Saturday, March 31, 2012

KANSAS MYTHS & MYSTERIES AT B&N

History buffs are in for a treat! Award-winning journalist Diana Lambdin Meyer will be here to discuss and sign Myths and Mysteries of Kansas. The book makes history fun and pulls back the curtain on some of the state’s most fascinating stories.

That will be 1 pm on Saturday, April 7, at the Barnes and Noble book store at Zona Rosa, 8625 Northwest Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO.

GRANT WILLIAMS’ NEW BOOK

Grant Williams new book of short stories is titled Ten Degrees. The cover and other pictures in the book were done by Jacquelyn Sanders, a noted photographer from Old Lyme, Connecticut. The new book also contains a few poems by Williams.

Proceeds from the book will help cover the cost of books donated to the care centers where Williams does readings every month, and also hospitals and clinics. Ten Degrees, Williams second book of short stories, was published by tanosbookspublishing in Coffeyville.

Ten Degrees is available at $15.95 per copy, or ten books for $15.00 each, with taxes and shipping included. Williams other works include a book of poems, a book of essays, several novels, and an earlier book of short stories.

AVERILL AT NERMAN - JCCC

Author Thomas Fox Averill will read from his latest novel and share his writing influences at an hour-long public presentation at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at Johnson County Community College.

Averill is the writer-in-residence and a professor of English at Washburn University, Topeka. He will read excerpts from his latest novel, rode, in Hudson Auditorium in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the JCCC campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

A reception for Averill will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the nearby atrium.

Friday, March 30, 2012

PORUBSKY, McHENRY, DOCKERY

Every one of the above names promises an entertaining evening, but together they’re stellar. The time will be 7 pm, on Friday, April 6, at The Writers’ Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, the main hangout place for writers in the metropolitan Kansas City area.

Matthew Porubsky’s first book of poetry, voyeur poems, was awarded the Kansas Authors Club Nelson Poetry Book Award in 2006, and his second collection, Fire Mobile (the pregnancy sonnets), was released in 2011 from Woodley Press. More of Porubsky's work at mppoetry.comEric McHenry is the author of the poetry collections Potscrubber Lullabies, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book with woodcuts by Nicholas Garland. More of Porubsky’s work at mppoetry.com Mary Stone Dockery’s chapbook is Aching Buttons.

KAMINSKI SIGNS AT RAVEN

“The body “being” in sun, the gaze at rain, teleology inside the house –– with these strokes and compasses, Megan Kaminski deftly configures a desiring map, across seacoasts and Kansas plains, through leaves, roots, movements of light.”

Kaminski lived all over the map before settling in Lawrence and writing her first full-length collection of poetry, Desiring Map. She will be reading and signing at 7 pm on Friday, April 6, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E. 7th in Lawrence.

She is the author of several chapbooks. See www.megankaminski.com

Thursday, March 29, 2012

YOUR FIVE MINUTES TO SHINE

Help with your writing projects at all levels will be available at the fourth annual Wordfest at McPherson on April 20-21. Early bird registration ends on April 2.

From keynoter Gordon Kessler, to former Kansas’ poet laureate Denise Low, to William Sheldon, to “Your Five Minutes of Fame”, you’ll find a lot of people to give you the boost to achieve your writing goals.

And just exactly what is “Your Five Minutes of Fame”? It’s your moment to shine -- a general session time in which everyone who wishes to do so will be able to speak before the entire conference about their work: promote your book, your conference, your writing group, or read a poem. It’s your moment to shine.

That’s just touching the surface of what will be available at Wordfest. Go to http://www.mcphersonmuseum.com for detailed information.

MAP EXHIBIT AT SAFARI MUSEUM

Lloyd Zimmer, Books and Maps is very excited to announce a forthcoming map exhibition and Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum fund raiser. As part of their 10th annual film festival, which this year will feature the Michael Todd 1957 version of Around the World in 80 Days, we will be developing a cartographic exhibition of the many lands visited by Phileas Fogg, and by Martin and Osa Johnson in their travels around the world. The exhibition will feature 80 different maps roughly following the journeys of each, as well as cartographic variations spanning five centuries.

The exhibition will open April 1, 2012, and remain on display through May 31, 2012. Special events are planned around the exhibition, so please check www.safarimuseum.com for updates. You may email museum staff atosajohns@safarimuseum.com if you wish to be put on their event e-notification list.

All of the maps in this exhibition are original. They will all be for sale and there will be additional original maps available in the Osa’s Ark Museum Shop during the show. Fifty percent of the sale price of each map will go directly to the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum to help cover the cost of the museum’s operation and maintenance of its collections. This will be a great opportunity for supporters of the museum to make a contribution and have an authentic piece of history to take home with them. Each map will be described as to actual condition, source, and cartobibliographic details. Shipping arrangements can be made for an additional nominal fee. To purchase one of these maps call (620)431-2730. If you do not have space for a map that you like, you can purchase it at a discount (half price) and gift it to the Safari Museum where it will be kept in the collections to be used in other special exhibits.

Lloyd Zimmer Books and Maps, www.ksbiblio.com

WATERMARK MARKS POETRY MONTH

Watermark Books and Café will mark April as Poetry Month with the appearances of four poets: Mike Poage on Wednesday, April 4; Bill Sheldon on Wednesday, April 11; Jeanine Hathaway and Bill Coleman on Wednesday, April 18, and Bryan Dietrich on Wednesday, April 25.

Michael Poage will be reading from his new book, Voice Over.

Michael Poage has worked a variety of jobs from grocery store clerk, to manual laborer, to teaching, as well as a twenty-five year career as a pastor in three United Church of Christ congregations in Kansas. He has published five previous books of poems and has given readings and taught writing workshops in several states as well as in Latvia, Mexico, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.

www.watermarkbooks.com

GRADES 3-12 WRITING CONTEST

In partnership with KTWU and Payless Shoe Source, the Kansas Book Festival is excited to announce the details of the 2012 Writing Contest. This year’s theme is My Kansas Shoes Were Made for Walking. Essays must be submitted no later than April 15, 2012. There are three divisions covering students in grades 3-12. There will be two winners from each division per Congressional District. Winners will be notified in August and invited to attend the 2012 Kansas Book Festival for their prize and recognition.

The Kansas Book Festival will be held September 15 at the Kansas History Museum in Topeka. Follow www.kansasbookfestival.com for news about the festival. Questions about sponsorship opportunities or suggestions about programs may be sent to ksbookfestival@gmail.com.

CANCER FIGHTER SHARES HOPE

“Watermark Books & Cafe is pleased to welcome Michele Longabaugh for a book signing for her new book, If You're Not Laughing, You're Dying: The dawning of hope from the shadows of darkness... blogging through Stage 4 Anal Cancer.”

This book is a reprint of Michele Longabaugh's blog which spans a period of about two years while she learned about and fought Stage 4 Anal Cancer. Currently in remission she wishes to educate and create awareness for anyone who is facing similar circumstances. It is truly about the dawning of hope from the shadows of darkness.

Longabaugh will be at Watermark Books and Café from 2-4 pm on Saturday, March 31. Watermark Books is at 4701 E. Douglas. See the website at www.watermarkbooks.com

AS TRUE AS STEEL

Brian Steel Wills, director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University, is the author of a biography of George Henry Thomas: As True As Steel, a sometimes overlooked Union Army general, published in March by the University Press of Kansas.

A Virginian who was a graduate of West Point Military Academy, General Thomas chose to honor the oath he had taken and served the Union army. After defeating confederate forces in Tennessee, he became known as “The Sledge of Nashville.”

University Press of Kansas

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RANDY KAZANDY COMES TO KANSAS

Randy Kazandy comes to Kansas in the person of Rhonda Fischer, author of the book Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses?

On Wednesday, Fischer was at the Queen of the Holy Rosay Catholic School in Bucyrus. On Thursday, March 29, she will be at the Little Learners Preschool in Overland Park.

“LET’S WRITE A NOVEL”

Expert help from a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction will be available in a workshop to be given by Mark Bouton at the Kansas Authors Club annual convention October 5-7 in Salina.

Bouton’s non-fiction book is How to Spot Lies like the FBI – and Bouton ought to know – he’s a retired FBI agent. After he left the FBI Bouton began a writing career, has lots of tips and techniques he’ll share in his workshop.

Get better acquainted with Bouton by visiting his website http://www.mmbouton.com

For the “official” news about the convention, check the KAC website at www.kansasauthors.org

RESOLUTION HONORS WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE

Tom Mach, a Lawrence author who recently published a historical novel entitled Angels at Sunset dealing with the suffrage movement, formulated a resolution declaring 2012 as the Centennial for the passage of women's suffrage in Kansas.

