9 posts categorized "The Book Tarts"

September 10, 2011

Volunteering: Causes, Passions and the Salem Lit Fest

Volunteering: Causes, Passions and the Salem Lit Fest

By Brunonia Barry

  SLF logo

I don’t know about you, but these days, I seem to be volunteering for more than ever before. This is something I’m happy to do, but I’m finding myself spread far too thin. As a novelist who only made her last deadline by forty-five minutes, I’m now hesitating to take on any new projects.

I am already involved in a variety of passionate causes, one of my favorites being The Women’s Lunch Place in Boston, a daytime shelter that provides refuge and services for Boston’s homeless and poor women and children.

Then there is teaching. I do some writing workshops, and visit local high school English classes to talk to students about writing and literature.  

I have joined boards to preserve historic landmarks, committees that provide scholarships, fund raising efforts to end domestic violence. The list goes on. 

But sometimes (alright many times, if I’m being honest here) I’m just exhausted. I can’t take on one more thing. There aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s a good thing I sleep a lot less than I used to, but, frankly, there aren’t enough hours in the night, either.

So it was a surprise even to me when I said yes to yet another project, one that has required more time from me than all the others combined. This year I agreed to co-chair the planning committee of the Salem Literary Festival.

“Are you insane?” was my husband’s question. “Probably,” I answered. If I had known what would be involved, I might not have continued. But the Salem Literary Festival is one of my all time passions, and I wasn’t about to let it die. And that’s just what would have happened, if it weren’t for a group of dedicated volunteers (one of whom turned out to be my husband).

When Salem’s independent bookstore, Cornerstone, closed last year, one of the less obvious casualties was the three-year-old Salem Literary Festival, which was started and anchored by the bookstore. It was a great festival for both readers and writers.

Salem is the ideal city for a lit fest. It’s small, walk-able, beautiful, and it has some of the best historic architecture in the country. Touted as the birthplace of the great American novel (a legacy left by Nathaniel Hawthorne, our native son), Salem has a rich and enduring literary tradition. Add to that Salem’s other American firsts: first millionaire, first candy store, first brick house, first elephant. (The elephant evidently had a drinking problem, but that’s a story for another day.) Salem’s full of quirky places and creative people, the perfect combination. We were determined to see the festival continue.

First we recruited more volunteers. The Spirit of ’76 bookstore in Marblehead offered to stand in for Cornerstone. We held committee meetings at my dining room table. We secured historic venues including The House of the Seven Gables, the Salem Athenaeum, the Phillips House. Even the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) made room for us.

We were a bit less lucky with hotel rooms. The Lit Fest runs from September 23-25, but we found ourselves blocked by Halloween visitors who seem to come to town earlier every year. There wasn’t a hotel room to be had. Well, actually, there was exactly one. We grabbed it.

When I tell you that our committee meetings have been stormy, I am being literal. Our second meeting was spent huddled around a television set in our kitchen watching the news. A tornado was ripping across Massachusetts. Our founder’s husband and daughter were stuck at home in their basement, waiting out the storm.

We wrote the festival brochure during hurricane Irene with a copywriter who lived near New Hampshire’s Mount Washington and kept losing power and a collaborator who had no electricity for three days. Somehow we managed. We picked up the printed brochures last Wednesday amid renewed rains and flooding.

Besides working on the brochure, my assignment was securing writers and creating events. Erin Morgenstern, writer of The Night Circus (written while she lived in Salem), and Lipstick’s own Joshilyn Jackson will be our keynote speakers. And speaking of The Lipstick Chronicles, we are hosting a panel on Sunday September 25th featuring Hank, Cornelia, Heather, Sarah, Joshilyn and me.  Believe it or not, it will be the first time some of us have met.

All in all, we have over fifty authors and many great events. Check it out at http://www.salemlitfest.com/schedule.

If you’re anywhere near Salem the weekend of September 23rd, please come. We’d love to see you. And for any of you writers out there, we have an open mic session at Gulu Gulu café on Sunday at 4PM. We welcome your participation.

This is one volunteer job that will soon come to an end. I’m sure I will feel simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated. And even though I swore I would never do it again, I will undoubtedly volunteer again next year.  After a short break, we’re planning to have a meeting to discuss next year’s lineup. Knowing New England and our stormy history, I figure it will probably snow.

