Monday, March 10, 2014

Friend Me - A Whole 'Nother Meaning


I'm excited to tell you about my guest today. She's sweet, funny, talented, and gets into some crazy messes. Her name is Becky Povich, and she blogs at Becky Lewellen Povich: Writer, Humorist, Bliss Follower.

Carol, thanks so much for having me as your guest today! Under the Tiki Hut is somewhere I definitely yearn to be at this stage of winter in St. Louis. Ugh. I keep promising myself, and others, that I will not complain about the heat and humidity when the dog days of summer arrive. (I’ll let you know if I kept that promise in about four months!)

I’m here today to talk about my memoir, From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More. The other posts I've written have been more about what prompted me to write a memoir, how many years it took to complete, all the ups & downs from start to finish, etc.

This time, though, I’d like to share something different. How I found and rekindled a couple of really old friendships. Every person and every incident in my memoir is real. There are other people I would have loved to include, but I couldn't find them to ask permission to use their real names. Those people are important enough to me that I didn't want to use fictitious names, either. (I have plans, though, to find them so I can add them to the sequel, due out 2015. (No title as of yet.)

I wasn’t much of a facebook person until I began looking for past neighbors & friends in 2010. Obviously, it’s difficult, too, to find women if their page doesn’t include their maiden name. Fortunately, most of my searches could also be found by including men’s last names, so the treasure hunt began. This is where having a fantastic long-term memory is especially useful. I most likely wouldn’t be able to tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can tell you the names of those long ago childhood friends, their parents’ names, and sometimes their street addresses.

One of the women I searched for, Diane, had been my next door neighbor in the 1950s. Through the years I’d heard she had gotten married and at one time still lived in the area. I couldn’t find her because either her maiden name wasn’t posted or she wasn’t on Facebook. I did find her brother, Earl, though. He was alive and well, living in the South, and amazed me with some of the details he remembered, such as the month, date, and year of my brother’s birthday! It was close to his, he said, and that’s why he remembered it…..but, still!

(They are the Diane and Earl in the first chapter, “Paradise on Preston Lane,” and to show how special our friendship was, my family moved to Nebraska when I was eight years old, and we hadn’t seen each other in all these years.) He said Diane lived only about 20 miles from where I live, gave me her e-mail address, and she and I made a lunch date. I brought along some old, black and white photos, and we talked and laughed as if we’d been getting together for years. It was amazing.

About a year later, Earl was able to make the trip home, to the St. Louis area, and I drove the three of us around the Old Neighborhood. Talk about reminiscing! 

We drove past the schools and churches we’d attended, up and down streets of old acquaintances, and of course “our” street…Preston Lane. They remarked how much it hadn’t changed, and yet the ways in which it had. We all viewed it the same. The houses and yards were so much smaller than our young eyes and minds had perceived all those years ago, and the trees had obviously flourished, growing tall and wide. The day was a bittersweet fragment of the story of our lives.

P.S. Diane and I continue to get together for lunch as often as we can. I haven’t seen Earl since that visit in 2011, but he promises to visit sometime this year.

~~~

“What can ever equal the memory of being young together?” – Michael Stein, In the Age of Love

Note: I am in no way endorsing Facebook. There are many things I don’t like about it, but it seems to be a “must” for authors to promote their books these days. It’s just one of the places I used to search for people. I also looked at school alumni websites and www.whitepages.com.

Becky Povich didn't begin writing until she was 48 years old. She’s had stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, plus other anthologies, small newspapers, and magazines. Her memoir, From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More is her first book. She’s busy promoting her memoir, blogging, and working on the sequel.

Her memoir has received remarkable praise from bestselling authors, and also terrific reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Library Thing.

Print copies can be purchased directly from Becky at www.beckypovich.com, on www.amazon.com and www.BN.com. (The e-book will be available very soon.)


In Other News
Stephen Tremp is releasing his new novel, Escalation, today.

Together, BreakthroughOpening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror.

Purchase Escalation here.


And in Other, Other News
Me, again. If you would like to sign up to participate in the cover reveal for my new novel, you can find all the details and the signup sheet here.


74 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's wild to go back to those old neighborhoods. You're right - they are the same, yet different. Glad you were able to reconnect with an old friend.

Liza said...

There is nothing like connecting with old friends! Congratulations on your book Becky. Hi Carol!

Stephen Tremp said...

Thank you Carol for the shout out! And you can go home again. But sometimes its like travelling to a world in another universe.

Bish Denham said...

I can SO relate to the title of Becky's book! Congratulations!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So nice to meet you Becky! Carol you always make me smile by being so kind and introducing us to so many amazing authors and people.

Robin said...

I still visit my former neighbor who still lives next door to the house where I grew up. Seems like every time I go I find myself stopping and staring at that house. In so many ways it has changed. In others, it is exactly the same.

Karen Walker said...

I have lost touch with so many people from my past. I love that you were able to reconnect, Becky. It is a real gift. Hi Carol -

BECKY said...

Hi Alex ~ Thanks much for stopping and commenting. Yes, those old neighborhoods can be so wonderful to see again!

