Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays were a joyous time for you. We dreamed about spending time away from the craziness of the holidays, but instead, jumped head first into it. This year offered some new challenges with my parents divorce last summer. But other than that, the holidays were fun, almost a wee bit relaxing, and very successful in the pottery. I want to thank all of you who made gifts of my pots and books. This was the most successful Christmas studio sale I have ever had, thanks to you. I have already had a few visits from people who received my first book for Christmas and came over to pick up the second and third. Thank you for spreading Niederbipp!

The holidays also offered me the chance to attend a few funerals. I have to be careful when I say that because whenever I do, people begin offering their condolences. If you have missed my previous blogs, my reason for attending funerals is perhaps different than for most people who attend funerals. I am doing research for my next book. The funerals I attend are generally for total strangers, at least when I arrive, but in every case so far, I leave feeling like I have lost a friend--a good person. It has been incredibly interesting becoming acquainted with people only after they have passed into eternity. I have loved it and filled notebooks with the lessons I have learned. My morning now begins with a look at the obituaries. I have been interested in attending funerals of all different faiths to learn more about their traditions. I have also attended funerals for people who have no religion at all. Since beginning this project in June, I think I have attended about 35-40 funerals. I plan on attending another 30-40 funerals before this book is written. I suppose I have become a funeral junky, but I am really enjoying it. I have already attended two funerals this week and hope to be able to find some time to hit another one on Saturday. I don't know, but I think I may have started a new hobby. I'm not sure it will catch on, but I do recommend it.

After more than eleven years of planning, I think this is the year to add onto our home and finally finish our kitchen. We purchased our home eleven years ago and I promised my wife we would work on our small, outdated kitchen from the very beginning. Nothing has changed. Still small. Still outdated. We wanted to do this two years ago, but we bought a whole bunch of books instead. :) We hope to get started in April so I am busy making pots to get ready for the arts festivals this summer so I wont be stressed out. But my heart wants to write. I tried to do some today. I went out to the studio this morning, trimmed some vases I made yesterday, and decided I should make some of my faces for my garden art GearHeads that would fit in the kiln I need to fire tomorrow. That kept me busy until just before I met a friend for lunch. Then back to the studio to write. I had just sat down to write when my phone rang. Another friend was in trouble. His hose bib had frozen and cracked and his new basement was flooded. I took my shopvac and went up to help. I got home around four and sat down to write and the phone rang--someone needed a bowl for a gift and needed to come right away. She was just leaving as a man showed up, needing another copy of Remembering Isaac. He was nearly on his way out when two women arrived, wanting a teapot for their mother. That took a half hour for them to decide and I was just walking them out when my wife called and asked me take a lasagne over to a friend whose mother was in the hospital. So I did not write today. I am frustrated.
Tomorrow is not looking hot either. Someday soon, I will sit down and write all day. I have developed an itch for writing that I cannot seem to satisfy, no matter how much I write. I am really enjoying this and feeling like I am being taught all along the way. I am glad I will be able to share this with you as I have the with the other books.

Many people have asked where they can find my books. One woman today said she had been to four bookstores looking for it, to no avail. I am not sure why my distributor is not pushing it better. I am frustrated by that. For the time being, the books are cheapest and most easily accessible from my studio here in Salt Lake City at 1150 East 800 South, or from I am Abendmahl Press on Amazon, so if you order from Abendmahl, you will get new, signed books at the same price that you can buy them directly from the studio, plus only $3.99 shipping anywhere in the USA. We are shipping, on average, at least 2 box sets a day and we would be happy to send one to you or someone you love. If you don't like to deal with Amazon, give me a call. I would be happy to take your order personally. 801-883-0146. I am still speaking to book clubs regularly too, so if your book club is reading my book and would like to hear the story behind the story, I would be happy to come and speak. Or you could bring your book club here on a field trip. Just give me a call. The year fills up quickly, so please call sooner rather than later.

I wish you a happy new year. Stay warm. Drink some peppermint tea. I'll try to keep you updated about my progress on the book. Oh, and if any of you have any recommendations about contractors, plumbers or electricians, please let me know. Cheers, and Viva Niederbipp!

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