News, updates, &
pronouncements from Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances
Nobody can make you feel inferior
without your consent.
Something to think
For all right
judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential,
to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
The thing about
judging is... we're usually wrong. At least, I am.
A couple of weeks ago, the electric company decided it was time for the
trees on our street to be mutilated. (They call it "trimming.")
Previously, a couple of people from the power company had walked along and
sprayed blue paint on each tree that needed attention, so I knew it was
Sure enough, one morning about eight o'clock Rowdy, my poodle, started
barking frantically, and I heard a big vehicle out front. Upon looking out
my window, I saw a big bucket truck parked in front of my house, and three
guys standing around talking. When I spotted them, they were looking at my
holly tree, which had no paint on it.
Already miffed that my trees were going to get "trimmed," it took me about
five seconds to be ready for battle when I saw them gazing longingly at my
beautiful holly tree. It didn't matter to me that I was still dressed only
in my gown and a flimsy cover-up; I knew that if one of them even pointed
at that holly tree, I'd hit the door and have it out with them.
But they didn't. One of them climbed up into the bucket and started making
ugly with the other two trees.
Breathing a deep sigh of relief, I was happy that I'd been wrong.
But wait. In the meantime, the other two guys on the ground started
picking up limbs as they tumbled down. But one of them was only using one
hand. He kept the other hand in his pocket.
Again, I started building my case. Is this guy going to spend the
entire time with his hand in his pocket? I asked myself. Look at
that! He's going to let his co-worker do all the work!
Then I saw him reach down with the one hand and tuck a big limb under the
arm that had been in his pocket. And that's when I realized he didn't have
a hand on that arm. His hand hadn't been in his pocket. He carried that
arm tucked close to his body, and since I couldn't see his hand, which was
gone at the wrist, I concluded that it was in his pocket.
As quickly as a mind can change, he went from a low-life slob
half-heartedly doing his work with one hand in his pocket, to a man to be
highly admired because he was doing a very hard day's work with only
Again, I was wrong. But this time, I wasn't so happy. I felt very ashamed
of myself for jumping so quickly to a wrong judgment.
Word From Pat
March was a much
better month than February. Everyone in the family has finally gotten over
the funk that was going around, and we're all feeling much better.
My perennials are coming up and I'm getting the urge to plant more
flowers, but we can't plant anything here in Nashville until the middle of
April, as we may have frost until then. I do have pansies in my window
boxes, though. Joe bought those for my birthday.
I had the honor of being a part of an event that was held at one of our
magnet schools a couple of weeks ago. The event was to raise money for
scholarships for young writers of Tennessee. I was contacted and asked to
be one of the presenters, so I did my workshop on following your dreams. I
had between 25 and 30 people attend my workshop, and was very pleased with
that, as they had several other presenters they could have chosen. More
about this day in the "Weighty Matters" section below.
Eric has started adoption procedures for Shaun. He'll be "legally" ours.
He's already emotionally ours. As some of you know, Tiffany had Shaun when
she and Eric got married. He'll be five in June. They want him to have the
same name as his parents when he starts to school.
Eric and Tiffany had their third wedding anniversary in March, and I kept
Shaun and Kayla overnight. Watching those two is like seeing male and
female being reborn. He did something that really irritated her and she
yelled, "Shaun, you're making me crazy!" She's two years old.
Then, later, she was sitting
on the floor watching cartoons and Shaun walked by, leaned down and kissed
her on the cheek, and kept on walking. She didn't take her eyes off the
TV, but reached up and touched the spot with her hand, and said, "Aw,
Shauny kissed me."
I guess it's just the
grandmother in me showing up, but I can sit and watch them all day. Their
interactions are precious.
Everyone have a wonderful April. Plant some flowers. Stop and smell the
Visit Pat's Place at
www.patballard.com │ Write me at
Existing and Upcoming
Abigail's Revenge, my
fifth novel, is now finished! It's a Romantic Suspense, and is different
than any other novel I've written. It's also a good bit longer.
Abigail Avery was framed
for the murder of her father and sent to prison when she was only eighteen
years old. A bunch of crooked "good ole boys" from her hometown of Leaky
Springs, Mississippi want her land and house. Abigail doesn't have any
idea why they would want her property. But they were willing to kill for
it and send her to prison, hoping to get her out of the way long enough to
convince her to sell or to acquire it in some other manner. But now, ten
years later, Abigail's out of prison and heading back to Leaky Springs to
get revenge on the people, especially the judge, who stole ten years of
And now that I'm finished
with Abigail's Revenge, I'm going to finish my first nonfiction
book, The 10 Commandments of Self-Love, a motivational book on
accepting ourselves as we are instead of obsessing over trying to look
like some unrealistic actress or image we see in an magazine.