So what kind of things are you passionate about? What inspires you to volunteer?

January 10, 2010

All is Revealed


by Hank

SO? How'd you do? I've looked at all your guesses...and some of you rocked! Others of you--well, let's just say the Tarts are good at keeping secrets. See below for the prize winners! But first, all is revealed!

Here are the questions again--with the answers!

Can you picture the Tarts as Tartlets? As little girls, two of the Tarts wanted to be veterinarians.  Can you guess who?  NANCY and  HARLEY

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One planned to be a beautician. Who do you think that is?  KATHY

One, a geneticist. Who? HANK
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And still today, one of us thinks if she weren’t a writer—she might sell real estate. SARAH

 As a kid, one of the Tarts played cello, oboe, clarinet and piano. (Not at the same time.) Which Tart is the musical prodigy? HARLEY

Which Tarts are artists? One of us won a contest—okay, in fifth grade but it still counts—for drawing a sketch of her mother. Who?   HARLEY

And one of us is still brilliant at drawing—horses.NANCYNancy martin

We had wonderful high school and college careers.

ElaineOne of us married her English professor. ELAINE

One was voted “Most Individual” in her high school.  HANK

One was her high school mascot—costume and all. Who danced for the crowd?KATHY

One was a majorette—baton, white boots and all. Who marched to Tuxedo Junction? HANK (But I was terrible. Middle of the back row)

 Athletics? Sure, we rock.  In our own ways.
One holds her high school’s record for the SHORTEST broad jump. ELAINE

 One’s a weightlifter. At her best, she could bench 250 pounds, which was more than twice her body weight. KATHY

One—qualified for the Olympic swim team.  NANCY!

And one took beginning tennis—a one-semester course—for three years.  HANK

Hobbies?

One Tart collects decorating magazines. NANCY

One has an “absurd fascination” with Mormons. SARAH

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One is really good at counted cross stitch. HARLEY

((And that ain’t all. The Tarts have many other talents. Oh, yes indeed. (This is where Me, Margie, kept raising her hand. I ignored her. You don't wanna know. She keeps trying to have me list her talents. Puh-leeze.)

Which of us can do mirror writing? (That’s cursive writing that can be read in a mirror.) HARLEY

Which of us can sing songs using only the first letter of each word?  HANK

Which of us can throw a bullet of a forward pass? (oh, that’s too easy)  NANCY!

SOO? How'd you do?  ANd now--tell us something WE don't know about YOU!

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Who wins the prizes?  Here are just some of the winners...KERRY wins Nancy's new book!  JodiL and Storyteller Mary win ARCS of PRIME TIME!  Peach wins a DRIVE TIME canvas tote bag!  But that's not all--watch the comments space--for the rest of the many more winners! (Winners--please contact Hank through her website and she'll arrange to get you your loot!) (I'm flying back to Boston Sunday AM--so see you when I get home!)

August 23, 2009

Re-vamping the Tarts

Re-Vamping The Tarts


by The Book Tarts with Editing by Me, Margie, Who had to type it in so don't ask me to do that if you don't want me to edit.  Just saying.


We love our readers, and we want to keep you. We know there are younger, firmer, more titillating blogs out there. (Margie, the T-word does NOT mean what you think it does.) [MM Note: no duh.  Plus, speak for yourselves on the younger and firmer.]

We are an open-minded group of women. You can stray as often as you want. But we hope you’ll always come back to us. To keep us young-looking, we're planning a facelift, (we got a group rate). It will be unveiled Monday, August 31. [MM Note: None of this applies to Me.  In fact, stray on Me, Margie, even once, and you will never find the body parts.]

But we know it's not enough to look good on the outside. You want brains as well as beauty. Women smart enough to actually say something.  [MM Note: This part does apply to me because I always have something smart to say.]

[MM Note: Pay attention.  You have to answer these questions - they are not the kind that are, like, philosophy where you're just supposed to think about it, and really, I have enough to think about without someone asking me a question when they really don't want an answer.  For real.]

That’s why we’re asking you: What do you want to read on TLC?
More slice of life blogs?
More about love and relationships?
More about the writing and the writers life?
Information about Tart books and movies? (And yes, one Book Tart does have a movie option.)
More politics? Less politics?
More satire and social issues?   
Or do you love us just the way we are and want more of the same?

