Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Public comments from Author's Fair at Bookman's on Speedway

Last Saturday, Sharon Thomas, the Business Manager for the newly launched publishing service of Community Renaissance, joined me at the Authors' Fair at Bookman's on Speedway.  We were selling and I was signing copies of Talk UP^ Tucson:  An Exploration of Community Happiness and Prosperity.  We sold 6 books which is above the average of 4-5 in the two hour time span.  As part of our display table I had propped up a large stickie poster and asked passers-by to respond to three prompts:  happiness is..., community is..., prosperity is....  Most of the responses are from kids and represented by drawings rather than words.

My favorite is "happiness is a pink dolphin."  Can you find that one?  Another is "happiness is my dog Daisy." Full disclosure--I drew the doggie picture for the 4 year old.  There is also a cute drawing for "happiness is rock climbing."



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Talk UP^ Tucson...at Bookman's on Speedway Authors' Fair

Another good day for Talk UP^ Tucson..., thanks to my community friends and colleagues.  According to the event planner for Bookman's, the average sale for the two hour fair is 4-5 books, and I sold 6!  Besides that, I met other authors (and reviewed the quality of their books--the cover, paper and color design quality, etc., something I need to do whenever I can), and had fun with kiddies who drew pictures to define the word "happiness."  I will be posting photos of their drawings soon, but for today, here is a compilation of photos taken by Mark Grushka, my husband and Talk UP^ Tucson... photographer--except for the one photo with him in it! 

Just me, at the table display.

Sharon Thomas, Community Renaissance-Publishing Program Business Manager, and me.
Display table:  candy, clementines, markers and paper for kids' drawings, vintage blocks that spell "glad", wooden dancing figure, Ben's Bells kindness stickers, books, and business supplies
Art Gallery poster before the kids' drawings.  Prompts read--happiness is..., prosperity is..., community is....
A family affair--my sister, Donna from the 4/18 launch at Starbucks @ River & Campbell
My dad at thr 4/20 Authors' Fair at Bookman's on Speedway
My hubby/photographer/life-long love

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Talk UP^ Tucson is now available

Here I am, here is the book.  Fresh out of the box, on display and for sale at Alphagraphics on Ina & Oracle, and with Kevin Jones, self-publishing manager/coach-extraordinaire and me, the happy author!  I will be at the Bookman's on Speedway, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday at their quarterly Book Fair and for this week the book sells for $10.00.  After that, it's $12.00 plus tax and I am hoping it will be available soon at one or two local bookstores.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Beads of Courage: A Shining BrightSpot

There were three studios I wanted to see (at a minimum) this weekend as part of Tucson's Open Studio:  The Sculpture Garden at Metalworks Gallery, Beads of Courage Studio (both at 3230 N. Dodge Blvd.) and the Clay Co-op (just north).  I bought three nice clay pieces, met the artist of the Garden (and told him that he might want to market some of his pieces as "Games of Thrones" icons) and spent some time at the Beads of Courage Studio.  Mark bought two Courage bracelets, one for himself and one for a friend recently diagnosed with cancer.  Whether a person is 8 or 80, a diagnosis of cancer and other serious illnesses takes courage to face.  Here are four photos with descriptions (from Beads of Courage handouts) to help tell their story.

Beads of Courage in Tucson is the "international" office of an effort that supports over 15,000 children in the U.S., New Zealand and Japan.  Through their Arts in Medicine program, the program helps children with cancer and other serious illness.  The salesperson explained "there is a bead for chemotherapy, for radiation, for heart surgery...."  In addition, many bead artists (including those from Tucson and the Sonoran Glass Academy) have incredible handmade beads for sale.  Here is a sample from just two of the many artists.  Can you find the tiny "cupcake" in the center of one of the beads?
I am amazed at the intricate designs.
They have a "bead bar" for parties where kids and adults can pick their beads and make a necklace, bracelet, earrings.  They also have special events such as on Mother's Day, May 11.  Volunteers are also welcome.
To find out more information about Beads of Courage, go to www.BeadsofCourage.org .

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reid Park Zoo: Brightspot and Friday Fun Visit

Today was a mostly cloudy and a Spring-cool day.  Mark and I decided it was time to revisit the Reid Park Zoo.  I don't know how many years it has been since we were there--the Elephant Exhibit is certainly new and other changes such as a large green space for families to relax and play and relocation of bears and the gibbons were also new to us.  We spent over an hour and a half, with three short rests at the aviary, flamingo and duck pond and in front of the jaguar.  Enjoy the photos, taken from Mark's camera phone, hence the wire cages in a few, but not all, of them.

We started with Tiger, Tiger, burning bright--a not too distant cousin of our cat, Gray.
Peacocks were prancing and cawing throughout the zoo.  Here are two males, showing their feathers.
I love giraffes--the way they chew, their graceful, loping stroll and their stance on those stilt-like legs.  Here is a photo of the youngest one and then the youngest with his/her "parents"?
What brought me out today, was thinking about the aviary and how much I love to watch birds.  Here are two of several we saw.
When our son was a baby, a toddler and youngster, going to the Zoo was one of our regular outings.  Once, getting too close to the pond, he fell in.  But, most of the time, it was a shady spot to rest, feed the ducks and watch the nimble flamingos.  Here is the pond and a mated pair taking a nap.  Needless to say, we rested, too!

We took the bamboo-lined path to the South American exhibit and saw this resting llama and jaguar. I especially like the light and texture in the llama photo.  The jaguar, before she rested (she is one of two sisters), made incredible low-toned barks--we don't know why.  And then she just "hung out."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tucson Botanical Gardens: Year Around BrightSpot

Usually, I go to TBG, it's a solo visit and I take photos on my non-smart cell phone so they don't have star quality to share.  But yesterday, Easter Sunday, Mark came with me and his photos are remarkably beautiful, so enjoy.

A visit to the Butterfly Garden is included with my memberbship and admission for my "guest."  So, of course, we went and lingered.

In the green house, with the butterflies, are many gorgeous flowers.  Here is a liquid-looking orchid.
We had our hats on and water bottles in hand as we passed through the desert gardens.  Can you see the desert wildflowers, pink-hued?
My favorite is the Mexican garden, colorful and quirky.  I get ideas from here and try to bring them to my own backyard.  Mark liked both of these as possible future additions at home.  Who would think of a mailbox as a planter,
or a vintage porcelain sink?
Do you see the angel in the center of the sink flowers? Happy, happy Spring!