~~~

Hi Liza ~ Thanks for the congrats, and yes there's nothing like connecting with old friends!

~~~

Hi Stephen ~ Thanks! I've been to other old neighborhoods that had definitely changed, but not in a good way...a very different universe.

~~~

Hey Bish ~ How fun to see you here today! Thanks again for the congrats!

~~~

Hi Optimistic Existentialist ~
Great to meet you, too! And yes, Carol is awesome! If you have a minute, please check out my blog, too. I thank her there, for having me as her guest today....(obviously, or I'd be a real ingrate!)LOL

~~~

Hi Robin ~ You said it exactly how I feel! I drive by there fairly often and luckily it's a one block, dead-end street, because I inch along and stop and stare. Nobody has been home lately, though, to see me! One of these days, I'll go knock on the door and tell them my story! :)

BECKY said...

Hey Karen ~ Happy to see you here! And yes, reconnecting is amazing!

Chasing Rainbows said...

Wonderful post, and I'm pleased you were able to connect with friends.


I used to have a different blog and we were friends. I will now cross the site and rejoin you as a follower.
Yvonne

Gigi Ann said...

I loved Becky's book. Reading it brought back fond memories of my own childhood. What a fun ride down memory lane. Thanks Becky for a few days of fun and funny reading.

Shelly said...

What a great interview- memoirs are my very favorite type of writing!

BECKY said...

Hi Yvonne ~ I'll hop over in just a few minutes! Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know about your new blog. I remember you!

~~~

Hi Gigi Ann ~ You're one of my best (and favorite!) cheerleaders! After reading my posts about writing my memoir on my blog, for SO long...I'm thrilled that it wasn't a disappointment!!

~~~

Hi Shelly ~ Thank you! I love memoirs, too. I'm sure that had something to do with my writing mine!

Delores said...

What a lovely gift to reunite with old friends.

Mason Canyon said...

Becky, love the title of your book. I couldn't help but smile reading it. It's good to know Facebook does do good things sometimes. Wishing you much success.

Hi, Carol. Get the tanning lotion ready, spring is just around the corner. :)

Bookie said...

I can say that Becky's book is a delightful read. Yes, you get a glimpse into her life, but so many things she recalls brings to life our own memories of the same time periods!

Julie Luek said...

Becky, I enjoy reconnecting with people on Facebook and am hoping to meet up with some of them face-to-face on my next trip back home, to Pittsburgh. I bet this reunion kicked up the dust on quite a few memories for you!

Carol Kilgore said...

It's great seeing everyone here! The cabana boys will be serving soup and salad for lunch. Chicken tortilla or fresh vegetable - your choice.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BECKY-O! ~
As you already know, I own, read, and enjoyed your memoir.

I bought a second copy for my Blogspot friend FarAwayEyes (FAE), and she is currently reading it.

I figured she would like your book, but the primary reason I sent it to her was to inspire her to work diligently on her own memoir. She's not a famous person, but I know enough about her personal history to categorically state that any memoir she published would MAKE her a famous person.

I think FAE has a lot of important information and life experiences to convey to "this world".

I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to visit her blog (Far Away Series @ Blogspot.com) and give her a word or two of encouragement. (Please don't tell her I sent you.)

Thanks!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
(D-FensDogg)
'Loyal American Underground'

David Oliver said...

The part about going back to childhood places and everything seeming so small - I have had the same experience and it is really much more shocking when it happens than hearing it said.

BECKY said...

