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December 17, 2011

The Party's Over

All Good Things Must Come to an End

by Nancy Martin                 

Get out your hankies, folks.

We started The Lipstick Chronicles in May of 2005 when Harley Jane Kozak, Sarah Strohmeyer, Susan McBride and I met at the Romantic Times Convention in St. Louis and decided we’d band together to create a smart, witty, entertaining blog that might attract readers to our books.  Since then, we’ve written, laughed, added new bloggers, said farewell to a few others. Behind the scenes, we’ve become sisters. (On the masthead we might call ourselves the Tarts, but at the water cooler, we refer to one other as blogsisters.)  But most importantly, we found you, dear readers.  With you, we’ve shared life, death, divorce, sickness, weddings, new babies, new books . . . and a lot of laughs. We’ve traveled long distances to meet face-to-face.  We’ve had lunch, thrown a party or two, and even opened our guest rooms to each other. We created a community. A family. And we’ve had a wonderful run.

But after nearly 2400 posts, two and a half million pageviews, and almost 83,000 comments . . . well, the band is packing up, the bar is closing and the clock is striking midnight.  Her, Margie is putting on her glass slippers and heading out the back door with her prince(s) charming.

Yes, it’s time to turn out the lights at The Lipstick Chronicles.

Why?  Well, this blog was intended to find new readers for our books, and we’ve accomplished that—many times over.  But our hits have stagnated, even started dropping.  Most of us have moved on to other forms of social media.  Blogs seem too long to read now. We’re forging new relationships on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. And even more tech innovations are coming. To us, it seems as if the era for blogs has passed. 

And, truth be told, authors are stretched thin.  Used to be, we could write books, and once a year we’d pack a suitcase and go on a book tour to meet readers. Some of us sent out newsletters and postcards. (Seems quaint now, doesn’t it?) But travel got expensive--postage, too--and everybody decided it was easier, cheaper, and more efficient to reach out virtually. Blogging started out as a wonderful way to connect with readers. But blogging grew into so many other time-consuming online ventures that authors just can’t keep up anymore.  We can’t do everything---blogging, tweeting, keeping tabs on Facebook—and still write the books we want to write (and hope that you still want to read.)

So we’re closing the offices of The Lipstick Chronicles on January 1.

Between now and then, we want to make the most of our time together. We want to hear from you, dear backbloggers.  Although our mission has been different from other writer blogs—not to teach you how to write or to sell you our books, exactly, but to show that we’re writers who can provoke a thought, crack a joke, and entertain—we hope to guide you to other bloggers who will continue our tradition.  And we want to make sure we can still find each other once we power down. We’ll help you locate our FB pages and our Twitter names and our Goodreads links. Many of my blog sisters have new ventures to announce, but I’ll let them do the honors in the coming weeks. Trust me, there won’t be any shortage of places we can continue to meet.

In other words, it’s not the end.  It’s a new beginning. The party’s just moving on.



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Damn, this is always the first thing I read in the morning. Now what will I do? Read the news and spoil what's left of my day?

You've nailed the quandary for all of us. Will miss this, though.

Wow. I'm tearing up, truly. This blog brought me friends, laughs, information and some of the best entertainment ever. I found it through Sarah and it was my light and breath during a very dark time in my life. Having a link to articulate, intelligent, witty women actually changed my life. I'm forever greatful to all of you. I keep in touch through FB with most everyone and am glad for that, but this blog was where it all began. I know Rita is in heaven wanting to make some insightful yet snarky comment about all of this....I shall truly miss the bonding experience that LC gave to me. Thank you all so very much for sharing this with us. Now I need to wipe my eyes dry....Auld Lang Syne.


Really? Really really? I saw your link to this from FB and thought (foolishly), "Is this an early April Fool's joke?"

I completely understand (I haven't refreshed my own blog in over a year), but I will miss how perfectly TLC went with my first cup of coffee every morning, and then checking back in later throughout the day to see what everyone else was saying. I feel like the kid left behind in school when all the cool kids graduated the year before I did.

Lynn, we've spent a lot of time thinking about Rita this week. Funny, huh? But she was a big part of the daily TLC conversation.

I've often wondered how you authors manage to keep writing your books while you keep up here. I've read every blog since the beginning (but only commented a couple of times since I'm usually reading the blogs a week at a time) and feel like the commenters are friends. Thank you for providing this space, and good luck with your new ventures!

I'm really sad to see the end of something that's been a part of my daily life for the past few years. While I understand the need to devote your daily energies to writing for profit and more efficient means of promoting yourselves, the family created here has been unique. I'll miss the daily camaraderie which has been created between the back-bloggers and bloggers. Facebook and Twitter just won't be the same. We need to schedule virtual/ physical reunions and the first one should be just before or after the Festival of Mystery at the end of April.