Mach has been invited by Representative TerriLois Gregory of the 10th District to witness the official signing of the resolution at the Governor's Office in the State Capitol. Photographers will take a group photo of Mach, Governor Brownback, Representative Gregory, and House Speaker Mike O’Neal on Friday, March 30 at 9:30 am.

Angels at Sunset, “history that reads like a novel,” is the story of Jessica Radford, a witness, and often a participant, in the milestones of the women’s movement to gain the right to vote. More at www.tommach.com.

POEM-A-DAY PROGRAM

You can celebrate April as Poetry Month in Johnson County with your county library. The Writers’ Place partners with the Johnson County Library for the Poem-A-Day Program in recognition of National Poetry Month. Beginning April 1, one poem is posted on the library’s website every day through the month of April. Each poem is featured for one day, then archived on the site.

The poems also are printed on bookmarks for National Poem in Your Pocket Day. The bookmarks will be available in various Johnson County libraries and at The Writers’ Place.

GERMAN ARMY RETREATS

Throughout 1943, the German army, heirs to a military tradition that demanded and perfected relentless offensive operations, succumbed to the realities of its own overreach and the demands of twentieth-century industrialized warfare. In his new study, prizewinning author Robert Citino chronicles this weakening Wehrmacht, now fighting desperately on the defensive but still remarkably dangerous and lethal.

Robert M. Citino, professor of history at the University of North Texas, is the author of The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943, published in March by the University Press of Kansas.

University Press of Kansas

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

HISTORY OF GREAT PLAINS FIRES

Julie Courtright, who grew up in the Flint Hills, “explains the role of fire – man-made and natural – in shaping the Great Plains and the lives of its residents” in Prairie Fire, published by the University Press of Kansas. As her sources, Courtright studied newspaper accounts and old diaries.

Courtright will be speaking in a program at 2 pm on Sunday, April 1, at the Central Library, 14 W 10th Street, Kansas City, MO. Courtright is an assistant professor of history at Iowa State University. To make a reservation, go HERE.

EVERY TUESDAY IN APRIL

“This is the 29th year of the Salina Spring Poetry Reading Series, which . . . attracts a growing audience each year,” writes Gary DeMuth of the Salina Journal.

"Last year we had our highest attendance, around 100 people a night for each poet," said Ruth Moritz, who has headed the series since 2000. "I think more people are aware of poetry now, and there's more poetry infusion in the schools. Our longevity also has something to do with it. After 29 years, people are now ingrained to come here every Tuesday in April.”

Programs will be held at the Mokas Bistro and Bakery, 109 N Santa Fe, and will begin at 7:30 pm. Lead-off poet will be Michael McGriff, Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Wichita State University in 2011.

Poets to follow will be Sam Taylor on April 10, Mary Stone Dockery on April 17, and Allison Hedge Coke on April 24.

APRIL IS POETRY MONTH

The Johnson County Libraries will be celebrating Poetry Month with several appearances on April 16 by Janet Wong, a children’s author and poet. Wong has written 24 books, among them Night Garden and You Have to Write.

Wong’s first appearance will be at the Blue Valley Library from noon to 1:30 in a program suitable for second to fifth graders; she’ll have her poetry (and pizza) suitcase, registration required. At 2:30 to 3:30 Wong will be at the Leawood Pioneer Library, with her poetry suitcase, in a program suitable for second to fifth graders, registration required.

Wong will be “Celebrating Family Stories” from 4:30 to 5:30 at Cedar Roe Library, recommended for age six and up and their families. No registration.

See more about Janet Wong and find information about locations at www.jocolibrary.org. Register online, or call 913) 826-4600.

ONE CONTEST CLOSES, NEXT OPENS

April 1 is the closing date for the Kansas Authors Club District Two writing contest, which means only six more days, counting today, to get your entry in. When the District contests closes, the state contest opens.

Just a coincidence, because the two contests are not related, and in fact, have slightly different rules and guidelines. Both contests are open to KAC members, and non-members alike. In some cases, the same entry can be entered in both contests. All entries are submitted by snail mail, no electronic submissions.

Guidelines for the state contest can be found at www.kansasauthors.org. Guidelines for the district contest are a bit harder to find. Go first to the District Two webpage, and find the guidelines from there.

Winners of the district contest will be awarded their prizes at the district meeting, May 12, at the Lawrence Public Library. The state contest winners will hear the results at the state convention, October 5-7, in Salina.

RUSH TO JUDGMENT

Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics, written by Stephen F. Knott, professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College, was published in March by the University Press of Kansas.

Ultimately, Knott makes a worthy case that, while Bush was not necessarily a great president, his national security policies were in keeping with the practices of America’s most revered presidents and, for that reason alone, he deserves a second look by those who have condemned him to the ash heap of history. All readers interested in the presidency and in American history writ large will find Rush to Judgment a deftly argued, perhaps deeply unsettling, yet balanced account of the Bush presidency—and a clarion call for a reexamination of how scholars determine presidential greatness and failure.

Monday, March 26, 2012

WORKSHOPS GALORE AT KAC CONVENTION

We’re getting a preview of the workshops that will be available at the Kansas Author Club contention on October 5-7 in Salina.

You can choose from seasoned writers like Mark Bouton, Nancy Julien Kopp, Ann Zimmerman, Jim Hoy, Kevin Rabas and Judy Entz. Keynote speaker will be Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas’ Poet Laureate.

Room reservations will be available at the Ramada Inn in Salina at $70 per night per room, breakfast included. Reservations and registrations will soon be posted on the KAC website at www.kansasauthors.org .

BUNCE SPEAKS IN MANHATTAN

Elizabeth Bunce will be the keynote presentation for the Kansas State University English Department conference on Saturday, March 31. The keynote appearance from 11 am to noon will be open to the public at the K-State Alumni Center, Tadtman Boardroom.

Facilitated by Claflin Books and Copies, books will be available for purchase (and signing) both before and following Bunce’s presentation. Bunce is the author of Star Crossed, Liar’s Moon and A Curse Dark as Gold.

Claflin Books and Copies is at 1814 Claflin, just west of the campus. See http://www.claflinbooks.com and http://www.elizabethcbunce.com.

READ ACROSS RENO COUNTY

The Read Across Reno County, the one book, one county adult reading project for 2012 gets under way on April 1 with Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, an appropriate choice, since April is Poetry Month.

Several poets who contributed to the volume, edited by Kansas’ Poet Laureate, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, will be present for readings beginning at 2 pm at the Hutchinson/Reno County Arts and Humanities Council, 405 North Washington. Also sponsoring the event is the Friends of Hutchinson Public Library.

William Sheldon will be among the poets participating in the event.

THORPE MENN SAID TO ME . . .

. . . as Thorpe Menn said to me, the other day, if you really want to be a writer, you need to keep on writing. He really did. Back when Thorpe Menn was book editor of The Kansas City Star, we had a few conversations about my desire to be a writer – Thorpe Menn was an incredibly patient conversationalist.

The Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award is open to authors who reside in the greater Kansas City area, defined as Jackson, Cass, Clay, Lafayette and Platte counties in Missouri, and Johnson, Wyandotte, and Leavenworth in Kansas.

The deadline for submissions for the 34th annual award is June 30. Two copies of nominated books should be submitted to Thorpe Menn Nominations, Attn: Pam Chaudoin, PO Box 849, Liberty, MO 64069. Submissions should include a contact name, e-mail address and telephone number.

The award is sponsored by the Kansas City branch of the American Association of University Women.

COLLINS CROSSES GENRES

You betcha he does, as explained very nicely this morning on the blog Quills and Zebras.

Kansas-based author Robert Collins loves to cross the genre aisles. He has published three science fiction novels, one young adult novel, a couple biographies, and a bunch of non-fiction exploring railroad history… not to mention the occasional veer into writing about writing.

Read about it HERE

ADVENTURES WITH ASPERGER’S

The author of Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger’s and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families and Teachers will speak at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 27, in a Rainy Day Books sponsored event at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

John Elder Robison is an author and frequent lecturer about his life with Asperger’s. He blogs for Psychology Today and is an adjunct faculty member at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. John serves on committees and review boards for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. He is currently involved in autism research and therapy programs at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. John also sits on the science and treatment boards of Autism Speaks. His previous book, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, was a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into ten languages.

Be sure to see www.rainydaybooks.com for information about the Admission Package.

HUGE FESTIVAL AT HUTCHINSON

The Prairie Book Festival is back – now under the name of Cow Creek Book Festival. The event happens this Saturday, March 31, at the Hutchinson Public Library, 901 North Main, 10:30 am to 6 pm.