Let us know. You keep us endlessly entertained with your comments, and we hope to return the favor. [MM Note: I have my own way of returning favors, but the Book Tarts told me I can't do that any more at the office. Like they know.]

Also, we need more eyes. By that, we mean new readers. Fresh blood. We’ll still love you. We’ve known you longer than the newcomers. If you like TLC, would you recommend us to your friends? Mention us on your lists? In a favorite blog? [MM Note - this sounds creepy - asking for body parts and blood?  How HBO.  But it's not really, so don't worry.  Just do it.  I like this job.  But don't tell THEM.]

Tell us what you did for us, and we'll do something for you.  We’ll put your name in a drawing and give you the TLC books of your choice, one per Book Tart. [MM Note: this is for real.  Who do you think collects the books and sends them out?  Mention Me and I'll include something fun.]

Ready? Rev up your pencils. We’re waiting to hear from you.
[MM Note: I love the rev up part, don't you?]

[P.S.  Lisa is taking a break, and we are proud to present a new TLC Feature while she's gone called Manly Mondays.  We start off with a real bang tomorrow with a blog from James Swain on making it in Hollywood. I already read it, so I know it's good.  Just saying.  And look for other great men in the coming weeks - Gregg Hurwitz, Bill Fitzhugh, James O. Born, David Hagberg and other cool dudes.]
 

April 06, 2008

Tell a Friend!

Tomorrow, dear friends, will be our 1000th blog.  Yes, that one thousand posts here at The Lipstick Chronicles!            

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Have you been here since the beginning? Or have you joined us just recently?  Either way, we're happy to have you, yes, you, here in our TLC community.  It's you, back bloggers, who make the Tarts feel like checking our computer screens every morning.

Because of you, we've written 1000 blogs to entertain, enlighten, and sometimes bug the hell out of our audience.

Now we're hoping you can Tell a Friend.  If everyone who visits us today gets just one pal to check us out, you could help us build the TLC community even further.  How about it?  Surely you know at least one person who'd get a kick out of the action on this blog?  And of course, IYOCHFTS, you can promise your friends that we've got stuff like this:

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Or this:  Go to fullsize image

Or maybe this makes your toes tingle:  Go to fullsize image

How about it?  Send our link to a friend, and we'll send you . . . well, a great blog tomorrow.  Promise.

February 04, 2008

Winter Reading

The groundhog has delivered his message---six more weeks of winter---and the Super Bowl--the last original entertainment until the writers' strike is settled (unless you're watching the Jane Austen extravaganza) is done until spring arrives.  So what are you desperate souls doing with your leisure time?

Rejoice!  The Book Tarts and Friends of the Tarts have plunged into the unexplored territory ahead and done the research for you!  We've been reading good books, bad books and great books, and we're here to tell you what to start piling on your night table. New releases, at least one Advance Reader Copy and even a classic or two. Boy books, girl books. No matter what your taste, you'll find something yummy here!        Go to fullsize image

From Harley:  DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris. Long before I read Charlaine, I knew Charlaine and loved Charlaine, but Sookie Stackhouse is in a league of her own and I can't believe it took me so long to get to her. I hadn't read a vampire book since my old Anne Rice days (and I smoked pot during those, so don't ask me about the plots) and who knew I'd fall so hard for Sookie? This is one of those books I started slowing down halfway through, and even rereading parts because I didn't want it to end. Yeah, I know there are several more in the series, but still.

THE WATCHMAN by Robert Crais. Long before I knew Bob Crais, I was in love with Elvis Cole and his sidekick, Joe Pike--although "sidekick" suggests a kind of wacky, Ethel Mertz quality conspicuously lacking in Joe. Joe doesn't laugh. Joe doesn't smile. Joe doesn't take off his shades. But Joe is the penultimate Guy You Want On Your Side and the only thing certain in this story is that no one messing with Joe or anyone Joe likes is going to survive the book. This time it's Elvis who's the sidekick, which he's a very good sport about. It's hard not to envision Paris Hilton in the celebrity-in-distress role, but you have to keep adding 50 points to her IQ.

These books took me 8 (that's eight) months to read, and they are the reason I did not finish Doris Lessing's THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK, for which I will one day be banned from Book Club.

