Today In 30 Minutes Or Less

I am giving myself 30 minutes to write this blog post – and then THE END – because it is almost midnight and I have to drive back to Birmingham early tomorrow morning and it would probably be wise for me to get some sleep.


This morning I drove from Birmingham to Tupelo for a book signing. It took me a little longer than I was planning to get out of town, but I blame my tardiness – at least in part – on the fact that I am somewhat fascinated by one of the cashiers who works at a drugstore by our house. I ran in the drugstore to get some IceBreakers and some hair clips before I got on the road (too many details? sometimes I don’t know when information is essential or just annoying.), and I got held up in a line because the cashier was talking to the woman at the front of the line about jewelry. The cashier’s determination to find a subject to discuss with each customer makes every trip into the drugstore is a little bit of an adventure, and I am increasingly obsessed with what the topic of the day might be. Today it was her love for amethysts. Sometimes it’s a book she’s recently enjoyed or her favorite kind of lettuce. Oh, I could check out with the cashier in health and beauty aids and maybe wrap up the drugstore experience a few minutes sooner, but I choose this woman’s register EVERY SINGLE TIME because, well, I might learn something about the gross national product of Aruba or maybe even the most effective way to cook beets. It is always a lesson.

Once I finally got on the road, I made mighty good time to Tupelo and was turning into Emma Kate’s driveway before I knew it. One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned is that while my publisher set up my book signing in Birmingham, all the other book signings have been set up by family friends or college friends who decided of their own free will that they wanted to take the book signing bull by the horns, so to speak. I have not done one thing except respond to their texts that say, “I am setting up a book signing for you. You are not allowed to say ‘no.’ Here’s where it will be.” And then once we work out the logistics, I just try to show up on time. It’s a system that seems to be working pretty well since my friends are very thoughtful and organized; they’re also aware of the limitations of my personal book marketing strategy, which primarily consists of looking at Amazon a couple of times a day and then devoting untold energy to reading Mississippi State message boards about the College World Series.

All that to say: Emma Kate planned the book signing in Tupelo. And while she would never tell me this, I know that she worked like crazy to pull the whole thing together. I am so grateful for that because listen – it was so fun. My friend Bubba was at EK’s house when I pulled in the driveway (he lives in Memphis, so seeing him thrilled me to no end), and once we got to the signing, I got to see Bubba’s mama and sister, along with EK’s mama and two of her dearest friends, and just hearing all of them talk to each other brought me so much joy. At one point I actually heard someone refer to Melanie’s book as “the Sparkly Green Earrings,” and it made me so happy. Plus, I loved getting to visit with some of EK’s friends I haven’t seen in awhile, meeting a few new people, and basically just soaking up the sounds of one of my favorite Mississippi towns. I could’ve stayed there all day.

EK planned a little sweet/salty get-together after the book signing, and we spent about 45 minutes just talking and alternating cheese straws with M&Ms while we wound down from our time at the bookstore. About 6:45, though, we started loading up the car to head back to EK’s because we didn’t want to miss a second of the Bulldogs’ College World Series game, and somehow, in the process of putting everything in the car and making sure we weren’t leaving anything behind, I ended up driving EK’s SUV.

The fact that I was driving a vehicle that was relatively unfamiliar to me is a critical plot point in our story.


We started the trek to EK’s house, and as we were talking and trying to figure out what we wanted for supper, I realized that the green light in front of me had just turned yellow, so I hit the brakes – brakes that responded very differently than the brakes on my car – and since I hit the brakes a little bit harder than what was necessary, a very valuable box fell off the backseat and into the floorboard.

I would like to warn you that what you’re about to see is not for the faint of heart. Consider yourself warned.

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 12.15.10 AM

That right there is some cupcake heartache, my friends.

And you should know that we got so tickled. SO. TICKLED. Fortunately most of the cupcakes were resting on other cupcakes or on part of the box, so once we got back to EK’s house and really surveyed the damage, we realized that, for the most part, they might not be much to look at, but they were still totally edible. So all’s well that ends well.