You can show up at opening time and find something to interest you for the rest of the day, beginning with Newbery Award-winning author Clare Vanderpool of Wichita, who will speak at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. about her book "Moon over Manifest".

Other authors include: Beverley Olson Buller, Newton, children's book writer of "From Emporia: The Story Of William Allen White"; Linda A. Born, author of "My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration And Help For Caregivers"; Joanne Emerick, Hoxie, with her book "Courage Before Every Danger, Honor Before All Men"; Linda McCaffery, Great Bend author of "Praying Hard For You: Love Letters To A Death Camp"; Lowell May, Riley, who wrote "Camp Concordia: German POWS In The Midwest"; Roy Bird, Topeka, writer of the children's book "Little Ike: Dwight D. Eisenhower's Abilene Boyhood," along with the illustrator of his book, Gwen Battis; Steven Farney, McPherson, writer of several sports books, including "Title Towns: Class BB Boys Basketball Champions"; and Robert Collins, Andover, who has written several science fiction novels and Kansas history books.

Many Hutchinson authors will present as well. Mary Rintoul, writer of "Prairie Nutcracker," which is a children's picture book, and her editor, Betsie Andrews; Linda Laird, author and photographer for "The American Grain Elevator: Function And Form"; and Hutchinson News reporters Amy Bickel and Jason Probst, joint authors of "The Complete Guide To Kansas Fishing."<> Hutchinson writers Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson have penned several mysteries, including their latest title, "The Mayan Mask Of Death." They will be available throughout the afternoon to talk to their readers individually and to sell and sign their books.

Free and open to the public, the festival is jointly sponsored by the Friends of the Hutchinson Public Library and the Hutchinson/Reno Arts and Humanities Council.

RISE OF GRIDIRON UNIVERSITY

The Rise of Gridiron University shows us where and how it all began, highlighting college football’s essential role in shaping the modern university—and by extension American intellectual culture. It should have wide appeal among students of American studies and sports history, as well as fans of college football curious to learn how their game became a cultural force in a matter of a few decades.
p> The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education’s Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football, written by Brian M. Ingrassia, was published in March by the University Press of Kansas. Ingrassia is visiting assistant professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University.

www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MARCH’S BIG TENT AT RAVEN

Stories and Poems in Three Acts at 7 pm on Thursday, March 29, at the Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th in Lawrence will feature Kara Bollinger, non-fiction, Mick Cotton, fiction, and William Sheldon, poetry.

“Bollinger is a graduate student at the University of Kansas, where she is almost finished with her Master's in Rhetoric and Composition. When she's not writing, she serves as the assistant nonfiction editor of Beecher's Magazine, bikes around town, and gardens somewhat religiously. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Sleet Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, The Medulla Review, and Prick of the Spindle.”

“Cotton has lived in Lawrence since 1992 and is finishing up degrees in both English and Art History at the University of Kansas. He once drank a cup of buttery topping for five dollars, and his twelfth great grandfather fell off the Mayflower. Mick currently lives in a bungalow with his two adorable dogs and his extremely attractive fiancé. Though currently unpublished in anything that matters, Mick writes daily.”

“Sheldon lives with his family in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he teaches and writes. His first collection of poems, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley Press), was named one of the Kansas City Star’s Noteworthy Books of 2002. A chapbook is Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill Press). He has an MFA from Wichita State University.”<> www.ravenbookstore.com

PENDERGAST’S RETALIATION

The very title is enough to send chills up the spine. Pendergast’s Retaliation: A True Cold Case File, written by Carolyn Clyde Dolan and Shirley Clyde McCullough, is “a compelling true drama of political corruption, voter fraud and murder focusing on the 1932 Pendergast era in Kansas City, MO. Uncle Reid was a courageous and political figure who dared to take on the Pendergast machine.”

Book signings are being scheduled, but in the meantime, the book is available at Eighth Day Books, Watermark Books and Café, and Central Plains Novelty Store in Wichita, Books and Grannies and the Chamber of Commerce, Fort Scott, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Barnes and Noble in Fenton, MO, Lebanon Books, and Old Jail Museum in Lebanon, MO, The Kansas City Store in the Country Club Plaza, The Nelson-Atkins Museum Store, the World War I Museum Store, Union Station Gift Shops, and Prospero’s, Kansas City, MO.

It is available internationally through Amazon – soon to be in Airdrie, Scotland, among numerous other places. Suffice it to say that Pendergast’s Retaliation is getting around.

Contact the authors by email at clydemarketingteam@yahoo.com.

THAT SLY FELLOW -- CHURCHILL

Sixty-six years ago Winston Churchill, prime minister of the United Kingdom, received an honorary degree from tiny little Westminster College in Fulton, MO, in the heart of the North American continent. I can be wrong, but I always imagined him flying into Kansas City, and then going by train to Fulton.

Phillip White, the author of “Our Supreme Task: How Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech Defined the Cold War Alliance, will speak at 3 pm on Thursday, March 29, at the Dole Institute of Politics, 1502 Iowa Street, in Lawrence.

Churchill’s speech that March day in 1946 reverberated around the world, but he began with a bit of sly humor: “I am very glad indeed to come to Westminster College this afternoon, and I am complimented that you should give me a degree from an institution whose reputation has been so solidly established. The name "Westminster" somehow or other seems familiar to me. I feel as if I have heard of it before.”

www.doleinstitute.org

RED PHOENIX – REVISED VERSION

Red Phoenix Rising: The Soviet Air Force in World War II, by Von Hardesty and Ilya Grinberg, was published in March by the University Press of Kansas.

A groundbreaking account of the Soviet Air Force in World War II, the original version of this book, Red Phoenix, was hailed by the Washington Post as both “brilliant” and “monumental.” That version has now been completely overhauled in the wake of an avalanche of declassified Russian archival sources, combat documents, and statistical information made available in the past three decades. The result, Red Phoenix Rising, is nothing less than definitive.

Hardesty is curator of the Aeronautics Division of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum. Grinberg is a technology professor at State University of New York College at Buffalo.

www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BOOK FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 15

The 2012 Kansas Book Festival is planned for September 15 at the Kansas History Museum in Topeka. Suggestions for authors or sponsorship opportunities, can be e-mailed to ksbookfestival@gmail.com.

The 16 Kansas Libraries that will receive 2012 Kansas Book Festival grants include Walton, Great Bend, Thayer, Bird City, Gypsum, Iola, Westmoreland, El Dorado, Baileyville, Towanda, St Francis, Holton, Sedgwick, Atchison, Argonia and Stafford.

The grants totalling $13,000 will fund a variety of projects in the libraries. To keep up-to-date with the festival, go to http://kansasbookfestival.com

THE WISDOM OF CORN

Dianna Henry, the author of Whispering Ancestors: The Wisdom of Corn, grew up on the plains of Kansas.

Her family had a farm on White Rock Creek, which feeds the Republican River, or "WaHaTonga," as the river told her and Cherokee elder and corn expert, Carl White Eagle Barnes. Dianna went to school in a one-room schoolhouse with her three sisters. Her father was a well driller, and the family moved a lot, so Dianna spent her childhood in Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. (From the Lovely County Citizen, AR).

Henry is the founder of the KAW Valley Seed Project and Seed Fair. She has taught “Co-Creative Gardening” and given workshops at the Learning For Life Center.

FEISTY AUTHOR AT WATERMARK

When Annabelle Hubbard appears on her cousin Regina’s doorstep covered in bruises, the chaos begins. Within an idyllic neighborhood of stolid, family values and century-old houses, the cousins come to grips with family secrets, the ghosts of painful memories, unruly grandchildren, a life-threatening illness, and sexual temptation. Riding through the storm in their lives, the two cousins find that faith, family, and friends are all that really matters.

B. D. Tharp, author of Feisty Family Values, the tale of Annabelle Hubbard and her more fortunate cousin, will be speaking for the “Bookies” on Monday, March 26 -- this just in, Tharp will speak at 6:30 pm -- at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 Douglas, in Wichita.

(I can’t tell you the time right now, but if you’ll call Watermark, 316-682-1181, they’ll be happy to tell you – ask them at the same time what’s on the menu of the day –I recommend the tomato bisque soup.) For more about B.D. Tharp's work look at http://bdtharp.com

MADISON'S METRONOME

The desire of incoming new Congressmen (there were no Congresswomen at the time) concerned one of the key Founders, James Madison, “who accepted the inevitability of majority rule but worried that an inflamed majority might not rule reasonably.”

Author Greg Weiner “challenges long standing suppositions that Madison harbored misgivings about majority rule, arguing instead that he viewed constitutional institutions as delaying mechanisms to postpone decisions until after public passions had cooled and reason took hold. In effect, Madison believed that one of the Constitution’s primary functions is to act as a metronome regulating the tempo of American politics."

