Friday, December 31, 2010


Sometime tomorrow morning I will open my Kansas Calendar to January, a photograph of a glorious sunset over a field of snow.

It reminds me of other sunsets, a time when my son and I were living and working in Missouri some 30 miles from the state line. A Kansas-born army brat, he may have felt that he was held in exile. Some evenings after a long, bruising day at work, we would retreat to a hilltop restaurant alongside I-44. We would chose a booth at the western windows. If I would remark on the beauty of the sunset, he would invariably reply -- "It's a Kansas sunset."

The Kansas Calendar comes out with the Fall issue, but selections are made in April. Go to Guidelines to read instructions for freelance photographers.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Not only do you get a great, suspenseful story, you catch some of the atmosphere of Leavenworth, Kansas' First City, in Quad Delta, from the pen and notepad computer of Bob Spear.

Retired Army Intelligence Lieutenant Colonel, Enos Hobson, is hired to
discover what has happened to a $2.5 million family trust of a military
widow and her general officer son. Hobson, a severely damaged PTSD
victim of the first Gulf War, is faced with an evil Satanic group, Quad
Delta, and assisted by a list of fascinating characters, which includes
his Rhodesian Ridgeback hound, Sheba.

Order from The Book Barn, or drop by at 410 Delaware in the heart of downtown.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Reaona Hemmingway will be talking about her three novels, Baseball Card Hero, September 11 and Mariah, and her collection of short stories, Home for Christmas, on Sunday, January 9, 2-3 pm in the Topeka Room of the Topeka and Shawnee County Library. A book signing will follow the author talk.

The library website describes the Topeka room as the home to many novels by Kansas authors. I've been lucky enough to be in the library for a few meetings, with never enough time left to explore. Next time, I'll make time for the Topeka Room.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


My quick run along 39th street has gotten me no closer to figuring out where the Tsil Cafe might have been.

If I were a librarian, I would have difficulty trying to decide where to shelve this book -- amongst the novels or the cookbooks? The menu of the Tsil Cafe consisted only of foods from the New World. There's a recipe for Cranberry Pesto, but I wonder how popular an item that might have been. I used to belong to a Hispanic civic organization, and I loved to take cranberry sauce to the Christmas potluck -- mostly they had no idea what cranberries were, or didn't like them if they did.

Besides the recipes, there is a charming story here, a young boy growing up, reaching his twenties, becoming a . . . naw, you don't think I'm going to put a spoiler in here, do you?

The life-span of the Tsil Cafe was apparently 20 years -- probably during my stay-at-home, make peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich days, and I'll never know where the Tsil Cafe was.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Tacos are simple fare, compared to the exotic dishes produced at the Tsil CafĂ©. And avocados? I never knew there were so many ways to serve an avocado -- with gooseberries? Back home in southern California we had a very tall avocado tree in our side yard. Mother never permitted us to climb the tree; we had to wait until the fruit fell to the sandy ground, after which we could consume the fruit with all its’ tree-ripened glory (which made me quite intolerant of avocados picked too soon).

But food -- although there is a delectable recipe on every fourth or fifth page -- is only part of the story in this readable tale of two competitive cooks, and their son, who is caught in the middle. It’s a very easy read, except I will admit that about page 134 I had to put the book down so I could make an emergency run to my nearest tex-mex eatery for some carry-out. (More to come.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010


"A Belt Buckle for Camilla" is Tom Mach's lovely Christmas story, published on Christmas Day in the Lawrence Journal World. It's hard to find on their website, but THIS LINK might get you there.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Prowling the shelves of the Olathe Library, it's not surprising that a book by Thomas Fox Averill would be the first that comes to hand.

I'm pretty sure the Tsil Cafe wasn't on 39th Street when I arrived in Kansas City in the late 40's. Otherwise, I would have found it.

I asked my new friends where I could go to get some tacos and was met with blank expressions. Most of them didn't even understand that I was talking about food.

Klee's Pharmacy, across 39th Street from Kansas City Junior College, sold school supplies along with medicines, not food. The Cooks, old friends of my parents, were running a restaurant in a home, but it was south of 39th Street on Warwick, and the food was decidedly down-home American.

Between KCJC and Main there was a Chines dry-cleaner who was not afraid to match his abacus against the math students and their adding machines. Maybe the Tsil Cafe was closer to the Alcazar Hotel(I think that's the correct name), a very classy place in its heyday.

I may find some clues as I read along in the book, and I might also be able to invent an errand across the state line and do some exploring along 39th street -- something might jog my memory. (To be continued.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Here it is: An early New Year's Resolution. I'm going to read my way through the map of Kansas literature. As best I can.

I got something of a start earlier this fall when I wanted to read something of William Allen White. I had a recommendation from a White scholar, who suggested Masks in a Pageant. I found it in the Olathe Library, in the Kansas room, which I thought meant it could not be checked out. I tried to get a copy on interlibrary loan, and was informed that the Olathe Library could not ask to borrow the book from another library, because the library already owned a copy!

Long story short, the library did allow me to borrow the book, a special privilege, I thought, and although they checked it out to me for a two-week period, I had it back in very short order. Don't want to blemish an otherwise pretty good record with the library.

My resolution? I'll start with what I can find on the shelves of the Olathe library, and make my way from there.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Literature has the power to unify “without regard for languages, beliefs, habits, customs or prejudices." Mario Vargas Llosa spoke to both readers and writers in the speech he gave on the occasion of being awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature in early December.

Fiction, he said, is indispensable if civilization is to continue to exist: “Without fiction, man would be less aware of the importance of freedom if life is to be livable, and of the hell it becomes when taken over by a tyrant, an ideology, or a religion.”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Just found an incredibly fascinating website -- the Map of Kansas Literature a Work in Progress.

There are links to Kansas Literature by place or by author, as well as additional websites of Kansas Fictional Towns, an Overview of Kansas Literature, and an explanation of how and why the map was created and why it is still a work in progress.

I didn't move to Kansas until I was an adult, so I missed many of the things studied in Kansas schools -- seems like I have a lot of catching up to do. How long is it going to take me to read all the books listed on these websites?

Monday, December 20, 2010

HARDWARE STORE? hhhmmmmmmm !

Rolland Love, salesman extraordinaire for Kansas City Voices, says sales have been best at Mack Hardware store on Johnson Drive in Mission.