This makes me incredibly sad. I didn't always comment, but I was usually here first thing in the morning with my coffee. You've made me think, laugh, and cry and I have loved reading what you've had to share - Thank You.

HUGE HUGS to each of you!

We're sad, too. Really sad.

Right now, I'm watching our stats before I go out to pick up some Christmas supplies, and it's interesting that we've had 22 hits from Facebook in the last 4 minutes. So I'm pretty sure we'll find you there. But it's going to be less of a conversation unless we make it so.

If any of the authors ever feel the need to do a guest blog, talk about your book there, just have some laughs, feel free to offer to do a guest blog on Lesa's Book Critiques. You're always welcome. We will miss you here.

I'm actually tearing up over this! I, too, come here first thing in the morning (well, sometimes the last thing before going to bed) to see what is up. Even though I'm Facebook friends with quite a few of you, I will miss Her, Margie's instructional stories explaining everything important in life. (you should really publish those things)

Just too sad!

Yeah, well, I never really liked any of you anyway, so there.

Now excuse me while I go off and sob uncontrollably.

WOW! I confess to not being here as much as I used to but I always used this blog as THE example of how to do a group blog well.

I've found so many new authors here and I will miss everyone.

Oh, no. Oh,NO. OH,NO! OH NO OH NO OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get to work early so I can read TLC before the office opens. I read TLC on my lunchbreak. I check back again if there are slow moments during the day. I return in the evening. My entire life will change without TLC. I feel as though there has been a death in the family. I would say more but I am sitting in the laundromat without tissues,and I need to run over to the pharmacy to pick up a carton or so.

I'l be back later. Sniffle.....

Wow...I am so sad. Loved the irreverent blogs on many subjects but I understand. I am sad to see TLC end but ... now you all can write more books! You've all become virtual family members to me so when the muse fails, just picture me behind you with a whip shouting, "Faster, faster!!" as you toil at your computer. Be happy, be proflic, be your special selves. I love you all.

I'm soooo glad I said yes to the invitation to come over here and blog. At first, I felt welcome, but also outside of things. Then I started to be able to sense the people behind the posts/comments, and you became dear to me. I am comforted by knowing that some of our backbloggers have become Friends Beyond the Blog and even met in person.

Do you know that I still have never met MOST of the Tarts? That seems amazing, considering how well I feel I know them by now.

Those of us on Facebook could make use of that TLC page. Hint. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lipstick-Chronicles/188604984484606?ref=ts

This is much sadder than I expected.

I am pretty sure that all the Tarts will have a chance to blog one more time, but I haven't seen the schedule. I will be blogging on the 27th and will try to avoid a sobfest! ;)

It's been wonderful making 'friends I've never met'.


I sure am going to miss reading this each morning! Each writer and each post is intelligent and often hilarious, warm and witty! Thank you for sharing parts of your lives with us! But we have to expect change...it comes with being alive. Good luck to you all, writers and those of us who read and sometimes comment!

Oh, no. No, no, no. But....yes. I understand, but will miss all of you!

As Judy said, my first reaction to the email was to think it was an April Fools joke in December . . . I'm still waiting for someone to say "just kidding."
Perhaps the time for MOST blogs is ending, but TLC? No, TLC is too essential -- and not just because IOCHFTS. There's the sharing, the laughter, the tears . . . the books. Don't go, tarts, stay here with us. We love you.

Jill, I want to know which part of Wonderstruck made you gasp (I want to see if it's the same as mine). . . you can send me an email from the link on my website if you want, so it won't be a spoiler for others.
**Speaking of website -- I was inspired by Granny Sue to do a December give-away, so anyone who wants to be entered for free CDs, send an email with "Giveaway" as the subject . . .

OMG no..... I have been reading just for the past few months but got totally hooked.... So much food for thought and heaps of laughs...

Please please (please?) reconsider!!!!!!

Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders.

I really want to continue knowing members of this wonderful group. You add spice to my quiet life by the pond . . .

Yes, everyone will have at least one last blog, and we have a few guests coming, too, so we'll have the full menu of TLC adventure between now and January 1.

This feels like closing of the neighborhood bar. We'll all be looking for a new hangout, someplace comfortable enough to stay long enough to feel enough like home. Some of us will run into each other from time to time. . . but it won't be the same. And there will be many we never run into again. I've never been fond of change; especially when change does in a community.

I am in shock, but not surprised. I never understood how you all kept all those balls in the air. You all were my first blog of the day, and it was so nice to "meet" you all, and so many of your back bloggers. I do have tears in my eyes. You gave me a gift, and I will look for you Facebook, but, but...I feel as though as though I'm losing one of my favorite "Cheers."