From Elaine Viets: A DOG ABOUT TOWN by J.F. Englert (Dell, paperback $6.99.) This is a hilarious novel featuring Randolph, an overweight but highly sophisticated Labrador, who is much smarter than his master. Don't let your prejudice about talking animals in mysteries get in your way. This is a funny book, set in Manhattan.

From FOT, Ramona Long:  THE LANGUAGE OF GOODBYE by Maribeth Fischer is a provocative and beautifully written novel about the sometimes hurtful choices people must make to find happiness.

MY LATEST GRIEVANCE by Elinor Lipman is the brilliant author's latest brilliant story, set in 1978 about a young woman, born and raised in the dormitory of a small women's college, who enters the same college as a student, in a new dorm that is house-mommied by her father's beguiling ex-wife.

From FOT, Arkansas Cyndi:  I have been on a reading jag for the last couple of weeks.  THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD by Wendy Roberts.--Sadie Novak owns a crime scene cleaning service (cleans up after murders, suicides, etc) . . . and, oh yeah, she can talk to ghosts. The latest ghost swears the police have her murderer wrong. Great debut book.

PLAYING FOR PIZZA by John Grisham.--First Grisham I've read in a while.  Third string quarterback who lost the major game hires on to a professional team in Parma, Italy. I really enjoyed it, once I could make myself ignore sentence structure and being in everyone's thoughts.

I also read Suzanne Brockman's ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, which is the story of the marriage of two men. It was okay, but I thought she played it safe and, while it was supposed to be a romance, I didn't feel the love!

From Nancy Martin:  Did you read BEL CANTO? I'm still trying, but I haven't finished it yet. But RUN, also by Ann Patchett, is an intimate look at a good Irish Catholic family that adopts two African-American boys who grow up to excel at many endeavors. My poor summary of the concept doesn't express the charm, wit and sweetness of this lyrical novel.

AFTERIMAGE by my good friend Kathleen George, is a police procedural set here in Pittsburgh.  Gritty, yet with great depth of character, this story hooked me early with good prose and kept me reading late at night.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for Spenser.  Robert Parker's new NOW & THEN puts our hero on the trail of more bad guys and using his backlist of sidekicks to help him out.  Yes, I'm sick of Susan.  There's nothing new there.  And I thought the belated re-visiting of their split (which might have happened 15 years ago now, Bob) wasn't well executed. But when you need a fun, tough guy read on a cold night, this one fits the bill. Low body count this time around--maybe a good thing.

Next up for me?  A Jane Smiley novel that somehow slipped through the cracks in my bookcase.  To me, Jane Smiley is the ultimate novelist.  HORSE HEAVEN is superb.  I'm opening GOOD FAITH with great expectations.

From Margie:  Get some ice water for this one, because it is smokin'! J.R. Ward's latest novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is V's story, LOVER UNBOUND, and it's freaking fantastic. If you're a straight up vanilla fan, take a pass on this one.  It's not hard core, but it's at least a half step over that line. Although you could read this one as a stand-alone, I guarantee that if you do read it, you'll be looking for the others when you're done. For fans of the series -- you'll never believe who his parents are--and wait until you find out who's finally getting some. Oh, yeah. Even if you're not a fan of the vampire stories, you may like these books--they've got all kinds of thrills--the good kind and the bad kind. Plus, a great love story. What more are you looking for? Just saying.

From Rebecca the Bookseller:  I am currently reading the fabulous MURDER MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH--yes, that one, by our own Nancy Martin.  I got my hands on an ARC, and I LOVE it.  Can't really give anything away, but I can tell you that all our favorites are back (including my Mick--sure, I share him with everyone else, but when I'm reading it, he's mine) and they are joined by some fabulous new characters. AND--guess who's back? The Blackbird parents! Yikes. You'll see how some of these apples don't fall far from the tree. Add a healthy does of chocolate, and you are in for another treat!

From William Simon, FOT:  I've been on a Classics kick as of late.  CAT OF MANY TAILS by Ellery Queen:  A hallmark of detective fiction, the first time know that the Amateur Sleuth realizes what he does has a direct effect on other people's lives. Ellery suffers a nervous breakdown as a result.

DARKER THAN AMBER by John D. MacDonald: Beaches and girls, bad guys and good guys, plus MacDonald's trademark way with words.  Any McGee will do on a dark and blustery day, but this is the hallmark of the series.

Still need more suggestions?  Our backbloggers will have some terrific suggestions. 