Meanwhile, my new book
Dangerous Curves Ahead—a compilation of 10 short stories—is available
through my new publisher, Pearlsong Press (www.pearlsong.com).
After its May 2004 publication, Dangerous Curves Ahead received a
glowing review from Cindi Appel on the Fearless Books review
website. Appel wrote:
Ballard doesn’t pull punches. She shows
her heroines exhibiting ample will and tenacity to tell off those who
would shame them into becoming something they aren’t just to blend in with
society's narrow-minded notions of beauty.
To read the entire review, go to
You can also read an excerpt from Dangerous Curves Ahead's title
Dangerous Curves, by clicking on the title link in this sentence.
Pearlsong Press has also
re-released my existing books, Wanted: One Groom, Nobody’s
Perfect, His Brother’s Child and A Worthy Heir.
The Pearlsong Press edition
of Nobody's Perfect was called
"a charming, witty love story with a twist"
in the July 2004 Small Press Bookwatch section of Midwest Book Review.
Read the whole review at
www.pearlsong.com/nobodysperfect.htm, or an excerpt at
I’m extremely happy that
my books are now available in both print and eBook format. Please visit
Pearlsong Press and check out all the options that are available.
Ask your local
library to stock my books, allowing many others to enjoy them
while spreading the size acceptance message.
Because we're bombarded with this
lie constantly, so many people, especially women, think that they're not worthy,
not beautiful, not even acceptable, if they don't fit a certain "look"—slim,
But the story I'm about to share with you is just one more proof that most
"real" people don't believe the lie. They don't buy into the brainwashing. So
how much of it is just the fact that we've accepted the brainwashing and believe
it ourselves, when a lot of the rest of the world doesn't think about it the way
we assume they're thinking?
One of the presenters at the Young Writers of TN function at which I led a
"Follow Your Dream" workshop last week was Don Henry. Don is a songwriter whose
songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Conway Twitty, The Oak Ridge Boys,
Kathy Mattea, etc. So he's not a "wannabe," he's a "somebody." So I kind of
wondered if I'd get to meet him.
When I first entered the building with my purse strapped over my head and over
one shoulder, my bag of 27 books hanging off the same shoulder, and my bag of
handouts, pens, water, etc. in the other hand, I quickly realized that there
were no signs telling us where to go. I followed the distant sound of voices,
but soon came to several flights of stairs leading up to the voices. I had been
afraid of that, since so many of the old schools here in Nashville seem to have
stairs to the main level of the building. So I decided that before I tried to
pack-mule those bags up the stairs and be in the wrong place, I'd go back out
front and ask the student who was assisting in parking.
When I got back to the front door, I saw a guy coming in with a guitar strapped
on his back and figured it was Don. I told him that I had no idea where we were
supposed to go and that I was about to ask someone. We introduced ourselves,
just as Don Henry and Pat Ballard, with no details of who or what we did,
because about then a woman came in who looked like she belonged there. I asked
her if she knew where we were supposed to meet, and she said, "Probably
I said, "Oh, no, not the stairs! I'm playing pack-mule today!" Then I told Don
to go ahead because it might take me a minute to get up there. He promptly
reached for one of my bags and insisted on helping me.
After we had gotten as far as the concession table, we stopped and started
chatting. I put my bags down and was kind of looking around. When I glanced back
at him he was looking at me. He said, "I like your top." I smiled and thanked
him, and he said, "It's really beautiful!" And I thanked him again. (I assumed
he meant the garment I was wearing. Hee hee.)
About then he asked if I was an author and I told him yes, that I wrote romance
novels with Big Beautiful Heroines. He gave me a surprised look and said, "Well,
it's about damn time!" Then he grabbed me and gave me a big hug. He was so
excited! He said, "Real women just don't look like what we see on TV! And
most men don't want those kind of women anyway! Men want a woman with curves!"
Never try to second-guess anyone,
no matter what position they have in life. While we may be thinking that they're
thinking we're too fat, or too slim, or too short or too tall, or too old or too
wrinkled, they may be thinking how beautiful we are.
Calendar Of Events
Pat has been invited
to bring her books to Enterprise, MS and participate in the Enterprise May
Festival on May 7, 2005. The event is sponsored by the Enterprise Woman's
You can still hear the taped
radio shows from Size Matters with Veronica, WCRS Radio, on
Show #1 discusses
Pat's romance novels
Show #2 discusses women of size and their sexuality
And check out the photos from the Nov. 6 Mississippi Authors
Festival that are online at
Queen's Proclamation blog and
Pearlsong Letter blog. (Click on the Mississippi Authors
Festival link under the "Photo Albums" heading in the lefthand column of
either blog to view the photos. While you're visiting, post a comment on
Register to win a free copy of the Pat
Ballard book of your choice at Top 100 Women Sites:
Read previous issues
of The Queen's Proclamation at
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©2005 Pearlsong Press