Tuesday, October 31, 2006
WYO TOUR WILL BE HOMECOMING FOR FRANSCELL: Ron Franscell attended high school in Casper and spent most of his professional life as a journalist in Wyoming. Now a newspaper editor in Beaumont, Texas, this one-time Wyoming Arts Council creative writing fellowship winner will return to the state in December with his new book, “Fall: The Rape and Murder of Innocence in a Small Town.” It’s a factual account of the brutal 1973 attacks on Amy and Becky Burridge outside Casper. As Ron says in a press release: “I will launch ‘Fall’ exclusively in Wyoming and Colorado Dec. 1-10. Come to one of my signings or discussions in Casper, Cheyenne or Denver and say hi! For the rest of America, the book will be released after Jan. 1, 2007.” He will conduct a debut presentation and signing on Saturday, Dec. 2, 7-9 p.m., at Roberts Commons Ballroom, Casper College. This event is co-sponsored by Ralph's Books and Blue Heron Books.

Here’s the rest of Ron’s schedule:
Dec. 4: 7:30-11 a.m. Journalism classes at Kelly Walsh H.S. (Ron's alma mater), Casper
Dec. 4: Noon, Casper Rotary Club, Parkway Plaza Hotel, Casper
Dec. 6: 6-7:30 p.m. City News, Cheyenne
Dec. 7: 10-11:30 a.m. Cheyenne East H.S. Auditorium, Cheyenne
Dec. 7: 4-6 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Cheyenne
Dec. 7: 7-8:30 p.m., Discussion and Reading, Cheyenne Family YMCA Writers Voice
Dec. 9: Tattered Cover, Denver (time TBA)

If you can’t get to any of these events but want a signed copy of "Fall," contact Ralph's Books, 215 S. Montana, Casper WY 82609; 307-234-0308; RalphsBooks@juno.com.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Cultural Trust Fund Begins Application Process

Grant applications for the new Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund (WCTF) will be available on November 8, according to program administrator Renee Bovee.

Designed to promote, preserve and enhance the unique cultural heritage of Wyoming, the Cultural Trust Fund was has been funded by the Wyoming Legislature with a $10 million corpus. The interest of which will be used to provide grant funding for all forms of arts and culture. A five-member board, appointed by the Governor, will determine which grant applications receive funding.

The application postmark deadline is December 20 for projects beginning after March 1, 2007.

The mission of the WCTF Board is to serve the citizens of the state by supporting Wyoming’s culture and heritage through grant funding of innovative projects for the enjoyment, appreciation, promotion, preservation and protection of the state’s arts, cultural and historic resources. The program will also look to support and invest in Wyoming institutions that support the state’s culture and heritage.

The WCTF can provide grant funding for all forms of arts and culture, including but not limited to, visual arts, performing arts, crafts, design arts, media arts, literature, folklife and traditional arts, humanities, historic and architectural preservation, community cultural celebrations and cultural corridors.

Grant applications shall, at a minimum, indicate the ability of the organization or project to accomplish one or more of ten criteria requirements as outlined in the application materials.

Downloadable applications are available from the Cultural Trust Fund website.

For additional information or a paper copy of the application, contact Renee Bovee, WCTF Administrator, at 307-777-6312.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
OWR WANTS YOU: From Owen Wister Review editor Ken Steinken: "The Owen Wister Review, the literary & arts magazine of the University of Wyoming, is now accepting original works for its Spring 2007 issue. We are hungry for work that seek to view Wyoming and the West from a new perspective, be that in form or content. All submissions will be considered, but we are especially interested in those that move beyond conventional ways of viewing land, nature, energy, and life in the West. All submissions must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2006. E-mail Ken for guidelines.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
BOOKFEST ATTENDANCE NUMBERS: Tom Rea, head honcho for the Equality State Book Festival, reports that "4,520 total individuals were reached by the Oct. 19-21 book festival." That’s more than twice the attendance of 2,000 souls that we estimated when writing our grants to the National Endowment for the Arts, Wyoming Community Foundation, etc. Numbers aren’t everything, but they are something. We’ll have more details later.
Friday, October 27, 2006
COLES NAMED UTAH POET LAUREATE: From a press release: Today, Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., named Katharine Coles as Utah’s new State Poet Laureate. Coles, an associate professor of English at the University of Utah, has published two novels and three collections of poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Coles has a long history of professional and community service, and has received several awards for her work. Her most recent collection of poems, “Fault,” will be published (Red Hen Press) in 2008. “Katharine’s literary achievements and community service in teaching and writing are a tremendous asset as she helps bring poetry and the literary arts to the people of Utah,” said Governor Huntsman. “The arts are an essential element to investing in Utah’s future. We are grateful to Katharine for her representation of Utah’s fine artists.” Coles will serve a five-year term of office and act as the leading public advocate for the literary arts in Utah. Community groups, arts organizations and educators are welcome to invite the Poet Laureate to speak at events throughout the state. Contact the Utah Arts Council at 801-236-7555.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Fellowship Winners Shine at Bookfest