Weiner’s book, Madison’s Metronome: The Constitution, Majority Rule, and the Tempo of American Politics, was published in March by the University Press of Kansas. Weiner has worked as an aide to three United States Senators.

www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Friday, March 23, 2012

HEATED ELECTION OF 2012 1912

Everyone remembers the heated election of 1912, when Progressive Party candidate, former president Theodore Roosevelt challenged the incumbent Republican William Howard Taft. Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson threw his hat in the ring, as did Socialist Eugene Victor Debs.

Published in March by the University Press of Kansas, Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics was written by Lewis L. Gould, a historian who lives in Texas. Gould was the author last year of the charming My Dearest Nellie: The Letters of William Howard Taft to Helen Herron Taft, also published by the University Press of Kansas.

www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Thursday, March 22, 2012

HABSBURG COLLAPSE BEGAN IN 1915

Graydon A. Tunstall, history teacher at the University of South Florida, is the author of Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915, published by the University Press of Kansas in March.

As Tunstall shows, the roots of the Habsburg collapse in Russia in 1916 lay squarely in the winter campaign of 1915. Packed with insights from previously un-exploited primary sources, (eyewitness accounts, personal diaries, army logbooks, and correspondence among members of the high command), his book provides an engrossing read -- and the definitive account of the Carpathian Winter War.

THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Kansas women legislators have been invited to attend a program at 7 pm on Friday, March 23, at the Raven Bookstore, 6 E 7th, to hear Tom Mach and Heather Yates, Kansas University Women’s Studies professor, talk about the campaign for the women’s right to vote. Mach will discuss suffrage issues raised in his new historical novel, Angels at Sunset. See also MACH, YATES AT RAVEN, posted March 20, 2012.

www.tommach.com

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FAMILY RECIPE IS SAUCY, SWEET

'Normally Dysfunctional' - the title of the first piece in the collection - summarizes what families are all about. Contrary to Tolstoy, every family - happy or sad - resembles every other. Family Recipe, a potpourri of short stories, essays and poems, contains something to bring a memory and a smile to every reader's heart.

Author Theresa Hupp is an award winning author from Kansas City. She has been a Midwest Voices columnist with The Kansas City Star and an editor of Kansas City Voices literary magazine.

The paperback is available through CreateSpace, and Amazon. Also available as a Kindle (MOBI)book, from Amazon, and a Barnes and Noble Nook. (NOTE – CreateSpace is the only link above that works. If I could explain that, I’d have a paying day job, and couldn’t spend all my time blogging.)

CARTER’S BOOKS = ‘SWOONABLE’

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan–an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Author Ally Carter will be at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E Douglas in Wichita at 2 pm on Saturday, March 24. Carter’s Out of Sight, Out of Time is the newest chronicle of the Gallagher Girls, students at Gallagher Academy, a secret spy school for girls. What?

http://allycarter.com

www.watermarkbooks.com

PAUL GOLDMAN AT B&N

As part of March Authors Day, Paul Goldman, author of Journey Into Oneness, will be book signing at noon on Saturday, March 24,at Barnes and Noble at the Country Club Plaza, 420 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

Goldman will be leading the poetry workshop at the Kansas Authors Club District Two retreat on June 1-3 (see tab above). Stay tuned.

www.barnesandnoble.com

JEWELS, CONDORS, AND CINNAMON?

Well, in case you were wondering, the full title is Jewels, Condors, and Cinnamon: Writing Surprises into Poetry. The imaginative description fits the workshop to be led at 10 am on Saturday, March 24, by Kansas former poet laureate, Denise Low, at the Writers’ Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Writers create new ways of looking at the commonplace, so techniques of creating surprises help draw readers into the exploration of a poem. Pacing, vocabulary, narrative, and sentence structure are some of the ways to add excitement.

Check with www.writersplace.org for prices, parking, etc.

http://deniselow.com

KANSANS GROW GRAINS

Talk about grain elevators reminds me of the experience of a friend who went to Moscow when Boris Yeltsin was prime minister. Camera in hand, he waited with a large crowd of people for Yeltsin to emerge from the Kremlin. Hoping to get Yeltsin to look his way, my friend yelled, “Mr. Yeltsin, I’m from Kansas.”

Moving right along, Mr. Yeltsin couldn’t identify where the voice was coming from, but without breaking stride, he lifted his hand and shouted back, in his best English, “YOU MAKE GOOD WHEAT.”

Kansans make good wheat – and where do we store it? Author Linda Laird has written The American Grain Elevator: Function & Form, and provides information about the book, and other grain elevator memorabilia in a website at http://grainelevatorpress.com

Laird will be speaking at the Cow Creek Book Festival at the http://www.hutchpl.org Hutchinson Public Library on March 31.

EVERETT ROBERT UPDATES ALICE

If you were to meet up with Alice in Wonderland nowadays, what would she look like? Everett Roberts describes an updated Alice, who now prefers to be called Allie, as follows:

(ALLIE enters wearing iPod headphones, bopping along to some unheard tune. She is dressed in black sneakers, blue jeans, and a white shirt. Her hair is brown and pulled back in a ponytail and she is carrying a backpack over one shoulder. She walks past CAT not even paying attention to his presence. She flops down and pulls out a laptop and begins typing on it.)

You can read Roberts’ Allie in Wonderland at http://www.heartlandplays.com (well, most of it anyway). A native Kansan, graduate of Colby Community College, Roberts is both an actor and an author.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A MEMOIR OF . . . COMING THROUGH

Joe Cobb and Leigh Anne Taylor will speak about the book they have co-authored at 7 pm on Friday, March 23, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita.

Their jointly-written book, Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Coming Through, is the “story of a gay man, a straight woman and their journey through marriage, children, coming out, divorce, healing, reconciliation, and creating a new way of being a family.”

A native of Kansas, Joe Cobb has served in the ministry since 1981. Leigh Anne Taylor, ordained in the United Methodist Church, has worked as a church musician and musical director in several states, including Kansas.

www.watermarkbooks.com.

LOVE ITALIAN FOOD?

At 12:30 pm, on Thursday, March 20, (if tickets are still available) you’ll have a chance to meet author Frances Mayes, and to sample foods from her Under the Tuscan Sun cookbook, at Mercato Italian Antiques and Artifacts, 33071 W. 83rd Street in DeSoto. See www.rainydaybooks.com/FrancesMayes2012lunch.

Don’t think you can make the lunch? Well, you’ll have to do the cooking yourself, but you can meet the author and buy the book later the same day at 7 pm at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO. Information for this event at www.rainydaybooks.com/FrancesMayes2012

Mayes is the author of several books about Tuscany, including Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy. For more, see www.francesmayesbooks.com

BOOK RELEASE AND TASTING!

Shawnee Books and Toys will have an event from 1-3 pm on Saturday, March 24 – Chef Amber Shea Crawley is having her book release AND tasting. Crawley’s new book is Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make. Crawley has a website at http://almostveganchef.com/ and also is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/Almost Vegan,

Shawnee Books and Toys is at 7311 Quivira in Shawnee (natch!)

MACH, YATES AT RAVEN

From Tom Mach:

I just wanted to invite everyone to attend a talk I am giving--along with Heather Yates, a women's studies instructor at KU--on the subject of women... including the relevance of the historic women's suffrage movement to this year's presidential election. Our combined talk will be given at 7 PM on Friday, March 23rd at the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence. The good news is we should be done with our talk in plenty of time for you to watch the KU Jayhawks that evening (game time is 9:20 pm) so please don't miss this opporunity to hear a different spin on the fascinating story of our 19th century heroic women. If you think it was just about women wanting to vote you are sadly mistaken. This discussion will make you gasp with disbelief when we tell you the unvarnished truth of what suffragists had to endure.

As some of you already know, I am the author of a new historical novel called Angels at Sunset, which Kirkus Reviews called "compelling,", Blueink Reviews calls "a winning book," the Midwest Book Review claims Angels at Sunset is "an excellent pick for community library collections," and Bob Spear of Heartland Reviews gave it a high rating of four hearts.

The event is open to the public . . . Heather Yates is a particularly gifted and fascinating speaker and you will walk away, not only being entertained but informed as well.

The Raven Bookstore is at 6 E. 7th in Lawrence.

THE FUTURE OF BOOKS?

Electronic books vs paperbacks vs hard covers?