Hi Delores ~ Yes, it really IS a gift, isn't it? You're so right!

~~~

Hey Mason ~ Thanks so much for your wishes and so glad you like the title! :)

~~~

Hi Bookie ~ Thanks much! So glad you enjoyed my memoir, too!

~~~

Hi Julie ~ I don't think I knew you were from Pittsburgh! I have a friend that lives near there...!

~~~

Hey Carol ~ I sure am enjoying the cabana boys! Ahhh, what a life!

~~~

Oh Mr. Stephen T ~ I already know FAE. In fact, I may be a follower of hers!

~~~

Hi David ~ Yes, that is so true! And of course, not all places look the same, or anything close to looking the same. I've seen some melancholy sites, too.

~~ Thanks for all the comments, again! I'll be back later...~~

Elephant's Child said...

I am really, really looking forward to the sequel. I have the spot on the bookshelf reserved for it.
Love that you could reconnect with Dianne.

randi lee said...

Agreed! Nothing like reconnecting with an old companion!

cleemckenzie said...

What an adventure--returning to the past. I love your book title. It made me laugh. You've really summed up a journey with it.

BECKY said...

Hi Ms. Elephant's Child ~ You're such a sweetie and another BIG fan and cheerleader! That's really cool that you've already reserved a spot for the sequel, too. Big Hugs...

~~~

Hi Randi lee ~ Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!

~~~

Hi cleemckenzie ~ I'm glad my memoir title made you laugh! It usually does get that reaction :)
Thanks for stopping and commenting!

Val Poore said...

What an interesting story and memoir. I love the title! Yes, about Facebook. You have to love and hate it in equal measure, don't you? Lovely post!

BECKY said...

Hi Val ~ Thanks so much for your comments! It makes me feel better about my like/dislike of facebook, knowing there are lots of others who feel the same way. Glad you like my memoir title, too!

BECKY said...

Hi everyone! I'll be away from my computer for a couple of hours, but as soon as I'm back, I'll be sure to come back to the Tiki Hut and check for new comments! Thanks!

Melissa said...

Ha! Love the title! (I won't tell you whether or not I can relate. :P)

I'm not a FB fan either, but it's nice for keeping in touch with out-of-state (or -country) family and friends.

Good luck with your book. Sounds great! :)

Janie Junebug said...

The memoir sounds great, but do I have chin hairs in my future? I'm 55.

Love,
Janie

Empty Nest Insider said...

I also think it's wonderful that you reconnected with your dear friend, and how you thought enough of your other friends not to use fictitious names. I guess when you grow up on a street as poetic as Preston Lane, you don't need to change a thing! Oh, and do you recommend plucking or waxing?! Best of luck with your book. Thanks for hosting Becky, Carol!

Julie

BECKY said...

Hi Melissa ~ Thanks so much for the encouragement! And I bet you have many years ahead of you before you find one teeny chin hair! :)

~~~

Hi Janie Junebug ~ I love that name! I can't say whether you will have chin hairs in your future. I only have one, but it's a doozy, if I don't keep it under control! LOL

~~~

Hi Empty Nest Insider ~ Your comments are truly beautiful! I never thought of my old street as being poetic, but I do believe you are right! It does have a kind of musical ring to it....Preston Lane! As far as plucking or waxing...LOL...I've never tried waxing and I only have the ONE hair that gets a bit wild if I forget about it...and then it's definitely plucked!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Like all those before me I want to say congratulations

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Becky is a great gal and very real. That's what I love about her? I enjoyed this.

xo

Sheila

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks to all of you for visiting. Becky will be here all week, so tell your friends!

The cabana boys promise sunshine tomorrow :)

Helena said...

Becky's book sounds like a hoot. Chin hairs! (I so never talk about those.) Funny too, how the older I get the more nostalgic I am for my childhood and all the old places that are now gone or so changed.

BECKY said...

Hi Jo-Anne ~ Thanks so much for the congratulations!

~~~

Hi Sheila, Ms. Magpie ~ Awww, thank you! You're very sweet. If someone asked me to describe myself, I don't think the words being "very real" would occur to me, but I AM one of those What You See Is What You Get kind of persons!