You're all so sweet to say such nice things today. Thank you. We're using up the Kleenx like mad here.

Oh, my God, it IS so much harder than I expected. I've been feeling the relief, since we made the Big Decision, of not having to devote my limited writing time to blog activities, but now I have a dreadful feeling in my tummy.

And what will I do with all those odd "this would make a good blog" moments in life, all the stuff that doesn't fit into a book or short story?

One of my best friends came from this blog -- Nancie the Gun Tart. I'm keeping her. We will all find ways to keep each other. Like when my mom died and the 8 of us kids realized it was up to us, to make our own family reunion tradition, to create a new glue to hold us together.

It's like the canceling of a soap opera. And God knows, I've been through those.

Like Lil, I'm not surprised, and have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for awhile now. It is hard enough for me to keep up, without also having book deadlines.

Nancy, I've told you this before: you have created something amazing and special, a place of communication and daily communion that transcends a mere "author blog". Yes, books were flogged, but not to death, and only enough to make us all hunger for more stories from each of you. You can be inordinately proud of this site, and all it has achieved.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have met so many of you in person: Storyteller Mary, Al_S, JodiL, Peach, Alan, Reine (who is now a shadow of her former self, so I have to go see her again now), Annette Dashofy, Diana in STL, Lynn Parker (my daughter moved up to your neck of the woods, girl!), and Laura and I shared a room at last year's Mystery Lovers. Where I got to meet Mary Alice. There are probably some others I can't think of right now.

Tarts I've met: Nancy Martin, Nancy Pickard, Kathy Sweeney, Harley JK, Elaine Viets, Hank Ryan, and Louise Penny, former Tart. Not that I'm a stalker, or anything. :-) And Margaret Maron and I have exchanged garden seeds, so there's that.

During Bouchercon this year, Elaine, Harley and Hank were all at the library near Mary's home. She and I went to listen to their panel discussions, and in the middle of it, we had a Skype conference (sans the authors, they were busy) with Holly Gault, JodiL and Paulina--who were together in France, Al-S, Laura, Laraine, me, and Mary for a minute or two. A group of us, including this group, plus Kerry, Reine, Judy, and Laura, have emailed one another daily for nearly two years, supporting one another in a healthier lifestyle. Many of us have traveled to be together, and I hope we can continue to do so.

Yes, TLC has meant a lot more than just finding out about new books. It's been a surprisingly cohesive and respectful community, sharing ideas, laughs, and heartaches with one another. Darling Tarts, we will miss you long time.

I'm just not sure I like the idea of a world without TLC in it. I understand the reasons, but it's still sad.

Well, I've been here since just about the beginning, moving over from Sarah's Yahoo Neighborhood, which I hit in 2001, when I was bored at work and decided to Google some high school classmates whose names I recalled. I've appreciated the camaraderie, frowned at the occasional (earned) bans and silent treatment, felt the good feelings and support when things were bad, shared when things were good. I've seen all of the authors and most of the backbloggers start, come and go, or come and stay. I've met some backbloggers, keep in touch one way or the other, met some of the authors, traveled for one memorable Romantic Times. It's given me a sense of community where there wasn't one before.

I'll miss it.

Although I'm on Facebook, and just clicked on Nancy P's "hint" above and am not exactly sure if that Facebook page is dying too, I don't really know how to "friend" anyone on Facebook. I let others "friend" me and then I respond. I don't know how they actually find me, because there are a lot of people on Facebook who have the same name as me. I have two different email addresses: the one I use daily (my work email) and the one I use when I make it over to the library on the weekend, and which is the one I use for Facebook. I can only manage to get to Facebook on Saturdays at the moment, and so I can just barely figure out what's what over there. I desperately need to find a book along the lines of "Facebook for Dummies Who Are Too Dumb To Understand Facebook For Dummies". Can someone explain how to "friend" my Tart Friends (whom I am having trouble "liking" right now, although I DO still LOVE you all - HONEST! I really DO!)so that I don't miss out on what's going on with my favorite authors (with whom I am really, really angry right now, although I really do still love all of you! HONEST! I really DO! Sigh...

So, instead of using tissues, I decided to sob into heavy duty napkins. They're irritating my nose; I blame the Tarts for that...

I am experiencing the Stages of Grief right now, and it seems as though I'm bouncing back and forth between Denial and Anger and Denial and Anger, and Anger and Denial.

I hate grieving. I hate having my heart broken. I hate feeling abandoned...I hate that my dearest, favoriteist (new word, I guess)authors in the whole wide world have to work so hard to support themselves in a world that doesn't seem to appreciate good books the way their friends here at TLC do. You poor dear ladies!! I wish I could do something to help you so that you could still be with us on a daily basis!!


