Fortune Favors the Brave

Happy Landings is published. The quest that began, oh, so long ago, is completed.

There’s no parade, no shooting of fireworks, no special greeting card, when a biography is published. It just isn’t one day and is the next.

Autographed, pre-ordered books went to 41 states.

Eager to celebrate, I convened the first meeting of the “Happy Landings Book Club” on–what else?–Zoom. Very 2020s.

Emilie Loring’s great-granddaughter and great-great-grandson, my mother, daughter, and husband; and Happy Landings readers from California to Massachusetts, Minnesota to North Carolina, met for a brief, morning chat. It was just right: nice people, lots of fun, easy conversation.

With the day still ahead of me, I started in on promised changes to the website. I imagined the BIG SPLASH blog post I would write later in the day…

She placed her hand over her mouth and stifled a yawn.

“I beg your pardon. I have the most curious feeling, as if my spirit really is soaring in space, as if I could close my eyes and sleep for an aeon or two now that the care of the oil property is off my mind…”

She yawned again, this time she didn’t try to stifle it. Her eyes half closed. “I don’t understand–“

“I do. Stand up, Cindy. Quick.” He caught her hands and pulled her to her feet, held her tight in one arm as her eyes closed. Her head fell against his shoulder.

He glanced at the path which led down to his car. She had said this spot was a popular rendezvous. Suppose a party were to come along now? Would they believe that she had succumbed to mental exhaustion? Would they believe his explanation that many a time he had seen a man in his outfit released from hours of the strain of life and death responsibility go to sleep on his feet? He shook her gently.

… This was the sleep of mental exhaustion. He had seen it scores of times. She would awake refreshed.

To Love and to Honor

I felt suddenly and inexorably sleepy. Even as it occurred, I recalled this passage and giggled–yet another sidebar quote to accompany a real-life event! Then I fell asleep in my chair.

I don’t think I realized the extent to which I had focused on this goal. There had been so many intermediate steps, each with its own pressure and satisfying completion; I didn’t recognize the overarching pressure to accomplish every last step, all the way to the end, nor the release I would feel when I’d done it.

Ken Stewart was right, though. I awoke refreshed and gave myself permission to enjoy the moment, the completion of the goal, the pride of finishing well. Happy Landings is published.

A little gift to myself: This drawing of a Boston Athenaeum writing cubicle

What’s next? The Book

Happy Landings now takes to the road, appearing in as many libraries and bookstores as we can encourage. The book is in Simon & Schuster’s spring catalog, and I send out notes to librarians and buyers every day.

I am eager to have the book reviewed all across the country. If you know someone who reviews nonfiction, suggest Happy Landings to them, or send me their contact information, and I will.

The American Library Association has its big conference in Chicago this June, and City Point Press will display Happy Landings at its exhibit booth. More than 25,000 librarians attend that conference, so keep your fingers crossed that the pretty cover and happy title will attract interest. Tell your local librarian to watch for it.

Our website now has a page called THE BOOK. Look there for articles, reviews, and upcoming events. If you need an autographed copy for yourself or a friend, you can place your order there.

Lawrence, Kansas: April 11, 7:00 p.m.

What’s next? The Emilie Loring Community

“EL will reach the next generation, if we carry the torch.”

Ellen Jenken

You may remember Ellen Jenken, whose incredible Emilie Loring garden and tea party were such hits. (Read here!) Ellen didn’t live to see Happy Landings finished, but I’m still inspired by her enthusiasm for sharing Emilie Loring with others.

Upcoming Opportunities/Ideas

Read and Review: When you have finished Happy Landings: Emilie Loring’s Life, Writing, and Wisdom, would you please leave a review? There are many places you can do this: Goodreads, Amazon, your local bookstore’s or library’s website, social media sites for any of these. It’s a real help to the book, if you will.

The Blog: When you’ve held the book in your hands, you’ll find it hard to believe, but yes, there really is still more to share about Emilie Loring. Photos, stories, side-stories, original writings… I’ll keep writing and sharing until I run out of material. (Those who know me well are already laughing… How could I run out when I keep looking for more?) If you’re new here, there are more than 300 posts to catch up on!

Book Events: If you’re in the area, please come. Introduce yourself and let me know you’re one of us.

Happy Landings Book Club: Our first try this past week was fun. If there’s enthusiasm for it, we could try again–maybe when more of you have had a chance to read the book?

Local Book Clubs: I’m also happy to Zoom in with your local club to talk about Emilie Loring, her biography, or biography in general.

Emilie Loring’s New England: I’ll be in New England this April/May and July/August. Would you like to meet me at one of Emilie’s places and tour it together? Walk around Boston? See her homes in Barnstable? Tour Blue Hill? Maybe we could combine it with a book event at the local library–or just a picnic on the beach.

Our Annual Emilie Loring Tea: I’ll set a date for this soon. We always share photos of our Loring-inspired table settings and our “Emilies.” It will be great this year to see Happy Landings in our pictures, too!

