Tuesday, January 17, 2017

EVENT: Kansas Day Author Showcase 2017

January 29, 2017, 1-5 pm ~~ Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, Emporia, Kansas

1:30 Kevin Rabas
1:40 Ronda Miller
1:50 Cathy Callen
2:00 Beverley Buller
2:10 Carmaine Ternes
2:20 Bob Grover
2:30 Hazel Hart
2:40 Carol Russell
2:50 Tally Russell
3:00    Jim Hoy
3:10 Dennis Smirl
3:20 Kelly Mason
3:30 Gena Mantz
3:40 Bill Clamurro
3:50 Amy Sage Webb
4:00 Scott Irwin
4:10 Stan Finger
4:20 Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson. Before devoting time to authoring and publishing his recent non-fiction book, “The Alternate Compass”, Steve worked for Boeing in Wichita, KS (28 years) with primary responsibilities in Systems Engineering requirements and design. He has authored numerous technical publications, which reside in the Boeing Library, and designed a web application specific to Large Transport Military Commercial Derivative Aircraft modifications for the United States. Steve continues to consult on a limited basis, and recently obtained a Trademark from the U S Patent and Trademark Office to support his unique book logo. A seasoned motorcyclist, he enjoys spending time in the saddle on the road less-traveled with an understanding spouse of 30 years, seeing the unique geography and diversity found in different regions of the U.S.

Beverley Buller had a mother who read to her and a father who knew she'd someday write a book.  He was right! Late in her long career as a teacher and librarian, her first book was published--and she's been writing for kids ever since. Beverley’s books include From Emporia:  The Story of William Allen White (Kansas City STAR Books, 2007; 2008 Kansas Reading Circle Catalog; 2008 Kansas Notable Book; 2009-2010 William Allen White Awards Master List grades 6-8); A Prairie Peter Pan:  The Story of Mary White (Kansas City STAR Books, 2010; 2011 Kansas Reading Circle Catalog; 2011 Kansas Notable Book; 2012-2013 William Allen White Awards Master List grades 3-6); and Winfield: Postcard History Series, a book for all ages about Beverley's hometown with illustrations composed of her mother's antique postcards, released in March 2015 by Arcadia Books.

Cathy Callen is a retired educator living in Lawrence, Kansas. Her book, Words in Rows, Poetry and Prose, is a collection of poems and prose written from the time she got out of college and was serving as a VISTA volunteer in Goodnews Bay, Alaska, through the nearly 50 years that follow. Many of the pieces are accompanied by drawings created by five different artists. Cathy's poems and essays have appeared in "Inscape," a literary publication of Washburn University, and in Tallgrass Voices, a collection of poetry by members of the Kansas Authors Club. Cathy also wrote Running out of Footprints, a history of family migration from Switzerland in 1719 to Kansas City in the late nineteenth century. She has authored articles for “Connections,” a journal of the Indiana Historical Society, the “UU World,” a publication of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and for the journal of the Jackson County (Missouri) Historical Society.

William H. Clamurro is Professor of Spanish at Emporia State University. He is the author of “Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares: Reading Their Lessons from His Time to Ours” (2015); “Beneath the Fiction: The Contrary Worlds of Cervantes’s Novelas Ejemplares” (1997); and “Language and Ideology in the Prose of Quevedo” (1991). Prof. Clamurro is active as a musician and has performed with orchestras in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio. In Emporia, he has performed with the ESU chamber orchestra, the Emporia Symphony Orchestra, and the Mid-America Woodwind Quintet. As an undergraduate at Amherst College (class of ‘67), Clamurro studied creative writing with Archibald McLeish. His poetry books include “Comfort & Lies” and “Songs of Love’s Disillusion And Despair”. His poetry has been published in the Flint Hills Review and other literary magazines.

Stan Finger grew up on a small farm in central Kansas dreaming of being a writer one day. He made that dream come true and is a veteran journalist for the Wichita Eagle newspaper in Kansas. A Pulitzer Prize nominee and award-winning writer, Finger is the author of Fallen Trees, a novel published in 2016, and the co-author of Into the Deep, a book about a flash flood on the Kansas Turnpike that killed six people in 2003. He makes his home in Wichita.

Robert J. Grover, PhD, formerly served as a university administrator and professor emeritus of library and information management at Emporia State University. Grover’s published works include a wide range of information services.  “Libraries Partnering With Self-Publishing: A Winning Combination” provides everything needed to help patrons create, produce, and market their own books utilizing library resources. Libraries can leverage opportunities in the popular DIY publishing movement by following this process.

Hazel Hart, a member of Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and "Confessions," published in Words out of the Flatlands. She has published three suspense novels and one young adult novel. Currently she is working on the third novel in her Pierce Family Saga historical series. Cordelia’s Journey, the first book in the series, is set in Kansas Territory in 1855. The second book, For Want of a Father, is set in 1859.

Jim Hoy, reared on a small Flint Hills ranch near Cassoday, taught literature and folklore for 45 years at Emporia State University, where he directs the Center for Great Plains Studies.  He has served as president of the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Association of Australian Literary Studies and as board chair of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  All but one of his 17 books deals in one way or another with the folklife of ranching.

