I have been trying to get around to updating my website and blog posts from the moment I got here, but alas, my feet hit American soil running!
For those of you who don’t know, it all began with a 2am message, ‘Alice – you’re coming to America for about 4 months!’ Well, of course I was bowled over and couldn’t quite wrap my head around it until my amazing publishing house said something to the effect of, ‘your books are taking you to America.’ My books? Really?
This is Tammy Koelling – CEO Words Matter Publishing
I hadn’t quite recovered from the shock yet when my Visa was approved and issued, my plane tickets were bought, accommodation was in place and a truck was arranged for the duration of our stay.
Our home away from home and Walt, our truck.
After traveling for three days, a bus ride and two exhaustive plane rides, we finally landed in Chicago where Tammy met us. Having had my phone stolen at Johannesburg International Airport and having picked up a debilitating stomach bug, I was not in the best shape when we landed and was so sure she’d send us right back home! She didn’t!
We drove another five hours to what would become our base for the next few months.
I am still pinching myself! I have had a blast this first month! I have been to Barnes and Noble in Belleville as well as having had two book events at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds which were amazing! But, I am still learning and am having so much fun watching Tammy, and fellow authors, Deb and Kathy (and many more to come) as they handle these events like pros! I thought the accent might be somewhat of a problem when I arrived, but we ‘get’ each other just fine!
Tammy has gone so out of her way to make sure we are comfortable and settled; from sorting out the internet to making sure we have enough towels and enough of what we need! How lucky can one girl get? Oh … and funny! I have laughed more in this month than I probably have in a year!
Our Barnes and Noble visit.
My table at the Belle Clair events.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Sally Boyle and Sue McCree Stein at Country Creek Treasures! What an amazing store! I used to sit and gaze at their pictures on Facebook, dying to set foot in that store! It was better than I could ever have imagined. From the moment I walked in, I felt as though I had been there forever. They even went as far as to fill our grocery cupboards! There is much to be said for America and their citizens! I am honored!
I met Chrissy and Lynn from Ten Pin Antique Mall. Oh … I am pretty sure I had a mini heart-attack when I strolled through their store. It was once a ten pin bowling alley that was so lovingly converted into an antique store. Oh, and the bed I sleep in each night comes right out of that store!
Ten Pin Antique Mall
I am one month into a 4 to 6 month stay and am having the absolute time of my life. I have made wonderful new friends and feel as though I have known Tammy, Deb, Kathy, Sue, Sally, Chrissy, Lynn, Donna and Bruce (who have graciously allowed us to live in their home) for my entire life.
September is a busy month with events lined up for each weekend so far. It is new to me. Everything about being here is new to me, but I am adjusting and embracing this wonderful opportunity that I know only comes around once in an entire lifetime!
I feel favored. Lucky. Blessed. Honored. Deeply thankful.
With Words Matter Publishing right beside me, I feel as though I can conquer America!
Look out for part two of my American journey!
Lots of love,