Selling magazines is a sideline for Rolland. He's better-known for co-authoring, with Mary-Lane Kamberg, Ozark Meals and Memories.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Need a last minute gift? How about Volume 8 of Kansas City Voices, a periodical of writing and art, just out. The writing? Prose and poetry from regional writers. The art? Paintings and photographs from regional painters and photographers. Included are several Pushcard nominees.

Available for $9.95 at Border’s at 91st and Metcalf in Overland Park,
Mack Hardware, I Love a Mystery and Books Plus on Johnson Drive in Mission, 50 States Bird Feeder Store on Martway in Mission, the Tasteful Olive at 7945 Santa Fe Drive in downtown Overland Park, Prospero's Books at 1800 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO, Mission Hills Jewelry Store, 5832 Johnson Drive, Mission, and Bruce Smith Drug Store - #25 on the Mall – Prairie Village.

But those hard-working editors at Whispering Prairie Press are already hard at work, planning next year's volume. Submissions will be accepted until February 28, 2011. Go to Kansas City Voices and click on "Submissions" for the guidelines.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Tom Mach Says: "Merry Christmas to all you hard-working writers !!

Did you know that Santa Claus was also a writer? Sure was. He makes a lists and checks it twice, trying to see who was naughty or nice. (I guess you can say his previous job was an editor!)

(Thanks, Tom, for your greeting, which I will personally take to heart, because I have been working hard, and actually getting some words on paper, but as for all of you slackers, who are NOT hard-working writers, I'll bet Tom has a lump of coal for you.)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Run out of ideas? Don't know what to get for that last person on your list -- you know, the one who is always so hard to please?

Sign up for the I Love a Mystery "Book of the Month" club. The recipient will receive a new book every month, you choose the kind of book -- favorite authors, or types of books, example, cozy (those are my favorites), British, espionage, thriller, or the recipient chooses.

Multiple options are available, level of commitment, length of time, you'll be billed only when the book is shipped, etc., check them out at I Love A Mystery and click on the BOTM link on the left.

HINT: The recipient will probably be so grateful for your thoughtful gift, you'll be next in line to read the book -- AFTER THEY HAVE FINISHED.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Goodreads is giving away six free copies of Michelle Black's The Second Glass of Absinthe. You can register by going to Michelle's blog, The Victorian West. The contest closes on December 19.

Michelle is also the author of An Uncommon Enemy. Her Seance in Sepia (sorry I can't put an accent mark over the first "e" in Seance) will be out in 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

KANSAS BOOK OF 2009 or 2010?

Nominations will be received until March 1, 2011 for the Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. Kansas authors who have published a book in 2009 or 2010 can be nominated (or self-nominated) for this prestiguous biennial award. To be eligible, the author must have been a Kansas resident, or employed in Kansas at the time of the book's publication.

The award includes a prize of $1,500, and the author must be prepared to deliver a public talk on the subject of the book. More details at KU Hall Center for the Humanities.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


As a tribute to the William Allen White family's reputation for hospitality, the history home will be open from 2-4 pm on Sunday, December 19 The admission fee of $2 includes tours of the home decorated for Christmas, refreshments, and a performance by Emporia High School's Viva Voce.

The William Allen White House is one of the 16 state historic sites operated by the Kansas Historical Society.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Author Greg Kincaid will be on home territory on Sunday, December 18, from 2-4 pm at the Olathe Indian Creek Branch Library. Greg will be talking and signing both A Dog Named Christmas and Christmas with Tucker. The Indian Creek branch is at 12990 South Black Bob. Books can be brought for signing, or can be bought during the event, but you do need to make a reservation by calling 913-971-6888.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


James P. Wilcox will be signing copies of Sex, Lies and the Classroom, as well as copies of his newest novel, The M-16 Agenda, at 1 pm. on Saturday, December 18, at the Borders at 15350 W 119th in Olathe -- close to the intersection of 119th and Strang Line Road.

I confess to not being familiar with either book, but from the blurbs, they sound like two quite different stories. Check out the author's website at James P. Wilcox .

Saturday, December 11, 2010


No one could write that except the jolly old gent himself, but if you will go to the Johnson County Central Resource Library from 7-8:15 pm on Tuesday, December 14, you'll have the chance to put your question to Jeff Guinn, the author of The Autobiography of Santa Claus.

Jeff Guinn knows a lot about Santa Claus and Christmas, in fact, Jeff has written The Great Santa Search, How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, and The Christmas Chronicles, adult fiction titles.

(Jeff looks like a regular guy, but I've always wondered what Santa would look like traveling incognito.)

Friday, December 10, 2010


If you went to the Kansas Authors Club convention in Lawrence, and fully intended to write something for the "Newsletter Writing Challenge" now's the time to get out your notes and start writing.

You remember the challenge: pick out someone new at the convention to get acquainted with, exchange ideas about your writing goals, and write 300 words or less. Follow the guidelines, send your piece by e-mail to Tracy Million Simmons at and your name will be put in a drawing.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


Who wouldn't enjoy a bit of well-mannered frivolity?

So be at The Raven Bookstore at 6 East 7th Street in Lawrence at 5 pm on Sunday, December 12, for readings from (or for -- I'm not sure which) KU's new literary magazine, Beecher's.

There will be readings of very short, community-themed pieces and a chance to subscribe to the new publication. Curious? Go to Beecher's #1 .


In just a few hours a Peruvian, Mario Vargas Llosa, will receive the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature.

In his acceptance speech three days ago, he spoke eloquently about the power of literature: " . . . which unites us without regard for languages, beliefs, habits, customs or prejudices."

Fiction, Vargas Llosa said, "is indispensable if civilization is to continue to exist. Without fiction, man would be less aware of the importance of freedon if life is to be livable, and of the hell it becomes when taken over by a tyrant, an ideology, or a religion."

It matters, a great deal, what we as writers do, what we write, and that is the message that Mario Vargas Llosa is sending to the entire world.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"Nicholas allows himself to be secreted away into a life that he thinks will give his existence meaning and pit him against those who place themselves above the law. Instead, he finds himself at war with his own principles — fearful he will become the enemy he has sworn to fight."

I stole that right from the middle of a review of Joe Washington's debut novel, Three Lives. You can read more on Joe's website. OR, you can talk to Joe himself (and buy his book) from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, December 11, at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Joe Washington of Olathe will be signing his debut novel, Three Lives, from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, December 11, at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware in Leavenworth.

