The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 14)

Last Friday was the final day of the craziest summer of my life. From beginning to end, the weeks were wild and wonderful.

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

Irises at Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, Japan

Irises at Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, Japan

My daughter Mandy gave birth to our first grandchild, Charlie, in Iwakuni, Japan on May 23, and my younger daughter, Melanie, and I left to visit them on June 2. Melanie and I are both teachers, and the last day of school was May 30. As soon as we were free, we hit the ground running.

After we returned home (June 18), I began teaching summer piano lessons. On July 6, I published my fifth book, Sincerely Yours, the second book in the Yours by Design series. Indie authors know how busy the weeks are just before and after publishing.

Sincerely Yours  Robin Helm

Sincerely Yours
Robin Helm

On July 9, while Melanie was in Bangladesh, I received a text followed by a call from her boyfriend.

He was planning to propose and wanted to surprise her. He had asked her to pick out a ring months before, so she had searched the internet until she found the one she wanted and sent him a picture. He needed for me to tell him her ring size. I am proud to say that I was able to keep the secret.

When they called us soon after she accepted, she was squealing and he was laughing.

Oh, yes.  She was surprised!

Oh, yes.
She was surprised!

Dylan and Melanie after she said, "Yes!"

Dylan and Melanie
after she said, “Yes!”

During the week of July 20 – 25, I worked in The Way, a church-sponsored ministry to our commmunity, and on July 26 I drove 35 miles each way to the wedding of one of my former students. I was the only one there, much to my surprise, but being the anal person I am, I had the invitation with me. When I checked it, I saw that I was a week early. Ah, the joys of being 60. Melanie went to the wedding with me the following week, and the ceremony was lovely, even if the wedding party had to run from the rain at the very end. After that wedding, Melanie and I rode around to look at reception venues for hers.

The week after they became engaged, Melanie and Dylan set a date for the wedding (June 27) and we went into full-steam-ahead planning mode. Yes, you can plan a wedding in two weeks. Knowing that we would both start back to school meetings by August 7 (and that she wouldn’t function well with all the question marks hanging over her head), we quickly booked the church, the reception venue (The Ivy Place),

The Ivy Place

The Ivy Place

the wedding director, the florist, the DJ, the caterer, the wedding cake, the photographer, the musicians, and the ministers. She called all her bridesmaids and flower girls, we bought the silk flowers for the one church decoration she wanted, and we started looking for a wedding dress. Three dress shopping trips and several upset stomachs later, she found her perfect dress on August 16 at David’s Bridal in Columbia. This past Sunday afternoon, she designed and ordered her invitations, save-the-dates, and thank you notes online. She had already set up her wedding on theknot.com, so she was able to check all that off and stay within her budget.

My trusty cell phone was with me through all that, so all of my books traveled with me. I popped to the kindle app whenever I was waiting for her and read my headaches away. I even took Laura’s Mercy’s Embrace, Book Three, The Lady Must Decide to church one Sunday. When the flute part rests for 20 measures, I can sneak in a little reading.

Mercy's Embrace Book Three The Lady Must Decide by Laura Hile

Mercy’s Embrace
Book Three
The Lady Must Decide
by Laura Hile

While all that was going on, I had new floors installed in most of my house. I love the floors, but Chloe and Toby don’t. They slip and slide around, and the noise their paws make prevents them from sneaking up on me.

Nana, I do NOT like these new floors.

Nana, I do NOT like these new floors.

I had Open House at school Sunday afternoon, and we started back yesterday. Now do you understand why I haven’t finished writing Forever Yours and I’ve been slack about blogging lately?

I’m presently setting up the Music Academy lesson schedule and looking forward to getting back into my routine. My days at school have changed to Mondays and Fridays, so my blogging and writing days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Football season starts next week. Let the games begin! I’ll be cheering for my future son-in-law and his team, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.20140606_121814 Charlie is ready. She’ll be wearing her infant sized Gamecock jersey signed by her favorite football player and future uncle. Bows and ruffles are courtesy of Mrs. Susie Nichols. A girl must have her lace.

Go, Gamecocks!

Go, Dylan!

If you’re looking for us Thursday night, August 28, Gayle and I will be at Williams Brice Stadium, cheering for the team. Yes, we’ll be tired as we teach on Friday, but these times will soon be gone. I want to enjoy it while I can.

9 thoughts on “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 14)

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I got tired from writing about it. Ha!

      I hope our team wins, too. My future SIL is one of the good guys in football. There are many others on this year’s team who are deserving, as well. I’d like to see them win a championship.

      Thanks!

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  1. Laura Hile

    Like you, I have been absent from the web, desperately running for daylight. My school year begins September 3rd, and I am scared. Not because of the teaching assignment, but because blocks of time for working on my novel—thinking time, plot-twisting time—simply vanishes. Along with emotional energy. (So I need to have the manuscript finished by August 31.)

    I am flabbergasted to see how much you and Melanie have accomplished for her wedding. I would ask you how to spell Type AAA, but then I remember the slogan “Ease Through Discipline.” What a relief to have so many decisions made!

    And how lovely to see the photo of your long-awaited new floors. (Thank you, Darcy/Darcy!) There is so much to celebrate. Kick off your shoes, crank up the tunes, and twirl.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Accidentally Yours paid for the floors. Sincerely yours will pay for new furniture. My house was sorely in need of an update, and this is the best time to do it – before her wedding. When I finish Forever Yours, it can pay to carpet the three bedrooms.πŸ˜‰

      I work only two days a week at school, so I’ll have more time to write than I did this summer. I couldn’t do it if I were teaching school full time either. On the three piano teaching days, I work 2 1/2 hours (except on Wednesdays when I have band and choir rehearsals).

      Get DBAON done before August 31! I have to know the ending.

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      1. Laura Hile

        Just because the manuscript gets finished does not mean that my Beyond Austen postings will be finished. Sorry! And it gets worse. Once school starts, my posts will drop to every other week. The ending chapter should be up by Thanksgiving … several weeks after the book is released. We shall see! I am straining toward the goal, and every brain cell is feeling it!

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  2. Robin Helm Post author

    BTW, I actually did the Tom Cruise slide from Risky Business on my floors. I felt 17 again, except for the whole almost falling thing.

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    1. Laura Hile

      There is a list of things (including furniture) that Darcy By Any Other Name will pay for. First up is a better author photo. But if I make a lot of money, perhaps a little plastic surgery? πŸ˜€ Naw, I am too scared. And results are iffy, right?

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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