Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kansas Notable Book Award

"I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille." has segued to what non-winners always say: "It was an honor to be nominated."

My Name is Esther Clara didn't make the list of winners for the 2007 Kansas Notable Book Award. My publisher and devoted fans were shocked and disappointed. Fortunately, my heart had not been set on winning. After all, I AM a native Kansan and know the state slogan means exactly what it says. AD ASTRA PER ASPERA -- To the stars through difficulty -- personifies life in general and the writing life in particular. This wasn't the first, or even largest, award my books have failed to win and if I keep writing it probably won't be the last.

So don't despair, friends and fellow travelers. I'll simply keep doing what I do until the next award nomination comes along. For now, check out the list of books and writers who DID win the Kansas Notable Book Award. I've copied and pasted them below from the Kansas Center for the Book website:

2007 Kansas Notable Books
Ashworth, William Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains
Bertels, Alice S. John Steuart Curry: The Road Home
Brandsberg, George Afoot: A Tale of the Great Dakota Turkey Drive
Carter, Ally I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Dean, Virgil (editor) John Brown to Bob Dole: Movers and Shakers in Kansas DeArment, Robert Ballots and Bullets: The Bloody County Seat Wars of Kansas History
Eickhoff, Diane Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights
Hind, Steven The Loose Change of Wonder
Hoy, James Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie
Johnson, Stephen T. My Little Yellow Taxi
Jost, Lora & Dave Loewenstein Kansas Murals: A Travelers Guide
Lerner, Ben Angle of Yaw
Low, Denise Words of a Prairie Alchemist
Miner, Craig Next Year Country: Dust to Dust in Western Kansas,1890-1940
Pickard, Nancy The Virgin of Small Plains
Pitzer, Susanna Not Afraid of Dogs
Ruby, Lois Shanghai Shadows
Taylor, Rudy Light on Main Street

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Life on the Ponderosa.....

July was an eventful month and August promises to be the same. Readers of this blog who think I'm not as gabby as usual, you're right. Working a part time job since May has shattered my concentration related to writing, whether it be emails, blogs, or any form of creative writing.

Living here on the Ponderosa DOES inspire me from time to time. That inspiration takes various forms. One hot afternoon, half grown fawn stood and watched us filling one of our bird baths. His ears twitched side to side as he cocked his head, not ten feet away from us. Maybe he was thirst. This was the first deer we've seen since moving here in January. After a few minutes he bounded off into the woods, leaping over the tree that went down during a spring wind storm. Birds, cats, and raccoons drink out of our bird baths but that was our only deer sighting so far.

Two recent poems inspired by life on the Ponderosa have been or will be published in Bellowing Ark. I'm always surprised and pleased when any journal wants to publish my work. The editor of Bellowing Ark also maintains an ongoing conversation with readers about our modern life and seeks suggestions about solving problems with politics, the environment, health care, and the mess created by patriarchal power. He frequently publishes my commentaries to his conversations. Bellowing Ark sparks my thought processes and fans the fluttering flame of creativity. In the world of literary journals BA is unique so I'm happy editor Robert Ward includes my work from time to time. Writers and poets unfamiliar with Ward's philosophy have wondered at the name of his journal. It comes from a Dylan Thomas quote: "Look, I build my bellowing ark to the best of my love as the flood begins..."

OK it's off to work for me.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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