~~~

Hi Carol ~ Thanks again, and especially for having cabana boys here at your Tiki Hut! :)

~~~

Hello Helena ~ Thank you! Many parts of my book are "a hoot!" And yes, the older I get, the more nostalgic I get. And also it makes me sad when the places I remember aren't at all that way anymore.

LR said...

Love the title of your book. Pigtails to chin hairs. That's sweet and funny. :)

BECKY said...

Hi LR ~ Thanks so much! The book is full of sweet and funny and sad and poignant and bittersweet, etc.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Carol & Becky,

I can only imagine how much fun you had meeting folks from an earlier time in your life and rekindling those memories.

Facebook has put me in touch with many of the people I went to high school with, but I still don't spend a lot of time on there. It's good to know I can find people when I want to reach out.

Susan Oloier said...

I truly enjoy memoir, so congrats to Becky. BTW, Carol...I really like your new banner.

BECKY said...

Hi J.L. ~ Thank you! Yes, it's still hard to believe sometimes that the three of us got together. It was an amazing day. And I'm glad to read so many comments from people that feel the same as I do about facebook. I much rather blog! :)

~~~

Hi Susan ~ Memoir is one of my favorites, too! :) Have you ever read " A Girl Named Zippy," by Haven Kimmel. I LOVE that book and reading it made me think about writing MY memoir! I highly recommend it.

Nas said...

Congratulations to Stephen!

Carol Kilgore said...

OE - Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you smile :)

Yvonne - Great to see you out and about again!

Mason - I hope so! It's been a long, cold winter. Even at the Tiki Hut :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Great title. Memoirs are so interesting to read.

When I had a Facebook, I got to reminisce with a few people. It was fun to chat and look at old pictures.

BECKY said...

Hi Medeia ~ Thank you! I'm glad you like the title! And yes, facebook can be a good thing sometimes!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

FB definitely has its upside. It's glorious to find and re-connect with people who were once part of your life. Then again, friend requests from strange men you don't know from Adam whose number one hobby is "Women" are a somewhat off-putting.

I'm so glad Becky's book is doing well. Here's to much continued success!

And Carol, thanks for mentioning the sign-up for your cover reveal. I knew I'd signed up for "something" to help "somebody"... but I couldn't remember the darned details. (Now it's on my calendar!)

BECKY said...

Hey there SFS ~ Great to see you here! And thank you for your well wishes...and your wonderful Amazon review! :)
I don't know what's "wrong" with me...I've never had any friend requests from anyone I didn't know...let alone "strange men" LOL

Ava Quinn said...

Great title, Becky. Sounds like you had loads of fun researching. :)

Carol, it's so great that you host such interesting guests!

Johanna Garth said...

Such a nice story Becky and really underscores the magic of the internet!

Carol Kilgore said...

Susan - No problem :)

Ava - I'm glad you like my guests :)

Christine Rains said...

Such a lovely story! I often wonder about some of the folks I grew up with. I have a few as friends on Facebook, and it's interesting to see how everyone turned out.

Meradeth Houston said...

I love driving around my old neighborhood when I go home--it's definitely bittersweet! Thanks for the introduction to the memoir!

BECKY said...

Hi Ava ~ Thanks! So happy you like the title! It's a funny thing, too, because I don't remember exactly when I came up with it, which is really weird because I'd had another title in mind for YEARS, and so you'd think I'd remember something as momentous as when I came up with THE BEST title! :)

~~~

Hi Johanna ~ Nice to see you here, and thanks for your beautiful comment. The internet really can be magical, can't it?

~~~

Hi Christine ~ Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading my post, and yes it's fun to see what "kid" grew up to be a doctor or Admiral or...writer!

~~~

Hi Meradeth ~ Thank you! And yes...bittersweet is one of my favorite words to use when I describe my childhood, and it also is perfect for those going back and reminiscing times, too!

** Thanks again, Carol! I'm having a great time getting to know lots of visitors at your Tiki Hut! I'll definitely be back many more times before the week is over! Oh....cabana boy..?? Where's my drink? :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Thank you Carol for the shout out! This is greatly appreciated!

Carol Kilgore said...

Becky - I hope that cabana boy got your drink right to you. Otherwise, I'll need to find a replacement for him :)

Stephen - My pleasure. All good wishes for ESCALATION.

LD Masterson said...

Becky, I think it's great that you've been able to find old friends via Facebook. I've managed to re-connect with a couple but not many.

(Hi, Carol.)

Michelle Wallace said...

Friends from my childhood days and subsequent years are scattered around the world.
Over time, I've re-connected with some of them. It's always a bittersweet experience.
There have also been some surprises... when what you regarded as a strong friendship turns out to be not so strong after all. Adult reality and childhood perception are often at odds... or is it that we outgrow certain friends??
Nice to meet you Becky!
Hi Carol *waving*
Writer In Transit

Carol Kilgore said...

Hi All!
Glad you're having fun. It's Happy Hour! Two for one of your favorite beverage. And Margaritas are on sale for half price for the next half hour only :)

BECKY said...

** Hi Carol! Yes, the cabana boy brought my drink right on time. Please don't replace him! :)