Scott Irwin, a native of Kansas, earned a doctorate from the University of Texas and retired after forty-seven years of K-12 and university science teaching. He keeps life in perspective by surrounding himself with people who know more, shoot better, and handle fishing rods better than he does. Scott’s book, “An Outdoor Sporting Life”, was published in 2015. He lives in Emporia, Kansas.

Gena Mantz is a freelance poet, author, belly dancer, and legal assistant from rural Kansas who likes to hang out with paranormal and artistic types in her spare time. Her mild Dyslexia and ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) foster her intriguing outlook on life and her tendency to stay busy, and make regular doses of coffee a real necessity. She has taken the self-published route with a novel and a novelette, as well as being published in several niche anthologies under her pen name Angel Edenbaum. She lives near the Little Apple, (Manhattan, Kansas) out in the middle of a big pasture with her fur and feathered “children”, most of them orphans or rescues. Horses, dogs, cats, and even chickens call her ranchette home.

Kelly Mason grew up in Emporia and received her PhD in English Literature at the University of Kansas. She has two children and lives in Overland Park, Kansas. Robin Dormer is looking for expanded career opportunities when she accepts a job as Assistant for Special Projects for Daniel Fenwick, the deputy director of the Camden State Hospital. Meanwhile, her sister Jennie, settled into marriage and motherhood, also begins to see herself and her family differently. Frequently Asked Questions blends Anne Tyler and Anthony Trollope, modern women and Victorian ladies, to offer an absorbing story about the choices we face as we navigate social life and relationships.

Ronda Miller  is district president of Kansas Authors Club, as well as state VP of the club. She is a Life Coach who works with clients who have lost someone to homicide. Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau region of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. Her quote, “Poetry is our most natural connection among one another” best exemplifies her belief in poetry. She created poetic forms Loku and Ukol and co authored the documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express. Her books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life and MoonStain (Meadowlark Books, May of 2015).

Kevin Rabas chairs the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism at Emporia State University and leads the poetry and playwriting tracks. He has six books: Bird’s Horn; Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner; Spider Face: stories; Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, also a Nelson Poetry Book Award winner; Eliot’s Violin; and Green Bike, a group novel written with Mike Graves and Tracy Million Simmons. Six of his poems and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and Rabas is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry, the Victor Contoski Poetry Award, the Jerome Johanning Playwriting Award, and the Salina New Voice Award. A native Kansan, Rabas grew up in Shawnee and attended KU (PhD), Goddard (MFA), K-State (MA), and UMKC (BA).

Carol Russell is Professor of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education at ESU. She and her family came to ESU in 1996. Russell has a doctorate in Special Education; an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies; and a B.A. in Art, minoring in Psychology. She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 40 years. She is co-executive producer of I Can Move, an inclusive creative movement video series for children with differing abilities, produced in conjunction with South Dakota Public Television. She is currently Co-Director of ESU’s Children Inspire Glass Project. Russell has authored numerous articles and book chapters. Her book “Sandwiched! Tales, Tips, and Tools to Balance Life in the Sandwich Generation” shares her family’s journey as part of the Sandwich Generation.

Tally Russell holds a Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. She has been creating stories since she was very young some before she could even write. Her first co-authored book, “I Like Rocks”, was published in 2011. Tally has also been an enthusiastic horse lover as long as she could remember. She started Therapeutic Horseback Riding at the age of 4, and has been hooked ever since. “Magnificent Midnight’s Marvelous Memories” combines two of her greatest joys, horses and creative writing. Along with her passion for horses and creative writing, Tally is currently in training to become a certified Sign Language Interpreter.
Dennis Smirl has been an Air Force officer, a salesman for a Fortune 500 company, a school psychologist, a computer science instructor at several colleges and universities, and a business owner. Married to his college sweetheart for more than half a century, he has spent time in Mexico, Japan, and South Vietnam, but prefers to take family vacations in the USA and Canada. A writer for as long as he can remember—he attempted a first novel at age ten—his first taste of national publication was a race report written and published in 1965. A science fiction fan for almost the same length of time, Mr. Smirl joined the Science Fiction Book Club when member numbers were much shorter. Beyond his interest in Science Fiction, he has had a lifetime interest in horseback riding, auto racing (as a driver), golf, photography, computers and information processing, and mystery novels. He has written thirteen novels, two collaborative novels, and more than seventy short stories and novellas.

Carmaine Ternes is a retired high school librarian and member of the Emporia State University planning committee for the Kansas Summer Institute for School Librarians. She also serves as an AASL Learning4Life state coordinator. She holds a master's degree in library science from Emporia State University. “Libraries Partnering With Self-Publishing: A Winning Combination” provides everything needed to help patrons create, produce, and market their own books utilizing library resources. Libraries can leverage opportunities in the popular DIY publishing movement by following this process.