Plus, you know, THIS.

photo via AP

There is no way to adequately convey to you just how loudly we yelled during our game. But we yelled, and we high-fived, and we clapped, and there may have even been some rally caps at the bottom of the 7th when we were feeling a little nervous. But the ‘Dogs prevailed – 5-4 over Indiana. Which means the Bulldogs are now one win away from playing for a National Championship. And I can’t talk about it anymore because quite honestly I can’t even wrap my brain around it.

But it was the best day. And night.

Hope yours was, too.

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  1. LOL! I’m shameless enough to say thank you for preserving the cupcakes despite their marred appearance.

  2. My first thought when I saw the photo was that those cupcakes were totally edible.

    We’re missing our Gamecocks in the CWS this year, but I guess it was time to give other teams a chance. ;) I’ll pull for Mississippi just for you.

  3. When you tweeted the picture, I assumed you tossed your cupcakes in glee at the end of the game. I was so nervous for you, I thought I might.

  4. I’m a die-hard, born and bred Gamecock, but during the CWS, I’m a Bulldogs fan! Can’t fathom pulling for LSU, and obviously we need the national championship to return to the SEC, so Go Dogs!

  5. Love the cashier story!! I am total people watcher and would be right there with you in her checkout line.

    Sounds like the book signing was a blast! Also glad the cupcakes could be salvaged…yum, yum! :)

  6. I might or might not have just gotten a bit teary eyed reading this post. Mostly due to the laughter of the cupcakes but really the shot of Pirtle (PIRTLE POWER) and our Dawgs. OUR Dawgs. 2-0 in OMAHA. I always believed this team was special, but when they prove it? Awesome. Great group of guys, especially that love the Lord!

  7. My boys are at the CWS watching from the stands..and since TX didnt see fit to send any teams..they are at a loss who to YELL for…so I told them ” No matter who’s playing you should be rooting for MS state , because I have a friend, who has a friend, whose “boys” are playing.. :) ” ( I failed to mention you are blog-friends, but that would be TMI for my guys) this did not sit well with faithful UT fans…but they will anyways… cause mama said.
    I am so glad I stalked over to your blog a month ago from Big Mama’s … you to girls rock.
    Great way to start a day.. :)

  8. Sarah Stephens says:

    I feel like I can’t talk to much about the Bulldogs because as we all know, we Bulldog fans determine what happens on the field with our actions off the field. Case in point, when we were watching the game, Indiana started doing good but when we turned it over to Love It or List It or HouseHunters we did something good. I’d just keep up with it on Twitter and promptly turn it over when I saw we scored a run. This same Bulldog mindset is why my mom crosses all of her fingers on both hands during all home football games at Davis Wade.

    Hail State!

  9. Hi! Just found your blog through Vitafam’s giveaway! Hoping to win! Sounds like my kind of book :-) We were watching the game last night too but I had to put my toddler to bed & didn’t get to see how it ended. My brother is headed to State in the fall & this Roll Tide family has some mixed emotions ;-) Can’t wait to read more of your blog!

  10. What a wonderful day! Soooo….I am almost done with Salty which means no more really weird comments from me (hopefully). I’m really not the stalker kind. Just saying. BUT the words “travel manifesto” just made my heart do a special flip flop. I have a, um…, list issue. (There is no cure and no medication to alleviate the symptoms, by the way). My whole husband’s family went to California for a 12 day vacation last year. I was soooo concerned that when 12 people arrived with no agenda we would fritter the whole day away deciding what to do. So, I took it upon myself to create one (because there is stuff that must get done!). When we met up at the airport, I kid you not, I handed out beautiful personalized three hole with pocket folders to each person. Coupons and maps were in the pockets. Each day had an agenda, with the weather, directions to our destinations, pictures of the sights we would see, and a Bible verse that summed up the day, not to mention a catchy title for each day- because I mean who wouldn’t want to “Bridge the Coasts” when going to San Fransisco or to be “Just Visiting” when going to Alcatraz! I mean, really, catchy titles were a must! And let me tell you, not one, NOT ONE, person (other than me of course) appreciated all my hard work and their 25 page beauty of an itinerary. They just laughed at me. I told them all that some day they would go on vacation without me and they would regret not having their very own travel folder made with love. I’m still waiting on that day, but it will happen!