~~~

Hi LD ~ Thanks for stopping and commenting and I'm glad you've reconnected with a couple of friends, too!

~~~

Hi Michelle ~ Nice to meet you, too! And I SO agree about those attempts at reconnecting are sometimes "bittersweet experiences." One particular case: I managed to locate someone who meant the world to me when I lived in Texas as a young and very shy newlywed...who also happened to be pregnant! Through a relative of hers, I got her address, mailed her a letter just pouring my heart out with happiness, that I'd found her, and memories of when we were neighbors. But, she didn't really remember me! Can you imagine how I felt?? (My then-husband and I only lived there three months.) I wrote about her in my memoir, but didn't mention about her not remembering me...I'll probably include that in the sequel.

Lexa Cain said...

How lovely that the people from Becky's past ended up worth getting re-acquainted with. Her book sounds funny - wishing her good luck!

Congrats to Stephen! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

How nice to become friends again after being apart! I only live a few blocks from my old neighborhood and it's still like time traveling when I visit :)

Denise Covey said...

I love stories where people have found folks from the past. This was very heartwarming.

All the best with the book.

Hi Carole!

BECKY said...

Hi Lexa ~ Thanks much! Yes, it's been a wonderful adventure! And my memoir is funny, poignant, sad, bittersweet....but mostly funny!

~~~

Hi Jemi ~ I'm so happy that your old neighborhood is nearby and a time traveling event for you! Some old neighborhoods dwindle and die, which is obviously very sad...

~~~

Hi Denise ~ Thank you! Heartwarming. That's a great word for it all!

Val said...

So glad you were able to re-connect with old friends. I was able to find one of my college roommates because she sent my mom a Christmas card every year. You're so right. You can pick up with those long-ago friends like time stood still.

Arlee Bird said...

Reconnecting with the past can be fun and revelatory as well. Good to find friends from days gone by.

Lee
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Old Kitty said...

So fabulous to meet you Becky and yay that you found your pals from long ago! All the best with your book and writing! Take care
x

Milo James Fowler said...

Always cool to keep in touch with old friends. I'm not a big fan of FB, but it's a necessary evil -- for now.

BECKY said...

Hi Val ~ I've found people through Christmas cards, too! I'm still amazed at how Diane, Earl, and I talked and hung out. It's not like we parted as teenagers or even young adults. We were young children!

~~~

Hi Arlee ~ Great to see you here! And yes, finding friends that worked out the way this did is fabulous. I've also been on the sad and disappointing side.

~~~

Hi Old Kitty ~ It's fabulous to meet you, too! And anyone who uses the word "fabulous" is a friend of mine! I tend to use it quite a lot! :) Thanks for your well wishes, too.

~~~

Hi Milo ~ Yes, you put it exactly...a necessary evil....ugh!
Thanks for stopping and commenting!

BECKY said...

Hello again, Carol! I sure am enjoying my time here at the Tiki Hut. I'm going to be sad to say goodbye tomorrow morning, especially since back home where I live is having kooky weather again. Warm, cold, rain, snow...at least that's the forecast!

Carol Kilgore said...

Arlee - Have a great A-Z next month! You've created a wonderful treat for a lot of people. Kudos!

Becky - You've been an awesome guest. The door is always open for you. The cabana boys told me they loved the treats you brought :)

VR Barkowski said...

Like you Becky, there are many things I don't like about Facebook, but I've moved around so much, it's not always easy to keep in touch. Facebook has allowed me not only to stay connected, but it's put me back in touch with my college roommate and my best friend from elementary school (and that was a VERY long time ago).

Wishing you much continued to success with Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More.

[Hi, Carol!!!]

VR Barkowski

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

And thank you, Becky, for sharing your story with everyone.

BECKY said...

Hi VR ~ I bet MY elementary school days were longer ago than yours! :) Thanks for your wishes!

~~~

And thanks one more time, to Carol, for being the Hostess with the Mostest!