goodness - PLEASE don't be mad at me!! I have missed deadlines galore on "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" - my next one has been pushed back to June 17th. In the meantime, tomorrow I am leaving for Memphis for another signing on my current novel "False Victim". If you live in the Memphis area I would LOVE to meet you!!

Here's the skinny:

Hastings Book Store
1245 Germantown Parkway
Cordova (Memphis) Tennessee
1 - 3

When I get back to ol' Virginny on Sunday I am going to crack open the laptop and get back to work. I REALLY think you are going to like the next novel - I really do. If I had to describe it, it would be a "Fried Green Tomatoes" meets "Mayberry RFD" with a bit of "Steel Magnolias" thrown in - sssoooo very different from the creepy, wierd "False Victim".

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I do and I really, truly hope you know that. I like hearing from you whether it's facebook, through the comments section or e-mail. I appreciate all of you! AND, I am really excited to meeting one of my blog buddies later in the month - you know who you are!

And a big congratulations to Kat at The London Bob hair salon in Old Town Alexandria.....she 'auditioned' to be my stylist and guess what Kat-baby....YOU'RE HIRED!

(When the teen-age son tells you he likes it you KNOW Mama must be lookin' good).

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not in this 'Lifetime'

Today was supposed to be one of those momentous occasions. My first day of my screenwriters class at Northern Virginia Community College. What? I didn't tell you that I'd planned to go back to school? Yessiree.

This is how it started. Lifetime, at the last minute decided to drop 'False Victim' as one of their projects. (And as for the villains in the book - I KNOW you read my blog just as you drop in from time to time to leave 1-star reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble - don't think I'm sitting home pouting about it. I STILL get to keep the money, thank you very much and as the Brad Paisley song goes, 'the more you run my name down the more price goes up i.e. book sales are strong'.)

Anyway, as I was sayin' 'Lifetime' decided not to proceed with the project. They do, however, own the rights until October 5th in which I can pursue other venues, but I probably won't. The fact is "False Victim" is very much a Lifetime genre. It's not a big movie screen plot, and it's a little too raw and 'psycho-drama' for Hallmark.

I did tell Anne, the producer, that I had other ideas for movies that I didn't necessarily want to put in book form, so she encouraged me to take a screenwriters course.

I was so excited to get started - I had looked forward to this class for months. So I get to campus a whole hour prior, drive around and around and around until I FINALLY find a parking space. I peruse campus for a while trying to acclimate myself to my new surroundings. Ten minutes before class starts I find my building. My heart is thumping with excitement. Here I am! ME!! Going back to class after all these years. Then my heart sinks as I see the 'class cancelled' sign.

((sigh)). Oh well. Worse things have happened. I just count it as a 'bad day at the office.'

I do have fun plans for tomorrow though. I am a member of the Salvation Army Ladies Auxiliary and each Wednesday we have tea at a different embassy. Tomorrow is the British Embassy. We're all wearing our hats so it should be a lot of fun. These ladies all know how to dress and while I'm really leary about posting pictures of my friends on my blog I will try to get some pictures to show you.

Until next time,


Monday, May 16, 2011

Tiny Mercer's Grave

When I first started my career, what I really, really wantedto do was to write for my local hometown newspaper. No such luck. They had other ideas for me and that was to sell advertising. Nope. I was hell-bent on reporting the news. So, I high-tailed it to the radio station and within 5 minutes I had a job.

My very first assignment was to find a grave. Not just any old grave, mind you, but Tiny Mercer's grave. Who is Tiny Mercer, you ask? George 'Tiny' Mercer was the first person on death row in Missouri to be executed in over 40 years. Rumor had it, that Tiny was buried in one of the local cemetaries in the next town over.

Please keep in mind this was waaayyyy before 'google', or even the internet. We're talking the early to mid 80's (yes, I'm that old). With that said, back then we reported news the old fashioned way. I researched and asked a lot of questions.