Gordon Kessler, author of Brainstorm, Dead Reckoning, Jezebel, and soon to come, Knight’s Big Easy debut, says: “This eBook stuff is getting kinda interesting. I’d appreciate the stop-by at my blog: Kessler's blog. It’ll be informative, as well. “

YEARBOOK IN MY MAILBOX

The Kansas Authors Club 2012 Yearbook, Volume 108, has arrived in my mailbox.

What does that mean?

If you got one, too, it means that you belong to an organization that was established one hundred and eight years ago, specifically in 1904. That’s an awesome thought.

For 108 years people have been stepping up to the plate to keep the group functioning, providing the opportunity for writers, and readers, all across the state of Kansas, to come together to share the written word.

You didn’t get a copy? Ooops, well, the yearbooks are for members only, so go to www.kansasauthors.org, get your membership application sent in, and then start enjoying the camaraderie of other writers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

TIME CHANGE ON READINGS

UPDATE -- The time for the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems reading at the band shell in downtown St. Francis has been re-set at 5 pm. See BEGIN AGAIN POETS GO WEST below.

RAINY DAY BRINGS VREELAND

Susan Vreeland will discuss her new book, Clara and Mr. Tiffany, at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 20 at the Atkins Auditorium of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

During the Gilded Age just before the turn of the twentieth century, Louis Comfort Tiffany forged his reputation in stained-glass. His highly recognizable style blended Art Nouveau, the exoticism of the Aesthetics Movement, and his own adoration of nature.

Until recently, it was assumed that he was the designer of the celebrated leaded-glass lampshades. However, two collections of letters reveal that an unrecognized woman, Clara Driscoll, designed the floral shades as well as many of the bronze bases.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany presents these two figures--one the giant of American decorative arts, the other unknown--as they engage each other, collaborating, probing and frustrating each other, stumbling over their passions.

Admission and ticket information, and other necessary stuff, such as parking, see www.rainydaybooks.com

About Vreeland's other books, www.svreeland.com.

BEGIN AGAIN POETS GO WEST

This weekend will find some of the Begin Again poets sharing their work with several appearances in western Kansas.

At 7:30 pm on Friday, March 23, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and several local writers will be at Garden City Community College. Ramona McCallum is the coordinator at ramonamccallum@gmail.com

(PLEASE NOTE: The time for this program has been changed from 4 pm to 5 pm.)The downtown band shell at St. Francis will be the location for the readings at 5 pm on Saturday, March 24. Readers will be Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ronda Miller, Rick Nichols, Karen Ohnesorge, Lee Mick and Nancy Hubble. Ronda Miller is the coordinator at coachingforliferonda@yahoo.com.

On Sunday, March 25, at 4 pm it’s Ad Astra Books and Coffee, 141 North Santa Fe Avenue, Salina, with Ronda Miller, Rick Nichols, Bill Karnowski, Dan Pohl, Jackie Magnuson Ash, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Karen Ohensorge, Bill Sheldon, and Lee Mick. Coordinator is Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg at kspoetlaureate@gmail.com

Sunday, March 18, 2012

WRITERS’ RETREAT JUNE 1-3

Details will be available soon, but consider this your first posting of a Writers’ Retreat on June 1-3, at Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center in Excelsior Springs, MO.

The retreat is sponsored by the Kansas Authors Club, District Two. The schedule includes workshops in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and many other topics of value to writers. The program will soon be listed on the official web site at www/kansasauthors.org.

In the meantime, you can explore the many delightful amenities available Lake Doniphan website.

BERNHARDT POWERFUL KEYNOTER

I think we all took home from the Kansas Writers Association conference this past weekend a greater resolve to work harder on our writing, inspired by a powerful keynote speech from William Bernhardt. I was happy to connect with some facebook friends I had not met before, and to make some new friends to connect with on facebook. All in all, it was a busy day and a half, beginning with Pitchapalooza on Friday night. Thanks to KWA president, Gordon Kessler, and a hard-working board for a very productive weekend.. And stay tuned for Crime Seminar 2013.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BIOGRAPHY OF DODGE CITY NATIVE

The life of Dennis Hopper, a native of Dodge City, has been chronicled in a book by Peter L. Winkler, Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel.

Hopper’s film debut was in Rebel Without A Cause. He later appeared in Easy Rider, and Apocalypse Now. Winkler is a film historian who lives in California.

KANSAS CITY VOICES READING

Five Kansas City Voices authors will be participating in a reading at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 20, at the Carmack Room of the Johnson County Central Resource Library at 9875 W. 87th, Overland Park.

Featured readers will be Teresa Vratil, Janet Sunderland, Dane Zeller, Bob Chrisman and Jessica Conoley. Kansas City Voices is published annually by the Whispering Prairie Press. www.kcvoices.com

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LOTT WORKSHOP AT KWA

From NewsOK (Oklahoman):

Malena Lott, brand strategist, writer, and executive editor of Buzz Books USA, will be discussing the idea of author during her workshop, “The Little Brand That Could for Writers,” Saturday morning at the Kansas Writers Association Scene Conference 2012, at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kan.

“Your brand is your identity and your message,” Lott said. “It determines who you are in the marketplace.”

Lott's books include Dating da Vinci, The Stork Reality: Secrets from the Underbelly and Sleigh Ride

. During the workshop, Lott will discuss how writers can identify who they are, what they represent, and how to present themselves and their work to marketing channels. www.kwawriters.org

FIND BENT ROAD IN MISSION

On Saturday, March 17, 2 pm, author Lori Roy will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at I Love a Mystery discussing and signing her Edgar-nominated first book, Bent Road, which was a staff pick at I Love a Mystery before it was even published.

Need help finding I Love a Mystery? It’s located at 6114 Johnson Drive, heart of Mission, north side of Johnson Drive, 1 ½ blocks west of Woodson or 1 ½ blocks east of Lamar. www.iloveamystery.com

KESSLER’S SCOPE ON KWA CONFERENCE

Gordon Kessler, president of Kansas Writers Association, says<> “Hi, everyone! A little late (a lot late) on this, but a reminder that the KWA's Scene Conference starts tomorrow night in Wichita. It's going to be a great conference for writers and those who want to be. We've got some great speakers who'll help us all understand the current opportunities in both traditional and ePublishing.”

You’ve still got time to pack a bag and show up at the Hyatt Regency on Friday, March 16 -- downtown Wichita, great views of the river.

What you'll be missing if you aren't there!

JOANNE FLUKE IN DERBY

Saturday, March 17, at 2 pm, will find Joanne Fluke at the Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove, in Derby, talking about her newest Hannah Swensen mystery, Cinnamon Roll Murder.

Fluke is the author of the Plum Pudding Murder, the Apple Turnover Murder, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, to name a few. All of the Hannah Swensen mysteries contain cookie and dessert recipes, and the recipes have all been collected in a separate book, the Lake Eden Cookbook. See more at www.murdershebaked.com.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DETAILS ON PROSPERO'S FUNDRAISER

At Prospero's Pit, the fundraiser for the Alcott Arts Center will be on Sunday, March 25th at 1800 W.39th St., Kansas City, MO, 64111, Call 816-531-WORD.

Yes, it's time for some MARCH MADNESS, Prospero's style!

This month, Prospero's will team up with Mainstreet Rag and a some waay cool cool poets and musicians to raise some $$$$ for the Alcott Arts Center (which recently had all its copper wiring stolen from the building).< Suggested donation is $10 (though please pay what you can). Our featured poets are donating their share of the door, and there will be a tip jar for those feeling 'specially generous. In addition, any poet wanting to read with a hip jazz backup band, may do so (for a small donation to the Alcott) - hell, we may even have a bake sale too....

The March PIT will start just a little earlier than usual:

5pm - live music & poetry by Tiny Hostages of Scientific Novelty www.facebook.com/TinyHostagesofScientificNoveltyTrio - featuring the poetry of Tony Plocido & Maggie Ammerman.

5:30 The Flying Absini's - Lance & Rachel showing off some deft poetic acrobatics!

6:00 Mainstreet Rag Showcase featuring JOSH RIZER & JASON RYBERG. their recent collaboration "Down Down and Away" (Spartan Press) features some dang'd gritty poetic noodlings, and snazzy cover by non other than Josh Rizer.

6:30 - ? Open MIC & poetic Mayhem... BYOP (bring your own poetry). FYI - The Alcott Arts Center is located in Kansas City, Kansas. It is a Non-Profit Center that focuses on nurturing, sharing, and growing art in the Kansas City Area. Their 2012 season is supposed to start on 4/13/2012 but there are some bills that need to be paid.

The Alcott Arts Center is doing important work to propel arts in the KC area. Please help them keep the momentum they have developed over the last 10 years. Please bring your friends.