A reviewer writes: "At the core of Joe Washington's debut novel is Nicholas Gambit, a young African American hero in training that hails from the center of the nation, Kansas City." (I love those novels that take you to some place you have never been, but they're still not as compelling as the stories that let you travel along with the hero to places and streets that have a familiar ring.)


The Town Crier in Emporia will be open from 8 pm to midnight on Thursday, December 9 as part of the business district's Holiday Open House. Stop by the Town Crier for hot cider and cookies and expert advice on your book selections. If you've never been to the Town Crier, 716 Commercial Street, take a look at the new picture on their website at Town Crier . They're really ready for the Christmas season.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Robert Collins was at Alternative Realities Games and Entertainment with the Sagas of Surgard in Wichita on Sunday afternoon, and I failed to get anything posted. My fault.

You don't know about the Sagas of Surgard? You need to check out Robert Collins' site at Surgard the Northerner, a collector of tales, or talk to Robert on his BLOG.

(Hmmmmm, foolish giants, duplicitous wizards, suspicious savages, a monster with an attorney????)


You can catch Mark Bouton tonight, December 6, at the Lawrence Public Library, 797 Vermont, talking and signing his new book, How to Spot Lies Like the FBI. (Sorry for the delay in posting, Comcast was unavailable for several hours.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


The Kansas City Voices literary magazine launch was a delightful event this afternoon at the Johnson County Central Resource Library. The painters brought their original paintings, there were prose and poetry readings, and time for autographying and just plain visiting and chatting.

The magazines are available now, click on Subscriptions . The contributors are the only ones who get paid, everyone else who works are volunteers, including the sales staff, so it would be immensely helpful if you could persuade your favorite book vender, coffeeshop barista, or sock merchant to add KC Voices to their merchandise mix.

KC Voices began as a publication centered on the Kansas City region, but today "we encourage submissions from anywhere in the world". Check the Submission guidelines , the deadline is February 28, 2011.

This year's issue -- volume eight -- is an extremely worthy publication, but next year's will be even better if it has one of YOUR pieces in it. Get busy.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Six popular authors all in one place to sign their books! The open house from 2-4 pm on Saturday, December 4 at I Love A Mystery , 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission, will be a rare event.

Here's the WHOLE list: Nancy Pickard, Sally Goldenbaum, Suzanne Arruda ....

Joel Goldman (There's a unique twist in Joel's new book, No Way Out, for any mediators in the audience), Michelle Black , whose special venue is The Victorian West . Couldn't find a link for W.R "Bill" Park, but he'll be there, too. (Bill, send me a link, and I'll add it to the post - thanks.)


Dr. Kipp Van Camp will be signing Always Allie from 1-3 pm on Saturday, December 4, at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth.

is a Bichon Frise who stole the hearts of the Van Camp family, on the way Always Allie teaching them about life, relationships and adversity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Don't get confused -- there's more than one Tucker. There's the friendly, talking, in-house Tucker at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth. I've never heard Tucker speak, but I know that he can because the top of The Book Barn flyers feature a picture of Tucker and the words "Tucker says . . ."

Then there's the Tucker of Greg Kincaid's new book, Christmas with Tucker, the prequel to A Dog Named Christmas. Greg will be signing from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, December 4.

I can't imaqine Hallmark not showing the special for-tv movie A Dog Named Christmas again this season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


For sure Michelle Black, whose mysteries are set in the Victorian West, will be there, and Nancy Pickard and Sally Goldenbaum, and probably several other of your favorite authors at I Love a Mystery, 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission on Saturday, December 4. Things start at 2 pm and continue until 4 pm, so I recommend you get there early because you'll probably still be visiting and chatting two hours later!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


E-mail from contributor:

Just noticed in paper today - two KAC District 2 members
are reading from their books at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont
Street, at 7 pm TONIGHT! Sorry for short notice. Cheryl Unruh will read
from her book of essays, Flyover People, and Kevin Rabas from his new
collection of poetry, Lisa's Flying Electric Piano. They are both from Emporia. Come out and greet these new members tonight.


Max Yoho will have several outstanding authors for company on Wednesday afternoon for the Holiday Open House at the Washburn University book store.

Eric McHenry , a Kansas poet, won't have far to go -- he teaches at Washburn. George Paris will be signing A Distant Home.

Bonar Menninger's website for And Hell Followed With It has some awesome tornado scenes (but I couldn't find one with Dorothy).

Stephen T. Johnson will be there as well, and I'm still looking for a good weblink for him.

And, oh, yes, the Washburn Bookstore is located in the Lower Level of the Memorial Union Building.


Kansas Sense is a new book by Larry Steinmetz, who finally demonstrated his Kansas common sense by soming home to roost in Kansas. I just found this book at the coffee shop. The book was standing upright on a small table, and before I even read the title, I was attracted by the distinctive book cover, designed from a photograph of amber Kansas wheat.

Larry's bio is at Kansas Sense

Monday, November 29, 2010


The I Love a Mystery book store will be getting into the holiday spirit for the Mission Tree Lighting events on Friday, December 3, and will be open until 8 pm. There will be Santa and Mrs. Claus, the tree lighting, festive foods for sale, and fire pits all up and down Johnson Drive. The store will be open until 8 pm.

On Saturday, December 4, there will be a whole crowd of authors from 2-4 pm to autograph their books -- I'll try to get the names for a future post.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'd be amiss if I didn't toot (my son's) own horn. The launch for Rick Nichols' new book, 50 Sermons, 50 States: Presentations from the Pulpit for the People of America was at The Bookbarn in Leavenworth last month.

Rick writes about his book, and others on his website Middle Border Publishing . You can order the book through The BookBarn (link above) or from the address at the bottom of the website for $11.90, plus $2.50 shipping.


The house that fell on the Wicked Witch of the East in Frank L. Baum's enduring story of Kansas tornadoes was the childhood home of Walter P. Chrysler!

If you don't believe me, go see for yourself, right there in Wamego, at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highways 99 and 24. You can see her legs -- black and white striped stockings, red shoes and all -- sticking out from the foundation on the west side of the house.

Red shoes? She must have had a spare pair, because wasn't it the red shoes the Wicked Witch of the West wanted from Dorothy? I'm confused, guess I better read the book again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The new issue of Kansas City Voices will be launched one week from today, specifically on Saturday, December 4, from 2-4 pm at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87th in Overland Park.

