This Mess is a Place


The books arrived Monday afternoon. Two friends came over to help apply cover stickers so I’d be ready for the Tuesday book signing.

Early Tuesday a.m., I figured out the right combination of bubble wrap and box sizes and got those ordered before heading to Exeter.

On Wednesday, I sorted through the pre-sold orders to find the zip codes that were furthest from Three Rivers, got those books signed and set aside. Around 1 p.m., UPS pulled in with the packing materials, so I called my neighbor Robin. She raced over, and we began assembling boxes and figuring out the best way to process as many orders as possible. This is because the Media Mail deadline for arrival by Christmas was that very day at 3 in the afternoon.

When we decided we could wait no longer, we loaded her big car (most cars seem big compared to mine) with boxes full of boxes full of books. We made it! All those distant orders were sent.

On Thursday, I began processing the rest of the orders. I ran out of bubble wrap and had to substitute the packaging materials that I pulled from the cartons of boxes. My husband helped (around attending a retirement lunch for an old work buddy), and then we hauled the rest of the pre-orders to the Post Office.

73 packages, and the tape from the postal register computer dealie was 8′-1″ long! The clerk said it holds the record for the longest tape ever.

All but 3 of the packages will be there by Christmas, and those folks know and are not upset about it.



Exciting First Book Signing


How exciting! The first signing of The Cabins of Wilsonia was definitely a success.

People came at a perfect steady pace, so there was time to visit with each guest. My dear friend and neighbor Robin was there to organize and assist, and we had such a good time.

Here is one of the best moments of the day (and thanks to Robin for having a camera handy!)


Why is this mean artist making this sweet lady cry?


They are happy tears. Why? Because this sweet lady is just thrilled with the cover of The Cabins of Wilsonia!





I called the trucking company to verify delivery of the books today. If there was going to be a problem, I wanted to just drive to Fresno and get as many as possible for the book signing tomorrow.

BOOK SIGNING – Tuesday, December 16, 12:30-5:30, Exeter Courthouse Gallery of the Arts, 125 So. B Street, Exeter

Becca from the Three Rivers Mercantile called me to say “THEY ARE HERE!”. I left the house within 30 seconds.

Three Rivers Mercantile

Tammie took me around back, and then we opened a box to verify that it is my book in the boxes and my boxes on the pallets. (Yes, I was worried about that.)


5 pallets of books, 1529 books, 11 per box, 31 lbs. per box, 4472 lbs. in all.



The trusty Bot-Mobile and trailer that we co-own with a friend in Fresno. (Hunh? How do you share a trailer when you live 80 miles apart?)


The Mercantile’s forklift placed two pallets in the trailer. They fit just right. They remain in the trailer in our garage, out of the rain.


I followed with a full load in the bed of the “new” truck (2003 – woo-hoo, a vehicle from this century!!)


Careful on those curves. Michael said to follow him, and I said, “Why? So when books go flying I can run over them with the ‘new’ truck?” (I’ve always wondered about following a load – is it wise? Lots of unanswered questions in my life.)


Phew. Made it home. Parked the Bot-Mobile and trailer, unloaded the “new” truck, went back to fill it up with the 5th and final pallet.

Then we began hefting boxes around, finding places to store them. After 3 pallets worth were unloaded, our friends Jeannie and Gary came over to help apply stickers to enough books to take to the book signing tomorrow.

The Cabins of Wilsonia is a real book, not just a subject of a blog, not just an idea or a dream. It is HERE!!

I Saw Two Books and They Look Great


On Friday, FedEx brought me a book with 2 sample books, The Cabins of Wilsonia, in it. Each had a slightly smashed corner. (I know how NOT to package the books when they get mailed to you.)

I applied the decal to the cover of each and it looks really good! Nope, you don’t get to know yet.

Next, my husband carefully measured a book while I called a packaging supply company. We found 2 potential boxes, and they are shipping a sample of each so I can try them today.

