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Top 10 Sound Bites from Pulpwood Queens Girlfriends’ Weekend 2012

January 31, 2012

Every year I look forward to Martin Luther King weekend. It’s not just because I love to honor a great man—which, of course, I do…And it’s not just because it’s the first long weekend of the year—which, of course, it is…But it’s mostly because Kathy Patrick throws the biggest Book Club Convention/Book Lovers Party I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life! I would miss BEA (Book Expo America, THE publishing industry’s annual trade show) before I would miss The Pulpwood Queen’s annual Girlfriends’ Weekend (PWQ GFWE.) This was my third year traveling to the little town of Jefferson, Texas—where the drama is as big as the hair… Each year, I’m eager to go, and each year it turns out to be even more than I expected—more authors; more partying; more FUN! Now that’s pretty hard to do, but Kat always manages to top herself.

Of course, there are the three nights of partying—which we will, of course, talk about later… But imagine: Two Full Days of author panels—about 50 authors in all—they talk about their books, their writing and their lives. To me, you can’t get much closer to book heaven! I take copious notes because you never know when you’re going to catch a gem. In fact, I have two whole pages from John Berendt (author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) just on writing tips! But, mostly, these people are funnier than a three-ring circus—which was this year’s theme, BTW, but we’ll get to that later… So here are my Top 10 Sound Bites from PWQ GFWE 2012:

10)  “My Dad, convinced that my book is about him, turns to me and announces, ‘I’ve decided who will play me in the movie.’” Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters.

Eleanor is one of my new favorite authors to watch—5 minutes on stage and I was in love with her! Way. Too. Funny.  (In the clown collage, she’s in the top left hand corner…)

9) “You wouldn’t believe this murder I just did!” Kathryn Casey, author of Shattered, on her true-crime writing.

Kathryn is one of those understated comics—with zingers coming out of nowhere. She was also part of this year’s “Reveur” group from The Night Circus, and last year was the fabulous Cheshire Cat in our Alice in Wonderland group. (In the collage, she’s in the bottom right hand corner.) I promise more pictures later…

8) “If I don’t get the girls in place, I can’t breathe. I like to.” Deeanne Gist, author of Love on the Line, while adjusting her corset.

Deeanne is absolutely adorable and donned about a dozen layers of Victorian costumes to show us how they got dressed—to go to book club, I’m sure—at the turn of the century. More on that later, as well.

7) “With my help—and my Grandfather’s MasterCard—her wardrobe improved…” Robert Leleux, author of The Living End, A Family Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving,  about his grandmother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Robert and his handsome hubby, Michael, are just two of the dearest human beings I know—My California group visits them whenever we go to NYC. I absolutely loved Robert’s first book, Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, and I’m halfway through his new book. Although it deals with a tough subject, Robert’s trademark humor, hopefulness, and humanity come through. I can’t wait to finish and tell you all about it!

6) “I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. We used to say we could spit into Arkansas. And we actually really liked to.” Wade Rouse, author of the hysterically funny, It’s All Relative.

I first fell in love with Wade at the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer’s Conference in Dayton Ohio a couple of years ago—at the same time I met another funny and talented writer, Marcia Fine. That story is a whole blog in and of itself…But at PWQGFWE, Wade and his partner, Gary, RULED at every costume event—reminding me why I fell in love with him in the first place—he’s ridiculously funny. Yes, once again, I promise more pictures to follow! (In the collage, they are the two on the top and middle right.)

5) “This is a fictional neck. We never had necks like that.” Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells on her book jacket photo with the exceeding long, thin, flawless (perhaps Photoshopped?)—neck.

Not only is Meg a fabulous speaker (she’s kindly graced my little hometown at a fundraiser or two) but her books are PERFECT for book clubs. In addition to her current book mentioned above, check out her sophomore novel, The Wednesday Sisters, if your club hasn’t read it yet.

4) “When Britney shaved her head, all over the South she went from being a whore to going onto their prayer list.” Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Radio personality, and the author of Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat; She Just Weighs Heavy.

Shellie is a natural comedienne and in addition to hosting the All Things Southern syndicated radio show, her first book, Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On! is the perfect book for Southern gals—and all others who simply want to know what they know!

3) “I wrote my book at the same time I had my first daughter, so when my husband opened a box that had just arrived from Amazon, he pulled out the two books, Mothers Who Kill Their Children, and Baby’s Belly Button and remarked,  ‘That is SO messed-up!’ ” Karen Harrington, author of Janeology—a novel about a mother who killed her child.

When I met Karen three years ago, she was the most beautiful Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) that I’d ever seen! Then last year she appeared as the (gorgeous) White Queen (Sis to my evil Red Queen) for our Alice in Wonderland group. This year I voted for her as Prom Queen—completely captivating at our Pretty in Pink Prom Night! Oh yeah—and she can write too—check out Janeology for one of the most unique book premises ever! My library book club members love it!

2) I was a Nobel-Prize winning surgeon. And I asked for a spatula instead of a scalpel.” Tina Sloan, longtime star of daytime TV’s Guiding Light and author of Changing Shoeson acting.