I'm pretty sure this issue has pieces from two Kansas writers, probably more. (One is me, with a bit of humor, the first time my work has been accepted.)

The submission period for prose, poetry, or art for the 2011 issue will remain open until February 28, 2011. Click on Kansaas City Voices above, and once there, click on "Submissions" for the submission guidelines.

Friday, November 26, 2010


To celebrate the Holiday Open House at the Washburn University Bookstore on Wednesday, December 1, Max Yoho (Dancing Goat Press) will be sigining copies of With the Wisdom of Owls from 1-2:30 pm.

Sorry I can't tell you where the bookstore is located on the campus -- I've looked at the campus map and still don't know. Just stop a student and ask.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Make your way to the Kansas Museum of History on the afternoon of Saturday, December 4, between 2-3 pm. You'll find Kansas artists and food, and Robert Collins, who will be signing his three railroad history books, Ghost Railroads of Kansas, Kansas Train Tales and The Race to Indian Territory in the Museum Store. (The store is part of the lobby, and there is no admission charge.)

You can also catch Robert Collins at his blog.

To get to the museum, take exit 356 (Wanamaker Road) from I-70 in western Topeka. Turn north, enter the roundabout, and follow the signs directing you west. Don't give up and think you're getting lost out in the country -- the museum is surrounded by 80 acres of prairie and woodlands.


When you hear the name of your state on a national television news program, your ears just naturally perk up and you listen more intently.

Tonight it was Molly O'Neill who wrote One Big Table and is setting out to find what America eats. Molly said she gets all her turkeys from Frank R. Reese, Jr., who raises Heritage Poultry in Tampa, in northwestern Marion County. His link is right there on Molly's website.

Next time Molly comes to Kansas to pick up poultry she should talk to Carolyn Hall, the author of Prairie Meals and Memories. You can order here: Goldminds Publishing .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Face-covering with a veil has become an issue in more than one country around the globe. Jean Grant has given us something to think about in her As I See It piece in The Kansas City Star on November 22. To read it, try this link French Law -- Leggy is legal, but , or if this doesn't work, try the KC Star archives at Kansas City Star .

Now a resident of Lawrence, Jean Grant lived and worked for many years in Saudi Arabia, which provided her with the background for The Burning Veil, a story of love and colliding cultures. A conversation with Jean Grant is at Mishmish Press .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


On Sunday, November 28, Max Yoho will be off to Wilson, Exit 206, off Interstate I-70. That's the town of Wilson, in the far northwest corner of Ellsworth County, not to be confused with the county of Wilson, in southeastern Kansas.

Max will be at the Kansas Originals Market from 11 am to 3 pm. If you miss Max, you can always find him at Dancing Goat Press .

Monday, November 22, 2010


Hi, Peg

I returned from Steamcon (in Seattle) and had a splendid time. The event drew more than 2,000, making it the largest Steampunk gathering to date. I spoke on several panels and my presentation on Absinthe drew a crowd of over 175. Great fun.
More info soon.


Vicki Julian (Christmas: A Season for Angels, Always a Season for Angels) was the willing organizer who rounded up the authors who participated in the event:

Seven authors from District 2 of the KAC sold their books at the annual Holiday Bazaar sponsored by Lawrence Parks and Recreation.  While some authors sold more than others, it was a very enjoyable time getting to know each other better and seeing acquaintances who dropped by the booth.  As with last year, we discovered other writers in the community and handed out five applications for membership in the KAC.  Our commitment to support one another was no more evident than at this festive occasion.  We're on for next year, too!
Next year? We can't wait that long. Hope to hear from these authors much sooner.


We all know what’s it like to go to a book-signing and meet the author in person, but have you ever wondered what authors might be thinking about the event, in this case the Holiday Bazaar on Sunday in Lawrence?

From Pat Walkenhorst (Irish Settlers of Kansas: Memories of the Pioneer Life ):

It’s always great fun to be a part of the Kansas Authors Club book signing events, and to discuss our books with the people. It’s a wonderful way to get feedback and new ideas about what readers want to read, in what form and at what price.
And Tom Mach (Sissy, All Parts Together, Stories to Enjoy, Uni Verse):
I met some very interesting people, including someone who goes to my church, another whom I knew who used to work at Dillons, and still others who had read Sissy, or just liked to talk.
You missed them? They’ll be back. Just keep checking for future signings and talks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Don't know if this post duplicates the beautiful blue of the cover. Just catches your attention. Read about the book in the following post.


God’s Little Miracle Book by Sally Jadlow is a collection of 26 true
accounts of miracles the author has seen over the past 38 years. This
book will encourage and bless those who seek to increase their faith.

Available in hard copy from, your local bookstore, and Also available on Amason Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook e-readers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


With a photograph of a "Hoarfrost Tree" in Jackson County on the cover, the winter 2010 issue of Kansas! magazine is out.

It's a fascinating issue of looking backward, looking forward, looking back at sixty-five years of publishing history, and looking forward to how the many state lakes provide scenic destinations even in the wintertime (and numerous other fascinating places to visit).

As they have for the past sixty-five years, Kansas! magazine encourages contributions from freelance writers and photographers. (I was pleased to find a piece by a Kansas writer I'd lost track of in recent years.)

For $18.00 you can subscribe to Kansas! magazine, published quarterly, by calling 1-800-678-6424. If you are already a subscriber, you've already received the 2011 Kansas Calendar.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm pretty sure I know what Michelle Black packed in her trunk when she left fot Steamcon II in Seattle -- it's glamorous and green and very stylish (in its' day). Take a look at The Victorian West .

For those of you who are not going to Seattle (like me) you might like to know that is giving away five copies of the newly-released trade paperback version of An Uncommon Enemy. To enter the drawing, go to An Uncommon Enemy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


You could find many of the gifts you need to fill your Christmas shopping list at the Holiday Bazaar at the Community Building at 115 West 11th Street in downtown Lawence on from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday, November 21. There will be books from seven Kansas authors and other crafts galore.

You'll meet Tom Mach (Sissy, All Parts Together, Stories to Enjoy and Uni Verse), Donna Dennis, Carolyn Hall (Prairie Meals and Memories), Jean Grant, Pat Walkenhorst (Irish Settlers of Kansas: Memories of the Pioneer Life), Annola Charity and Vicki Julian (Christmas: A Season for Angels and the sequel Always a Season for Angels).

KAC mugs and totes will also be for sale.


