We Made It!

- by Tara Taylor Quinn

  (Tara Taylor Quinn and Kelly Chapman)

So here we are, stop four on The Chapman Files International Blog Tour.  We’re heading to Canada and Australia over the next few months, stopping in with the Australian Romance Reader Association blog, and stopping in England, too.  Kelly Chapman (for those of you who don’t know Kelly is the expert witness psychologist who is the continuing character in The Chapman Files, four books, out this fall) has never been out of the country so that should be interesting.  She’s another one of those who take on so much to do that she’s always getting in just under the wire.  I’m guessing she’ll be packing her bags on the way to the airport.

 Take the book club she’s in.  Kelly shows up for every single meeting.  And she always has the book read – even if she doesn’t particularly like the selection.  But she’s inevitably tired, too, due to having stayed up most of the night the night before to finish the book.  She was recently on the committee to beautify Main Street in Chandler, the little Ohio town where she lives.  She wasn’t just on the committee, she chaired it.  The original, gas light street lamps are now all freshly painted, their shiny black lamps striking against the pots of geraniums hanging from the arms extended from their poles.  One time when I went to visit Kelly at her office, I saw her outside and down the street with a watering can, going from lamp to lamp, giving the geraniums a drink.  The city water supply had been shut off that morning for some piping work.

In addition to her regular office hours, and being on call twenty-four hours a day seven days a week, Kelly mentors a psychology student, and is a regular volunteer at Chandler’s soup kitchen, too.  She’s always on time.  She always does what she says she’s going to do.  She just does it all at the last minute because the minute before that she’s busy doing what he’d said she’d do, first.  I really like this about her.  She makes life count.  Every single minute of it.  And she takes time to rejuvenate, too.

Kelly told me this story, once.  She’d heard it in a seminar when she was in college.  There were these two guys who were sawing huge logs.  They had equally humongous logs to saw and were using the same kind of saws.  They started at the same time.  One guy was diligent and tended to his job without distraction.  He sawed.  And he sawed.  And he sawed.  The other guy sawed a while.  And then ran off.  He came back, sawed some more, and then ran off again.  This continued for a long time.  One guy being diligent, the other running off when there was work still to be done.  The weird thing was that in the end, the log that broke first was the one being sawed by the guy who was running off.  Diligent guy’s log was still only two thirds cut.  So diligent guy, who is sweating and exhausted, says to run-off, how did you do that?  How did you slough off and get that log sawed so quickly?  Simple, run-off says.  When I ran off, I went over there and sharpened my saw.

Once again, Kelly comes through for me…in the midst of being on tour, selling a house, and writing two new books, I’m now trying to find ways to sharpen my saw so I have a better chance of getting it all done and being healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of the labor. 

So there you have it.  The life of a writer.  I spend my days with an imaginary character who gives me advice.  And I take it!

I hope everyone on the tour with us had a good night last night.

Kelly and I worked until almost ten.  (Tim, our tour director, was in the office with us, working, too.)  And then, while we ate the omelet Tim made for us, we watched I Love Lucy.  And I do love Lucy.  She gets herself into the biggest messes.  And always manages to get herself out again, too.  Over the years, I’ve managed to learn how to tune out Ricky’s yelling at her.  No matter how much she messes up, she shouldn’t be hollered at like that.  No one should be.

Which brings me to a very important announcement.  Over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files, Kelly Chapman  and I are going to be asking for help.  If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse.  Since February of this year, the United States’ first battered women’s shelter, Strengthen Our Sisters is down $400,000.00 in donations.  Some of the staff members are working without pay as they struggle to pay mortgages on ten houses filled to capacity and keep their women and children housed and safe.  If you’d like to help, to donate to Strengthen Our Sisters securely through PayPal.   Even fifty cents would help.

Back to our tour!!!  There’s an item from my new book, The First Wife, hidden on the tour with us.  Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it!  Today’s clue: It’s something people use to relax.

Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th!  Tour prize winners will be announced!

Next tour stop:  Friday, August 27, 2010.  Super Authors http://community.eharlequin.com/content/week-road-tara-taylor-quinn I hope to see you there!  The more blogs you visit with me, the more chances you have to win!

For weekly blog tour dates, visit www.tarataylorquinn.com.  Or to have the weekly schedule sent directly to your email, send request to staff@tarataylorquinn.com.

AND…we’re giving away a copy of The First Wife today.  Just comment here to be entered to win!

7 comments

  1. I liked the “saw” story with the motto of keeping your saw sharp. Good advice for all of us!

    The guessing game is fun. When we want to start guessing, do we post here or email you privately?

  2. Have fun in Canada and Australia. I have all four of these books on my to purchase list.

    I agree that the saw story was a good one.

  3. the person with her tools in tip top shape always gets the job done right! a very important lesson from my father as well! Looking forward to the next stop!

  4. I love the saw story too! I’m mulling over the clue. Is it bubble bath? Wish you, Kelly and Tim a great tour!

  5. I *love* the saw story! That’s a keeper. What a wise person run-off guy is, but man do I feel for diligent guy. Kind of like Dory in Finding Nemo — just keep swimming even if you can’t remember where you were going. Thanks for reminding us that isn’t always the best way to get things done and to “think sharp.”

  6. We have three Cheryls on tour with us now! I’m really glad you’re all here! Please stick with us. We’ve got some great things coming on the tour. Things for you all.

    I actually have been trying to live by that saw story for several years and when I can remember to do so, I always accomplish more in less time. Of course, sometimes I’m like Lynda’s fish. That’s a great image, thank you. I didn’t see the movie, but I now have an image that will help me remember to sharpen my saw!

  7. Mary M!!! You’re name just came out of the bag! You’re the winner of The First Wife!

    To collect your prize send your snail mail address to staff@tarataylorquinn.com.