Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Three GREAT Days in St. Louis!

I had a fabulous time in St. Louis on Saturday, Sunday and Monday!! Still catching up, but I wanted to share a bunch of photos and thank all the wonderful people that made these events possible!

After I arrived on Saturday, I got to FINALLY meet in person my friend Susan McBride! In many ways, it was like we'd always known each other, and it was such fun to visit a few bookstores in the city with her and sign stock. Here we are at a really great Borders with bookseller David -- so nice!

The next day was "Wine, Wit & Lit," an event Susan had been organizing for months to benefit the non-profit organization Casting for Recovery (a post-treatment program for breast cancer survivors). So, we had wine tasting, appetizers courtesy of the Lone Wolf Coffee Company, raffle baskets, a silent auction and then a "speed-dating" event with the authors. It was delightful just to be a part of it and especially exciting to finally meet another online friend, Judy Merrill Larsen! She, Susan and I (pictured right) are all in the Girlfriends Book Club together, and I know I couldn't ask for a more supportive crew ;).

Angie Fox was another one of the authors in attendance. It was so good to see her again after meeting this summer in Orlando at the Kensington table during the RITA/GH dinner.

And I also got to meet author Jen Gauvain, her mom Colleen and fellow blogger Brittany Rochelle (from The Write Stuff :).

Mike Ward, on left, is a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine, and he offered me a sip of one of Missouri's sweet wines -- very tasty!

Kiki Strecker from Lone Wolf, on right, REALLY won me over with her delicious pizzas...ohhhh, I want to go back to visit just for that!

This lovely lady to the left is Meg, the winner of my raffle basket!! She was so sweet ;). We had over 25 raffle and silent auction baskets just packed with goodies -- it was wonderful.

And here's a picture with many of us: Patti Hummert (next to me in white, on the left side of the photo) is the Missouri Coordinator for Casting for Recovery. In the rest of the front row, it's me, Susan McBride, Judy Merrill Larsen, Anne Milford and Jen Gauvain. In the back row, starting behind Patti, is Angie Fox, Jody Feldman, Bobbi Smith and Sharon Shinn. Thanks to everyone's combined efforts, we were able to donate over $1,100 to the organization, raised in less than three hours!

But that's not all I got to do on my trip. (It was action-packed, I tell you. ;) On Monday, October 4th, I got to be a guest on the show "Great Day St. Louis" and I LOVED IT!!!

The KMOV/CBS studio is located in downtown St. Louis and was a fascinating place to visit. My husband and son were along with me on this TV adventure, so the three of us enjoyed watching the view of the set from offstage and the entire LIVE show... It's a very pretty, comfortable and versatile set -- they have a kitchen area off to the left, a relaxing sofa in the middle, a round glass table with raised chairs (where my interview took place) and a counter space for doing crafts and other activities to the right.

Kindly helping me out with the mic I needed to wear and with the muffins I brought was Sammi -- a very nice producer (pictured far left), who did a million little things behind the scenes during the hour and a half we were there. Sitting in the middle is Matt Chambers, one of the terrific hosts of "Great Day" and so gracious to all of us, especially to my son and husband, who had tons of questions. Matt spent a lot of time between breaks and after the program ended just talking to the guys and telling them things about the show. And then there was the absolutely warm and charming Carol Daniel (right), whom I just loved meeting!

I'm indebted to Carol for putting me at ease right away and making the interview process run so smoothly. She was such a pleasure to talk to, and she somehow managed to make me forget that I was on the air in front of thousands... It really felt as though I were having a mini coffee date with a friend ;).

If you'd like to see the 4-minute clip, I've embedded it below. (Hey, aren't you proud of me for learning this new techno skill?! Only took me 3 years to figure it out -- LOL.) And on the subject of live events, I'll be giving a free presentation at the Grayslake Public Library tomorrow night at 7pm. If you happen to be available and are within striking distance of northern Illinois, please join us. There will be chocolate!


Susan McBride said...

Marilyn, what a great pic of the Arch! And what fab shots from Wine, Wit & Lit! I might have to score some of those from you. It was SO much fun to have you in town last weekend. I am having Marilyn Withdrawal as I type. ;-) Just talked to Sharon Shinn on the phone, and we were wishing you lived nearer so we could do lunch! I'm just happy everything worked out so well, and you had such a marvelous time. Yay! Can't wait for you to come back! Hugs!

Maria Geraci said...

I'm so jealous! I wish I could have been there. It looks like a fabulous event. I LOVED the clip of you on the morning show. You're a natural! I would have been so nervous, stumbling over my words, etc!

Edie Ramer said...

Marilyn, I'm glad you had such a great time. Thanks for sharing with us. The embedded link didn't work for me, so I went to the Great Day site and found it. You were terrific! Great job!

Judy Croome said...

Marilyn! You packed a whole lot of adventure into a fairly short trip. And you were on TV !! Squeeeee! I tried watch the clip but it keeps on saying error, I'll try again later, may be my connection. This is wonderful.

Judy Croome said...

I just got to watch it! Marilyn you sound just like your blog! And you were so relaxed and comfortable on the screen. Amazing!

Marilyn Brant said...

Susan, you are welcome to any and all pictures ;). I'm having Susan Withdrawal, too -- it was SO nice to finally get to spend some time with you!!! Thanks for everything you did to make all these events possible.

Maria, we would have LOVED to have you there!! Thanks for watching the clip ;).

Edie, thanks for going that extra step to see the clip on the site! I'm not sure why it didn't work, but techno things are a HUGE mystery to me -- LOL!

Judy, you are so kind!! Thank you for going to all the trouble of watching it...and, yes, there was A LOT that happened in just 48 hours. I was running -- and I almost never run :).

Pamela Cayne said...

Wow--what a great trip! It sounds only second to how awesome FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE is!!! So glad to hear the event was fabulous!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela, thank you ;). It was quite a busy weekend but great to be able to be there and take part in it all! Hoping to catch up with you on everything soon!!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Love the pictures! It was such a blast to finally meet you . . . now we just have to arrange more time together!

Robin said...

Ohmygosh ~ your interview was just terrific! You are such a natural and so warm and friendly that I bet all of St. Louis fell in love with you! And what great pictures! Thanks, as always for sharing so much of yourself with us! I really wish I could tag along with you sometime!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marilyn Brant said...

Judy~We NEED to find a time to get together again, yes! You, Susan and I are not THAT far away (well, you and Susan are practically neighbors ;), but I wanna lunch date with you sometime, too...

Robin~Thank you! Everyone at "Great Day" put me at ease so fast...it was really them, not me, that made things go so smoothly. And you KNOW I'd love for you to tag along with me sometime ;). Wish the distances weren't so great...sigh.

Brittany Roshelle said...

Marilyn, it was so wonderful finally being able to meet you! I had a blast at Wine, Wit, & Lit! I'm so glad to have interviewed you for my blog-you're such a great friend!

Marilyn Brant said...

Brittany, the pleasure was mine! Thanks for being so supportive and for helping out with WW&L -- not to mention driving all that way to get there! -- it was so nice to finally meet you last weekend ;-).