“EDUCATION IS WHAT REMAINS AFTER ONE HAS FORGOTTEN
WHAT ONE LEANED IN SCHOOL.”
WOW what an education I have had! I love history and I love little known stories about Kansas. So when I started dealing with health issues I had to do something that kept me busy and kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself.
Well if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So what can I do when I have a gift of gab and a computer? Well of course start using all the knowledge I have gained over the years of living and traveling in Kansas. Gather all those stories that no one has heard for years and write stories of them. So when I start researching stories I start finding more and more of them.
Before long I have a manuscript of 120,000 words and a file full of research and notebook pages filled with story ideas. So I take what I have written and contacted Arcadia Press and propose a book. they refer me to their History Press division and I receive a whole stack of papers to fill out. I send in about a dozen stories for the committee to consider. AND THEY LIKED THEM! WOW! Is it possible that this sawed off Kansan could become a published author? (well I already have published one book but it was self published so I don’t count that).
After filling out as many papers as if I were trying to borrow money I get a contract. The contract is for 50,000 words. Holy cow now I have to choose which stories get in and which don’t. Now my work and education really begin.
It is one thing to find and write stories, it is another thing entirely to publish a book. I have an editor that does a whole lot of wanting things done in ways I never heard of. I start getting the do’s and don’ts and holy cow, I am in over my head.
So to the rescue comes a friend from my past that happens to do this kind of thing. She is used to having panicking authors asking for help. She actually knows what the Chicago Method of Bibliography is! She knows how to set up the manuscript and create the index and bibliography. She speaks editor talk. After months and many long sessions of rewriting, revising, dropping, adding, and other things I am still not clear on we have a book. I won’t get into the photo’s and photo rights.
We now have the art department create a cover that is better than I could imagine. Now I send in retailers and media information. (this is starting to look like a real book). Then there is the title change. My original title seems to be used by some other author for a whole series in another state so we have to change the title. So now we have a different title.
I have been keeping the reader up on some of my frustrations and progress. Now it is time. KANSAS ODDITIES is available to the public on June 18, 2018. So how do I do the formal book signing? I started looking for a place that would be easy for a lot of people to come to. I also want to be able to have as much media attention as I can. and through a long process here is what I am going to do.
As many of you know my family owns and runs the Bunkhouse at Wildfire Ranch Bed and Breakfast here in the fantastic Gypsum Hills of Kansas, ten miles north of Medicine Lodge. We are in our 12th year and there is one thing that is happening to all of us here. We are getting older and our health is not getting better. So we are going to retire (again). This is the 4th time for the folks. Our place is for sale. We know that sometime in the year ahead we will be moving. Taking this into consideration we are going to do one last thing that we have been doing here.
We are going to have our last back yard concert (open to everyone) and combine it with my formal book signing. And we are going to have my good friend Berry Ward as the entertainer. We will have a pot luck supper starting at 6PM on Saturday June 23rd. I will sell and sign my book and Barry will sing and Victoria (his boss) will be selling Barry’s new CD ‘COYOTES & CATTLE’. Victoria will also have copies of her second book ‘MORE PLUM PIE’.
Everyone is invited to bring a chair and one dish and have a good time in the backyard for our last time. I will have KANSAS ODDITIES for sale and will be autographing them.
To find the Bunkhouse go north on US 281 from Medicine Lodge to the 99 Springs turn off (Resort Road) and stay on Resort all the way north to the curve on Goldenrod. Just 100 yards turn north on Wildfire. From Isabel go one mile west and turn south 3 miles to the dead end. Go west 3/4 and north 3/4.
What an education this has been. And I still have enough stories for 2 more books. We hope to see a bunch of you on June 23rd.