It has been happening a lot lately—and it happened again this morning. The phone rang while I was eating breakfast. I didn’t get there in time to answer. Negativity swirled in my head— It was probably a scammer.
I didn’t have long to wait. I was at my computer when the next call came in. It was John Smith from Esteemed Who’s Who. I let him know that I was a member of the REAL Who’s Who, then bombarded him with questions after he told me he was sending me a package of award products: a Who’s Who book, a Lifetime Achievement Award plaque, this and that. I asked what would all that cost. “Nothing until it arrives, and then it will be only $999.99. “
ONLY about a thousand dollars? I told him NOT to send the package because if he does I will not accept it.
I got his phone number, called Marquis Who’s Who (the real one) and found out that they do not have anything to do with him, that indeed, I was almost scammed—again.
My credit-card number gets changed often. He did not get far enough for that.
It’s lucky that I have a bank credit-card department that calls me every once in a while when a charge goes through that looks suspicious. They must have intuitive people there who call when a number has a weird look about it—too long, too unusual, too something or other.
I appreciate them. I feel that they look after me. They know that I sometimes fall for ego-building promises. Not this time.
You should hear about the one who called me, flattering me about my art, compete with a fetching story about buying it for a wedding anniversary gift for his wife. It was a secret. He had lots of instructions for me. He wanted it shipped along with a box of personal things. Suddenly I realized that his signature was not on anything. If anything in that box of his personal things was illegal it would have been traced right back to me. The bank told me to call police.
That was a close one.
The name of the scammer and the company he represented have been changed to protect
Read this and give me a cheer:
“You have been nominated for a 2016 Governor’s Arts Award in the Individual category. . . .
These awards are considered the most prestigious in Arizona, and recognize excellence in
artistic expression and outstanding contributions to the Arizona arts community.”
I’m in the Individual category because I wrote ARTISTS Of Sedona (19380—1999) all by myself—well, almost all by myself. I did have some editing done and the foreword written by
Gary Every, the head of Sedona Writers Salon.
It was a huge job—especially when you consider the fact that my husband was dying of cancer and I was his at-home caregiver. Hospice was my support.
Before he died he had some input into his Celebration of Life which t I was producing for him. A funny incident happened as he proofed the eulogy. “Well, that’s wrong,” he said as he reada sentence about four little Garrison kids waiting down the lane for the yellow school bus to pick them up. “Mother drove us to school,” he asserted. “We didn’t go on the bus.”
That sentence was deleted very quickly.
I stayed alone in our home for five months. We had planned that I would be better off living with others, so our dog and I moved into a retirement community, hired some people to run an estate sale, and put the house on the market. This is not as easy as it sounds.
There was no time to market my brand new book. It set me back. Suddenly I was very tired. It took longer to get anything done, and several times I was hauled off to a hospital. Mini-strokes, they said. At least they weren’t real ones.
And now this nomination for an award at a very fancy hotel in downtown Phoenix on March 23rd. I live about two-and-a-half hours away—and I sold my car last August. Am I going? Of course I am. I’m going to get gussied up in black and gold, my white hair done up
In a stylish do. I had to call some people I don’t really know for transportation—and I lucked out.
So who won in this Individual division? I don’t know, but I feel like a winner.
And who is the handsome man? His name is Thomas.
TOUGHER ALL THE TIME
I am so inundated with chores that I don’t know what to do first. I’ve been in my apartment for four months and it’s still unorganized, but it’s improving — slowly. Yesterday the maintenance men removed a huge 13-year-old TV from my bedroom. I hung onto it so long because it still worked beautifully, but it was a gray elephant that was taking up longed-for space. The tabletop that it rested on looks beautiful. It used to be a library table. I have three piles of papers on it now — a woman from the title company brought papers through the rain for me to sign early last evening. I’ll be sure to file them in a chest that used to be a highboy.