A group of sisters from Minneapolis did something that we could try. They had a tea for which each sister came dressed as one of Emilie’s characters. (A mother-in-law came as Claire Grahame!) Mentally, I run through the outfits… glittering, green gown… maybe not… but that cute turquoise outfit that Cissie Lou borrowed? That could be fun. There won’t be a requirement to dress up, but if you do, you’ll earn extra appreciation!

Anna suggested these ideas. Can you add to them?

  • In a nod to the extended Baker family, share our favorite recipes using Baker’s Chocolate.
  • Post video tours of the type I suggested for Emilie Loring’s New England, so people who can’t travel can still enjoy.
  • The Happy Landings Book Club could read some of Emilie’s favorite books, or some that she had on the shelves at Stone House.
  • Share videos of old ways of doing things (e.g., printing) that would have been done that way in Emilie’s time

Guest Posts: These have always been popular. Don’t be shy. I can format, add illustrations, and post for you.

On Zoom with the HL Book Club: husband Pat and my Mom

Guest posts would be especially helpful for me right now. Most of you know that I’ve been taking 24/7 care of my mother since November. I’m leaving in the morning–weather and roads permitting–to drive her back to central Wisconsin, get her settled back in her own house, and find new caregivers for her. I’ll be away from my books (no shipping, sorry) and fully absorbed in the tasks at hand. I have a couple of posts almost ready to go, but if someone wanted to write up their experience of something Emilie related, that would be great. Drop me a note at .

When Mom’s settled, I’ll dive deeply into book promotion, author events, and planning New England travel. Echoing both Emilie Loring and Ellen Jenken, “Dollars to donuts,” I’ll get it all done.

“All of which is another way of saying ‘fortune favors the brave.’ ‘Favors!’ It gets behind and pushes.”

Emilie Loring

Happy Landings, everyone!

8 thoughts on “Fortune Favors the Brave

  1. I need to apologize to those on the Zoom call last week. My device was shown as Margaret Rettle-Rudock. I had not used my personal laptop for a video meeting in a long time. Much to my surprise, neither my camera nor my microphone worked. I have yet to fix it. I will join on another device next time. It was so nice to see fellow readers, Patti’s supportive family, and Emilie’s descendants on that call. I expect to be visible and audible next time.

    Also, a book note: As I read your discussion of how various families weathered the 1929 crash, I thought of Gerald O’Hara’s guidance to Scarlett: “Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land, doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” Gerald would have made it through 1929–as would have Scarlett, the survivor.

    Happy Landings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed our HAPPY LANDINGS launch event on ZOOM and what a beautiful photo of your Mom and Husband you just posted. I love your ENTHUSIAM which propels me to follow your commentary and reflect on the words of Emilie which are so true. Her optimistic spirit made me enjoy her writings as I am a romantic and discovered that writing is both therapeutic and communicative as I can share with others my thoughts about a subject as I did with TAKING FLIGHT on my sister-in-law, Nadine Ramsey, WASP pilot of WWII.

    I know you are setting up your travels and if you have a chance to visit me in LA, we will have a good time sharing our experiences.

    Travel safely and CONGRATULATIONS! You should be so proud of your accomplished Book, the definitive story of Emilie Loring.
    I will dive in to the book when the temperature changes to warmer in my patio.

    Love and hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Raqui. I was so happy you joined our Zoom meeting! I would love to visit you in LA, either on a book tour or for the premier of your film about Nadine Ramsey. I’m amazed by your accomplishments!


  3. Congratulations to you! A well-deserved rest. Your book excerpt is on target.

    You packed a lot in this post as well. I am enjoying my reading, which creates additional thoughts. (Emilie goes from saying almost nothing for years to pouring it all out via articles, interviews, and her own books.) I hope your mom is well, and you can take up your book journey without worry. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.

    Happy Landings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a quote from “The Yellow Hat” that expresses it perfectly, “Then, all at once, in a flash, I woke to the consciousness that I was an individual; not old, not tied to this house; a person with life tingling in my veins, with a love of beauty and clothes, with a desire to write and express my views…”


  4. thanks for the mention. you recapped it much better than my stream of consciousness but that’s not a shocker. 🙂

    If I had known the family was going to be there, I would have definitely we organize my schedule to be there.

    Learned a bit of interesting Dickens trivia just this week. Thought I’d share. Since the family so liked that author. Re Jane Austen – it’s interesting how rarely given Baker theatrical background. Doing a play popped up in plot lines. and the profession was not always portrayed positively.


    Was googling to find to find a clip of Cary Elwes in early minor role in Oxford Blues. Ran across an interview with him — where Brad Paisley was substituting for Ellen I guess. Turns out the model for Scrooge. Was based on a real person. One of his ancestors siblings or cousin. Don’t know if he’s ever played the character, but from Farm Boy Westly is about the farthest thing from Scrooge one could imagine.

    Safe travels. Temember some great family vacations to Wisconsin as a kid specifically to Baraboo and the circus museum and my church camp several summers at Green Lake. But that’s east central obviously.

    Remember that some of us stayed at the dorms at Ripon College. During some huge national conferencez mostly remember how huge the flying insects were in the signs on the side of the cafeteria for Rippin’ Good cookies.

    No response needed. Just focus on mom but take care of yourself as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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