REPORTING IN... My latest, newest class at SMU—“Essay, Personal Narrative & Memoir”—just wrapped up. New classes are fun to plan for and a tad nervous to offer. This first group latched onto the plan and started down “Their Writing Path” of a personal story. As one student said, “Thanks for another great class. I was not too excited about the genre itself when I signed up but I was really surprised at how interesting personal narrative became for me and, of course, I was completely enthralled by all the class stories.” I agree. The writers’ stories were enthralling. Thanks to John D. for the comment.
DEFYING MYTHS...WRITERS...WE'RE NOT ALONE... Recently, I spoke to a former TCU colleague’s book review club, “Book Babes,” in Fort Worth. A great group. In preparing for a talk about how Texas Dames came to be, I recalled the many people—family and our stories, friends with which to bounce ideas around, writing and storytelling mentors, friends and strangers who leapt at the idea of writing about Texas women. Along the way I encountered newspaper editors who brought women to my attention and, or, pointed me toward places and people for research. Others that I just mentioned the idea of “Texas Dames” to such as the waitress at Marble Falls’ popular Bluebonnet Café who said I had to know about their mayor and wrote down the number on my ticket of who to call for more specifics. And that led to a day in the Falls of the River Museum—learning about Mayor Birdie Harwood. Of course, numerous archivists and librarians around the state showed me the ropes of their collection(s) and where I might go next, the latter often as important as the former.
Once again I learned that writing requires a battery of friends, family, acquaintances, strangers and professionals. A writer doesn’t work alone, once more defying the myth that a writer is a “loner.”
KUDOS… When the book comes out there are as many more to join a book’s family: the readers and those who highlight the book and what it’s about, from publishers’ staffs to those who schedule book signings and author programs, and let’s not forget book reviewers. Just recently I was surprised when a sheet from a West Texas newspaper found its way to me, having passed through several hands. A Sunday paper carried a terrific review of Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History. Glen Aaron is the book review columnist at the Midland Reporter-Telegram. I thank all of you who have made Texas Dames successful, from the earliest research guides to the latest reader.
NEWS! Not only did his column produce sales of my book but also led to a conversation with a woman to include in my next book due out in September from The History Press: Texas Ranch Women: Three Centuries of Mettle and Moxie.
NEW! Released in February: Chicken Soup of the Soul: Miracles Happen that includes my essay, “Night Bull.”
ONGOING...Editing for Authors: Editing for Authors: Providing story structure and style. Let’s talk and if you’re interested we’ll schedule an appointment.
Duncanville program/book signing at the International Cultural Museum.