Oh, I feel very very sad.
I have come here each morning to find out what everyone is doing and laugh and cry and think.
But I understand. The world is spiraling into such immediacy of communication it boggles the mind.
Yesterday I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie and notes and telegrams were being passed back and forth and I thought to myself that now text messages would be reaching Holmes and Watson and that made me compare our media messages now.

Believe me, I feel like I have made so many friends here but I know that times are achanging and I will find other ways to keep in touch but it will not be the same as dropping by with my early morning coffee.
Godspeed to all who have worked so hard to make this a welcoming place. I have to go now and sob..

I never commented a lot but I read you guys regularly. I appreciate you taking the time to post. So, I guess I'll say 'Thank You!"

If anyone wants to check out my blog, I post twice a week at lauralibricz.blogspot.com Words, Music and Anecdotes. My posts are short, I promise, and sweet.

Thanks again, Ladies.

Wow, this really will be the end of an era. Very sad and unexpected news. I've loved coming to this place for several years now and enjoying the camaraderie. I'm not much into Facebook, but maybe that will change, too. It truly is like the end of "Cheers".

Deb---Go to your FB page. Up at the top, do you see the oblong white box that says "Search?" Type our names there and click on the link that pops up. (You should also be able to type "Lipstick Chronicles" and we'll show up that way, too. ) When you get to our page, see the box at the top that says, "Friend request?" Hit that button, and FB sends a note to us asking if we'd like to friend you back. We will, honest.

Typing through gritted teeth is not easy. My cuticles are in shreds.

Karen has it absolutely right - you should be very, very proud of what you created here, of the community that grew from your good hearts.

Vale, TLC. It served a fine purpose. It changed many lives in good ways. And now, onward! Even though it saddens us, onward! We will meet again.

I came to the party late and had to leave early, but, I have to say, this group has changed me forever. Hank initially invited me to join, and I was a lurker for a while before jumping in. Last September, Salem was lucky to have some of the Tarts join us for the Salem Lit Fest. The Lipstick Chronicles panel that was voted the best of the weekend. Whether or not the blog exists, I invite you all back next September to do it again.

I will not be blogging again, so I wanted to thank you all for changing my life and becoming friends I will treasure. A special thanks to Reine, my North Shore twin separated at birth. I hope we will meet one day.

I will definitely be keeping in touch on facebook. I hope you all will as well.

I too have been reading TLC daily for many years, and have felt part of this almost magical community, even though I don't post often because my mobile browser doesn't play well with TypePad posting, so I'd have to wait until late in the evening to post from my laptop, when the conversation was usually over for the day.

I've been leaking tears for a couple hours now. It does feel like a death in the family, or a divorce. Like Deb, I'm grieving. Like peach, I don't think FB or Twitter will be the same, though it will be better than losing contact with all of you, and I am already FB friends with some of you. Like Karen, I have met some of you - Hank, NancyP, and Mary Alice at the last NE Crime Bake.

Like many, I do understand how lucky we have been to have had this blog for so long. In addition to the time you've spent in writing the blogs, I know that there has been admin time spent by at least some of you (NancyM, Kathy, at the least) keeping things organized, scrounging for fill-in posts when life happened to the designated blogger, keeping out the spam. I thank you all for the time and effort you've put into having one of the best group blogs I've ever found. And I thank all the backbloggers who have added so much... so much value... to this community.

I've just "liked" the TLC PB page. I'm not sure if that will turn into the hang-out place for those of us who have hung out here for so long. I would like to suggest that those of us on FB who want to maintain contact do at least touch base there. There are some of you I'd like to "friend", but I'm not sure of names. Please "friend" me if you'd like - I'm pretty sure I'm the only Avis there.

NancyM, Harley, Sarah, and (absent) Susan, thank you so much for starting things up. Thank you, everyone, for keeping things going.

Thank you, Me, Margie, for all the fun over the years. I might miss you and all your family most of all!

So sorry to hear this. I've been reading for several years, steered in this direction by the irrepressible Nancy Pickard, but only commenting regularly in recent months. I will miss that little jolt of wit and delight every day.

But now that my first novel's getting ready to drop and I'm struggling with finishing the second while starting to do promo for that first one, I so understand! How you have all managed to do all of this and still turn out those wonderful books, I certainly don't know. You deserve a rest, even if it leaves the rest of us sobbing into our beer--well, it's a little early for beer, make that coffee, but sobbing hysterically, nonetheless.

I think I'm friends with many of you on Facebook, but I'm going to make sure I've got you all friended. And on Twitter, too. Love you guys!

I too am feeling incredibly sad. I feel like I've had enough personal bad news these past 2 weeks to last a lifetime, but I guess there's always room for more! I have been playing little games with myself where I try to guess posters of comments. I've become rather good at recognizing several voices!
I'll miss you all.