On Friday, Oct. 20, I was emcee for two events at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper’s First United Methodist Church. The first was a reading of the 2007 creative writing fellowship winners along with fellowship judge Rosemary Daniell. About 50 people attended the event. I acknowledged the fellowship honorable mentions, Pat Frolander of Sundance and Chavawn Kelley of Laramie. I also named the winners and honorable mentions of the 2007 Blanchan/Doubleday writing awards: Bo Moore, Chavawn Kelley, Susan Marsh, Renee Carrier, Joan Puma Bennet, and Diane Wolverton.

Then it was time to hear a few comments about the judging process from Rosemary, poet and author of “Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (and Sisterhood) Can Change Women’s Lives.” She admitted to having a difficult time choosing the three recipients of the $3,000 awards. “Reading the poems has been a near-painful pleasure -- there were so many good ones, and so many of them moved me immensely,” she said. “What a repository of talent you have in Wyoming.”

Myra Peak of Green River was first up. One of her award-winning poems was “To Run a Dozer,” based on her time as a coal mine foreman in the 1980s. She mixes the hard-edged realities of earth-moving machines with images from home and the natural world. Here’s a few of my favorite lines:

Forget the pale blue sky and twilight chatter
of the two-way radio so you can hear
the dozer say, “This what I want.”
Keep lowering the blade until loose
cubic yards of dirt drift over its top
like thick fudge rolling into a buttered dish.

Jeffe Kennedy’s first nonfiction book, “Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel,” was published by University of New Mexico Press in 2004. She read from her fellowship entry of five poems entitled “Grooming Lessons.” She ends “Make-up” with the realization that, as an adult, she repeats the grooming lessons she learned from her mother:

Then, like Grandmother,
Like I do today,
She added lipstick last.
Always last.
And tossed the tissue full of her painted kisses to the counter.

Jane Wohl was the last of the three fellowship recipients to read. Jane’s first book of poems, “Beasts in Snow,” was published last year by Glendo’s High Plains Press. Her entry was entitled “Iraq Poems,” written about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She acknowledged that some of the poems are written in a persona other than her own. Here’s one of those poems in its entirety:

Baghdad III

After gunfire, it’s always hard to breathe.
Dust curtains ruined walls. Then for weeks
the sky never clears. Gray air settles, rises
settles again, and our lungs fill with it.

My children have never been asthmatic, but now
even on sunny days, they wheeze and gasp.
At night, we can no longer sleep on the roof, watching
great stars wheel above us, but the close air of the house
presents no real safety or relief. I wait for the sun,
for skies as blue as memory. But gunfire’s sharp

haze surrounds us. Some days, a white cloud grows
on the horizon, bringing perhaps the miracle of rain,
but then it’s just the dust of approaching trucks.
The palms’ deep green fades to shades of gray,
still, the mosque’s blue dome rises in the thickening air.


Sunday, October 22, 2006
Great turn-out for events at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. Not even a surprise snowstorm nor a UW home football game against arch-rival CSU could stay the state's writers and book-lovers from their appointed rounds. Stay tuned to upcoming posts for some first-person accounts (mine) of the Oct. 19-21 event. Feel free to add your impressions, thoughts. criticisms, etc., of this first-ever statewide bookfest. How can we do better next time, in fall 2008? What writers would you like to see?
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Meet me at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper Oct. 19-21. Featured writers include Annie Proulx, Linda Hasselstrom, Gerry Spence, C.J. Box, Rosemary Daniell, Tim Sandlin, Candy Moulton, and Kathleen and Michael Gear. Poetry slam Friday night, and readings all day Saturday (Oct. 21) at the First United Methodist Church downtown by authors Theodore Judson, Jeffe Kennedy, Lily Burana, Karol Griffin, Eugene Gagliano, Tina Welling, and writers featured in the "Wind" anthologies and a new collection by Bearlodge Writers. All events free (except for workshops and banquet). Come on down -- or up -- depending on your orientation in The Equality State.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
MATURI CONDUCTS WRITING SEMINAR: Richard Maturi will offer a seminar, "Jump Start Your Writing Career" on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 9:30 a.m.-noon in the Cowboy Room at the Hampton Inn in Laramie. Maturi will instruct how to craft powerful query letters, use the rules of the writing game, generate irresistible ideas, sell writings multiple times, and publish your own work. Each attendee will receive four of Maturi's books. For fee and registration information e-mail chismaturi@prodigy.net.
Monday, October 16, 2006