At the KU vs. K-State Battle of the Fans book event it’s the fans -- not the players -- who will take the field against each other, from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, November 20 at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth.

It’s the chance to meet authors who describe, sometimes in disbelief, the lengths fans will go to express their support for their favorite schools and sports teams. There are three authors involved, Kent Pulliam, Matt Fulks and Rich Wolfe, and I’m not sure which will be there, but I do know the books are For Wildcats Fans Only and For Jayhawks Fans Only. Which book will be the winner at the end of the day? We’ll see if we can get the results from Bob or Barb Spear.

Later -- NEWS FLASH: The publisher dropped the ball (no pun intended) on this, so there will be no author appearances. The books will still be available on a first come, first serve basis, fortunately, no time limit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The KANSAS! 2011 calendar is now available for purchase, for a gift or for yourself, and is something that will remind the recipient of how marvelous Kansas is in all seasons of the year.

Each of the twelve photographs are accompanied by a brief description that includes an internet address for even more information. My favorite is August, the Gypsum Hills of Barber County, in part because it’s an area of the state I’m not familiar with.

Both the calendar and its’ companion publication, KANSAS! magazine, are markets for freelance writers and photographers -- check out KANSAS ! and click on the link “Submit to KANSAS!”

You can order the calendar for $9.95, plus $3 shipping, by calling 785-296-3479.


Mark Bouton will be giving a power-point presentation on How to Spot Lies Like the FBI to fellow writers at the Kansas Author’s Club District #1 meeting at 1 pm on Saturday, November 20, at McFarland’s restaurant in Topeka.

More information about the statewide writers' group at Kansas Authors' Club.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


'Twas five weeks before Christmas, when all through downtown
The merchants were stirring to mark prices down.

To hear the rest of the poem and meet the author you need only go to Lloyd Zimmer Books and Maps at 117 SW 6th Street in downtown Topeka on Thursday, November 18. It's the annual Holiday Shop Crawl from 5:30 to 9 pm. You can also purchase signed copies of Max Yoho's With the Wisdom of Owls.

(Private note to you-know-who-you-are: You're a better poet than you're willing to admit -- I've read the whole poem.)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Well, not very far. Bill will be at Hastings Books at 1900 West 23rd Street, Southwest Plaza, in Lawrence from 2-4 pm on Saturday, November 20. He’ll be signing copies of Majesty , an adventure set in Russia at the time of the Bolshevik revolution

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Grant Willliams will be discussing his new book Marbles at a book signing at the Arkansas City, Kansas public Library on Thursday, November 18th at 6:30 pm. Marbles is an eclectic collection of essays and anecdotes which Grant has assembled over several years.

Dr. Steve Swaim, DVM, will also be discussing and signing his book. The cover has a charming photograph of two dogs, one apparently saying to the other "I wanna see a Veterinarian.". Refreshments will be served


The experts on "Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles in Kansas" and the authors of a book by the same title, Joseph T Collins and Suzanne L. Collins, will sign copies of their book at 7 pm Thursday, November 18, at The Raven at 6 East 7th in Lawrence.

The Collins' life-long study of native amphibians, turtles and reptiles has been demonstrated in extensive writings and photography, both academic and popular.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Burl Ives has been gone for a few years now, but if you didn’t know that, and happened to be in Leavenworth on Friday, November 19, you’d swear you were seeing and hearing the “real” Burl Ives.

Bob “Up the creek without a paddle-oh” Spear will be strumming his guitar from 7-8 pm at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware, during the main street holiday celebration. There will be food, and lots of music, and maybe even some spontaneous sing-alongs.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Deborah "Debbie" Marshall, Missouri Writers Guild 2011 conference chair says...
We're excited to bring Nancy (Pickard) to the Missouri Writers' Guild Conference in April 8-10, along with agent Krista Goering from Lawrence. We'd love to meet more of our Kansas writing neighbors! Questions? Just email me!

Marshall_Deborah at

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Stan Hamilton, who “wrote the book” on the life of George Kelly -- literally -- in Machine Gun Kelly’s Last Stand, has been asked to share his unique perspective of the history of Kathryn Kelly, George’s wife and probable inspiration for his criminal exploits, by penning an endorsement for another book, Wanted Women: An American Obsession in the Reign of J. Edgar Hoover, by Mary Elizabeth Strunk.

Stan writes as follows:
“Who, really, were these infamous women of American crime lore, and did they deserve the venomous vituperation the shamelessly self-promoting Hoover repeatedly heaped on them? Strunk offers intriguing new insights as she arrives at answers to both questions.”

Both books can be ordered from University Press of Kansas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It will be a triple treat, the appearance of three Kansas poets together, all with newly-published chapbooks, at 7PM Friday, November 19, at The Writers' Place in Kansas City, MO.

The award-winning poets -- no doubt with more awards to come -- are Polly Swafford, Judith Bader Jones and Maril Crabtree. The suggested donation is $5 for guests, $3 for members.

Polly Swafford's book is Early Freeze, Ruth Bader Jones's book is Moonflowers on the Fence, and both are available from Finishing Line Press . Maril Crabtree's book, Moving On, can be ordered from Pudding House Press or directly from Maril .


What is this advertisement appearing at the top of my computer screen? Can you ever imagine that you would read the words "self-publishing" in the same sentence with Kirkus?

That's what it says: Self-Publishing Market? Get your book reviewed by Kirkus and get it discovered.

Wasn't Kirkus one of the "big" six reviewers, who would never look at your book unless you were already a well-established author and your book was published by one of the big, old-time, established publishers?

Is the world turning?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Whatever your favorite genre, you'll be able to satisfy it on Saturday, November 13, at the multiple book-signings 11am to 1pm at Town Crier bookstore in Emporia.

As noted below, Mark Bouton, with How to Spot Lies Like the FBI, you'll also find Max McCoy with Damnation Road, the latest featuring Rough Rider Jacob Gamble, M.E. Williams with copies of his books which include The Legend of Blue Feather series, and even something for the kids, Raccoons in the Corn, by Jerrilyn Henrikson.

No cookbooks?

Monday, November 8, 2010


A quick note from Bill Wilson:

The Borders event on Saturday was great. For those that missed it, I'll be signing copies of Majesty at Barnes & Noble at the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park this Saturday, Nov 13th at 1:00 p.m. Come by and say hi while you get a start on your Christmas shopping.


Probably no one. Mark Bouton spent an entire career discovering clues to lying. He'll be signing his book, How to Spot Lies like the FBI from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, November 13, at the Town Crier Book Store in Emporia.