No worries – I’ve done business with this company for about 25 years. They are NOTHING like the printer and binder – they say it and they do it when they say they will.

On Wednesday I will show you the cover of the book. I am waiting until the person whose cabin is on the cover sees it first.



The books, The Cabins of Wilsonia, are supposed to arrive today. This may mean they arrive at some truck depot in Fresno where they sit over the weekend or it may mean a big rig comes to the hardware store in Three Rivers. (Bless Mike McCoy and the Three Rivers Mercantile for making their turn-around space and fork lift available to me!)

No matter when they arrive in Three Rivers, I will be bringing them (not all 1529, but a reasonable transportable amount) to Exeter’s Courthouse Gallery on Tuesday, December 16.

Here. Let’s make this easy:

The Cabins of Wilsonia


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 12:30 – 5:30



  1.  If the books come on today, I will begin shipping to those who live far away on Monday. LET ME KNOW IF YOU PLAN TO PICK THE BOOK UP IN PERSON SO I DON’T MAIL IT FIRST!!
  2. If the books come on Monday, I’ll try to ship on Tuesday a.m. before the book signing.
  3. If you paid for shipping and would rather not wait, come to the book signing and bring your receipt. I will refund your $5 mailing.
  4. If you didn’t pay for shipping, bring your receipt and retrieve your copy.
  5. If you live far away or can’t come on Tuesday, I will be there again the following Tuesday, same time.


  1. The price is $81, which includes tax BUT NOT SHIPPING.
  2. If you want a book shipped to someone, the price is $86. (Yes, I know it is a weird amount – I often specialize in weird.)
  3. If you want to order the book, you may do so using Paypal (the send money option) or through the mail (I accept checks) to P.O. Box 311, Three Rivers, CA 93271

I do NOT accept credit cards – bring cash or checks if you plan to buy a book. 

(This is because I don’t have a smart phone or a Square, because I don’t get cell phone service where I live – unbelievable, I know. Yes, I have AT&T. No, it doesn’t work at my address. Yes, I am sort of glad about that.)

Where is “The Cabins of Wilsonia” Now?


This is the tracking info from the freight company. Also includes the printer and binder names and addresses if you want to write to them and say what you think of their service. . .

Probably not a good idea.

Now I want to know if the books will arrive in Three Rivers on Friday or if they will sit in a depot in Fresno all weekend.



book tracking

The Cabins of Wilsonia In Transit!


Today I got a tracking # from the book printer. Conway Freight shows that there are 1529 books, The Cabins of Wilsonia, on 5 pallets, last in Cincinnatti, Ohio.

The estimated delivery date is December 12, which is Friday. It is supposed to rain on Friday. We need rain.

They will come to the Three Rivers Mercantile. Don’t you just love small towns? That is the best store, with the greatest owner and employees!

We had visions of taking the “new” pickup with the trailer and the Botmobile to retrieve the books. Not if it is raining! We need the rain. (I said that already.)

When they arrive, I will order shipping boxes, apply the decals to the covers, sign each book, wait for the shipping boxes to arrive, fidget, check the UPS tracking #s, learn how to print postage from my computer or visit the local Post Office to learn how to best facilitate sending all those books at the busiest time of year, the time I was hoping to avoid by ordering the books in July.

Never mind. They are coming. Rain is coming too. We need the rain. (In case you were wondering. . .)



pencil drawing

Today I went digging around in my old emails and paperwork from the printer. I found what I think is the name of the binder. After Googling it and finding a phone #, I called the place. OF COURSE there was an automatic phone answering system, which listed names that meant nothing to me. The last choice was “zero”, so I pressed that and got some dude’s voicemail.

I left a message with my name and number, asking him if I had a book in his bindery and asking him to call me back.


Suddenly, I had an email from the so called “customer service” representative. It said this:

The binder just called and said they plan to ship books on Friday.  I’ll let you know when I have confirmation.

Coincidence? Probably not.

A sure thing? More will be revealed. . .

The Cabins of Wilsonia may arrive before Christmas.