Where Have All the Shipping Boxes Gone?

My REAL reason for writing this post is this amazing, perceptive, humbling review of Victorine by the fabulous Stephanie Renée dos Santos. “You get me; you really get me,” I wrote to her when she notified me that she had posted it.

Again, let me stress how generous and kind it is for people to review books. I met the amazing Stephanie over on Facebook in her group “Love of Art in Fiction,” where we discovered we have a common acquaintance. Small world. I enjoy her group so much.

So thank you, Stephanie. Thank you, thank you. I love it when the story of Victorine gets a boost. I want the whole world to know about her!

Oh, are the rest of you wondering about the title of this post?

I have SO much to say about purging our house and getting rid of carloads of stuff, me getting my shit together in general. (Maybe. Probably never going to completely do that. But I can try.) But I’m waiting until life slows down a tiny bit. (I’m in the middle of a career change. No, I haven’t stopped writing, but I have slowed my teaching to a drip and am happily in the book marketing world. (Not just my own books.)

Anyway, on this very rainy day I gathered three books I need to ship together to a contest. (Didn’t say I’d win, but you can’t win if you don’t enter.) I have mailers for books I send out to influencers, of course, and for autographed copies I mail out. But alas, while three books did technically fit into the mailer, it wouldn’t come close to sealing.

I wandered the house and garage looking for an Amazon box. While I spied a couple of smaller boxes in my writing room closet, that they have dates plastered all over them tells me that they are for records we are keeping, at least for the next seven years. Taxes, am I right?

Yes, I even ventured in my darling’s music room on the hunt for boxes. It’s so clean, so orderly. I am proud to say I have solved some of his organization problems, and he worked very hard on it. (Music equipment takes up space!) Maybe he’ll let me post a pic again after we’ve repainted. But what didn’t I find?

I did not find a box.

One of my favorite books as a child was My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. My honey even bought me a copy a few years ago. I memorized it even before I could read, and my mom tried to gently explain to me that I didn’t really know how to read yet, but I had just heard her read it to me so many times that I knew it by heart. At four, I didn’t get the distinction.

Well, if we had any cats here (and we don’t), they would have been sorely at a loss for a box today, because I could find none.

That’s actually a very good thing. Too often either my writing room, hubby’s music room, or our (tiny) garage ends up littered with Amazon boxes. Not anymore. If we order something now, we promptly open it, break down the box, and put it in our recycle bin. This is partly because I spent a good hour breaking down and hauling off to the recycle bin a ton of boxes and cursing about how much I hated it as I did it recently. So we’re not going to get there again. It would have been a good practice to have done from the get-go, but creatives can be impulsive. We kinda pride ourselves on it. Now we pride ourselves on, apparently, having no used mailing supplies about.

Okay, truth be told I *did* save back the cardboard wrap that Barry’s latest comics came in, because he liked it so much and because I feel icky if I infantilize him and toss things behind his back. I trust that if he wants to keep it, he’ll find the right spot for it. Or, preferably, he will let it go when he’s ready. It’s not my business, even if I did tuck it into our partially full Bud Light box. (Those certainly won’t go to waste. And stop judging me on my beverage of choice. It’s not a good look on you.)

I want to tell you so, so much more about our house overhaul, but I need a couple of weeks. You’ll be here then, won’t you?

And once again, THANK YOU, STEPHANIE! Please, go support her post by reading her kind words.

Sneak peek — Stephanie’s quite the writer herself and she has a treat of an art-in-fiction novel,

Cut from the Earth, coming out in a few months. Trust me, you’ll hear more about it here. It’s wonderful!

Happy Palm Sunday!

Thanks to What’sHerName Podcast for mentioning Victorine‘s painting Palm Sunday today on social media. Where was my brain? (Reading Joan Didion essays and filling out a fellowship application, that’s where. Oh, and emailing the dearest friends. Wait, I feel a You’ve Got Mail reference coming on… “Don’t you love email?” Yes, yes I do.)

There are so many lovely observations to be made about this painting by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s favorite model — the subtle colors (some of my fav), the knowing-yet-innocent model, the composition…

I could go on, and maybe I should. Maybe I will, another time. But as it’s past seven and my dearest is waiting so we can choose a movie (small screen, but still), I won’t go on tonight.

But do tell me your thoughts on Palm Sunday. It was her first rediscovered painting, and I thought it would be the only example of hers I would have as I wrote about her. You can imagine with what care I studied it.

Happy 176 Birthday, Victorine Meurent, Artist!

Yes, Mademoiselle Victorine Louise Meurent would be 176 years old today! And she’s never looked better.

Best known, of course, as Édouard Manet’s favorite model, we now know she was much more than that. With my rediscovery of her recently recovered paintings, she’s been returned to the world as the artist she was and not only a model! For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s my book trailer which features not only some of the paintings she modeled for, but HER paintings as well:

Not enough of the world knows about her yet, so could you do me a favor? If you’re reading this, could you please share a link to this post on social media? Thanks from me — and from Victorine!

Buy a copy of my novel, Victorine.

Happy Valentine’s Day! You Read it Here First (Interview)

So I’m trying to be punny with the headline and I’m not sure I’m succeeding. But I do hope you’re having a happy Valentine’s Day. My honey bought a together present for us, which made me so happy. Maybe I mentioned before that we picked out a China pattern when we were newly married but only started buying it to celebrate our 30th! (Don’t feel too sorry for us; we have a beautiful set in a different pattern handed down from his mother that we use.)

Meet the newest members which have already been pressed into service for several cups of tea. When I asked my dear Mr. Drudge whether they were to be put into everyday use or for special occasions, he said the latter, though I do tend to frown upon things being “saved.” I will try to honor his request, but we shall see…don’t you love this pattern, Royal Albert Old Country Roses?