Amy Sage Webb is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emporia State University, where she was named Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor. She has edited several literary journals and presses, and she directs the Donald Reichardt Center for Publishing and Literary Arts at ESU. A graduate of the Scripps School of Journalism, she was awarded the Medal of Merit by Ohio University in 2013. She is an active reviewer and a specialist in creative writing pedagogy. She has served as pedagogy specialist for Antioch University, Los Angeles since 2005. She is the author of Save  Your Own Life: Kansas Stories (Woodley Press, 2012). Her poetry and fiction appear in numerous literary journals, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the Kansas Flint Hills.


Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore
1101 Commercial, Emporia, Kansas 66801
620-208-BOOK (2665)
Mon. -- Sat., 10 am to 6 pm; Sun., 1 to 5 pm
www.EllenPlumbs.com ~~ Find us on Facebook @EllenPlumbs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First Drafts- A Literary Social: 3 January 2017

Ellen Plumb's prides itself in showcasing local writers and spreading literacy throughout our wonderful community. Each week we create prompts to engage the community in different forms of writing, allowing writers to practice their skills in a fun, encouraging environment. Here are our submissions for this week's free writing prompt.

Free Writing Prompt: Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: "Shoot the Glass".

Shoot the Glass
By Becca Resner

There was a new game starting up and going around, like new things often do. It began with the twenty-something crowd and grew downward to middle-schoolers. Something of “board game meets contact sports,” which is how the game advertised itself, makes a surprisingly accurate description.
The rules of the game are pretty complicated, but at least four players are needed, and always an even number. The more people you have, the merrier! Once, my family had twenty, and our stomachs hurt from all the laughter.
Large soccer ball sized dice are thrown and teams move around the life-sized game board, or “down the path.” Contestants have to hop their moves: sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right, sometimes bunny-hop. Certain moves require a twist mid-jump. The moves are hops, because players hold beanbags in a pouch around their necks. If a player loses a bag while moving, he/she doesn’t get it back.
At the end, a player’s team wins when the last player knocks a glass off his/her teammates’ heads with the beanbags.

Here's a bonus short from Becca Resner as well.

Love: A Cup at a Time
By Becca Resner

At the corner of 118th and Union sat Mama Lou’s. It was your basic, hole-in-the-wall coffee house. The unique thing about it was that instead of serving people within a couple of blocks, as is the case with most metropolitan coffee establishments, Mama served people from miles around.
Most of his friends didn’t realize Sandy moved uptown until a month after he did, because he showed up precisely at 7 o’clock every morning for coffee and a smile from Mama Lou. When questioned why he’d ride 5 miles out of his way, he laughed, “Only Mama knows how to start the day the right way: with love in her heart for every single person and the smile on her lips to show it.”
Mama closed the shop for a week over Christmas one year. She wanted to go visit her sisters for a week. She did just that, but when she reopened people lined up out the door for a morning brew. Most seemed to think that Mama’s sister wasn’t a good reason for her to be away so long. Mama shook her head and explained that, in this case, blood runs thicker than coffee.
Mama served the best cup of coffee in the city. She made it strong but with a lot of flavor, and people loved her coffee. But for most of them, the attraction was Mama Lou herself. She stood 5 foot-nothing with wrinkly, brown skin and steel-silver hair that she always kept short.
One of her newest customers asked her how she always managed to have a smile on her face. “For one thing, I don’t have time to be unhappy; for another, I have so much to be thankful for. The good Lord adds to my list every day too. Why, just today I added you to it!”
The young woman who questioned her had a smile on her face the rest of the day.
Then it happened. Mama, who lived in a flat above her coffee shop went to have dinner with her daughter’s family one night. Some young kids broke into the shop, smashed a few things up, and set fire to the place.
Fire crews raced there and tried to quench the fire as it licked and swallowed the shop where Mama Lou built her life.
She showed up as the firefighters gained control of the blaze, but her home and business were ruined.
A week passed, then another. People in the community started talking with one another, making plans. It started as a low murmur and as the volume grew, so did the support. The people decided.
The only thing that remained in tact of her business was a coffee pot. The flames blackened the glass to a sooty grey and heat shattered the lip and grew a crack down from the disfigured top. It wasn’t much use to anyone; it became their symbol.
The Coffee Buds, the group that formed to raise money and awareness, held a rally in the street outside of the now shell of a building. They passed the broken coffee pot around there as a collection plate. A printer took a photo of the sad pot and made buttons as well as t-shirts and baseball hats to sell for funds.
Responses were phenomenal. News anchors wore buttons in their lapels. A baseball team bought a bunch to shoot out of their t-shirt guns on a Saturday game. People even left anonymous donations at Lou’s daughter’s house. Finally, an architect offered to design and contract the building for a fraction of his rate.
“I miss my daily cup of coffee too,” he said when Mama asked him why. SHe threw her arms around his middle after his comment. He kissed her forehead and set to work.
Building started and Mama had the delight of making some of the design choices. She told the team what she wanted and let them take care of the rest.
Mama Lou’s opened exactly 6 months after the fire. The governor even showed up to the ribbon cutting to get a cup of coffee. People lined up out the door and down the street. Mama was in her element, “serving up love, one smile at a time.”
And the old coffee pot? A local artist smoothed its jagged edges, and Mama uses it as the tip jar.