Finally, I'd narrowed my search down to at least 3 cemetaries. I pulled my trusty little pickup truck into the the gravel drive of a country cemetary. I was hoping I could nail this down on my first try. It was a blustery day, and the dark, looming clouds made the November evening seem later than it really was. The last thing I wanted was to be out scouting cemetaries after dark.

I cut the ignition and the old pickup gave a little bunny-hop before the engine stopped. I slipped off my loafers, reached for my green hunter boots and slipped them on, my pant legs bunched up at the top. (This was also long before rain boots, or wellies of any kind were either cute or in style). When I stood up from smoothing my pant legs half-way into the top of the boots, for comforts sake, I noticed two people, obviously grounds keepers working in the distance.

"Ah, great luck! I can ask them if he's buried here or not and I won't have to wander around looking for new grave markers. Then I can move along to the next place." (I knew I wouldn't hit the jackpot on the first try. That NEVER happens).

As I got closer I could see that it was a man and a woman.

"Good evening," I called. Each one of them had a gardening tool of some sort but I really wasn't paying attention. Besides, I'm not the 'gardening type' and I couldn't have told you a rake from a weed-eater.

"Hello, darlin' ", the woman said. Ahhh, I love to be called darlin'. Baby. Sweetheart. I'm a sucker for any kind of term of endearment. Never mind that she was a scary sight. Have you ever seen a woman with jet black hair with white blonde roots? It's kinda scary. Now picture a woman like this, at dusk - in a cemetary. Uh-huh. It magnifies the fear factor just a bit, doesn't it? But I ignore the chill that's just made it's way up my spine. After all....she DID just call me 'darlin'.

"I'm Kathie Truitt, with XXXX Radio and I understand that Tiny Mercer is being shipped back to town for burial. Do you know if he's here?"

"No sugar, I sure don't". She keeps working the ground, ever so calmly, doing whatever it is that cemetary caregivers do.

"Okay, well I guess I'll just keep looking. Thank you so much," I am ever so polite, just as Mama taught me. I backed up and tripped over something, and as I reached out to catch my fall I come face to face with a little silver, shiny, brand-spanking new temporary marker that reads "GEORGE MERCER".

Like a bolt of lightning I jump up, so excited about my dscovery, KNOWING how proud the boss is going to be, "Oh look! He's right here! I found it!"

I no sooner got those words out than the old man, who at this point hadn't made a peep, rammed what I now recognized as a shovel into the fresh dirt and started screaming at me.

"I'm his father and I'm ...." I have no recollection of what he said after that because when the shovel hit the ground I looked down - and I kid you NOT - Tiny Mercer's grave was 1/4 of the way dug up. Yes, you heard me. They were digging! him! up!

At this point all three of us were screaming. Tiny's father, the woman, who informed me rather loudly that she was Tiny's girlfriend, and ME. As their volume increased they kept getting closer to me and all I could think was, 'Gee, I sure never thought I'd die like this."

As I was peeling rubber out of the graveyard, the cops pulled in. Apparently someone at a nearby farm house had heard the screaming and hollering and called the authorities.

Later that night on news stations all across Missouri the lead story was how a young reporter had found two people digging up executed murderer Tiny Mercer's body. It wasn't until I listened to the story that I discovered Tiny's father and girlfriend were within their legal realm as they had exhumation papers. It seems that the State of Missouri gave Tiny a 'free ride home', but it was up to his family if they wanted to move him to his final resting place - which obviously they did. It would have been really nice if Dad and Girlfriend had shared that tidbit with me at the time.

Ah yes, the power of the prayer of a 19 year-old-girl: "Father, I don't know what I want to do with my life....but I do know I want it to be exciting." Tiny Mercer's grave was only the beginning....

More to come....


