Sunday, May 18, 2008

CONTEST: You Can Own (a SMALL) Part of a Steinway Piano

Okay, bear with me here...I got lost today. In the parking lot. Of the grocery store. I walked ‘round and ‘round pushing my cart up and down. A very nice man hustling his way into the store said, “Don’t you just hate it when you lose your car?”

Um, I had to explain that I’d lost my car WITH my husband and my dogs in it. And this was a Sunday, so it’s not like the place was that crowded. So I decided to go sit by the flowers on the bench outside and think about what I needed to do. (I’d neglected to bring my cell phone. Dumb, dumb, dumb.) Then got up and I tried again to find my husband. This time another man, cuter than the first, called to me from his convertible. “I bet you lost your car.” And golly, he was so darn adorable with his tan and his sunglasses—and his car was pretty hot--I thought, “Hm. Maybe I’ve tumbled down some fantasy Alice-in-Wonderland hole and he’s come to take me away. Forget the groceries!”


I snapped out of that pretty fast.
My Brain is Addled...

By way of explanation, I have been thinking a lot about paranormals lately. I’m gearing up to start another series, so all sorts of weirdness has taken root in my addled brain. Gosh, when I start creating a new book or a story or even a project, I am lost to this cruel world. My brain moves into another realm completely.

Then I realized, I’d been looking for the WRONG car. We own four. We’d driven to the grocery store in David’s car, not mine. And sure enough, I started my aisle-by-aisle trek again and spotted my husband grinning at me from behind his steering wheel. We laughed and laughed. The dogs were happy to see me.
But I'm Evidently NOT the Only Person Who Gets Lost in a Creative Funk

I could feel really stupid. But I got home and dug up this article I cut from the New York Times last Sunday about violin soloist Phillippe Quint who left his $4 million instrument in a cab, as has Yo-Yo Ma (cello, taxi trunk), Gidon Kremer (violin, Amtrak train), Lynn Harrell (cello, taxi), and Peter Stumpf (cello, front step).

Which makes me very glad we sell Steinways. So far no one has misplaced one. (At least not one of ours.) Which is not to say, we've never had other problems. Three weeks ago, we were sitting through the first number in a concert with Leonard Slatkin featuring his friends, including Peng-Peng Gong, an amazing 14 year old. Check him out at

Midway through, I heard a ping from Peng-Peng and with a pang, I realized he’d broken an A string. One of our favorite tuners Liz Baker was in the house, but Liz didn’t have an extra A string on her. (She was, however, wearing a pair of shoes that totally rocked. I’m sure she just didn’t pack an extra A string when she dressed for the evening.) She did manage to fix the Model D (Steinway's 9 foot concert grand) so that the broken wire didn’t fly up and hit the next musician in the chops. (He graciously told us after the concert that he managed to “play around” the missing A. I swear these high-caliber musicians are totally amazing.)

Which is a Very Roundabout and Sneaky Way to Introduce My Small CONTEST for You to Own Part of a BIG PIANO.

If you have ever wanted to own a Steinway—and it just hasn’t happened for you yet--I have FIVE genuine hammers from Steinway pianos to give away. I picked them up at the Steinway factory in New York. You can take the amazing tour of the factory by hitting the link above. (Sadly, they are rejected hammers, but no one needs to know that you and me!) If you send your name and postal address to, I’ll pop one in the mail to you. First come, first serve until they run out.

Then you can tell all your friends that you own a Steinway, but that you happened to leave MOST of it in the back of a taxi….


caryn said...

A few years ago when Martha Stewart's show was on locally in the morning I used to watch fairly often. On one of her "field trips" she took viewers to the Steinway factory for a tour. I found it one of the most fascinating things I'd seen.
We were in St. Charles Saturday night. Somewhere along the way we'd acquired a gift certificat to The Dining Room and it was due to expire shortly so we thought we'd better hussle ourselves out there. We walked around downtown a bit when we finished dinner stopping at a little candy shop for ice cream.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Isn't St. Charles terrific? I do hope you stopped by to visit Vicki Erwin at Main Street Books.

I've been to the factory four times and each visit confirms that Steinways are a combination of art and craft!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness I'm not the only one who forgets which car I took to the grocery store.