Friday, July 2, 2010


Summer is upon us. And it seems many are spending time packing and unpacking. That's been my life the past few weeks. Book signings...and some nice publicity for the book, especially in Rochester and Minneapolis. Surprised that with two Des Moines, Iowa stories in My First Best Friend--and two other Iowa ones, that the local media wasn't interested. (I used to joke that Iowa claimed you as a citizen if you flew over the state.) However, some wonderful old friends found their way to the very nice Barnes & Noble at Jordan Creek in West Des Moines. It was great to see them. Two of the men were instrumental in my career in magazines. So I was especially happy and proud to see them and share the book.

There is another book we all talked about...Curtiss Anderson's Blueberry Summers. Curt died a few weeks ago. We will all miss his wit and wisdom--and those tales of growing up in Minnesota that never seemed to have an end. At the signing in Minneapolis, a woman asked me about men and their first best friendships, and I directed her to read Curt's book, which the store had in stock! Those readers of the blog who are VICTORIA fans might recall some of these stories in the magazine. That's where the book began--and among the many things I remain so very proud of about my VICTORIA years is inspiring Curt to write his story. I was particularly charmed by his remembrances of his "Aunt Clara," who was really the wife of his dad's best friend.

Kim Shaver at Hooker Furniture has asked me to participate in the blog she has created for the company. Right now she's posted one of my contributions on a topic inspired by a question she's received on how to face up to decorating inertia. It's a two-part entry based on lots of years of answering this question for readers. Once, a woman asked me if it was OK to use her antique tablecloth in a modern kitchen. My response was a little cheeky, but I think it worked: You have my permission. Everybody laughed, but I made my point. You don't need permission to do the things in decorating your own home. Do what pleases you! At any rate, check out the Hooker blog. I'll be contributing on a regular basis. Kim and I worked together on a collection for Hooker a few years ago and I have such respect for her efforts. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does; my kind of girl.

Hope you are all in the midst of vacations that take you to places that bring rest and refreshment. Let us hear about what you are doing on your summer vacation...


  1. Hello Nancy...I have always been a faithful fan of Victoria magazine and still am. It's just a gorgeous publication.

    As for summer, one thing my husband and I are doing is staying for a weekend at Applegate Inn in the Rutland, Vermont area. I'm hoping to get lots of information and photos to share on my own blog, Writing Straight from the Heart.

    I also love daytripping and plan to do a lot of that.

    Hope you have a great day today. Susan

  2. I was just re-reading Curtiss Anderson's Blueberry Summer article in the 1992 Victoria, July issue...the one with the marvelous cover modeled after the summery portraits of Frank Benson's family. As I was reading along, I discovered that someone had snipped out on of the charming illustrations, thus chopping out a chunk of the story that backed it. Hence, I'm on my way to Ebay to buy that back issue. I had the book, Nancy, but gave it to a friend of mine, whose father had a nearly identical upbringing in the Nebraska plains. One of the beauties of those early Victorias was the freedom to really explore something, be it a talented artist like Benson or a blueberry summer from a dear writer like Anderson. His writing is delightful...and I think his book belongs next to yours on any guestroom bedside table!

    Keeping cool,
    Karen Marline

  3. Hello! What a joy to find you here! I have been quite a fan of Victoria Magazine for so many years! I have all of the back issues and have them organized by month. I have the July issues before me now. I was thinking of you, because I had started a Victoria - A Return to Loveliness Blog Party. I was reading the lovely letters you wrote each month addressing us as 'Friends'. I was hoping to find more information and found you here! I plan to get your newest book - perhaps more than one - thinking of friends to share this with. Would just love to interview you! I hope you stop by the party - the comments from the ladies regarding my reminiscing have been so wonderful, to know how Victoria came into their lives and how it made such an impact. It has made my day finding you here!
    God Bless you,

  4. G'morn Nancy ~ Have so enjoyed Victoria magazine forever, preferring the older magazine to the present version ... tho still enjoying the new. I so enjoyed reading your previous post on weddings. The artwork is simply gorgeous.

    Have a lovely week ~
    TTFN~ Marydon

  5. Well, I am really displeased with the Iowa media for not supporting your lovely book. I hope that (aside from that) you are enjoying your summer, too. I shared on an earlier post about what is going with me... no time for a vacation now, but I am looking forward to a two week trip away with my family in September. I loved your two-part blog post for Hooker and your 5 decorating suggestions. May you find some time for R & R in the midst of all your worthy activities.