From Warren Adler’s web site: It's the silver anniversary of my novel "The War of the Roses" and at Stonehouse Press, we want to celebrate. You've read our divorce story; now we want to read yours. So get to writing and give us -- in 1,500 words or less -- your juiciest, meanest, and veracious divorce story. For those of you who were never married...well, you can still apply, just tell us about the bad break-up of a friend or family member.

The person whose story makes us laugh, cry, or squirm the most is going to win a top-notch prize, with second and third prizes also forthcoming. Just to show there’s no loser (aside from those alimony payments and painful memories), we're going to put up the entries on the website for the rest of world to cherish your heartache.

In true love’s fashion, we’ll announce the winner on Valentine’s Day, 2007. Deadline for the contest is December 31, so get writing. Follow the rules on the web site, and then send your stories customerservice@warrenadler.com.

P.S.: Read the first chapter of "The War of the Roses" here.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
BOOKFEST READINGS GALORE: More than 32 authors have signed up with the Equality State Book Festival to read from their work in 15-minute intervals on Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Casper. The church is located across the street (north) from the Natrona County Library, which will be conducting its annual book sale on Oct. 21. The church is about two blocks northwest – easy walking distance – of the Nicolaysen Art Museum, where the bookfest panels will be held. The readings are free and open to the public.

Casper fiction writer Nina McConigley will serve as emcee for the readings. Waldenbooks will staff a table with titles by the featured authors. Videographer Dean Peterson of the Wyoming Cultural Resources Division will film the proceedings.

A number of these writers have web site links on this blog's sidebar (to your right).

Here’s the schedule:

