Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dori Claus is Coming to Town

Above: Me in 1964

I’ll be home for Christmas. My hometown is Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and I’m driving there from Alabama. In addition to hanging out with family for the holidays, skiing, snow-shoeing, and eating too much, I have a little business to attend to. I’m having a book-signing for my new book, “My Steamboat: A Ski Town Childhood,” and I’m going to be on TV.

From the emails and Facebook messages I’ve been receiving from old Steamboat friends, I think there will be more than 2 people at my book-signing, which is quite exciting when you’re not a famous author. (I call myself a micro-celebrity. Twenty-seven people know who I am.) I am pleased with the response to the book so far, which is a big relief after 8 years of writing and editing, wondering who in the world would care about my little story.

In a previous blog post I expressed worry about the impending release of the book. I had that panicky last-minute regret feeling, wondering if people would hate it or dismiss it or be offended or worst of all—ignore it. Now it’s out, and I couldn’t be more gratified about the feedback I’ve received. It’s being read, at this point, by the folks whose input means the most to me—people who grew up in Steamboat with me.

They are claiming that my portrayal of that time and place brings them back, and specific incidents stand out to them as exactly how they remember it. My favorite part about all this is getting to share these nostalgic remembrances on a rather intimate level with many people I’d lost touch with. It fosters a renewed sense of community in a group of people with whom I spent my formative years. We are now separated, probably for good, and though my book reminisces about a culture, time, and place that we can’t go home to, it seems to be replenishing our connection to childhood and each other, even if only in thought.

Our own kids are reaching an age where they will soon (if they haven’t already) go their separate ways permanently. Watching them go through the same trials and triumphs that we did back when intensifies our closeness to that time of life, and makes this the perfect time to transport ourselves back to the Steamboat of our day.

I feel like I’ve gotten to deliver a big knapsack, open it up and throw out the memories to my old friends, just like Santa Claus. And we get to sit around and enjoy it all together, without paying gobs of money for plane flights.

Dori-Palooza Steamboat Book Tour below:

Book-signing at Epilogue Book Company, Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Sunday, December 20, 7 pm.

See me on Steamboat Today morning show, December 22, 7:25 am.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Charming Charm Charms

In September, the talented, creative, and cool Chatham Helmers opened Charm, a hip and luscious store in downtown Birmingham, and I can’t get it out of my head. I bought some lovely scarves and necklaces there a couple weeks ago, and am plotting my return for more goodies as soon as I can scoot down there. (See more images below.)

With her usual flair for the offbeat, Chatham has pulled together vintage, handmade, and new accessories and gifts that should appeal to just about anyone who has any sense. Gorgeous jewelry, hats, scarves, and eclectic small artworks fill the store and are enhanced by Chatham’s unique and, in my opinion, faultless design sense. (It’s my blog, and I’ll use all the hyperbolic compliments I want to.) She hand-makes much of the surrounding decorative elements, which are so good they make me want to bring a note pad and take down all her great ideas for later copy-cat use. And, not only are the store and its contents positively yummy, they are also inexpensive. For the price you might get a made-in-china necklace at Target, you can acquire something distinctive and attention-grabbing, hand-picked by someone with yeah-baby taste.

The best part of your visit to Charm? You get to meet Chatham, who, (I swear, you can ask anyone) is the funniest woman in town. She is straightforward, irreverent, kind, and generous—qualities that don’t go together on everyone. You’ll want to hang out long after you’ve spent all your money on goodies, chatting with Chat.

Become a Facebook fan of Charm.

Charm, 2329 2nd Avenue North Birmingham, AL, 35203 Phone: 205-322-9023 Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm Sun: 11am - 4pm

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blog Holiday Card

I did this painting on aluminum for my blog Christmas card. Happy Holidays to you and your family.