(Sorry, I have no pictures. I tried to google "George 'Tiny' Mercer" and nothing came up - too far back, I suppose).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for Mother's Day

For whatever reason, when the kids were little I started a Mother's Day Tradition. When they would ask me what I wanted to do for my special day, I always picked what I knew were THEIR favorite activities, rather than mine. After all, how many kids do YOU know that want to go antiquing all day? Sit by the river and watch the Eagles fly over? Or tour George Washington's Mount Vernon for the umpteenth time? Exactly. So instead of dragging them kicking and screaming for a 'boring' drive through Virginia hunt country, they shall for all eternity remember their mother riding "The Intimidator" at Kings Dominion. I know I will. It's hard to forget a ride that goes 0-75 in 1.2 seconds (and I didn't even puke). And yes, I'm sure they'll fondly look back for years to come on trips to the zoo, waterparks, and tasty Mother's Day meals at McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese's.

While they're both grown now I have still managed to hold on to this tradition. We start off each Mother's Day the same. Church, then lunch at their favorite restaurant.

This year we catered to granddaughter Sophia and went to McDonald's. After she ate half of her chicken nuggets and fed the other half to Uncle William, or 'Wowm" as she calls him, she and her mommy left to start their own traditions. First to see her Daddy at his restaurant "Floriana". Then she and Mommy were going to celebrate her and Daddy's heritage at DC's "Italian Festival." Ciao, Bella (said, of course, in my best hillbilly drawl Italian accent.)



Sweet Dino was the only one missing from the mix today and he was sorely missed. (I don't know how we got so lucky to have him in our family, but we thank God for him every single day!)

Anyway - back to moi! After the girls left us to go do their own thing, William wanted to treat me to a movie.

"I'll see anything you want, Mom." Seriously, how sweet is that? But I KNOW he doesn't want to see a chick flick, so I inform him that I have been DYING to see 'Fast and Furious - Part 5".

Now, before you start canonizing me into 'sainthood' you need to know.....

Paul Walker.....

Vin Diesel......

and last but most certainly not least

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson were ALL in ONE movie. Oh yeah......Happy Mother's Day to me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Princess Diana encounter

Growing up I had an affinity for all things English. English country, English clothing (ahem- I wore rubber boots before they were fashionable), English riding and of course, all things English royalty. Keep in mind, this was way back when most people (Americans, at least) thought the monarchy very tedious and dull.

And then SHE came along.....the lovely Lady Diana. I think it can be convincly said that she changed our world - or at least she did mine. I immediately got the haircut. I pored over every photograph, collected every magazine in which she graced the cover, and of course joyfully jumped out of the bed at the crack of dawn on July 29th, 1981 to 'be there' for her special day. Sitting in my living room, eyes glued to the television set, I had no idea that soon I'd be making a move across the 'pond' and not only would I live less than 90 miles from her, but I'd even get to SEE her.

Adjusting to a new country and a new way of life can always be a bit difficult and some of that difficulty I have to say we brought on ourselves. Jay was in the Air Force and when he got his orders I knew right away that I did NOT want to live on base. No way. I wanted to be in the middle of all things British - and that's exactly what we did. I adapted to British customs, British food and made friends with the locals. We were newlyweds and all we could afford was a one-room flat over a hardware store in the small village of Ramsey. We lived there happily for a quite a while, and it wasn't until I was expecting Rachael that we decided to move into a house.

One weekend we took a break from 'setting up house' and took the train into London for Queen Elizabeth's annual birthday parade. My excitement over a possible Diana sighting was thwarted however when the news reported that due to the hot weather, Diana, who at the time was also pregnant (with Harry) would not be riding. Jay asked me if I still wanted to go. Sure. Why not? It's still not ever day that you get to see the Queen ride through the streets on a horse.

So we went.

We took a few snapshots of Buckingham Palace, then walked around London before claiming our spot to watch the parade. Please keep in mind two things. Number one - this was back in 1984 so these pictures aren't the best in the world, and number two - I was 7 and 1/2 months pregnant. It was unusally hot that summer - England isn't known for it's warm temperatures to begin with and this particular summer animals in the zoo were dying due to the unusually extreme temperatures. So, I was hot, tired and grumpy. And ready to go home. But still...I lingered. Smart decision. As the parade starts there is murmuring in the crowd...then excitement fills the air and trickles down the line like a small tidal wave as the news leaks out that Diana WILL be there after all.