9:00 am: Donna H.B. Smith, author of "Pocketful of Parables" and "Legendary Feather And Her Tale"
9:15 am: Stacy Coyle, author of "Cloud Seeding"
9:30 am: Linda Hasselstrom, author of "Between Grass and Sky" and "Bitter Creek Junction"
9:45 am: Tom Rea, author of "Bone Wars" and "Devil's Gate"
10:00 am: Elaine Marie Alphin, author of "The Ghost Cadet" and "Ghost Soldier"
10:15 am: B.J. Buckley, author of "Moonhorses and the Red Bull"
10:30 am: Charlotte Babcock, author of "Shot Down!"
10:45 am: Tina Welling, author of "Crybaby Ranch"
11:00 am: Open slot
11:15 am: Eugene Gagliano, author of "C is for Cowboy" and "Four Wheels West"
11:30 am: Linda Nelson, author of "Drama and the Adolescent Journey"
11:45 am: Bearlodge Writers
12:00 pm: Pat Frolander
12:15 pm: Marshall Jefcoat, author of two volumes of "Adventures As Dogboy"
12:30 pm: Dennis Chowden, author of "Boss Mouse"
12:45 pm: John D. Nesbitt, author of "Lonesome Range" and "Rancho Allegre"
1:00 pm: Kayne Pyatt, author of "The Women of Eden" and "Old Woman's Garbage"
1:15 pm: Craig Johnson, author of "The Cold Dish" and "Death Without Company"
1:30 pm: Jeffe Kennedy, author of "Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel"
1:45 pm: Tony Sacco, author of "The China Connection" and "Little Sister Lost"
2:00 pm: Alan Cvancara, author of "Edible Wild Plants and Herbs," and "Bare Bones Geology"
2:15 pm: Ella Cvancara, author of "Beyond The Bite"
2:30 pm: "Leaning Into the Wind" and "Woven in the Wind" anthologies
2:45 pm: "Crazy Woman Creek" anthology
3:00 pm: Renee Carrier, author of "A Singular Notion"
3:15 pm: Lily Burana, author of "Try" and "Strip City"
3:30 pm: Mike Shay, author of "The Weight of A Body"
3:45 pm: Martin Turner, author of "A Common Sense Approach To Raising Your Children"
4:00 pm: Terry Del Bene, author of "The Donner Party Cookbook"
4:15 pm: Janet Meury, author of "Listening To Stones"
4:30 pm: Barbara Foote, author of "Harvest of Hope"
4:45 pm: Kevin Holdsworth, author "Big Wonderful"
Saturday, October 14, 2006
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: From Homer Simpson, animated hero: "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel."
Friday, October 13, 2006
CORRECTION TO 10/12 POST ON CYBERGRANTS: The WAC’s “Cybergrants” system in up and running on our web site. Organizations can now apply online for grants in these categories: Arts Across Wyoming, Tumblewords, Open Door, Technology in the Arts, Arts Access, and Folk Arts (all six categories included in the Ongoing Grants book). Individuals can apply for Individual Artists Professional Development Grants. The following grants will be available online 12/08/06: Grants to Organizations (GTO) and Arts In Education (AIE). And these grants will be the last to go online by 7/01/07: Folk & Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Performing Arts Fellowships, Visual Arts Fellowships, Creative Writing Fellowships, Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award, and Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. WAC staff has received training on the new system and it’s pretty slick and easy to navigate. As all WAC applicants know, we’ve put our applications up on the web site for years, but you had to print them out and fill them in the old-fashioned way – by hand or by typewriter. These new forms can be completed on-line and send to us electronically. We’ve already had a few guinea pigs try it out and they’ve experienced very little gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair. So go check it out at http://www.wyomingartscouncil.org.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Wyoming Arts Council’s “Cybergrants” system in up and running on our web site. Organizations can now apply online for WAC grants in these categories: Ongoing Programs (Arts Across Wyoming, Tumblewords, Open Door, Technology in the Arts, Arts Access, and Folk Arts); Grants to Organizations; and Arts in Education. Indiviiduals can apply for Individual Artists Professional Development Grants. WAC staff has received training on the new system. I found it pretty slick and easy to navigate. As all WAC applicants know, we’ve put our applications up on the web site for years, but you had to print them out and fill them in the old-fashioned way – by hand or by typewriter. These new forms can be completed on-line and send to us electronically. We’ve already had a few guinea pigs try it out and they’ve experienced very little gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair. So check it out.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
HIX NAMED NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST: H.L. “Harvey” Hix, poet and director of the University of Wyoming creative writing program in Laramie, has been named a finalist in poetry for this year’s National Book Awards. His book, “Chromatic,” is published by Etruscan Press. Hix joins other poetry finalists Louise Gluck (“Averno”), Ben Lerner (“Angle of Yaw”), Nathaniel Mackey (“Splay Anthem”), and James McMichael (“Capacity”). The winners will be announced at the annual National Book Foundation banquet on Nov. 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
PBS DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS AT BOOKFEST: From my colleagues Tom Rea and Laurie Lye on the Equality State Book Festival planning committee: "A last-minute addition to the Mormon history events slated for Friday Oct. 20 at the National Historic Trails Center in Casper will be two free showings of the LDS filmmaker Lee Groberg’s new PBS documentary, The Sweetwater Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Story. The hour-long film will show at 9 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. This documentary will not air nationally until December 18. Go to the ESBF website and click on events for more details." With this addition, the ESBF will have three screenings of WYO-based films: Brokeback Mountain, The Laramie Project, and The Sweetwater Rescue. We could almost lengthen the event's official title to (hold your breath): "The 20th annual Casper College Literary Conference presents the Equality State Book Festival and Filmfest." Say that fast five times.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
GET LITERARY AT NYC CONFERENCE: The “Literary Writers Conference” will be held Nov. 2-4 in New York City. It’s a conference geared for post-MFA writers of literature and its worthy goals are to teach writers “how to maneuver the marketplace and forge lasting relationships with editors, agents, and publishers.” Main sponsors are the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the New School graduate writing program. Sessions include “The Fine Art of Giving a Reading,” “Unmasking the Writer/Editor Relationship,” “The Brass Tacks of Contracts,” “Booksellers on Marketing,” and many others. Presenters (and their presses/orgs/agencies) include Jill Bialosky (W.W. Norton), Nicole Dewey, Alison Rich, and Bill Thomas (Doubleday), Paula Dietz (The Hudson Review), Morgan Entrekin (Grove/Atlantic), Mindy Friddle, Jonathan Galassi and Lorin Stein (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Alex Glass (Trident Media), Beth Harrison (Spinning Jenny), Jonathan Lethem (Parnassus: Poetry in Review), Fiona McCrae (Graywolf), Sarah McNally (McNally Robinson), Sonny Mehta (Knopf), Rose Marie Morse (Morse Partners), Richard Nash (Soft Skull), Maud Newton (Maud Newton), Richard Parks (The Richard Parks Agency), Sara Nelson and Craig Teicher (Publishers Weekly), David Rakoff and Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books), Nat Sobel and Judith Weber (Sobel Weber Associates), and Joanna Yas (Open City). FMI: CLMP, 212.741.9110.
Monday, October 09, 2006
SPENCE TAKES ON CULTURE WARS: Durham Hall on the Casper College campus will be the site of a lively session with Gerry Spence that promises to get the Equality State Book Festival off to a rollicking start. “Can Books Win the Culture Wars” will feature Wyoming’s most famous (some might say infamous) trial lawyer being interviewed by UW History Professor Phil Roberts from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. Spence will discuss his 15th book, Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the New Conservative Hate Culture, as well as his autobiography, Gunning for Justice, and his novels. He will sign copies of his books before the presentation, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Durham Hall is located on campus in the Aley Fine Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public. You can find a map and more info at the ESBF web site.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Get Tix Now for Bookfest Banquet

