On December 3rd, I had the honor of participating in a fabulous program called Texas Writes. The Writer’s League of Texas, supported by a grant from the Tocker Foundation, established the Texas Writes program in 2013. Their mission is to bring accomplished authors into rural libraries for half-day workshops and panel discussions on writing. Each event is free and open to the public. The program began with 5 libraries, all the in the central Texas area, but now the number of programs has more than doubled and spread to more distant areas of the state. This month’s program took place in Wolfforth, TX right outside of Lubbock.
I love to teach writing, but even more than that, I love to support libraries. Some of my favorite reading memories come from the public library in the small California town where I grew up. I would max out my library card limit on a regular basis and carry stacks of books home. And on days when I needed to kill time, instead of heading to the shopping centers or movie theaters like most kids my age, I walked to the library and spent hours exploring the shelves. So when the Texas Writes coordinator contacted me about speaking in Wolfforth, I immediately said yes.
Then I found out I would be sharing the stage with the fabulous Jodi Thomas. Jodi is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of general market historical romance and women’s fiction. I have literally read every one of her historical novels, and loved them all. She has a gift for characterization that inspires my own writing. She lives in Amarillo and works as the Author in Residence at West Texas A&M University. I’ve met her in person about three times now, and each time I am delighted at her down-to-earth, personable nature. She is such an encouraging person to be around.
If you enjoy general market romance, and heroes who are the strong silent type, I highly recommend The Texan’s Wager. It is probably my favorite of all her books. She mostly writes women’s fiction with cowboys these days, and she’s currently in the middle of her extensive Ransom Canyon series.
We had a small but enthusiastic crowd in Wolfforth, writers and readers alike who braved the rainy weather and cold temperatures to come out and see us. I was especially blessed by a lady named Patti who brightened up the room with her smile. Patti has read my books and made the trip to Wollforth just to see me. Feeling like the opening act for the superstar Jodi Thomas, it was such an encouragement to have my very own cheerleader in the crowd. She even went the extra mile for me.
After the workshop was over, Jodi and I were scheduled to do a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Lubbock. I was just planning on letting my GPS lead me there, but with all the road construction in the area, it had already led me astray once that day taking me town a slippery, rain-soaked dirt road that coated my husband’s previously clean car in mud. But Patti volunteered to show me the way. She drove all the way into Lubbock and let me follow her to the Barnes & Noble at the South Plains mall. What a gift!
- What unexpected blessings have you encountered lately?
- What is your favorite library memory?