If you're a reader, Mark's insights can help you in your daily life. If you're a writer, well, you know, you can use this information to help you describe more believable characters.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Joe Fox, retired Special Operations officer, shares concepts for surviving trying times in Survivalist Family, a guidebook with precautions and preparations families should take to safeguard themselves when confronted with natural or man-made catastrophes.

Joe will share his expertise with readers and listeners at a book-signing 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, November 13, at the Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth


Nancy Pickard will be among the authors and agents participating in the Missouri Writers' Guild conference to be held April 8-10 in St. Louis, MO.

Conference details at Missouri Writers Guild


Walter and Olive Ann Beech, Kansas aviation pioneers, are chronicled in The Barmstormer and the Lady, by Dennis Farney, just released by Rockhill Books, an imprint of Kansas City Star  Books and available at The Kansas City Store.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


The Seaside Knitters have spun up another mystery in A Holiday Yarn, and author Sally Goldenbaum will sign copies at 7 pm on Thursday, November 11 at I Love a Mystery at 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission.

(Knitters Alert: Follow the links on Sally's website for knitting inspiration -- I have more than enough left-over yarn to make several Dead Fish Hats!)


Bill Wilson will be signing his new book, Majesty, at 1 pm this afternoon, Saturday, November 6, at the Borders store at 9108 Metcalf in Overland Park.

Majesty is set in Tsarist Russia, teetering on the brink of revolution. The Bolsheviks simmer and seethe as the Russian Army concentrates on the invaders rather than the revolutionists within. The wealthy Milanov children, Catrina and Joseph, are at the center of the storm, and the changing winds of time and politics will soon push them apart.

More details at Tate Publishing .

Friday, November 5, 2010


Did you miss Michelle Black's workshop at the 2010 Kansas Authors Club convention?

Not to worry -- You can catch Michelle on November 19-21 at STEAMCON in Seattle, if you happen to be in the vicinity.

Too far to travel -- not to worry again. Michelle will be back in Kansas, but in the meantime you might want to go to The Victorian West (I really wonder what Michelle is packing in her trunk) or Michelle's Blog .

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Steven Trout, chair of the English department at Fort Hays State University, will be signing copies of Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and the American Remembrance, 1919-1941 at the World War I, Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, at 1 pm on Saturday, November 6.

The book was published by the University of Alabama Press.


Just like marbles, all different sizes and colors, the 273 stories in Grant Williams' new book -- with the title of Marbles -- have a great variety. Some will make the reader (or listener) smile, laugh, or even cry. Grant hopes some will make the reader (or listener) think.

Grant is a regular visitor to nursing homes and schools. Marbles was published by Rik Tanos of Coffeyville. It is available from Amazon, or by contacting Grant through his e-mail at gwille1943 at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Hooray! I’ve just discovered another book store. An unusual book store.

The Collector Book Store at 724 Delaware in Leavenworth specializes in price guides and references books for hobbyists and collectors. John and Kim Kincaid also have a large selection of military history books. They're friendly folks to chat with.

Visit them online at Collector Book Store

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A power-point presentation will be part of Mark Bouton's talk at the Bartlesville, OK, Public Library at 3 pm on Sunday, November 7. In addition, Mark will have copies of his book, How to Spot Lies Like the FBI, available for signing.

(Mark, please tell the good folks in Bartlesville that the 2011 KAC convention will be October 7-9 in Coffeyville, which is a mere forty miles away.)


Max Yoho will be at Hastings at Fairlawn Plaza in Topeka from 2-4 pm on Sunday, November 7. Check out Max's newest, With the Wisdom of Owls, and other books at Dancing Goat Press.

Don't know how to get there? For a map and other directions, GO HERE


That's right, a FREE writing conference on Saturday, November 6, hosted by the Kansas City Press Club at the Central Resource Library in Overland Park.

From 10 am to 4:30 pm you'll have a chance to hear from award-winning journalists and writers as they share the secrets of their trade with you. To name a few names, Mike McGraw, Mark Morris, Todd Feeback, Greg Kincaid, and Larry and Suella Walsh.

More details at Kansas City Press Club. The Central Resource Library is at 87th Street and Farley.

Bring a sack lunch for a short mid-day break (or there is a McDonalds across the parking lot).

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Stories to Enjoy" OR GIVE AS GIFTS

Some of us are thinking about Christmas gift lists, and Tom Mach will be very happy to “personalize” Stories to Enjoy when he travels over to The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, November 6.

(PS. It’s early November and you’ll have plenty of time to read and enjoy the stories yourself -- just don’t leave any coffee stains before you gift-wrap the book.)


Well, maybe I would lie to you, but not to Mark Bouton, whose newest book, How to Spot Lies Like the FBI, gives lots of information about detecting deceit by reading faces, body language, and verbal indicators.
It also gives information about the history, psychology, and cultural consequences of lying in our society. Mark describes situations where spotting lies helped him solve cases, and even saved his life.

Mark will be signing at Barnes and Noble in Topeka on Saturday, November 6, from 2-5 pm.

Don't know where that is? It's 6130 SW 17th Street, or GO HERE for more help --  and that's no lie!


Several hundred children and their parents descended on the Kansas City Plaza Library Friday night, October 29th, for a special event to celebrate Halloween. Authors from the Midwest Children's Authors Guild had stations set up around the children's section with games and crafts. The library held a drawing to give away a dozen copies of the book, October Nightmares and Dreams, and the winners eagerly collected autographs from the authors in attendence. KAC District 2 member, Marsha Lytle, entertained the kids with a gameboard, What's in your closet? to go along with her story, The Closet Monster. Children peeked behind the doors to locate the monsters hidden behind two of them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


From the Poets and Writers website:

Poets & Writers, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, invites Kansas writers to apply for the 2011 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Each year, Poets & Writers invites fiction writers and poets in a selected state to apply for this award. This year, writers who are residents of Kansas and have never published a book, or have published only one full-length book of fiction or poetry are eligible. The winning poet and fiction writer will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers. Winners will also give a public reading in New York.

Guidelines and application forms are available on the Poets & Writers Web site: GO HERE . Completed applications and manuscripts must be postmarked by December 1, 2010.


Greg Kinkaid will be signing his new book, Christmas with Tucker, at 6:30 p.m. this Wednesday, November 3, at Rainy Day Books, 2706 West 53rd, Fairway.