Alcott Arts Center - Find them on Facebook or at: www.alcottartscenter.org

www.facebook.com/events/401328516548481

NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES

A Celebration of Native American Voices, hosted by Denise Low (Delaware and Cherokee), will begin at 7 pm on Friday, March 16, at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

The program includes poetry by Greg Field (Citizen Band Potawatomi), memoir by Pamela Dawes Tambornino (Cherokee), a One-Act Play by Dianne Reyner (Kiowa), Poetry and Prose by Diane Glancy (Cherokee), and art by Thomas Pecore Weso (Menominee).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PROSPERO’S RAISES MONEY FOR ALCOTT

On Sunday, March 25, 5-8 pm, Prospero’s, at 1800 W 39th Street in Kansas City, MO, will team up with Mainstreet Rag and several musicians and poets as a benefit for the Alcott Arts Center. Suggested donation is $10, although every penny will be accepted.

As the folks at Prospero’s say: “The Alcott Arts Center is located in Kansas City, Kansas. It is a Non-Profit Center that focuses on nurturing, sharing and growing art in the Kansas City Area. Their 2012 season is supposed to start on 4/13/2012 but there are some bills that need to be paid.”

The evening’s program is listed on Alcott Arts Center’s website, but the event happens at Prospero’s on 39th Street.

CHILDREN’S BOOK FROM ROWE

Another children’s book from Rowe Publishing and Design, has just been released -- Jamie’s Journey: The Savannah, by Susan M. Ebbers, illustrated by Cory Godbey.

In this beautifully illustrated story a boy follows his dream, using nothing but imagination and a marvelous morphing mat to brave the ocean, see the savannah and make friends with an African elephant. The message? Read to awaken your dreams. Imagine, and make it happen.

Rowe Publishing and Design is located in Stockton. Other Rowe titles at www.rowepublishingdesign.com

IT’S NOT A COOKBOOK . . .

. . .but it is the Cinnamon Roll Murder, by Joanne Fluke, whom you can meet at 7 pm on Friday, March 16, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 Douglas in Wichita.

Joanne Fluke is the . . . best selling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which began with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and contains such tasty delights as the Carrot Cake Murder, Cream Puff Murder, and Apple Turnover Murder. Check out her recipes mysteries at www.MurderSheBaked.com

MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN

Author Joshua Foer will discuss his new book, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, at 7 pm on Thursday, March 15, at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Technology and Engineering, 5109 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO.

Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top “mental athletes.” He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human memory.

The event is open to the public, however, seating is limited and admission tickets are required from the Linda Hall Library, 816-926-8772. For other admission information, go to www.rainydaybooks.com

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WHATEVER YOUR GENRE . . .

. . . you’ll find kindred souls at the KWA Scene Conference next weekend in Wichita. From Andrea Federov, a social media specialist, to Amy Shojai, who writes about animal pets, and everything in between, including agents, you won’t have a minute when there isn’t a workshop or talk to attend, or a fellow writer to network with.

Everything you need to know is at www.kwawriters.org/scene/, for registration information.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

RED STATE RELIGION BY WUTHNOW

In Red State Religion, Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers.

Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America’s Heartland is being published by Princeton University Press. A native of Kansas, Wuthnow teaches sociology and directs the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. http://press.princeton,edu

DO ROBOTS PARTY?

You bet they do, according to a new book by Gwendolyn Conover of Baldwin City. Robot Party was a runner-up in an author competition sponsored by MeeGenius, and will be published on March 16. MeeGenius is a virtual store for enhanced children’s books.

The MeeGenius Author Challenge is a 6-month, multi-round contest that solicits entries from across the country. The People's Choice and Runners Up awards are determined by popular vote. The Editor's Pick is chosen by the MeeGenius editorial panel, which is comprised of MeeGenius senior staff member and industry experts.

Friday, March 9, 2012

KWA CONFERENCE ALMOST HERE

You surely don’t want to miss this.

A Pitchapalooza will kick off the festivities on Friday night, then we have two concurrent speaker tracks with a total fifteen speaker sessions on Saturday, and a banquet on Saturday night. There’ll also be ten minute consultations going on all day on Saturday and a couple of mixers where you can rub elbows with industry professionals as well as other aspiring and perspiring writers just like yourself.

There’s more! Look at www.kwawriters.org for the 2012 Kansas Writers Association Scene Conference NEXT WEEKEND in Wichita – March 16-17.

BULL EXPLAINS WORLD BOOK NIGHT

Now, what exactly is World Book Night, which will happen on April 23?

You can read a great explanation today in Warren Bull’s contribution to the blog www.writerswhokill.blogspot.com . Bull’s blog appears every Friday on this blog.

PRAISE FOR VOGTS BOOK

The way to a writer’s heart? Write a letter to her or him expressing how much you enjoyed their book. Todd Vogts, author of Murder at St. Alfanus, was so pleased with a letter he received, he asked for permission to put it on his blog at http://voiceofthevogts.wordpress.com .

Vogts will be speaking about his book for the Ransom Book Club at 2 pm on Sunday, March 11, at the conference room Grisell Memorial Hospital, 210 South Vermont.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

FAIR GAME AT B&N

“Barnes & Noble is excited to welcome New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs as we celebrate the release of the newest title in her ‘Alpha and Omega’ series, Fair Game.”

Briggs will be signing books at 7 pm on Friday, March 9, at the Town Center Plaza, 4751 W 117th Street, Leawood.

WHEN THE KILLING’S DONE

The author of over twenty books, T. Coraghessan Boyle is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. He will be at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita at 7 pm on Monday, March 12.

T.C. Boyle writes: When the Killing’s Done is my thirteenth novel . . . takes up some of the environmental themes of earlier novels . . . set in the past decade on the California Channel Islands, where a rather testy turf war was fought between animal rights activists and the biologists of the National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy over the elimination of non-native species of plants and animals, and this provided the inspiration for the book. In fact, I still preserve a yellowing newspaper headline from six or seven years ago (it’s pinned beneath a magnet on the refrigerator door), which reads: EAGLES ARRIVE AS PIGS ARE KILLED, a reference to the reintroduction of the bald eagle and the eradication of the feral pig.”

This is the 3rd of 4 events in Watermark’s Penguin Author Series. Go to www.watermarkbooks.com for ticket information.

www.tcboyle.com

‘ANGELS’ AT METHODIST CHURCH

Tom Mach will be talking about Angels At Sunset, the third book in his Jessica Radford trilogy, at 12:45 pm on Tuesday, March 13, at the Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Avenue, in Lawrence. The program is open to the public.

The first two books are Sissy and All Parts Together. All three books can be enjoyed separately, but as a trilogy, they tell the story of Jessica Radford’s life, from the time of the Civil War until the 1920s.

SHERMAN ALEXIE AT JCCC

Sherman Alexie, an award-winning author, poet and screenwriter, will discuss his life and work – and the connections between the two – at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 8 in Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College. The public is invited to attend, and admission is free.(news release).

All audience members must have a ticket to gain entrance. A limited number of tickets may be available the day of the event, but seating is not guaranteed. Alexie, who appears at JCCC as part of its scholar-in-residence program, had to postpone his October 2011 initial booking due to a family emergency.

His rescheduled presentation is entitled “The Partially True Story of the True Diary of a Part-time Indian” and reflects the semi-autobiographical nature of his recent young adult novel.Two of Alexie's best known works are The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Smoke Signals, a film.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RAINY DAY HOSTS PICOULT

Lone Wolf looks at the intersection between medical science and moral choices. If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially? Does the potential to save someone else’s life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another’s death? And finally, when a father’s life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?

Author Jodi Picoult will be discussing her newest book at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 14, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, Kansas City, MO, 707 W 47th Street. See www.rainydaybooks.com for ticket and admission information.

www.jodipicoult.com

"Loan Me A Keynote?"

William Bernhardt is looking forward to the Kansas Writers Association Scene Conference in Wichita, and he has the following facebook request:

I'll be at the Kansas Writers Conference in Wichita the 16th and 17th. Apparently I'm the keynote speaker. Can someone loan me a keynote?

www.williambernhardt.com

www.kwawriters.org

OTTAWA HERALD SPONSORS WORKSHOP

“Nudging the Imagination” is the title of a free writing workshop sponsored by The Ottawa Herald Community Alerts Team beginning at 9:30 am on Tuesday, March 13. The opportunity to get “advice from an expert for all aspiring writers” will feature Author Steven Krasner, a published author, former sports writer covering the Boston Red Sox, and writer for ESPNBoston.com covering the New England Patriots.