There are framed photographs, my husband’s small sculptures, and my paintings hanging on the walls and in closets at my house that just sold. I’ll go with my helper next week and pick up the ones I want, although I don’t have much space to put them. I’ll donate the rest to Habitat For Humanity. Then I’m done with that. It used to be that I would save everything from my kids’ art to my husband’s junk collection.
The books are a problem. I have five of them on the market: ARTISTS OF SEDONA, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT CAVE CREEK, JAVELINA (Have-uh-WHAT?), FROM THUNDER TO BREAKFAST (about pioneer Hube Yates), and WIDOWHOOD HAPPENS. A couple of them were produced by traditional publishers, but after they weren’t renewed I decided to go with on-demand companies. That would keep them floating around in the cyber world forever.
I don’t have time to contact individual bookstores. Those business people are having their own problems, and they have been going out of business like crazy. The few local ones left expect authors to furnish books on consignment and give them a 40% discount. I know they need that, but in my own case I go in the hole. The only way I can receive a royalty is for the re-seller to do a simple little thing and take five or ten minutes to order directly from the printer. I really like that because I don’t have to wait until the books sell to receive what I have already paid for, and I get my royalty. I also like the fact thatI don’t have to do the bookkeeping. I’m not good at math. So, unless you have a favorite bookseller who will be happy to order books for you, I’m suggesting that you order through the Internet. You will receive it delivered to your door. It’s easier on everyone.
Also, on August 11 I will be 90 — and I’m thinking of giving up my car. I used to be twenty-six.
BLOG: IT’S YOUR CALL
I’ve gone on a bit about my latest book, ARTISTS OF SEDONA, 1930—1999, but it is important. It’s the first art history book about the very talented, special people who have made names for themselves in this dramatically beautiful small town in northern Arizona.
I have to get it out there for the public to see, and therein lies the problem. Everything is so complicated. There are so many decisions to be made. I don’t want to be in the business of selling books, but I’m afraid I am — whether I want to or not. Writing doesn’t frighten me at all, but signing up for services and entrusting my royalties to companies I know nothing about, does. I hate bookkeeping. Don’t know how to do it. Don’t WANT to know. I flunked math on report card in fourth grade. Now I have macular degeneration. That’s a good excuse for the errors.
I think I’ve found a good company, Whizbuzz, to handle online publicity for a year, but I got stuck yesterday when it came to the payment method, And I don’t want to hear from other companies coming to my rescue, even though it looks like I NEED help.
So what can YOU do? Ask for the book in bookstores. They won’t have it, but they can order it for you. Here’s the information they will need:
TITLE: ARTISTS OF SEDONA 1930—1999
AUTHOR: Gene K. Garrison
RETAIL PRICE: $40 (I know it’s high, but for an art book, it’s not. Ink for color photos is very expensive.)
If you have a Kindle, or Kindle app, you’re in luck — no ink, no paper. Price: $9.99.
Then there’s amazon.com. Easy.
Tell your friends about it.
And what will you have if you own this book? Just the first edition of the first narrative art history of the wonderfully creative people who have made Sedona an artists’ hub — John Waddell, Dr. John Soderberg, Joyce Killebrew, Joella Jean Mahoney, Stephen Juharos, Joe Beeler, Nassan Gobran, Charlie Dye, Zoe Mozert, Jeffrey Lunge´, Adele Seronde, Susan Kliewer, Clyde Ross Morgan, Jan Sitts, Bearcloud, Leslie B. DeMille, Frank McCarthy, James Muir, Bonnie Burkee, M.L. Coleman, Nancy Robb Dunst, Holly Stedman, and Ken Rowe. You’ll love the human beings that they are, or were.
This past year has been intense. If you’ve read any of my blogs you may remember that I wrote our town’s first art history book, ARTISTS OF SEDONA 1930–1999. Written in a narrative style, readers will see that it is filled with stories of outstanding, talented people, some of them internationally known. Humor, determination, frustration, accomplishments and adventures reveal their humanity. More than a hundred photographs, most of them in full color, show them with their art. Located in northern Arizona, Sedona is an art hub surrounded by gorgeous red rocks and rugged mountains. Just a week or so ago someone had to be rescued by helicopter just up the street from where I live. Ordinarily I would have said “where WE live,” but I try not to say that any more. Every once in a while I slip. My husband died from cancer last fall. I was his caregiver, Hospice my backup.