Our first two mugs in our pattern. I’m feeling major mug love over here!

P.S. He also bought me several wonderful books that I will try to forget about while I do my pressing day job duties for the new few days. More on those books soon! (And I bought him some nifty gifties as well. But I’ll let him share those with you in his own good time. Psst…he can often be found conversing with musicians on Twitter.)

And now, here’s what I’ve been building up to. Many, many thanks to the crew over at You Read it Here First and to Debbie A. McClure in particular for her glowing introduction of me and Victorine and her thoughtful interview. I am so touched. I’ll let you read her interview, but I have to share this quote because it warmed my heart: “It’s not often I find a kindred spirit in a writer who loves the craft of writing, art, and the joy of travel as much as I do, but author Drēma Drudge fits that bill. Wit and a serious respect for writing and art, Drēma takes the reader on a journey into the past that delights and educates at the same time.” Debbie A McClure.

Please go show the interview some love on Valentine’s Day!

“Drudge fulfills her goal to return Victorine Meurent to the world as an artist” — HNS Review

UPDATED: here’s the print version.

Those of you who are familiar with my journey researching and writing Victorine know my main goal was to remind the world about Victorine Meurent and her art, not just her nude body depicted in paintings for which she is remembered — if that.

Y’all, this review by Gail M. Murray for Historical Novel Society has me so excited! Many, many thanks to her for her intelligent, nuanced review. Please read the entire review at the link below.

Murray goes on to say, “Aficionados of art history will relish this novel,” and make other insightful observations. I can’t thank her enough for her review.

P.S. Would it be vain to say this is review is a big get? I can’t pretend to be anything but utterly excited to have this review both on HNS’S website as well as in their print version. I can’t wait to receive mine in the mail…would you like a peek at it when I do?

I can’t read the headline of this post without wanting to sob. Those of you who have helped me spread the word about Victorine Meurent, thank you, thank you, thank you. Those who have opened your hearts and minds to this unconventional, imperfect but generous, loyal character, thank you.

If you haven’t bought your copy of Victorine yet, here’s the link.

And P.S. there are big, fun things ahead for the one-year anniversary of Victorine in March. More details as they emerge.

Day 1 of the 12 Days of Victorine! V’s First Christmas!

Vintage jewelry, books, and surprises…oh my! It’s Victorine’s first Christmas, and you’re invited to join in the fun!

Welcome to Day 1 of The 12 Days of Victorine! Each day from now until December 18, 2020 will bring a bonus or a giveaway.

Today’s treat for you is a podcast episode listing ten gifts for the readers and writers in your life, from my and my hubby’s podcast, Writing All the Things. We have so much fun over there.

I’m so glad you’re celebrating with me! As a thank you for being such wonderful people, I’ve done some of your shopping for you and will be giving away items right here in the coming 12 days. (But if you want to keep what you win for yourself, don’t worry, no one will know.)

I won’t tell you all of the goodies up front (think vintage! think jewelry! think artsy!), but let me say they end with a gift bundle I wouldn’t mind keeping for myself. (But I won’t, because I adore my readers and you deserve holiday fun. Especially this year.)

If you’re not on my newsletter list, go ahead and sign up so you will be eligible for the giveaways. When you do sign up, I’ll send you a free art in fiction story about another “forgotten” artist, Olga Meerson, student to Henri Matisse. (Sorry, but I can only mail giveaway items to the U.S. But there are going to be a ton of bonuses and fun links right here, not to mention that free story when you join my mailing list.) And if you’re already on my list, you’re already in on the giveaways. But I’ll love you forever if you tell your friends about this.

Check in every day to see what’s on offer. And Happy Holidays!

An Interview and ANOTHER Giveaway!

How happy I am to start off this Wednesday morning offering you another book giveaway!

I’m thrilled to announce that artist and author Lilianne Milgrom has interviewed me over on her blog. If you head on over there, you’ll be able to read it and find out how to win a copy of my very own Victorine for your very own. 🙂

Victorine as Lady of 1866 by Manet

An In-depth Conversation with Lit World Interviews

Thanks much to Florence T. for her wonderful interview with me on Lit World Interviews. I had to dig deep for some of these answers, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to ask myself questions I had not. Please take a look and leave a comment to let Flo know you appreciate her contribution to the literary community!

My Blog Tour Schedule for Victorine!

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436945

I’m thrilled to let you know the blog tour schedule for Victorine! A huge thanks to each of these generous blog hosts who are hosting me during my tour. I’ll individually mention each post when the actual day comes with the link to access the information about my book.

Spread the word to anyone you think might be interested in learning more!

Don’t worry, I’m going to put this under events as well, for easy reference. 🙂

By the way, I’m still accepting guests spots, interviews, reviews spotlights, Q and A’s and the like. Just contact me at: drema(at)dremadrudge.com. Thanks!

Tour Schedule for Victorine.

24/03/2020The Coffee Pot Book ClubReview
25/03/2020Tony Riches: The Writing DeskInterview
26/03/2020Elizabeth Keysian: Seduction, Scandal & Spies  Book Spotlight with Excerpt
27/03/2020Candle Light ReadingReview
28/03/2020Judith ArnoppBook Spotlight with Excerpt
29/03/2020Deborah SwiftGuest Post
30/03/2020Mary Anne BernalGuest Post
31/03/2020Amy MaroneyInterview
01/04/2020Mary Morgan: Mary’s TavernGuest Post
02/04/2020Mercedes RochelleReview
03/04/2020Elizabeth St.JohnInterview
04/04/2020Sarah DahlGuest Post
05/04/2020Samantha WilcoxsonGuest Post
06/04/2020Emma LombartBook Spotlight with Excerpt