The workshop will be held at the Ottawa Herald Conference Center, 104 South Cedar Street. Space is limited, early registration is suggested. Participants can earn a chance to win a book by Krasner, call The Herald at 785-242-4700. Copies of Krasner’s books can be ordered in advance. Krasner will autograph copies.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TO BE SEEN AT THE SCENE

If you are serious about your writing, you’ll want to be seen at the scene, the Scene Seminar, that it, of the Kansas Writers Association in Wichita on March 16 and 17.

Gordon Kessler, KWA president, says: “A Pitchapalooza will kick off the festivities on Friday night, then we have two concurrent speaker tracks with a total fifteen speaker sessions on Saturday, and a banquet on Saturday night. There’ll also be ten minute consultations going on all day on Saturday and a couple of mixers where you can rub elbows with industry professionals as well as other aspiring and perspiring writers just like yourself.”

More, much more, at http://kwawriters.org/scene/.

ANGELS AT SUNSET

The cover is magnificent – a woman (Jessica Radford) stands at the edge of a prairie, looking into the future, holding a sign that says “Votes for Women.”

It’s the story – told in a trilogy – of one woman’s lifelong battle for women’s rights, including the right to vote. Tom Mach has finished his trilogy which started with Sissy and All Parts Together, with Angels At Sunset, just out on March 1.

Mach, and his new work, were featured recently in an article by Kevin Groenhagen at Mach Concludes Trilogy with Novel on Women’s Suffrage. (That’s Mach’s picture on the Kaw Valley Senior Monthly.)

Read more at www.tommach.com and www.tommach.tumblr.com.

WINTER KAYAKING IN KANSAS?

Yes, you can. Even before you get your kayak out, though, you need to read the Spring 2012 issue of Kansas! Magazine, page 34, Paddle Your Way Around the Sunflower State, written by experienced kayaker Susan Kraus, and illustrated by Jason Dailey.

The magazine lists places to go for help, such as the Friends of the Kaw, the Arkansas River Coalition, the Kansas Canoe and Kayak Association and Rivermiles.

www.KansasMag.com

GOLDMAN AT ILAM

News from I Love a Mystery:

At 2 pm on Sunday, March 11, Joel Goldman will discuss his new book, Fatal Judgment, featuring Kansas City attorney, Lou Mason. Not many books are set in Kansas City, which makes Joel’s books even more of a treat. That’s at 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission, look at www.iloveamystery.com

www.joelgoldman.com

Monday, March 5, 2012

IRISH PASTORAL POETRY

Pastoral poetry, which expresses the union of humans with the land, is the subject of Donna Potts’ new book, Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Pastoral Tradition. Potts is an associate professor of English at Kansas State University. Her book was published by the University of Missouri Press.

In an important distinction from other studies of Irish poetry, Potts moves beyond the influence of history and politics on contemporary Irish pastoral poetry to consider the relatively recent influence of ecology. Contemporary Irish poets often rely on the motif of the pastoral retreat to highlight various environmental threats to those retreats—whether they be high-rises, motorways, global warming, or acid rain. Potts concludes by speculating on the future of pastoral in contemporary Irish poetry through her examination of more recent poets—including Moya Cannon and Paula Meehan—as well as other genres such as film, drama, and fiction.

http://press.umsystem.edu

ZACHGO’S ROCKING HORSE

Gloria Zachgo will autograph her book, The Rocking Horse from 10 a.m. to noon on March 31, at The Bookshelf in McPherson. Born and raised in Kansas , Gloria uses Kansas as the background for her novel. The story tells of the heartbreak and struggles when family members are murdered and a two-year old child disappears and re-emerges over 20 years later.

When: Saturday, March 31, 2012 10 a.m. to noon

Where: The Bookshelf, 206 N. Main , McPherson

TOPEKA CLIMATE FOR POETS

Found on Facebook:

Thomas Fox Averill and Matthew Porubsky join forces for a night of fertile poetry. Averill will read new material from his collection of Garden Plots prose poems and comment about Topeka and the poets that it produces. Porubsky will read exclusively from his newest collection of poems Fire Mobile (the pregnancy sonnets). recently released from Woodley press.

Be at the Topeka/Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Street, starting at 6 pm, on Thursday, March 15. Sounds like an insightful evening.

WE ALL LOVE TO EAT

Real Moms, too, as described by Beth Aldrich in Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair With Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous. Aldrich will be available at a talk and book-signing at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 7, at the Wellness Connection, 7410 Switzer, Shawnee.

More about loving to eat, (not about eating more) at www.realmomslovetoeat.com. For more information, contact www.yourwellnessconnection.com.

NICE REVIEW FOR COLLINS

Robert Collins’ novel, True Friends, has received a very nice review on The Phantom Paragrapher. Collins writes in several genre, as you’ll see on his blog, www.robertlcollins.blogspot.com (I'm having trouble making that link work. You'll find Robert's blog in the side-bar, Writers about Writing.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

MODERN WARFARE – ON HORSEBACK

Comanche, General Custer’s horse and the last survivor of the Battle at Little Big Horn, is still on display at University of Kansas Natural History Museum, but it’s been many years since the U.S. Cavalry was phased out at Fort Riley. So how did it happen that a Kansas farm kid and rodeo competitor found himself fighting a war on horseback in northern Afghanistan?

Special Forces Captain Mark Nutsch was the commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Aplha 595, a unit that has become known as the Horse Soldiers who assisted the Afghan people in ousting the Taliban from power in the early days after September 11, 2001.

Captain Nutsch, an Alma native and a K-State Letterman on the Rodeo Team, will be speaking at the McPherson American Legion on Friday, March 9, in a fund-raising event for the American Legion Riders, proceeds to go to Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Riley. Captain Nutsch’s commanding general was Maj. Gen. Geoffrey C. Lambert of Inman.

The event is expected to be a sell-out. Horse Soldiers was written by Doug Stanton.

AMERICA'S DEADLIEST BATTLE

Robert H. Ferrell, the author of The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division, among many other books, has now written America’s Deadliest Battle: Meuse-Argonne 1918, published by the University Press of Kansas in March.

The great battle of the Meuse-Argonne was the costliest conflict in American history, with 26,000 men killed and tens of thousands wounded. Involving 1.2 million American troops over 47 days, it ended on November 11—what we now know as Armistice Day—and brought an end to World War I, but at a great price.

Besides the U.S. shortcomings in mobilization and tactics, Ferrell points to the greatest failure of all: the failure to learn from the experience, as after the armistice the U.S. Army retreated to its prewar mindset. Enhanced by more than four dozen maps and photographs, America’s Deadliest Battle is a riveting revisit to the forests of France that reminds us of the costs of World War I—and of the shadow that it cast on the twentieth century.

Ferrell is emeritus professor of history at Indiana University.

www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Saturday, March 3, 2012

SAMPLES FROM NEW COOKBOOK

“I’ll be signing books and offering up samples of some of the recipes in my book. It’ll be a very informal, open-house-style gathering, which will be nice,” writes Chef Amber Shea Crawley who is releasing her first vegan cookbook, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make.

Crawley’s book-release party is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at Shawnee Books & Toys, 7311 Quivira, Shawnee.

www.bookandtoy.net

http://almostveganchef.com

Chef Amber Shea Crawley's website

RECONCILIATION ON THE BORDER

At 6:30 pm Monday, March 5, the Library and Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, are featuring History Department professor Jeremy Neely, who will talk about his book, The Border Between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line, in Meyer Library on the MSU campus. The event is part of a Library Civil War series provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Neely received the N. Tihen Publication Award from the Kansas State Historical Society in 2009.

HISTORIC ABILENE IN BOOK

A historic account of Abilene through photographs is the subject of the book Images of America: Abilene, published by Arcadia Publishing. Author Stephanie Mowry Bearce signed copies of her book today at the Rivendell Bookstore, 212 N. Broadway, and will be at the Dickinson County Historical Society, 412 South Campbell, from 2-4 pm on Sunday, March 4.

Heritage Center of Dickinson County

Arcadia Publishing

AMERICAN CURSIVE HANDWRITING

Has cursive handwriting taken a back seat to computers? Well, not totally, and to help restore that overlooked skill, two Johnson County residents have recently published a new textbook.

We have exciting news! Michael Sull’s newest book, American Cursive Handwriting (349 pages) is now available! This much anticipated text is the most thorough single volume workbook and curriculum on traditional cursive penmanship to be published during the past fifty years! This book is designed for primary-grade students and adults.

Written by Master Penman Michael Sull with the assistance of Debra Sull, American Cursive Handwriting brings back the traditional methods of learning how to write beautiful cursive penmanship as it was taught for over 60 years. As America’s foremost living Spencerian penman, author of Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship and Learning to Write Spencerian Script, and publisher of numerous educational materials on vintage American handwriting, Michael Sull is recognized internationally as a leader in handwriting instruction.