But first....we have to wait as other members of the Royal Family are paraded through. The photo below is of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess is the Queens first cousin and is the 26th in line for the throne.

And she is, Diana riding with the Queen Mother. The picture, I know is awful, but in real life she was very close. Since I was pregnant people were nice enough to let me stand in the front near the street, and when Princess Diana's carriage went by I got a PERFECT view of her. She faced our side of the street as she waved!!

and there she goes.....

It was only for a few moments, but for me will last a lifetime.

Although April 29th belongs to William and Kate, I think it's safe to say there won't be one single solitairy person around the world that won't also be thinking of Princess Diana on that day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

dreams of a young girl...and Princess Diana

I was all of 19 when this picture was taken. November 27th, 1981 to be exact. And let's just go ahead and tackle the big elephant in the room. Yes, I know those are some crazy, ugly bridesmaid dresses - but at the time? Oh my. ALL I wanted in life was a Victorian-style wedding, and my mama made sure her little princess got what she wanted. And of course Daddy paid for it. Please keep in mind this was the 80's and I'll also have you know this girl's turn-of-the-century-style-wedding was THE social event of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. So there.

I had no clue what I wanted to do or be at this point in my life. All I knew was that I was madly in love with Jay Truitt. Trying desparately to figure it all out one night I just threw my hands up in the air and in a half-hearted spirit prayed, "God....I don't know what I want to accomplish or do with my life. But I do know that I want an EXCITING one!" I fell asleep that night never really giving it a second thought.

If what He has given me from a 'half-hearted' attitude is any measure then I am sure glad I didn't pray it at full scale because I couldn't have handled any more - EXCITEMENT has become my middle name. Some of you have asked to share my 'past' life and I am more than happy to concur.

And in homage to the upcoming royal wedding...I've decided to start with my brief, but sweet, in-person encounter with the late Princess Diana.

And although a LOT has changed since this country girl prayed for glamour-packed existence, one thing remains the same - I am still madly in love with that Jay Truitt.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beach Week

Many of you have sent messages wanting to see pictures of some of the events I've attended lately. I have no author events in April or May (except for a book club in Falls Church, VA later in May) and rather than writing on my next novel like I should be doing I instead been focusing on my social life - something I'd put on hold the past few years. The picture below is what I wore to have tea with the Australian Ambassadors wife at their residence in D.C. with the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary. Okay, everyone. Keep in my mind I am a writer - NOT a photographer.
Sophia, Grandma and Grandad in front of her Daddy's restaurant - Floriana (on 17th and Q in Washington, DC).

Mr. T and I went to Vegas with some friends for a few days in the middle of March. What fun! While shopping I just happened to run into Tommy Hilfiger. His lovely wife, Dee was sweet enough to snap this photo of us.

I wanted sooooo bad to see Barry Manilow while we were there but I didn't dare ask. Mr. T seeing Barry Manilow is like taking me to see the Monster Truck show - it ain't happenin'. However, Mr. T. pulled off the ultimate surprise and not only did he take me to see Mr. Manilow but we had FRONT. ROW. SEATS!!! Woo-hoo!

Then back home in time for the Capital Speakers Club Fashion Show at Saks in Chevy Chase. (That's me in the hat and my daughter, second from the right). We dined on savory seared tuna with fresh vegetables while watching the models work the catwalk in the latest spring fashions. But, I was only home for a wee bit.

We arrived at the beach house at 5:00 last night. After unpacking my clothes, makeup bag, and putting groceries away I strolled the beach, basking in the glow of a silvery, full moon as the tide roared in and out. Perfect.

We're about 5oo yards from the beach. Our bedroom is on the back side and I always leave the french door open so I can be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. I always plan to get writing done while I'm here but there is absolutely no way. Especially not with this view:

And this will be my view for the next 7 days. Sophia is due to arrive with her parents in a couple of hours, so I doubt that you hear from me for the remainder of the stay. As you can imagine it's nearly impossible to write with a 21 month old perched on your lap. Until next time.....