This is beyond sad. I'm crying into my papaya and will have to make this a two-Coke day.
I love Lipstick Chronicles -- Cornelia introduced me to you.
Since then, it's been so easy to turn my friends on to some great authors -- just because they could get a taste of your writing styles and personalities through the blog.
You will be missed. My heart is breaking.

Well bummer! I haven't been here that long and now you're leaving...

Oh Tarts . . . I can hardly stand it. I am not going to say anything very nice, because I am feeling very incompetent as a human being right now-- you know, like trying to talk without obscenitizing.

Brunonia, my dear twin separated at birth . . . I will come home, and we will meet.

Wow, I feel like someone just cut off part of my arm. I stumbled onto you ladies a few years ago, and although I don't always post, I read every day!

I understand, I do. I've wondered how you all make it work with writing your books, blogging on here, and having a life! Please, you aren't taking down the blog, are you? Can I come back and re-read over the old posts that made me laugh till I cried, or filled me with wonder and gratitude? Please?

At least that way I'll be reminded that there are people out there who feel the same way I do about books and reading...and I can read over them like I would do with letters from an old friend. Or when I read a beloved book over and over again...Otherwise I'm going to use reams of paper trying to print everything out between now and the 1st.

All members of the TLC community; please know that you have made a difference in my life and I have enjoyed getting to know you all, even if I haven't been a big poster.
I will look for you all on FB and Twitter, AND OF COURSE, the bookstore! I wish you and your families all the best, because you are the best, and I have loved being a part of this group. May you all be blessed in your ventures. Love you all!

Thank you for your time. I can completely understand how hard it is to squeeze "writing a little something" into a day of writing big somethings. There will always be a special place on the shelf for my TLC books.

Thank you for giving me a place to vent among friends. A place to share. A whole new group of friends. It has been worth all of the "What do you mean you read it on the Lipstick Chronicles?" looks.

I followed Elaine here. Like some of the other St. Louis contingent, I was reading her columns a long time ago. It couldn't be that long, we are not that old. I must have jumped straight from "Dick and Jane" to "Urban Affairs".

And thank you to the other TLC faithful. The friends I have that I have never met face to face. I am sure we will stay in touch somehow.

PS I am Friend Requesting as many of you as I can on FB. Please say yes to the request, I don't care if you hide my comments from your daily feed, but please don't hide yourself from me! :)

Another always-reader and infrequent-commenter here to chime in and say we'll miss you. You've brightened our days time after time.

Also, let me say say thanks again for letting me guest blog one wonderful day--I'm grateful I got the opportunity! At least we'll always have Paris ... (or Facebook, or Bouchercon, etc.).

Deb, the easiest way to "friend" someone is to click on the name when you see a comment, and then the "request friend" box, so you can start with the TLC page and move out from there. There is a search box at the top, but there are far too many Mary Garretts out there for that to work for me (so I put a link on my web site).
Get cloth napkins or handkerchiefs -- way less irritating than paper tissues.
I'm sticking with denial for now -- TLC is NOT ending; it's all a big joke . . . and not a very nice one either.

Thanks for all the kind words. We certainly understand the mixed feelings. Together, we've been through some terrific highs and sorrowful lows. It's been a great comfort to have each other.

The first encounter with TLC was after reading Elaine's novels.
At first I was shy..hard to believe, I know.
After a while I went all out and sometimes spilled my guts out. I was lured by questions about childhood memories, favorite movies, books, etc.
I became so impressed by everyone here.
I became comfortable as so many others have coming and sharing their daily lives.
My husband took me Christmas shopping yesterday and asked me who I was going to brag to about his gifts to me. Without a lot of trouble with his walking challenges he bought me jewelry and I said I would share with TLC. That is how so enveloped I feel with this blog. I know for sure I will miss sharing and spilling my most inner joys and fears. Here is to a future that is filled the richness of life.

Moving on to bargaining mode . . . what if you only posted every other day? twice a week??

I am glad I went to bed early last night and didn't see this post early here on the west coast. It would have made it difficult to go to sleep.

This community has done me wonders in the last 4-5 years since I found it. I will miss all of you and your blog stories and the community of commenters.

I am on FB Gaylin Chev, I have already become friends with lots of you and while it won't be the same without TLC, I am happy to be able to keep up with everyone. After all, don't we all want to see Alan's princesses grow up!

Now I think I will go cry in my yogurt . . . TLC has been my Cheers as well. My mornings won't be the same without it.