  11. Stephanie C says:

    You are just so darn cute!

  12. Kim Evans says:

    First -the book-oh my word. Loved every minute of it. Touched my heart in so many ways. There’s just nothing like growing up in the south. I watched your Dogs last night and knew you were just as happy as you could be. Hope they win it all. So glad the cupcakes could be eaten because that would have been a dang shame. Oh and the recipes at the end-so happy you included them. My two year old grand daughters birthday dinner is going to come straight from those recipes. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

  13. Mary Feagley says:

    This HOOSIER AQUARIUS got a chuckle out of the cashier story (but it’s a double elimination tournament, dontcha know?). I was once fortunate to sit behind a rather loquacious lady at a St. Louis Cardinals game. The more she inbibed from her chilled Ziploc bag (yep, classy!), the better those stories got! Thank goodness the game went into extra innings!

  14. My friend Sarah ( ) went to your book signing yesterday and filled me in on all the details! I am just so sad I couldn’t go! But I would love it if you’d swing up north to Philadelphia sometime soon! Glad you were able to rescue the cupcakes!

  15. JennyJoT says:

    SO happy you enjoyed your book-signing in MY HOMETOWN of Tupelo. Wish I could’ve been there instead of 2000 miles away. And though I live in Idaho now, I’m still a Mississippi State Bulldog at heart. Go, Dawgs!

  16. First, I am of a mind to e mail you and say “I am setting up a book signing for you. You are not allowed to say ‘no.’ Here’s where it will be.” And since ” here” is Houston, I’d include Melanie, too, since she’s already in Texas. I’d even provide cupcakes, and a seat belt for them! I don’t know the first thing about setting up a book signing, but if you’d come, I’d figure it out.

    Secondly, with your Dawgs being the last hope for the SEC in the College World Series you can be assured of this Gator’s support for Mississippi State. SEC! SEC!

  17. Lynnette R says:

    Tennessee girl but I’m loving the baseball. Go Dawgs! Also, so relieved that you were able to rescue a reasonable number of those cupcakes :)

  18. Lynnette R says:

    ‘Dogs. Sorry.

  19. Can’t wait to see you on Saturday at the book signing here in Starkville! It’s hard to say which excites me more: the book signing or the fact that the Dawgs are doing so well in the CWS! It has really been a fun ride this year! See you Saturday!!!

  20. I just finished your book. I laughed out loud, I cried, I nodded my head in agreement more times than I can count. I’ve told every southern woman I know that they must-THEY MUST!!-read this book. You nailed it, Sophie! It is heartwarming, real, and completely relatable. It brought to mind pieces of myself, my best friends, and pretty much every woman in my family. Thank you so much for sharing your stories! I hope we’ll see another book from you soon.

    PS I would LOVE to see a book signing with you and Melanie in Houston! I would gladly make the 2 hour trek for that one!

  21. My sister and I LOVED LOVED LOVED meeting you!!! You were so sweet!! :)

  22. Farm chick says:

    As much as I hate that our sweet Hoosiers lost…at least it was to ya’ll nice folks ;-). Loving the book so far!!

  23. SAFE! he said! Oh My Gosh, How ’bout them DAWGS!!?? Although I must admit I’m in dire need of us having a 12-0 win for my blood pressure to stabilize. Are those Gigi’s cupcakes?! Aren’t they wonderful? One reason alone for the 40 mile trip to Tupelo! See if you can get one set up in Columbus, MS on a weekday (I work there)

  24. I am so, so, so glad that those cupcakes did not go to waste and that they were still edible. You did exactly what I would’ve done. Well payed.

  25. played…. sorry, I could not just leave that typo out there in cyberspace. I might have a heart attack.

  26. Margaret says:

    Thank you for signing and sending my book from Nat. It did need a warning. DO NOT READ THIS IN YOUR HUSBAND’S DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAITING ROOM. especially about tooting.