Category Archives: Friends

Thank God for Book Clubs

Last night I was the featured guest at a local book club. About ten women who had all read The Northwoods Chronicles asked me to join them for a couple of hours of book talk and refreshments.

It turned out to be a delightful event, hosted by my friend Virginia Prudell. These smart, savvy, well-read and highly intelligent women asked probing questions about creativity, my particular process, plot, and a couple of the characters in the book.

I tend to think of myself as a writer, and travel comfortably in the company of other writers, but I often forget how stimulating it is to be in the company of other readers, talking about our favorite books, and to listen as they chose their book for next month’s discussion.

Last night’s event took me out of the solitary business of Facebook, writing and back into the gratitude of book clubs, of person-to-person interaction and the love of the written word.

So thank God for that. And thanks to the book club members.

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Filed under Friends, Reading, Short Stories, Writing

Investing in friendships

I just got home from a long weekend trip to visit friends I don’t often get to see. We had a great time. I enjoyed the break from my work/school routine, the Oregon winter, and got to see sun, thrilling desert and important people.

On the complicated and frustrating way home (travel can be such a pain in the ass), I realized that investing in friends and family is the most rewarding effort possible. Spending time with each other, even if it’s just watching television side by side, lets our spirits commune. A cup of coffee (or ice water, as the case may be) for an hour at the kitchen breakfast bar is more important than a thousand emails.  I mean I know this. I’ve always known this.

But this trip, for some reason, turned my head around. None of us is getting any younger, and some time I’ll go to Arizona and find that I have one fewer friend to visit. That will be a sincerely bad day. But it will be much less horrible because of the trip I just had–the time I just invested–in wonderful friendships.

So I say this: If there’s someone you want to visit, get on with it. Time’s wasting. Your relationship is languishing. Forget the stock market and invest yourself in the most important, lasting, reality in the universe.

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Filed under Aging, connections, family, Friends, girlfriends, Personalities, Possibilities, relationships, Spirituality, time, Travel

Facebook: Okay, now I get it

Well, that didn’t take long.

I searched and found a couple of people I knew, so I invited them to be my “friend.” Soon their friends were my friends. Then my dog has her own page on Dogbook (can you believe this?) and she has her own dog friends. And I’m a member of groups, and they have friends.

It’s the ultimate time suck. And addictive.

Perhaps I’ll be there more often than I imagine.  And I still feel as though I ought to have a professional presence there as well as a personal presence. Hmmm. Maybe the twain will finally meet.

Regardless, I better go check to see what all my “friends” are up to. That will keep me from pining about not having the new updated Kindle.

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Filed under connections, family, Friends, Fun, time

Facebook: I don’t get it.

So I’ve heard lots and lots about Facebook, so I decided to join. I joined MySpace about a year ago as research, but it didn’t impress me. I’ve been there a total of two times. Now, I guess MySpace is so last year and Facebook is very user friendly and absolutely imperative.

Really? What’s the point?

If I make a page using my professional name, then none of the people from my high school(s) would recognize it, and there’s no way to put a second searchable name in there.  So does that mean I need two Facebook pages? Do I want to hear from those people anyway?

So I guess I’m asking…. what’s the point?

I already belong to groups with common interests, like Ravelry for knitting (totally awesome). And I stay on top of news of The Urantia Book through other outlets, although I see that Facebook does have several Urantia book sites.

Mostly, I’m busy with work and school, and don’t have a lot of time to sit online and dawdle. Is that what this site is for? Sucking time?

I can think of better ways to waste time.

So I’m on Facebook, but you’re not likely to see me there very often.

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Filed under connections, Friends, knitting, The Urantia Book, time

A good time was had by all.

One of the golden moments of an author–there are quite a few, actually–is the big hometown booksigning/reading/talk/party that launches a new book.

Last night we had a fairly decent turnout, despite competing with the first Presidential debate, and we all had a good time. I read a story from The Northwoods Chronicles, Alan M. Clark presented me with a matted print of the cover art for the same book, we ate, drank and made merry. Lisa Alber even came down from Portland with her adorable little pooch.

After the party, seven of us came back to our place to watch the debate.  Anticlimactic, to be sure. The crock pot chili that we ate while watching the debate was definitely the highlight of that event.

In addition to everyone who went out of their way to come help me celebrate, I received literally dozens of cards, emails and phone calls from people who couldn’t make it to the party for various reasons. All of which made me feel good. I have lots of friends, lots of fans.

What a great evening. Thanks, everyone.

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Filed under Friends, My New Novel, Promotion, Reading, Writing

Mark your calendar!

The publication party for The Northwoods Chronicles will be September 26, 6pm at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St. Eugene, OR 97401.

There will be food and drink and lots of writers and all manner of book-interested and book-interesting people.

Please come!

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Filed under Friends, My New Novel, Writing

What a difference a site makes

I have a new webpage. The address is the same: www.elizabethengstrom.com, but the page is worlds away from the one that was up yesterday morning.

I wrote my first website in HTML. It was basic indeed. Then I got a copy of Microsoft’s Front Page and did another. Did two others, in fact, one for me and one for my independent press. I got pretty good with Front Page, but it had some weirdnesses that I could never figure out. Didn’t have the patience. And so my web presence had all the content I wanted, but looked kind of schizophrenic, with all the fonts and colors and total lack of design.

And then Pam Herber, long time friend and excruciatingly good writer, started designing web pages, so I commissioned her to redo my sad site. After a couple of weeks of back-and-forth, she pushed the button yesterday and her fresh design went live.

I couldn’t be happier. The site now is streamlined, homogenized, artful and pertinent. Personally, I think she’s brilliant. It might look a little weird if you’ve not updated your browser recently, so you should do that. You should do that anyway.

So thanks, Pam. This fresh web presence makes me feel more professional.

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Filed under Friends