Laurie Lye, chair of the Equality State Book Festival, sent this letter about the bookfest’s Oct. 20 banquet, an event that combines writing, music, and great food. Take a look....

Dear All:

Yesterday marked exactly 2 weeks until the book festival starts, and we are all getting very excited. We’d like to focus your attention on the Gala Banquet scheduled at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper on Friday, Oct. 20.

It’s our goal to get all of you who are interested to go to the web site, download the document that is available via the "registration" tab, and send it in along with your payment. The last day we can accept a banquet registration is the 15th, so please don’t put it off any longer. We are not able to sell banquet tickets at the door. For those of you who register by the 15th, your banquet ticket will be awaiting you at the door that evening, organized under your name by our friendly ticket dispenser. The tickets are $25 each, and the menu consists of either a delightful Chicken Cordon Bleu or a tender Beef Filet, accompanied by a savory potato or saucy rice pilaf, warm rolls dripping with butter, salad with no spinach, coffee and assorted tantalizing desserts. Special arrangements for those gentle vegetarian folks can be made by noting this on your registration form. Who could resist?

And what do you get for this mere pittance? Well, let’s start with our own Tracy Pfau and his "Ju Ju Jazz" band. This fun-filled gang will be soothing our souls and tickling our fancies as we mingle with each other for a well deserved chunk of down time, and right-friendly socializing! The no-host cocktail bar starts at 6 p.m.; dinner will be served at 7.

But wait, there’s more! Our keynote speaker, Linda Hasselstrom, will be the evening’s highlight for those many authors gathered there. Linda is an award-winning poet, talented writer and editor whose work is rooted in the arid landscape of southwestern South Dakota. Hasselstrom's talk, "The Commonplace I Sing," recalls Walt Whitman's lines:

The commonplace I sing. . .
The open air I sing, freedom, toleration. . .
The common day and night-- the common earth and waters.

Her reading and talk will center on writers as a community of ordinary folks dedicated to writing the truth about their lives, particularly as these local and living writers represent the Great Plains and Wyoming. "I believe we do our best and most valuable work as citizens when we 'sing the commonplace;' " says Hasselstrom, "that is, when we write the reality we see from ground level. Our best qualities are expressed most truthfully by people who really live the life they write about." She will read and comment on some of her own work, as well as writing by other regional writers. Hasselstrom's books will be for sale at the event by Tammy, from Ralph’s bookstore.

You won’t want to miss this great sure-fire event. Register now. And thank you kindly for your time.

