Penny O’Neill isn’t a stranger here. You know her as Life on the Cutoff. Her comments are thoughtful delights.

When several Chicago area groups tapped my publicist for appearances, I must confess something embarrassing: I didn’t land enough gigs to justify the trip. Two committed groups fell through with no explanation. And from my expanded speaking experience, I knew what remained wouldn’t cover my expenses, even if every soul in attendance bought both books.

That never, ever happens.

I didn’t cancel my trip, though.

Because I wanted to meet Penny.

She offered to let me crash in her guest room (known as the B&B) and even volunteered to pick me up at Midway. A couple of days before I boarded my flight, she mentioned she’d invited a few friends to meet me. I dropped my bags in the B&B and slipped into her sunny kitchen. I expected a couple of ladies to show up for a brunch in a stranger’s honor. Instead, I met more than a dozen exquisite women.

penny o'neill

I made many new friends as we chatted through the morning and into the afternoon. Some already owned copies of my books, thanks to Penny. Others left with autographed volumes of their own.

My life story is richer
because of Penny.

penny o'neill

I loved hanging out in her kitchen, sipping hot coffee and watching her famed herds of deer pillage the snowy yard. She and Tom treated me like family, took care of me through the ups and downs of book presentations and lent an understanding ear while I ranted about toll roads. She listened more than her share, given my prednisone-induced hyper-hormonal state. She plied me with tasty food. She showed me spots about which she’s often written. She introduced me to one of her daughters, and I found yet another friend.

penny o'neill

There’s Penny. On my right. Your left.

Writing may not pour dollars into my bank account, but my investment portfolio is priceless because it’s populated with Penny. With people like her.

With people like you.

If you don’t know Penny, subscribe to Life on the Cutoff HERE.

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