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Oh Jeeze. Oh Mine DoG. I am turning into a public radio pledge drive.

So just picture me, please, trying to be witty and hip and non-profit while whining about how much I mean to you all, especially you all who can do me a solid right here, right now. And by that I mean all youse who are in or near Nashville, Tennessee.  

I have just shipped one dozen (12) autographed copies of my book When Wanderers Cease to Roam to a brand new independent book store in Nashville, TN called Parnassus Books (

Parnassus Books is having its Grand Opening this Saturday, November 19 at:

4505 Harding Pike

Nashville, TN

Dear Readers, I want those autographed copies of When Wanderers Cease to Roam to sell like cats who hear their names called.

No, wait. That’s not a good simile. I need something that is actually, you know, fast.

So picture something that goes as fast as a pancake-type of edible with maple syrup–that’s how I want my books to sell way down yonder in the Gracious South.

So I have a plan.

Anyone who buys one of my autographed books from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN, and can send me the original receipt will get an original Vivian Swift watercolor Pet Portrait of the Pet of Your Choice just in time for ChrisHanuKwanSolstice.

Despite the fact that I only have cat portraits to show you here, I am pretty good with all manner of companion animals:


Red Admiral butterflies.







I can paint almost anything, given that I have a reference photo. Now, you all know that I a miniaturist. My preference is for the small-scale bijoux portrait. I’ve worked as small as a 1-inch square canvas, but I’ve also worked as large as a 8″x10″ glamour shot. Details as to the vastness of your Pet Portrait can be worked out according to pose, pet, and purchase. Because if you buy more than three copies I owe you a freaking mural.

Now, don’t get upset if you haven’t got a sixth degree of separation for Nashville.

Because the fact is that this year, if you can send me the original receipt of any copy of When Wanderers Cease to Roam that was purchased from a bricks and mortar independent bookstore, I will paint you a delectable miniature portrait of your companion animal.

First come, First served, but Nashville gets to butt in line.

That’s the deal. (Delivery dates on each portrait will be determined by mutual consent.)

Please contact me at vivianswift at yahoo dot com when you have your book store receipt to send to me and I will provide you with the address where you can mail in your original receipt to me as well as get the pictorial and compositional info I need regarding your pet portrait.

Shop Local this holiday season. Support Real Books and Real Book Stores.

The touch, the feel of books: the fabric of your life.

Thank you.

I return to regular programming on Friday, at the end of this fund drive.

P.S. As of December 15 this offer is now closed for 2011– thank you, everyone, for your response and your support of local independent book shops!

9 comments to Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.

  • Wow, I’m all over this like butter on toast! I hope there’s no time limit, since the lovely local bookshop will be ordering a copy for me…

  • Mary Ann Stout

    Thanks for doing this. I read the article in the NYTIMES this morning about Parnassus Books. I love indies and glad you are supporting them in this way.

    I can’t enter since I bought my copy of Wanderers several years ago and the receipt is long gone.

  • Rachel

    What a marvelous and delightful idea. Certainly you are doing your part to support local businesses. Thank you.

    That said, I do need to point out that lo these many years ago, somehow, Amazon flashed your book in front of me and said *given your purchase history, we think you would like this.* Wow were they right. And it led to the selling of several more copies amongst my peeps. I dont know how they do that. (Actually I have some idea of how they do that and it is VERY effective.)

    So my suggestion is that you pay attention to your Amazon book pusher, but then take the title and go buy local.

    I have no pets, although I have a couple of Vivian Swift treasures. So all is cool here in San Diego for the time being. Everyone else out there, get to it.

  • What a great deal! And thank you for including all local brick and mortar bookstores. I will give mine a call right away!

  • Wonderful idea! Wish I could participate — I, too, bought Wanderers from my local independent bookstore too long ago to still have the receipt. Sigh. I’m so glad you are going the extra mile to support brick-and-mortar bookstores!

  • Nadine

    Your cat portraits are purrfect. (Sorry.)

    I confess that I’ve bought all my many copies of “Wanderers” online. I have no local independent bookstore because Barnes & Nobel opened in 1999 and the local guy couldn’t compete; he closed in 2002.

    Would you paint my cat’s portrait if I recover your book from the OCW library in NYC? Unless the kids beat me to it:

    (from the New York Daily News online)
    “Members of the Occupy Wall Street drumming circle and “People’s Library” were among the first to arrive at the city facility on W. 56th St. between 11th and 12th Aves. to ask for their possessions back.”

  • I just read an article about Patchett’s store. I’m so glad that you are involved in this. As an aside I just received an invite for a launch of a miniaturist artist here in Semur en Auxois, Dominique Thibault whose work on medieval structures etc. is fantastic. I’ll go and think of you. If she has books for sale I’ll try an get you one. And you’ll be pleased to know that the launch party is at the local bibliotheque! And there are not one but two independent bookstores here in a town of 4000 people. All French books but still.

  • If I lived there I would snatch one up…I’ve given them as gifts to inspire my friends and every one of them loved it! We are all anticipating your next one! By the way..I never did get my little kitty certificate for identifying the gang above in the little quiz you had a while back. :)

  • Shelley

    Well, I’ve been needing a reason to tackle cleaning my desk, drawers, and other assorted piles of clutter around the house…thanks for the push! I’ll be searching for the receipt for the extra WWCTR book I bought during your Great Pacific NW stop in Portland this year. Wish me luck…I would love to have a kitty portrait!!

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