I produced his Celebration of Life service, and that’s exactly what it was. I wrote his bio for the former nun who led the proceedings. It started when he was six years old and drove the tractor on the family farm. His work ethic developed early. He was a Boy Scout and eventually became a leader. He first noticed me when I was fourteen, but realized that twenty-year-olds don’t go out with young teenagers. I was nineteen when our church wedding was performed. Five years later our first son was born. A year-and-as-half later, the second. Middle-aged now, they both came from across the country for the service and spoke briefly about their memories of their hard-working father. For fun he worked on model trains, and for the arts he sculpted abstracts in wood and alabaster.
The former nun in charge of the service had become a Reverend. One of the comments I later heard was, “She sounded like she had known him all her life.” An extended family member read one of my poems.
I arranged to have a local performer with a powerful, booming voice sing the Lord’s Prayer and just
before the end of the service, “You Raise Me Up.” It was dramatic.
It is now four months since my very kind and loving husband’s death. One of the last things he said to me was, “Thank you for taking care of me.” It blew me away.
Now I’m in the midst of preparing to move. The house was the perfect size for the two of us. He did a lot of the mundane chores so that I could concentrate on my writing and art. Now I find that the errands, grocery shopping, taking care of the car’s needs, cooking, and cleaning house, wear me out by three o’clock in the afternoon. It leaves me no time to do my office work or get the word out about my books. So now I’m making a life change——buying time to do what is important to me. And I have a new status: I’m a widow. I’m trying it out, but I’m still wearing my rings. I think I’ll like the small apartment. It has an office. And they accept dogs.
No doubt you have noticed on several of my previous blogs that I’ve published a new book, my fifth. What makes it different from other history books stems from not liking history as a child. There was a crying need for this little burg in northern Arizona red-rock country to shout out, “Look! We’re oozing artists – well-educated, dedicated, excited-to-be-here artists.
Over the top? Not by much.
Ever since the 1930s they’ve been discovering this very special place. That’s the way I arranged my chapters of Artists of Sedona 1930—1999 — in the order that they arrived.
I designed the cover, with emphasis on the word Artists. The dates are included in order to show that it’s a history book, but I hasten to add that it’s a narrative history. No more of who, what, where, when and why business that we had to memoroize for tests. It’s about our artists, both past and present, as real people. I introduce them to you. They’re all different in thought and in deed.
The photo is meant to represent artists in general, but there’s nothing general about the famous internationally known bronze sculptor John Henry Waddell, who creates art for the ages in this studio. He’s in his nineties now and his life still centers around his art. He could go on and on about it. I especially like a statement he made about “being able to put your hand exactly where you want to put it.” That’s sage advice.
_ _ _ _ _ _
Gene K. Garrison (c)
Artists of Sedona 1930—1999 is available from bookstores and amazon.com, as well as Kindle.
Resellers may order it from CreateSpace.com.
I have a first to my credit: I have written the first art history book about Sedona, Arizona artists.
It starts in 1930 when twenty-year-old Bob Kittredge and his brother, Dan, roared into the Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon area on a Harley Davidson motorcycle with sidecar attached. It was crowded because part of the baggage was a pet monkey and a baby coyote. young Mr.Kittredge became a sculptor of note.
The book runs a narrative course through twenty-six artists, some 0f whom have made their marks as internationally — John Henry Waddell and Dr.John Soderberg, for instance.
So why did I tackle such a huge project? I never liked history in school. All that memorization about who, what, when and where turned me off. My history book would be different. I wanted to know about the artists’ personalities, their experiences, their reactions, their attitudes and anything else they wanted to tell me about their lives. I wanted to make the text so interesting that even people who do not like art will keep turning the pages.
The title is “Artists of Sedona 1930—1999” and the author is Gene K. Garrison, a professional writer since 1972.