Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Writer's Conference and . . .

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

I received a notice in the mail this week with information on the University of New Mexico Writer's Conference coming up Jul 24-31, 2016, in Santa Fe. There will be a Faculty and Editors, Agents & Guests to provide lots of information on writing and publishing. The cost excludes me, being  $700 for the week or $400 for the weekend. The conference used to be the Taos Summer Writers' Conference. Contact for more information.

Along with that, the New Mexico Book Coop has a very active schedule of events with a monthly luncheon, book signings, classes, and "Cover Reads", a promotional pub that goes out once a month. They have several Awards in their writing programs for Arizona and New Mexico stories. Contact: for more info.

Writing is a great pastime or career.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kansas, Here We Come!

That's right, Kansas, been there and done that. It was the worst trip I ever made as for as traveling goes! The day before we left (we = my step-daughter, wife, and yours truly) I "cotched" a cold and it kept getting worse the longer we traveled. And on top of that, being the only gentleman along, I had to "rassle" luggage in and out of motel rooms, something I normally would think nothing of, but they got heavier and heavier as we went along. One motel had outside stairs to the second floor and that was a hard one.

Why Kansas? Well, it was my wife's 73rd high school reunion and I couldn't back out of it. Someone had to drive, and the daughter did most of it. I didn't have any time for book-looking or library research, museums, etc. It was visiting relatives here and there around Topeka. My wife figures it was going to be her last Kansas trip, so we made the most of it.

It rained one day in Topeka, not very hard, and one night in north central Kansas where the storm just brushed by. Nice weather, otherwise, but I was too sick to notice.

I crashed when we finally got home and it's taken me another ten days to get feeling half-way decent. I told the wife, "I'm never leaving home again." She said,"You will, your family reunion is coming up and you don't want to miss that." "We'll see, we'll see, right now I'm stayin' home!"

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weather Report - Short Stories II

The header picture is through my windshield showing the rain. April ended with a cloudburst that left almost an inch of rain in the gauge on my front patio, although the TV news only reported .12 of an inch. We get very little rain in April, May, and June and this was appreciated.

The rest of the story about the Zane Grey short stories in The Westerners Frontier Stories from a couple posts back.

1. The Camp Robber is about a sneaky thief that sneaks onto the ranches and camps in the area and steals minor things. The ending is a good one and comes as a big surprise to the main character, a cowboy named Wingfield. I thought this was an entertaining tale and liked it very much.     

2. The Westerners was not the traditional western of the shoot 'em ups, but it's setting is Reno, Nevada, in the 1920's or '30's when it was widely known as being the divorce capital of the world. Katharine Hempstead meets a handsome cowboy, Phil Cameron, on the street and they are both trying to prevent their parents from divorcing their spouses. This story is rather long, but I found it interesting and absorbing as it works its way to a happy ending.

3. Monty Price's Nightingale - Monty Price is a stand-offish type of cowboy and a little irritating to some of the men he works with. This story of him and a forest fire I found exciting and emotional and enjoyed it, too.

4. On Location - This one is about an Arizona cowboy, who ends up as a double for an actor in a movie near the Painted Desert and and a female double. They both are stand-ins for the big stars of the movie and he gets into a knock-down, drag-out with the fellow he is standing in for. A nice, fun  story which I enjoyed.

5. Death Valley - Grey writes about a trip through Death Valley that he and a friend took and gives a good description of the area and their reaction to it. Interesting indeed, since I have never been there, and I don't think I care to go now at my age.

6. Strange Partners at Two-Fold Bay - This is the whale story I mentioned in that previous blog. I didn't know whether to believe it or not, but the story following by Loren Grey makes it pretty clear what happened. It takes place in Australia and Zane relates that some Killer whales (Orcas) helped the men to round up and kill the bigger whales they used for oil, the gray and sperm whales.

7. Of Whales and Men - Loren Grey made the trip to Eden, Australia, which is the town near Two-Fold Bay and talks to one of the old whalers who substantiates his father's story of the orcas.  There was one whale, called Old Tom, whose bones were saved and put in a museum in 1938 to commemorate the orcas who helped the whalers and tell the story to all who visit the museum. I still find it hard to believe, but some animals are smarter than we think thy are.