Christmas with Tucker is the promised pre-quel to the immensely popular A Dog Named Christmas, which was a Hallmark television special last holiday season. For more about the books and the author GO HERE.


. . . views of Kansas you may never have seen before.

Mike Blair's A Kansas Year is better than a calendar, it's a view of Kansas season by season. To borrow from a review: "Covering the breadth of the state, Blair’s captivating book appeals equally to the emotions and intellect, to the seasoned naturalist as well as the casual observer."

Order from the University of Kansas Press . Read more about A Kansas Year at the blog Book Talk

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Full speed ahead into uncharted territory, that's for sure. What's a confused author to do?

You can gain some insights at Bob Spear's Book Trends Blog. You'll find Bob's suggestions both thought-provoking and helpful. Share your thoughts, leave a comment.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Wanna do something different this Hallowe’en? Here’s your chance -- Attend the “launch party” of Issue #27 of Coal City Review, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, at the the Raven Bookstore, 6 East 7th Street, Lawrence.

Since 1990, Coal City has published 20 annual reviews and 7 collections of poetry. The review and press publish both new and experienced poets and writers

Thursday, October 28, 2010


A post from Errol Wayne Anderson:

What a grand and wonderful time I had last weekend at my book signing. I met many nice people. A bookstore is, of course, a good place to meet book-readers. I signed 14 books and many said they wanted a book and would contact me later. There is something so grand about having people read your stuff.

The Borders book store management, 119th Street and I-35 in Olathe, Kansas, was very pleased also. In fact, they invited me back for the Christmas season. I haven't made the arrangements yet, but I'm sure I'll take them up on their kind offer. I'll let you know when. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.


I opened the book at random, and these words met my eyes: "Ask someone from New York or California to describe Kansas in one word and they'll say it's flat. West of Salina, they'd be right, but northeast of Topeka, they couldn't be more wrong."

What more did I need to know that I want to read this book, Joel Goldman's newest, No Way Out, about ex-FBI agent Jack Davis who can't seem to stay out of trouble. (I sure hope he got his living arrangements worked out -- in The Dead Man Jack had rented a house in Brookside from someone who turned out not to be the owner!)

I bought my copy at I Love a Mystery in Mission, but I'm sure it's available at all the usual sources.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Are you needing an absinthe spoon?

Here's your chance. Hasten to Michelle Black's blog at The Victorian West . Follow the directions and you might be a winner. Michelle is the author of The Second Glass of Absinthe.

(Get there before Hallowe'en.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The Kansas Writers Association 2010 writing contest is open until November 30. Go to and click either on Competitions at the top of the page OR the link of 2010 KWA Contest is Open for details.

Can lightning strike twice? I won a second-place prize a couple of years ago -- I think I'll try again.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Come Join us for some great fun this weekend at The STORYTELLER Writers Weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lenexa, KS (I-35 and W. 95th ST in the Greater KC area). It will be a weekend dedicated to novel-writing: the how’s, why’s, who’s, when’s and where’s—and the whole event is only $50 (preregistered), or just $35 for Saturday only. For more info: Writers Matrix , email: or just give me a call at: 316-208-6961. See you there!


Sunday, October 24, 2010


Maybe Marsha Lytle knows -- she's the one who wrote The Closet Monster for the Mid-West Children's Authors Guild anthology, October Nightmares and Dreams.

Copies of the book will be given as prizes (they'll also be available for purchase/signing) at the Family Fun Costume Party at 7 p.m. Friday at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City, Missouri, Library system. If you see a plump, five-foot-two kid in a gray-haired grandmother's outfit standing in the costume-judging line, that won't be a costume and it won't be a kid, it'll be me, hoping to win a book.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The Newsletter Writing Challenge is still open, in fact, the deadline is not until December 15.

If you haven’t started already, think of someone you met at the 2010 KAC convention. Maybe you were so busy at the workshops, you didn’t have much time to get acquainted, but there’s still e-mail, or snail mail, to get better acquainted. Write up what you’ve learned about your new writing friend in 300 words or less, and send it off to Tracy Million Simmons, newsletter editor, and your name will go into a drawing for a prize.

I’ll be back later with her e-mail address.

Friday, October 22, 2010



For Friday night family fun, a spooky story costume party and trick-or-treat extravaganza be at the Kansas City Library Plaza Branch at 7 p.m. on October 29.

The Mid-West Children's Authors Guild and librarians will provide fun activities designed around the Guild’s latest collection of stories, October Nightmares and Dreams. Prizes will be given for the best costume, as well as 10 copies of the book. There will also be books available for purchase and signing. More Information Here


Mark Bouton and several area newspaper reporters will provide a panel discussion on how to effectively conduct interviews at this Saturday’s meeting of Kansas Writer’s Ink at the Topeka/Shawnee County Library.

Kansas Writer’s Ink is a writers’ group that meets at noon on the fourth Saturday of the month. Anyone interested in writing is invited to attend and consider joining the group. Books from famous authors and from members are available for sale at the meeting. Mark will have his latest novel, The Second Savior, as well as his recently published non-fiction book, How to Spot Lies Like the FBI, available for signing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Have you been wondering about Vivid Hues? Here's the inside story:

Vivid Hues is a novel about a Middle Eastern sect from the mountains of Iran which has entered the U. S. illegally and is attempting to destroy the U. S. from within. It was Abraham Lincoln who said with friends to the north and south and two great oceans to the east and west the possibility of the United States being conquered is unlikely unless it’s done from within. That is exactly what the Iranians have decided to do.

Creating a novel which compels the reader to continue turning pages can only be done by creating compelling characters. Vivid Hues is a four-book novel. Each book has its own ending, but the reader is also aware there is more story to be told.

Come and fall in love with the Vivid Hues Characters. (Scroll down to see Errol Anderson's book-signing schedule.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


When Errol Anderson tells you he will be signing copies of Vivid Hues at Borders, be sure to get the address. On Friday from 4:00 to 9 p.m., and again on Sunday, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., he will be at the Borders in Olathe, at I-35 and 119th Street, around the parking lot and a little to the north from the IHOP.

Do not go to the Borders in Overland Park, about 120th and Metcalf -- that was last week!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I confess I didn't know where the Crown Plaza Hotel is -- the place for Gordon Kessler's Storyteller Mini-Retreat on October 29-31.