What are you reading?? Dish!

Or here are the all-time biggest Super Bowl ad rejects

August 26, 2007

Harley's Road Trip!

Harley's Road Trip!

As the DEAD EX tour continues to take our Harley all over the country, we thought you'd like to see her in action.  How about this one of Nancie the Gun Tart, Harley and Twist Phelan (who has a new book coming out in September!) at Poisoned Pen: 

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And here's one of Harley with author Heather Graham (check out BLOOD RED, in stores now!) at Books and Books in Coral Gables:

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Or this one of William and Donna "The Boss" Simon with Harley at Murder By the Book in Houston:

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And here is another TLC regular - Susan S with Harley in Seattle at the Mystery Bookshop

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And finally, Harley with her niece, Andrea Kozak at Portland's Murder by the book.

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Here's an online interview with Harley, too.

July 27, 2007

The Harry Potter Epic - SPOILER ALERT!

The Harry Potter Epic

SPOILER ALERT!! WE ARE GOING TO BE DISCUSSING HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, ALONG WITH J.K. ROWLING'S ENTIRE SERIES. IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED THE BOOKS, OR FOR ANY REASON DO NOT WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS, LEAVE NOW! SERIOUSLY.


la, la, la, la - this is space so that no one accidentally reads something. I put this in here because I don't want to take the rap if someone does, and beleive me, I will. You can thank me, Margie, later.

Spoilers are dead ahead, people, get out now if you don't want to see them. I can only do so much, okay?


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OK, enough already. If you're still here, it means you finished the book or don't care either way.

Rebecca the Bookseller says:

OK, did everyone get that warning? So, listen, if you are still reading, it means you WANT to talk about how the series ends, and you WANT to know all kinds of things about what happens in any of the seven books. Believe me, the Tarts had a hard time deciding whether it was too early. But when Rowling herself discussed the ending yesterday, we took it as a sign.

I have to start out by saying it straight up: This series is a masterpiece. This is an epic that rivals Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. It has all the elements of a multi-generational reading experience - global themes, classic morality tales, and political science commentary. The mere fact that it got a generation dependent on audio-visual stimulation for entertainment to sit down and READ a BOOK is magical in and of itself.

Now - I thought Deathly Hallows was one of the best in the series - the best? Goblet of Fire.

BUT - I did have some questions that troubled me from the beginning of DH - we'll be talking more about some of them throughout the day, but here is my first: Why wasn't everyone consulting with Dumbledore through his portrait? Yes, I know that the school was being run by Death Eaters, but still...

And the Big Calls - who died and who did not. We all had some moments of cold panic over Neville and Hagrid, but FRED?! Not the twins! And BOTH Tonks and Lupin?

And then there is Snape. Like every other character in the book (except you know who), neither all good nor all bad. But to have such a meaningless end? I know it illustrated Voldemort's complete self absorption and lack of emotion, but wow.

OK, I could go on and on and on, but it's time for someone else to have a turn.

July 16, 2007

Thrillerfest Post-Op

Thrillerfest Post-Op

Well, several of the Tarts and Friends of Tarts spent a terrific weekend at ThrillerFest in New York City.

To be honest, everybody is still recovering, in one way or another (it's one of those "What happens in..." snow clones, if you know what I mean). So we all decided to write a little bloglet about it, and catch up with the real stories later. So anyway, that was what we all decided, and then, uh, most people were too fried and forgot, but here is a start.

Here is what you really need to know: New York is a great city. ThrillerFest was a great time. OK. Moving on.

From Michele Martinez:

For me, ThrillerFest was like one of those dreams where you're trying to get somewhere important and events continually conspire to keep you away. I wanted so much to see some of the great panels, but I was lucky to make it to my own. What was I doing instead? One meeting after the next, catching up with colleagues, even a photo shoot. (I was photographed in the Ramble in Central Park, where the victim's body is discovered in "Cover-Up," for a piece on setting in mystery for Spirit Magazine -- fun!) Oh, and hanging out with Nancy, Harley and Rebecca, of course. And cornering some great guest bloggers and interviewees for your entertainment. Stay tuned for a sizzling interview with Lee Child next week. How hot is it? Let's just say Margie stopped in, asked a key question or two and things took off from there.