Wow, what a bummer. Like Alan, I found TLC through Elaine. I know I will continue to see the STL contingent at her signings but I will definitely miss my daily TLC fix. I've found (and renewed acquaintice with) so many wonderful authors. It was so much fun to meet Hank, Harley, Karen in OH, storyteller Mary and others at Bouchercon (hope to see you in Cleveland.) I saw Heather,Twist and other favorites on panels but didn't get to meet them.

I was a lurker for a long time but do enjoy posting from time to time. TLC was always a bright spot in my day (even if I shed some tears) but I do understand what a time commitment it had to be for all of you. I will find you on Facebook and look forward to reading (and hopefully seeing) you in the future. I know I'll see Alan P and storyteller Mary at Elaine's signings.

This was the first blog I ever commented on, I still remember how tentative I was, I worried if you all would think I was 'good' enough to comment, if my comments made any sense, if I would be accepted.

Thank you one and all for time well spent.

Figured we could all use a laugh right now.
Karen in Ohio -- you must get this Sunday's USA Today Weekend. It has a mashup called "Scrooge vs. The Aliens." If ever a tale deserved what's been done to it, "A Christmas Carol" is the one.

PS: Anyone who wants to friend me on FB, I am Reine Carter. See you there. I still don't have anything nice to say. I will. I'm sure. I just can't right now. I have too many very bad words making my teeth itch.

Reine, just wait until Margie shows up. Then you can let it all out.

Well spank my ass and call me Pinky, this was a hell of a thing to see midway into my brekky. I understand your motivations and Dog knows that I sympathise with the whole drain on writing time thing, but...damn! Anyway, I shall see y'all over on FB and, once I get your Twitter names, there. Live Long And Prosper.

This is the only blog I've ever read with any regularity, and I too will sincerely miss these posts that could make me think, laugh, tear up, and all the emotions that good, interesting writing can provoke. Thank you. ladies, for a terrific ride!

I am so SAD!! Like many of you, this is how I start my day. I feel like I have learned so much from everyone here. I haven't figured out FB yet (I know, I know...), but maybe this will be a kick in the pants to get with the 21st century...

Thanks for all of the time you've all put in. I understand, really I do, I am just so...SAD!!

p.s. In case anyone was fretting over my Santa-less children, we found a great version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" illustrated by James Marshall. Of course! A book! (Duh, Paula!!)

Of the 83,000 comments, I shudder to think how many were mine.

I just count it as my daily writing practice. Now I guess I'll have to write for reals!

Well, if any of you have an uncontrollable urge to write something, let me add Occasional Bitch to your outlets. I'm going to set up a guest-writer login. You can email me for the login name and password (jbandsma@gmail.com).

That goes for commenters and lurkers, too.

hey Laura and Josh. Two friends from high school + many more I met on this journey. Thank you so much for coming here. I will miss you tremendously!

Thanks, NancyM. Will do ... .

Sarah, I think I could use one of those lemon drop martinis now. That's as nice as I can get for the time being.

I will miss you guys, but there's always Facebook.

Judith, witty site!!
. . . still in denial here . . . but also on FB . . .

The previous code entry reminded me of this old-but-true maxim


another reason not to change . . .

I found the link to that mash-up, Elaine

Yeah, I want to hear what Margie has to say.
Meanwhile, I do thank you for all the food for thought and friendship.

Am now home, sniffling and eating lunch ( and eating a HUGE amount of Dark Chocolate for medication/dessert, but mostly for medication). I am still sad. I still feel like someone kicked me in the stomach.

In the last five or ten minutes I spent at the library earlier today (I only intended to use their computer system for twenty minutes but ended up on the computer for over two hours, crying and trying to figure out Facebook), I madly made as many Tart friend requests as I could. I couldn't get to everybody but I promise that I will as soon as I can. I haven't gotten to more than a couple of backbloggers yet but I want to do that,too. Lora in Florida, I know how you feel! I promise to say Yes to evverybody who wants to be my friend! ("Won't you be my friend?") Because I don't have access to Facebook except on Saturdays it could be mid January before I make and accept all Friend requests. (I will be at a sister's house for Christms Day, weather permitting, and I will probably beg her to let me use her computer to work on my Friending. She's on Facebook,and if she spends any amount of time there this week she'll probably wonder what I did to come up with so many friends this week.)

Thanks to everybody who has given me help with the Facebook Friending process!

I need to go blow my nose,wash my hands, and start baking chocolate cookies -for Christmas and to soothe my sadness.

Wow! I can't even express how much I will miss the daily musings of the Tarts. I've been fortunate enough to meet quite a few of the Tarts and many of the backbloggers in person. Harley's house has become my favorite vacation spot and I'm happy to learn she's keeping me.

The RT Convention in Daytona was my first RT, and the best. I got to meet the Tarts in person and it was the greatest time ever!

