Patti is a contributor to the Southern Authors blog A Good Blog is Hard To Find.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Word For The Day

I spent a lot of time during this book tour talking about the question "What does storytelling do for me?" (or you for that matter). And I believed I had my entire answer complete when my sister, Barbi (yes she looks like a Barbi), received a "word for the day" through her email.

Maybe she should be the author....irregardless -- she sent me the "word" yesterday.

So, add this to the list of what storytelling does for me


Cockaigne \kah-KAYNE\, noun. An imaginary land of ease and luxury.

So much for my entire speech on storytelling. This pretty much sums it up. Don't you think?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


During last week's final push of book tour I'm driving through New Jersey to Delaware and I can't find a single country music station. At all. So I put my iPod on and listen to the entire new Brad Paisley CD. Three times. It is moving, funny, and sweet all at the same time. So, of course this photo is photoshopped by my brilliant daughter -- but I did feel like he was with me from NJ to Delaware (with his music, of course). We were like this tight for a few hours in the car -- all because NJ doesn't seem to have a country music station.

What I did today....

Now....this was fun. Talking to Holly on Atlanta and Company.
Click on the below link and enjoy....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

small moments of grace

I am in Richmond, Virginia. Beautiful city.

But I am feeling a bit sorry for myself (not a good idea) as I'm alone and tired. So
I go get some cheese, fruit and bread from a street vendor and sit on the Virginia Capitol lawn under a huge Oak tree and eat. Alone

Then I remember that when I'm fraught with tension and terrible self-pity I need to breathe. Deeply. So I lean back on my elbows and look up through the leaves of the Oak tree. The sun is shining through the leaves and I remember what it is like to be twelve years old and lying on the grass in summertime. This is the only thing on the to-do list at twelve years old in the summer -- lie on the grass and stare at the sky, right?

I'm feeling a bit better when I look straight ahead and see a huge statue (this is the Capitol lawn) of this man with his arms spread wide. I stand and go read the name plate below -- PATRICK HENRY. Well, of course, this is Virginia.

I smile.

This is my husband's name.

No relation. Just a name.

And I know that if I hadn't just taken that deep breath and looked up at the slanting sun through the Oak leaves, I might have missed God's great sense of playfulness.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Traveling tends to offer me moments of insight and perspective, for which I am grateful.

On Friday I finished a fun signing in Charlotte (see picture below), when I finally got to board a plane (my seventh that week)to head home. I think my heart would have pulled me straight home if I hadn't flown....

Anyway, the plane was delayed an hour. Then it sat on the tarmac for an hour, and then it sat on the tarmac (again) in Atlanta for another hour. So a 45 minute flight turned into 3 1/2 hours. I was frustrated and wanted to cry (I didn't).

Then I finally deplaned and went to baggage claim where Blake Shelton's song, I Want To Go Home, ran through my head like a mantra. I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home. (You get it, right?)

Then my bag was taking eons, many eons, to come out of that black chute. I stood next to a young soldier in uniform.

"You coming or going?" I asked him.

"Coming home," he said, grinned.

"From?" I asked.
"Iraq. I've been gone a year."
I started crying. Right there at baggage claim. Like a baby.
My week gone now seemed like the mere bat of an eye. I shook his hand and told him how amazing he was and how glad I was that he was home safely.
My pitiful mantra could not have compared to his over the past year.
I want to go home.
How many more are saying that right now?

Another story about perspective from a traveler.
I am sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Monday morning waiting to go to my twelfth city in my birth state of New Jersey (wouldn't know it from my accent, eh?). Nothing offers more insight into FRANTIC STRIVING like the Atlanta airport on a Monday morning. The guy behind me was in a frantic and immense rush to get through the security line (aren't we all, by the way?). but I guess he assumed he was more important than the rest of us. He finally cut in front of me, rolling his little roller bag over my foot, and then changed lines five times looking for the fastest way through the massive crowd. he did get through security two people ahead of me. Good for him, right?
Then I get to the gate and he is sitting there waiting for the same plane as I am. Shows where FRANTIC STRIVING gets you, right? To the exact same place as everyone else, just a bit more frazzled. My conclusion: steady, calm determination will get you to the exact same gate, boarding the exact same plane.
You apply as you see fit.
And enjoy the pictures below from last week.....more to come later.
This is my friend, Karen Zacharias, who gave me the grand tour of Fairhope, Alabama. We should all be so lucky as to live in a city like Fairhope. Amazing. My college friends, David and Lee Milstead came out, and blessedly, did not tell any college stories about me. Page and Palette is a dream book store to visit in Fairhope....GO!