From William Simon, Guest Blogger and FoT:

Thrillerfest was terrific. This was my first time, and I had the singular experience of meeting Jon Land, author of some very well done spy thrillers back in the 80's and 90's. At the Hollywood panel, chaired by TLC's very own Harley Jane Kozak, Jon was kind enough to autograph a copy of THE ALPHA DECEPTION for me. All this, plus meeting Nancy for the first time, and hanging with the Tarts....well I'm already looking forward to next year.

From Margie:

I LOVE New York. Every time I'm there, it's a little different - in the last ten years or so, it's better in the big ways - it's cleaner, it's safer, people are nice - and brace yourself for this one - the CABS actually defer to the PEDS. I don't know what the hell Rudy and Bloomie have been putting in that water up there, but it's working. Or maybe it's a mass hypnosis project. Hey - I think it is and I think I just figured it out, too. I'm good at that, you know - figuring stuff out. I'll talk more about it on Friday.

Anyway, it's a great city and the convention was - okay - it was a Con and in some ways, if you've been to one, you've been to them all. It doesn't really matter if it's Thriller Writers or the Future Farmers of America. Don't start with me, you know it's true.

The diff is the people there. A lot of these people were cool. Some of them were total tools. Big whoop. You can ID the tools in about 2.5 seconds, and you find the cool ones. More on that Friday, too, except just let me say that if you are ever at a Con with me, Margie, and you act like such a Tool that I see it more than once....well, I'd be very, very careful about getting into a crowded situation. Anything can happen - you know, like a rugby scrum or something. NOT that anything DID, yanno, happen. So chill. This is more like a little lesson at the end of a fable or something.

As usual, I am really the only one working here, so I guess I'd better catch up on all the office stuff. But I'll be back Friday.

From Rebecca:

First of all, no comment on Margie's comments. None. Don't ask me, I don't know anything. Call me Sgt. Schultz on this girl.

I thought the best thing about Thriller Fest was getting to actually meet people who post - or Guest Blog - right here on TLC. Blogs are a new thing, but believe me, when we mentioned The Lipstick Chronicles, people knew what we were talking about!

From Nancy:

Huh? Wha--?  Oh, I'm awake now, really.  Totally fried, yes, but awake.  I enjoyed meeting the diverse group of people who attended T-fest.  "Thrillers" seem to loosely define such a range of books!  I got a kick out of re-connecting with my longtime romance-writing friends who now write very successful romantic suspense and female-driven thrillers.  Interesting how everybody had a different "take" on the role of sex in the books.  I was especially amused to hear the men still talking in terms of high school jokes while the women could intelligently articulate why and how a sexual relationship could function in a plot.  Kudos, girls!

Also--the parties!  Whisking from one festive gathering to another took up most of my weekend!  Except I never managed to catch Margie at any of them.  Puzzling....

July 01, 2007

Penny Candy

Penny Candy

By All the Book Tarts

Okay, even if you're too young to remember Penny Candy, you can still play.  Believe it or not, you used to get real candy for a penny.  No lie.  Gumballs, Pixie Stix, Wax Lips, all kinds of stuff.

So on this Summer Saturday, we're going to share our favorite childhood candy, and we invite you to do the same.  What candy was worth sneaking into your room?  Which ones were off limits during the post-Trick-or-Treat trading session? 

Rebecca the Bookseller:

Fudgies.  They were kind of square, wrapped in gold foil and they were a cross between chocolate and caramel.  You could get THREE for a penny, because they were small.  I don't think they make them any more.  Also, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, which aren't really candy - they were like Cracker Jack but ten times better and why don't they make the good stuff any more?

Michele:

I don't have a favorite penny candy.  My favorite candy was (and still is) Hershey's kisses.  Pure chocolate joy in every little silver bullet.

Nancy:

My mother was really strict about candy, so I don't even have a clear idea of what penny candy is.  (Pathetic, huh?  Does my tendency to overweight start with a control issue much??)  To us, roasted peanuts were a big treat.  We picked up a warm bag after church on Sunday and munched them all afternoon.  Shells everywhere.  I did love those wax lips.  Picked them out of the offered Halloween treat bowls every year.

Elaine:

My grandparents ran a confectionery, which was the St. Louis version of a convenience store. Every weekend, they'd give me a quarter's worth of penny candy. Lord knows why I have any teeth left. I liked the buttons -- colored sugar drops on strips of paper, and Mary Janes and gumballs.