I will always be grateful to the Tarts for allowing a backblogger to guest blog on TLC on several occasions. You have no idea what that meant, and still means, to me.

The journey has never been dull, full of wonderful scenery, and best of all, there was always fantastic company along the way.

A huge thank you to all the Book Tarts, past and present, for creating this community and bringing us together to share the ride with you.

RUnning in, eyes wet and heart warmed by all your lovely omments... sigh. I really htink we shol hang out on Facebook. we can still chat. kay? Okay? Promise me ou;ll coem?

And let me invite you to Jungle Red.. It might be a new place for us to to hang out? I'm there with Deborah Crombie, Hallie Ephron, Rhys BOwen, Jan Brogan, Rosemary Harris, Lucy Burdette/Roberta ISleib and Julia Spencer-Fleming! (Not a bad crowd..) http://www.JungleRedWriters.com

(And today, amazingly, our guest is someone you might just know!)

See you there..and on Facebook. I love you all dearly..and refuse to give you up!

Add me to everyone who's sad that TLC is shutting down. I love this blog and will miss it, even though I'm friends with some of you and can always read the brilliant writing of any of the bloggers through your books, TLC has just been a wonderful part of the blogosphere.

Seriously, though, you all need to do what's best for you and it would be plain selfish and mean-spirited of us to pout, stamp our feet, whine and mope around.

A few discreet sniffles, however, won't be amiss.

Good luck to all of you and thank you for days and days of entertainment.

I'll second Hank on Jungle Reds. It's my other daily must-read blog. It's not TLC, of course, because TLC was unique. Jungle Reds is also uniquely its own wonderful blend of magical writers and zany humor and friendly community. If you've never tried it, you really should. http://www.jungleredwriters.com

I am going to miss you Tarts. For the past two years I have read almost every post and all the comments on the post and even occasionally added my two cents. This blog has been life-changing for me and I've met some of my best friends here. I will always be in your debt. Thank you for your wisdom, your insights, and your clever writing. I will miss the backbloggers and the wonderful comments and observations they make. I hope to find all of you somewhere on the net but something truly special will be missing forever.

I second what all these are saying about reading every day. Just enroll more tarts so nobody has to blog so often. This is just a guaranteed good time very day. So many blogs are spotty in updating. I have no idea what you mean by blogging being over. I didn't renew magazine subscriptions because reading blogs is so much more entertaining.

Oh my gosh. I thought it was April Fool's, too. I'm so shocked and sad. Now I have to make sure to get out to more conferences next year so I can see everyone in person.

Thanks for a wild and wonderful ride.

You know, this is one heck of a birthday present :(..
even though I understand the reasons for it . I've been less vocal these past months but always stop by to read. Now I'll have to find something else to go with my tea :o) And hope I get to see some of you at a conference or workshop...to at last meet you in person. It's been a blast...and you all have given me support in my writing attempts just by sharing your own experiences and thoughts on life. I'll miss that. Thanks for the good times!

Life-changing? Check.
As necessary as morning coffee? Check.
New friends that I haven't yet seen? Check.

TLC has been a revelation and a revolution.

To pick up the bargaining where Storyteller Mary left off:
Dearest Tart Ladies,if the frequency of posting she suggested is too often, what about twice a month? ONCE a month? (Oh,dear; I have never been a competent bargainer.)

Going off now to stuff a fresh-from-the-oven chocolate cookie into my mouth to stop the renewed sobbing.

Oh! Dearest Tart Ladies, if I send you my vey own homebaked cookies,will you reconsider? Once every six weeks?

I'm sixty two. In my state, it is a CRIME to be cruel to someone over the age of sixty. Just sayin'...

Okay. Back to the cookies.

Wow. I was gone all day and didn't find out about this until an hour or so ago. I literally teared up.

It's amazing to me that hits have gone down, since this blog consistently has far more comments than any other I've read. And apparently there were quite a few reading and not commenting.

But I totally understand you have to use your time more efficiently and for things that pay the bills rather than being under pressure to entertain us all, and writing the books we all love is the priority. I can only hope that you bloggers have gotten half as much out of doing this as we have reading and commenting and laughing and crying and making wonderful friends.

I'm so grateful for the people I've met here. Thank you all.

I would love to be friends on Facebook with any of you if I'm not already. I'm Laura Broader Gorton there.

Love you guys.

On another note: I can't remember how I first came to TLC. I was already a fan of some of the bloggers, - I have been reading Margaret's books for more years than I can remember, and I started Nancy Pickard's books back when Jenny Cain first hit the scene - and TLC introduced me to others. I haunt the bookstores (the few that remain) and I visit individual author websites to find out what you all are working on, in case I missed something in TLC. I eagerly look forward to each new book written by each one of you wonderful ladies. If I lived near any of you and heard that you were sick, I'd be at your front door with homemade chicken soup. I don't want anything to keep you from providing me with the best reading I have ever found. When I heard that Margaret had an accident a while back, I was really scared. If anything happens to Margaret, what happens to my beloved Judge Deborah Knott? I feel the same way about each of you and the characters that you have brought into my life.