Although she may’ve been a queen of the daytime soap Guiding Light for 26 years, you won’t find Tina resting on her laurels. Her latest project is as co-author and star of her one-woman show, CHANGING SHOES—yes, based on her book—which she is currently touring across the United States. She gave us a little taste of it at GFWE—and I can’t wait to see the fully produced show. Watch out, Lily Tomlin—Tina is a force to be reckoned with!

1) “Never trust a woman who’ll tell you her age—obviously, she’ll tell you anything.” Marilyn Gilhuly, co-author of Call to Glory: The Life and Times of a Texas Ranger.

This was Marilyn’s first visit to GFWE—but she certainly made the most of it! Another aside was, “I grew up two tornadoes Northeast of Dallas.” And since her hubby wasn’t there, she took the opportunity to mention, “We wrote the book together—heaven knows how he’s still alive.

Yep, Kat really knows how to Send in the Clowns! Is it any wonder I’ve practically been in bed for the past two weeks? It wasn’t this nasty winter cold—it’s just that my sides ached too hard to walk!

Three Cheers for Girlfriend’s Weekend—The Greatest Book Show on Earth!



22 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay Huck permalink
    February 2, 2012 6:42 am

    Love your review and quotes…one of the reasons I enjoy the weekend so much!

  2. February 4, 2012 9:51 am

    What a great post, Marsha! Brought back all the great times. I’m tickled to have been included in your Top Ten. Thanks so much! Love ya!

    • February 4, 2012 10:05 am

      Deeanne: Your presentation was one of the highlights of the weekend! So very clever. I took a Historic Costume class in college—and at one point thought I wanted to be Edith Head. So your show brought back some very fond memories for me. Well done! Hope to see you next year. Cheers! MTE

  3. February 4, 2012 9:54 am

    This post gave me the biggest smile. We had such a great time this year and one of the highlights was seeing YOU again!

    • February 4, 2012 10:07 am

      Karen: You ALWAYS have the biggest smile! 🙂 It really is a fun weekend, isn’t it? I think you really need to come back next year because it wouldn’t be the same without you! Cheers! MTE

  4. Christi Borden permalink
    February 4, 2012 10:08 am

    Helps me relive it all over again!

    • February 4, 2012 10:10 am

      Christi: The Sirens from Katy Texas are always so fun! Thanks for adding to the entertainment. I always love your costumes, table—and overall enthusiasm. Too. Much. Fun. Cheers! MTE

  5. February 4, 2012 10:09 am

    Great run down of an exceptional weekend, Marsha!

  6. February 4, 2012 2:33 pm

    Great job. I appreciate all the hard work you put into this. Love the countdown and the job you did with the picture collage. 🙂

    • February 4, 2012 3:12 pm

      William: Thanks for stopping by, and hope you join us again next year at the Grand Hair Ball! Cheers! P. S. Going to GFWE is NEVER “work”…

  7. February 4, 2012 2:38 pm

    Marsha! I’m honored to make your list of quotes. However, the thing about that quote sweet Robert attributed to me is that HE IS actually the one who said it several years ago. God love him– here’s the backstory– or as we say, what it was, was: on our first panel ever at PWQ GFWE, I said, “We were all worrried about Brittany but when she shaved her head bald we knew for sure that the butter had slipped off her biscut” and Robert responded with “so…y’all went from praying for her–” yep– that line got a huge laugh the first time he said it and another laugh when he retold it this time and he didn’t even know he was giving me credit for his own wit. 🙂 It’s SO kind of you to say the even wouldn’t be the same without me! I feel that way about the whole gang of us readers and writers than converge on Jefferson! :)) THX!

    • February 4, 2012 3:10 pm

      Shellie: Isn’t that just like Robert? I suspect that half the clever lines he attributed to Jessica in Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, were actually made up by him. But I wrote a down a bunch of yours, so I could’ve also used, “I’m from Florida. Back when it was still Southern.” (or something like that…) Thanks for setting the record straight. 🙂

  8. February 4, 2012 5:59 pm

    What a great job you’ve done capturing the event! What great lines! Loved ever min.about it!

  9. Marilyn Wirth permalink
    February 7, 2012 9:52 am

    It appears that you had a really good time!

    • February 8, 2012 11:44 am

      Marilyn: Ha, ha, yes I did. And all the Hoodies are gonna hear all about it tomorrow night when you get your souvenirs from PWQ GFWE! Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

  10. Mary yetta permalink
    February 8, 2012 11:09 am

    Loved the run down on the weekend. My daughter and I love coming every year. It is something we can do together as a bonding thing for us. And we both love meeting the authors and the other PWQ’s from across the U.S. It’s alomost like a family reunion every year. Thanks for the memories.

    • February 8, 2012 11:42 am

      Mary: I feel the same way. You and your daughter are so much fun—I can’t wait each year to see what y’all are gonna wear! Oh, yeah—and I’d also like some dance lessons from you two…You really rock! Cheers!


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