Sull’s work is available in three editions: Student, Reference, and Collector’s. Also available is a separate Primary Grade Supplement with practice and exercise sheets. More information and how to order at www.spencerian.com.

RAINY DAY BOOK CLUB EVENT

Lisa See, author of Dreams of Joy, will speak at a Rainy Day Book Club Event at 7 pm on Thursday, March 8, at the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village. See www.rainydaybooks.com for admission information.

In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in Dreams of Joy, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

http://www.lisasee.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

MEET OUR BOYS COACH

On March 4 from 2-3pm, the library welcomes Coach Barta and his son, Brooks Barta, who is currently the head football coach at Holton and a former Smith Center alum. They will talk about the philosophies, values, and expectations that have become synonymous with Smith Center football for the past 30 years.

Although Our Boys focuses on the Smith Center Redmen football program, and more specifically their 2008 season, it’s not just a sports book. It’s a book about the special relationship between Coach Barta, his players, and the people of Smith Center. It’s a book about team building, camaraderie, coming of age, family, small-town values, love, and trust. It’s a book that will make any Kansan proud of their Midwest roots. I encourage everyone to read Our Boys and attend library programs focusing on Smith Center football, sports, team building, and inspirational stories.

Our Boys: A Winning Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen is the Kansas READS choice for 2012. The author, Joe Drape, has made numerous appearances around the state. The Topeka/Shawnee County Library is at 1515 SW 10th Avenue.

http://joedrape.com

www.tscpl.org

LIBRARY RESEARCH PAYS OFF

The Topeka Room (204) at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library hosts Kansas author Jennifer Marie Brayton on Sunday, March 4, 2-3pm. She will talk about her new book series featuring Alana Marie McClaire, set in wild west era Kansas and researched, in part, in the Topeka Room.

The Adventures of Alana Marie McClaire: Book 1: The Early Years! is an historical fiction novel about the days and times of the American wild west era in Kansas. The story follows Alana Marie McClaire (Ali) from her birth in 1855 through her young adult years. While she was born in Wamego, KS, her parents immigrated from Ireland. Ali was born with the special gifts of horse whispering and the sight. Her adventures will continue in book 2 due out later in 2012.

Jennifer Marie Brayton is a Kansas native. She was born in Wamego, moved to Paxico at age 7 and is a graduate of Wabaunsee High School in Alma. She is a student in the Bachelor of Integrated Studies program at Washburn University and now lives in Topeka. .

A book signing will follow the author talk. For more information please call the Topeka Room at 785-580-4510.

http://tscpl.org

HADARA BAR-NADAV TO READ AT ESU

Sponsored by Flint Hills Review, Poet Hadara Bar-Nadav will present a program of poetry reading at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 7, in Plumb Hall Room 303 of Emporia State University, 1200 Commercial Street, in Emporia.

Hadara Bar-Nadav is the author of A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight (Margie/Intuit House, 2007) which was awarded the Margie Book Prize, and the The Frame Called Ruin (forthcoming from New Issues, 2012). Her chapbook, Show Me Yours (Laurel Review/Green Tower Press, 2010), was awarded the 2009 Midwest Poets Series Award. She is also co-author, with Michelle Boisseau, of Writing Poems, 8th Edition (Pearson, 2011). She has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and is currently Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

This event is sponsored by the ESU Creative Writing Program; Department of English; Modern Languages, and Journalism; Ethnic and Gender Studies Program; Performing Arts Board; and Special Events Board.

Flint Hills Review

POETRY AND ART – TONIGHT

A poet friend of mine finally got my attention. I’ve been reading about an upcoming art event – tonight, in fact, at the SouthWind Gallery – never realizing that the art to be displayed was inspired by poetry. The Art After Words display of works by Jennifer Rivera will open at 6 pm tonight, and will remain at the gallery through March.

Poets whose poems were accepted for inclusion in the project are:: Tom Averill, Dennis Etzel Jr., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mary Stone Dockery, Steve Brisendine, Aaron James McNally, Kevin Rabas, Richard Twillman, Nikki Allen, Tim Pettet, Isreal Wasserstein, Al Ortolani, Maria Vasquez, Donna Potts, Elizabeth Dodd, Holly Bonasera, Ronda Miller, Matthew Porubsky, Stephanie Barrows, DaMaris Hill, Danielle Smith, Catherine Malcolm Ellsworth, Maria Vasquez Boyd.

Many of the poets are expected to attend the opening tonight; some will be participating in a reading scheduled for March 14. The SouthWind Art Gallery is at 3074 SW 29th Street in Topeka.

http://www.southwindartgallery.com

LONGEST BOOK TITLE -- EVER

Well, I don’t know about that for sure, but Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire: An Absent-Minded Tale of Life with Giftedness and Attention Deficit—Oh Look! A Chicken! has got to be in the running for that category.

Author Stacey Turis will be speaking about her book from noon to 4 pm on Saturday, March 3, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 E Douglas in Wichita.

A belly-laugh inducing romp through a life so convoluted and chaotic you know it has to be true, Stacey Turis’s debut gives a voice to the genius yet tormented souls suffering from giftedness, ADHD, or a combination of both (a condition known as twice-exceptional) who are too afraid to speak.

http://staceyturis.com

www.watermarkbooks.com

AN AFTERNOON WITH DICKENS

Join us for a celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, one of England’s most beloved and iconic authors. The Johnson County Library will feature An Afternoon with Charles Dickens led by Andrea Warren, nationally renowned Kansas City author of Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London. Come and enjoy this intergenerational event about the classic literature superstar and his times. This event is appropriate for ages 8 and above. Copies of the book will be available for sale. No registration necessary.

The above invitation is from the Corinth Library, 8100 Mission Road in Prairie Village. The event is scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday, March 10. See Warren’s other books at www.andreawarren.com.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

THOSE WOMEN IN PETTICOATS

Remarkable Kansas women, they were, as told in a new book by Gina Kaufmann. Author Kauffman will speak following a 6 pm reception on Thursday, March 1, at the National Archives Central Plains Division at 400 Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO.

In her debut publication, Kaufmann celebrates the women who shaped the Sunflower State. Short, illuminating biographies, archival photographs, and paintings help to tell the stories of women from across the state.

Copies will be available for purchase via The Kansas City Store onsite.

www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city

www.thekansascitystore.com

LANZA AT BONNER LIBRARY

We’ve all seen retired agent Jeff Lanza on camera as the spokesperson for the FBI on regional high-profile criminal cases. Some of what we haven’t seen, off camera, is equally interesting, and is chronicled in Lanza’s new book, Pistols to Press.

Pistols to Press is about Jeff Lanza’s career as an FBI Special Agent and his transition to one of the Bureau’s most widely recognized and effective spokesman. The delightful anecdotes - how he dealt with likes of Larry King and Connie Chung - provide powerful lessons to help the reader become a more effective communicator.

Lanza will be speaking and signing books at 2 pm on Sunday, March 4, at the Bonner Springs Library, 201 North Nettleton. More at http://www.thelanzagroup.com

OH, THAT'S FUNNY !

Warren Bull posted on Facebook this morning that his short story, Company Policy, has been nominated for a Derringer Award.

One of his other Facebook friends immediately wanted to know if the Derringer was a “really small” award.

Bull’s “other” works, considerable in number, can be found at www/warrenbull.com

WRITING WITH THE RACCOONS

Here's a chance to take a look at your personal writing skills with Jerilynn Henrikson:

I'm going to be presenting at ESU at a conference titled "Focus on Writing." I'm looking forward to returning to a "classroom" setting. The sessions are open, free, no need to register. This is the focus of my presentation: Getting it Right -- Jerilynn Henrikson.

By the time we go to college, we should know how to write clearly and correctly. Freshman Compositon classes are designed to fill any remaining gaps; however, being a good writer is a lifelong quest. There is always room for improvement. I plan to use my children's book, "Raccoons in the Corn," to demonstrate the following skills: Using a variety of sentence structures, choosing words thoughtfully, and editing diligently. I hope to give some practical tips on developing writing skills, and to encourage writers to strive to make their work better.

I see I'm lacking place and time -- let me get back to you on this.

AND HERE COMES MARCH

And with a new month, a new page on my Kansas! Calendar, this time a remarkable vision of the star-studded Flint Hills in Butler County.

The photo was taken by Edward C. Robison III. For more about this treasured landscape, go to http://kansasflinthills.travel. About other places in Kansas, visit www.travelks.com or call 1-800-2KANSAS. And to get your own bonus calendar, subscribe to KANSAS! at www.KansasMag.com, or call 1-800-678-6424.