I am so sad. Do whatever you need to do to keep bringing us the characters you have created,and we will be happy for you.

(And,hey, Tarts,I would be willing to wear tee shrts or carry bookbags advertising your new books. Or buttons. What about buttons that say things like "Ask me about Foxy Roxy"?

TLC will be missed. I'll have to stalk you all elsewhere!

All the best -


I came late to this party, but Sarah immediately handed me a drink, the two Nancys passed the peanuts, and Me Margie gave me a key to the ladies room (but not to the supply close!) The rest of you soon made me feel as if I'd known you in another life. Did I hear correctly? Is TLC going to have a FB page so we can keep in touch? Cool!

That's "supply closet," obviously. Lots of giggles and heavy breathing when I passed by.

Happy birthday, Maryann!

Happy Birthday, Maryann.

Tarts, you were a wonderful part of my morning routine, bringing me laughs and thoughtful conversations. Thank you.

Dear Writer Ladies,

So, like, Margie called and said she was free of her shackles. I told the guys down at the ship, they said I should ask if nobody is using them, could we have them? Since it's Saturday night and all.

You are nice ladies. You kept Margie in line, and that is saying something. I have nice memories of you all. Some of them are kind of fuzzy, but that's the oregano from the closet.

Cousin Rita

Wow, I'm gonna miss you guys. I followed Susan McBride over a gazillion years ago and never left. This is always the first blog I check out every day, but I totally understand the need to conserve your resources for writing. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna miss the tarts.

Thanks for all the fun, guys.

Like everyone else, I'm sorry to see it end, but I wish you all the best. TLC has started my morning for years and was a constant that got me through some rocky times and I'm grateful for that. I've been an infrequent commenter, but I've always felt welcomed when I did and I've always enjoyed reading the blogs and the comments. You will be missed, but thank you for keeping it going as long as you have.

Intellectually, I know that I have no right to expect TLC to continue just because I want it to. Emotionally, however, I'm upset and angry. Dismantling a community is a painful process. I haven't been here long (I followed Joshilyn Jackson here), but I've read every post and nearly every comment since that day. I will not be following TLC to Facebook. Yep - I said it. NOT. Here I could share my thoughts in a relatively secure environment. On Facebook all of my "friends" will be able to see every comment I write. I don't want my boss to read my political opinions (his differ greatly). I don't want my brother to read my thoughts on sex in popular fiction. I don't want the guy I had a crush on in high school to read about the guy I had a crush on in high school. There is no privacy in Facebook, and without that, what's the point? The best thing about TLC is the honest conversation, and for me, anyway, that just can't happen on Facebook. I'll miss it, and I wish everyone the best.

I was kidding about not liking people. You know I love you all.

I've been here from the beginning. I feel grateful to the authors, who have been encouraging and helpful and entertaining. I believe the emotions and concern shared here were utterly sincere.

It saddens me to say goodbye (although I won't because nobody gets rid of me that easily) but let's not ruin this with anger and unkind words. These ladies gave of themselves for YEARS. I am thankful for that.

Let me clarify - when I say "angry" it is meant, as Deb noted, as a part of the grieving process. It is not directed at anyone. I appreciate what has been offered by the authors of TLC, and I respect the decision. I truly regret the loss.

The bad news is no more Lipstick Chronicles but the good news for us is that you will have more time to write the wonderful books that we all look forward to reading. TLC has been a little present we could give ourselves on a regular basis and I will miss it. Thank you so much for the time, energy, and creativity you have devoted to it and to us!

Yippee! I just saw William over at Jungle Red,as well as other dear friends from here!Thanks for inviting us , Hank!

And by the way, William, many months ago I said that if I bought an e-reader, my first purchase would be YOUR first e-book. And it was. And I have gone on to purchase more,including Spider'S Dance. Keep on writing!

Aw, Deb..thank you!


Thank you for making my mornings better, and for inviting me to guest blog a time or two. I shall miss you all! Happy writing.

Got up this morning, and pre-coffee, hit TLC, as always. It really really hit me hard that I won't be doing that anymore. I'm going to miss all of you...:)

So sad, but certainly understand. I thought you had a great way to spread out the work by joining each other with keeping up a blog. I tried a blog once, but realized just how much work it is and knew it wasn't for me. I met some of you at Malice Domestic. I hope to see you again there, and i'll look for you on Facebook. Best of everything to all of you in your next ventures.

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