Well, easy as pie to find at 12601 West 95th Street (95th and I-35) in Lenexa. For a map, go to Writers Matrix. Click on the words New Date. which is a link to the next page, which has a link to a map, as well as a complete description of all the sessions.

A quiet Mini-Retreat? Sounds like interactive, supercharged workshops to me.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Brad Sneed, a writer and illustrator of children’s books, will be at The Book Barn in Leavenworth on Saturday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to talk about and “personalize” his many children’s books.

Among the titles that Brad has written and/or illustrated are the newest, Mr. President Goes to School, as well as The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians, Big Bad Wolves at School, and Aesop's Fables.

The Book Barn is 410 Delaware, half a block away from the soda fountain at the Corner Pharmacy (hint, hint).

Sunday, October 17, 2010


What better place than Leavenworth and what better time than October to discover the Ghosts of Kansas? Be at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware street, on Friday, October 22, between 6-8 p.m.

There’s probably not a ghost in the entire greater Kansas City region that Beth Cooper doesn’t know about. Beth is the owner of Paranormal Adventures USA, a tour business whose trip schedules include haunted dwellings, haunted battlefields, and even haunted wineries.

Beth is also the author of soon-to-be published Ghosts of the Prairie and Haunted Wichita.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Max is not hard to find, you just have to look in the right places. On Monday, October 18, that will be at the Santa Fe Depot Museum, 100 S. 10th Street, in Atchison. The Museum will reopen at 6 p.m. for a social hour, followed by the Historical Society annual meeting, with a program by Max at 7:15.

Max's new novel, With the Wisdom of Owls, is available online at two locations, or at

For information on ALL of Max's books, go to Dancing Goat Press.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Elizabeth Black drew on her school day memories when she wrote "Spring Valley School" which appeared in Heritage of the Great Plains, Volume XLIII, Summer 2010 No. 1, published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University, and edited by Jim Hoy.

Memories of a rural school in Grant County are also part of Elizabeth's award-winning Buffalo Spirits, a novel which reveals how people from different times and other roots can be bound by their love of the same piece of land. Read more at Buffalo Spirits.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


A Storyteller Writers' Seminar/Weekend will be offered October 29-31 at Crowne Plaza, Lenexa/Overland Park. The BUZZ SESSION on Friday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. tackles what's hot/happening in the publishing world. NOVEL WRITING MADE SIMPLE -- THE SEMINAR from 9a.m. to 4p.m. on Saturday includes multiple topics, such as getting started, writing effectively and getting published. Saturday evening 6:30-9:30p.m. will be a Critique Session.

Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be a WRITERS MS WORD AND COMPUTER WORKSHOP, with instruction in filing, navigating and shortcuts.

If you missed Gordon Kessler's workshop at the KAC convention in Lawrence, here is another chance to tap into his expertise. Cost of weekend is $50 for preregistration, $65 at the door. The Saturday day session only is $35 for preregistration, $45 at the door. For more information, visit, or e-mail Gordon at .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Mark Bouton will be signing his new nonfiction book, How To Spot Lies Like the FBI, which teaches you to read faces, bodies, and voices to detect deceit, as well as presenting talks, as follows:

10/16, Sat., 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. signing Oregon Trail Festival armory St. Mary's, KS

10/21 Thurs., 8:00 p.m. interview on Red River Radio (see online) about How to Spot Lies

10/23 Sat., 1:00 p.m. signing and panel on Interviewing at Kansas Writer's Ink Topeka Library

11/6 Sat., 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. signing Barnes & Noble bookstore Topeka, KS

11/13 Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. signing Town Crier bookstore Emporia, KS

11/20 Sat. 12:00 noon presenting PP talk on How to Spot Lies and signing at Kansas Author's Club, Topeka

12/6 Mon. 7:00 p.m. PP talk on How to Spot Lies and signing at Lawrence, KS library


Becky Bridson, began her catering business, Cool Beans Catering, with a bang at the Kansas Authors Club state convention at the Holiday Inn in Lawrence the first weekend in October. Using a coffee-based theme - coffeecake, coffee muffins, chocolate expresso brownies, and coffee-flavored pork tenderloin and ribs - Becky prepared quite a spread for the guests at the convention. The tables surrounding the hospitality suite enabled convention goers to visit, network, write, and relax. Members raved about the food, and Becky was delighted with their response. Her recipes for chocolate mousse, pumpkin cookies, and curried almond chicken on are the KAC website at 2010 convention recipes


Errol Anderson will be signing his books, Vivid Hues, at Borders in Overland Park on Sunday, October 17, from noon to 5 p.m. That's the Borders at 12055 Metcalf.

If you miss him there, he'll be at the Olathe Borders on Friday, October 22 from 4 to 9 p.m., and again on Sunday, October 24, from 2 to 7 p.m. That address is 15350 119th Street.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


On November 6, 11 a.m., Tom Mach will be at The Book Barn in Leavenworth to sign copies of his new book Stories to Enjoy.

In fact, one could spend the whole day in Leavenworth, First City of Kansas, browse the book store at 410 Delaware, shop at unique stores, eat at one-of-a-kind restaurants and coffee shops, tour any number of museums, both in the city and at Fort Leavenworth -- in fact, one day isn't enough -- plan to go back again.

OR, you could order Tom's new book for $14 at Order Online.

Monday, October 11, 2010


On Saturday, October 16, sports fans will have an opportunity to meet Todd Reesing, former KU quarterback, who will be signing copies of his new book Rising to New Heights: Inside the Jayhawks Huddle.

It all takes place at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth, 10 a.m. to noon.


What I'm reading:

I want to nominate a book written by William Allen White for the Kansas' 150 Books list which is being compiled for our 150th birthday celebration in 2011, so I asked Don Pady, KAC archivist, for a recommendation.

Masks in a Pageant was his suggestion, and I'm finding it a fascinating read about every president from Grover Cleveland to Calvin Coolidge.

Donald Stuart Pady is the author of Poetry of William Allen White. Read more about it at Flint Hills Stories.

You can nominate more than one book, but you have to do it before October 31, 2010. You can find the guidelines and form at 150 Kansas Books.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Hard to believe that Kansas Plains is available as a blog address. This blog takes up where ended. "One Free Nation, Many Voices" was the theme of the 2010 Kansas Authors Club convention, hosted by District Two.

Now it's District Three's turn, off and running with a new theme, "Kansas: Freedom Frontier for 150 Years." The convention will be the first weekend in October in Coffeyville.