These four women are the blessed among us -- middle and high school English teachers....what we do without them? They came to Charlotte and made my day as they made me laugh -- and what is better than that?

Monday, June 9, 2008


I started off the week with a full pat-down by at the airport.
My earrings made the security alarm go off and I received, as an added bonus to standing in line for an hour, a full pat-down. I'm quite sure I looked like a terrorist in my lime green shirt and white pants.
Things improved dramatically after this -- how could they not, right?
I arrived in beautiful Vero Beach to discover that my sister (a Delta flight attendant)had arranged to have a lay over close by. So I got to see her..
AND I had lunch with my favorite Vero Beach ladies....
Cynthia Grabenbauer--from the gorgeous Vero Beach Book Center, Ann Taylor, and Willi Miller -- from NPR radio.
Cynthia -- as usual -- put on a great event tonight and I met the most wonderful people.
Ah, if only the rest of the week goes so well(minus the pat-down of course)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week One

Week One of book tour is over. I logged 1247 miles. What with gas prices being so cheap and all...this was easy (not so much).
I figure if I had done all those miles at once, I would have almost made it from Atlanta to my daughter at camp in Colorado. Yet I never even left SC or Georgia.
It was an amazing week, and I want to thank every single one of you who took the time to come see me! It warms my heart....
Next week I head to Florida, Alabama, NC and Tennessee.
But here is what I did this weekend (below) -- well, obviously I didn't DO this -- I watched my son. Now isn't this what summer is supposed to be about?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Names and such

As I have been driving through these small South Carolina and Georgia coastal towns, I've been thinking a lot about names and what they mean. And I've made two observations (below). They aren't very academic observations and they're probably wrong -- but they're mine.
1. I think our ancestors were tired when they finally got around to naming the streets. They must have used all their creativity in their beautiful houses and land as all the towns have the same street names: Bay St, Ocean Blvd, River St., etc... Obviously running along the bay, the river and the ocean. Then the side streets are descriptive also. Seven Mile Street, for example (I almost drove down it to clock the miles, but I was late). Or Shooting Range Drive (wonder what's on that road?)
2. Then secondly, I believe that when they named their churches, they didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so they used ALL the ideas that were put into the suggestion box and combined them into one name. See below.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Peaches and Shrimp

I decided, today, that as I drove to the various events I would attempt to look at the Lowcountry through the eyes of a newcomer. What would they think of this land I adore?
Here is what I decided -- they would think that all we eat are Peaches and Shrimp.

Actually not too bad an idea.

This was the more artistic of the many signs offering peaches and shrimp, although the word "shrimp" appeared to be a bit of a problem to fit on this particular sign.

Day Three

My new theory -- hotel air conditioners pump out something during the night that make your eyes puffy and red. There is no amount or kind of make up that will remove this effect.

Today we head into Savannah (if you're up tune into Mid-Morning Live with Sonny and Jody on Channel 11). Then Beaufort, and then back to Savannah. Last night we had a party on Daufuskie Island with Barnes and Noble. Sometimes, and only sometimes, I get to take a deep breath and look around, and smile at the beauty of this life. Daufuskie Island is where that happens.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I've decided that the reason that I write is to have a party. Well, sort of.
But, what an amazing night we had last night. Festivity is the perfect place for a party. The wine (Thank you, Barefoot Wines) was great, the laughter even better. We sold a couple hundred books to benefit the scholarship program for writing classes for the Margaret Mitchell House (
I am always at a lack for the words to thank my family and friends for continuing to come to these parties to celebrate the birth of a new book. But I humbly thank every single one of you who took the time out to come to celebrate. What a great way to start this book tour.
Here are the amazing owners of Festivity and my son, who turned 10 on the same day as his mother's book release. This was his party, too!

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's Time....

Okay, so we're here on launch day. 
Off and running.
And here is my observation for the day -- this is the thing about TV: You get to see who you are vs. who you think you are.
Here is the thing about writing: you get to be someone else.
I like writing better. But in case you like TV better, here is my interview on Fox News Good Day Atlanta this morning.

Also, I must give a shout out to Don O'Briant -- journalist extraordinaire -- who interviewed me for the AJC and made me sound better and smarter than I was that day.

Enjoy...and more soon....

© 2010 Patti Callahan Henry, All Rights Reserved
Web Design and Hosting by Authors on the Web