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A Weekend with the Pulpwood Queens!

We all know this. It isn't news, but I'm going to spit it out: There are some pretty special people in the world. Now, you ask, how do I define "special?" Those who are able to spread enthusiasm, to get the rest of us up off our keesters (as my grandma used to say). Those who inspire us to live better lives and to help others.

One of those people is Kathy L. Patrick, founder of the Tiara wearing, book-reading Pulpwood Queens.

Yup, you got it right; I did put Tiara wearing and book reading in the same sentence. So does Kathy. She founded the club in her Jefferson, TX, beauty salon/bookstore ten years ago, and it's going strong. Last time I asked, she had something like 220 chapters and counting. Each month Kathy picks a book and an alternate for the Queens, and they read their pick then get together to discuss it.

It's true that Kathy picked my second novel, BLOOD LINES, as last November's main read, but, honestly, that's not why I'm writing this post. It's because of all Kathy does. In addition to the book clubs, she's active in a long list of other projects and still finds time to volunteer teaching literacy at a shelter. More amazing is how she influences others to become involved in good work. For instance, the Southwest Louisiana PQs raise money and supplies for a South American orphanage, and the Alaska bunch has an outreach program in a women's prison.

In fact, Kathy's so persuasive, she's inspired me to start working on a project. It's not at a point where I can talk about it yet, but when it comes together. I'll tell all of you about it.

So, you women (sorry, guys, but the club is for gals), if you have a group of friends, or if you'd like to make new friends, if you love good books and having fun, start your own Pulpwood Queen chapter. Kathy's link is on the right hand column of every page on my Web site, so it's easy to get in touch. Then get ready to be inspired!

One last note: Make sure you come to Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson next year. Oh, my goodness, such a party. Authors from all over the country will be there, maybe dressed up like this past January as the Wizard of Oz or a munchkin. It's a blast! Read More 
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Hard to Read, But You Should

My mom, LaVerne, died of Alzheimer's in June 2006. She'd been ill for nine years, and it was horrific.

My mother was hard-working, loving, articulate and funny. She enjoyed reading, dancing with my father, and she relished a good laugh. Mom was a secretary and one of the few women in our suburban neighborhood who worked outside the house. She never really liked cleaning or cooking, but for us she did both, never complaining. Nothing pleased her more than being with her family. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and for mom the only real roses were red.

Anyone who has lived through watching a loved one battle this devastating disease,  Read More 
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