Laurie Lye
Chair, Equality State Book Festival
Friday, October 06, 2006
NEW BAMA BOOK INCLUDES “DOC” COVERS: The illustration art of Cody artist James Bama have now been collected into a 160-page full-color book, James Bama: American Realist (hardbound edition ISBN: 0-9723758-8-0, signed and numbered hardbound edition ISBN: 0-9723758-9-9). It was written by Brian M. Kane with Harlan Ellison and Len Leone. Here’s a description: "James Bama: American Realist is the first book to span his entire career. Examples explore his diverse brush from magazine illustrations, paperback book covers, and advertising. Chapters examine his work in pop culture, horror, science fiction, adventure and western genres, concluding with his most recent fine art endeavors. This volume features a detailed biography exploring his noteworthy and singular career. Insightful quotes by Bama accompany many pieces. In addition, testimonials by leading artists, writers, and historians are contained throughout. During his career, Bama’s art graced many memorable pop culture paperback book covers. Among his most notable works are the 62 cover paintings for Bantam’s Doc Savage adventure series, all of which are contained within. More than 260 illustrations are featured, of which more than 85 are from the original art. The deluxe edition is limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies, with slipcase, and Paul Jilbert’s one hour documentary of the artist on DVD.” What I found particularly intriguing are Bama’s illustrations of the “Doc Savage” covers. These book were written by Lester Dent, who grew up (1912-1918) as an only child on a remote ranch near Pumpkin Buttes in the Powder River Basin. While Dent’s imagination ran free during his years of isolation, he fled Wyoming when he was old enough. Bama, on the other hand, escaped from New York City in 1968 to move to Cody. These two talented men never met, but their lives intersected on the cover of a book. Here’s a quote about Dent from Will Murray’s unpublished biography of the author: “Because he lived in an arid locale where the nearest water was a day’s ride away, many of his daydreams concerned the ocean, which he had never seen.”
Thursday, October 05, 2006
SEPARATION OF WORDS & MUSIC: Warren Adler of Jackson and NYC writes in his latest e-sheet about being a “fussy old purist” on the subject of listening to music while reading. Here’s a quote: “Words are the principal conveyance of meaning between people and I’ve always believed that the printed word, reading, was an extremely private endeavor that needed no sensory enhancements.” Read Warren’s latest e-sheet here.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Purple Haze Meets Viagra

Tim Sandlin’s new (and long-anticipated) novel, Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty, will officially be released by Riverhead in January. I just received a review copy. The cover features a psychedelic VW microbus with a wheelchair strapped to the roof. Attention-getting and nostalgic for some Baby Boomers, horrific for others. I’m not sure if copies will be available when Tim participates on the “Writing the Changing West” panel at the Equality State Book Festival, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m., in the Nicolaysen Art Museum on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Jackson resident will be joined by panelists Jeffe Kennedy (Laramie), Page Lambert (Golden, Colo.), Geoff O’Gara (Lander), and Lily Burana (N.Y.). I will serve as moderator, an easy task with this crew. All I will have to do is make introductions and turn them loose. The session will end with a Q&A.

Here’s a description of Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty from Tim’s web site: "It's 2023, and Guy Fontaine is an unwilling new resident at Mission Pescadero, an assisted-living facility outside San Francisco. It doesn't take him long to realize that his fellow residents have reverted to the lifestyles they embraced in the sixties, complete with sex, drugs, and rock and roll (with a little Viagra thrown in for good measure). The Mission Pescadero staff, and the world outside, would like nothing more than to forget these aging hippies, but the residents want--no, demand--to be treated with respect and dignity. And they'll fight for it. When one resident's prohibited cat is discovered by Mission Pescadero's domineering administrator, the resulting confrontation mushrooms into an epic battle between authority and anarchy, complete with twenty-four-hour media coverage and the involvement of California's governor, Drew Barrymore. As tensions escalate, Guy finds himself cast as an unlikely radical in a drama he doesn't understand. By turns outrageous, hilarious, and, ultimately, touching, Tim Sandlin's new novel is a fascinating exploration of how the baby boomers are facing their own mortality. Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty is Sandlin at his iconoclastic best."
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Lori Van Pelt's biography, Amelia Earhart: The Sky's No Limit (Forge, 2005), a premier title in the American Heroes series, received recognition in the UK's Guardian Unlimited recently. Best-selling author and movie producer Don Mullan, creator of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday, selected Lori's book as one of his "Top 10 Books on Heroes," saying, "Van Pelt's biography reignited my admiration for a fearless pioneer who not only broke barriers and pushed back frontiers but also helped spearhead commercial aviation and the advancement of women." Other books on his list included autobiographies of Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Mahatma Gandhi. Lori's book is now available in paperback and she will be appearing as a panelist at the Equality State Book Fest in Casper on Oct. 21.

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