2021 – Expect the Unexpected – Book Signings!

The Pandemic is slacking off and I got my vaccinations. The world seems to be getting back to normal–whatever that is. But it is summer (almost) and time for book signings. I have a few lined up in my hometown.

June 12, 2021– Book signing at Railroad Museum’s open house, 702 North Washington, Enid, OK 73701 1-3 pm.  Come out, I will read from Ian’s Magic in the Children’s Caboose

June 29, 2021 – Enid Public Library, 120 West Maine, Enid, OK 73701, 3-4 pm.  I will discuss Ian’s Magic on the Summer Reading Program.

July 17, 2021 – Putnam Six Bookstore, 610 S Cleveland St Ste 212, Enid, OK 73703, 1-3 pm. Come out for a copy of Ian’s Magic and I’ll have all my books available.  Chloe’s shop is full of the latest books and many from the past.

August 7 & 8, 2021 – Enid’s ComiCon at the Stride Center, 301 South Independence, Enid, OK 73701.  I will have all my books on sale along with crazy characters from the known universe and beyond!

August 14, 2021 – Bernhardt at the Manz – 10-4 at the Champlin Mansion, 612 South Tyler, Enid, OK 73703.  The Enid Writers Club, Enid Arts Council, and Park Avenue Thrift will present Seven Steps to Superior Writing.  Free to the public with pre-registration.  Registration form at Registration for Bernhardt at the Manz | Enid Writers Club (wordpress.com).

I know every author (and business owner) feels the same as me. It is time to get back to normal. But I will have hand sanitizer on the table and try to social distance when possible. The Pandemic has taught me something about being careful in a crowd. I hope to see you there.

Come out and see me. What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Tulsa!

The cousins came up from Texas for a visit this weekend and we showed them Tulsa.  We got an Airbnb in downtown Tulsa within walking distance of lots of shopping and restaurants.  This would be perfect.  We could park and walk anywhere we wanted to go. We soon realized many of the shops and places to eat were closed,  probably due to Covid. We did some sight-seeing and walked around the block to a Hurts Doughnut shop, but many places weren’t open. 

Downtown Tulsa might not have had as much to do, but the suburbs were still open with things to see.  We drove to Jenks and toured the Oklahoma Aquarium then the River Walk next to it on the Arkansas River.  The aquarium is always wonderful and with a holiday weekend was full of families and at least one group of kids all wearing the same t-shirt. Some of the shops on the River Walk were closed but the restaurants weren’t.  We walked the length of the River Walk to see what was available and decided on Mexican.  Lunch at Los Cabos was to die for! 

Back at the loft after lunch we decided to look for more Route 66 memorabilia.  My cousin has always  been interested in Route 66 and so we drove to Catoosa and saw the Blue Whale and the Driller statue and found a garden center with lots of yard art open.  Shopping!

Coming home to Enid we took the scenic route and drove around Keystone Lake where we used to own property and checked out our old stomping grounds.  Then on to Stillwater and Eskimo Joes for lunch. The cousin found an Eskimo Joes t-shirt with Route 66 on it that was perfect for her.  They were impressed with the restaurant, and you could shop right next door. We also found the huge Transformer statues at both ends of town. They are always impressive.

They left this morning, and we plan to try to get together again this summer.  We always enjoy their company and sometimes we drive south, or they drive north.    

It’s good to see the world is getting back to normal.  In Kansas last weekend we found more people getting out and Oklahoma is doing the same.  I washed my hands more than I could count and I thought more about what I touched and where I was.  Covid has taught us a few things about cleaning and watching where you go.  Restaurants have plexiglass dividers between the tables and more cleaning is taking place everywhere.  We will survive – and learn from the experience.

What have you done this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Hutchinson, KS

I took off for an excursion with my daughter this weekend to Hutchinson, KS, home of the Cosmosphere and Strataca Salt Mines.  We try to make a trip somewhere close at least once a year to get together and find something new.  We ate too much, walked a lot, and enjoyed each other’s company. 

We rented an Airbnb in Hutchinson and then ran around from there.  Dinner at Olive Garden (which Enid doesn’t have and I always enjoy), a Japanese steak house, and caught up on some movies on cable once we got back to the house.  We toured the Dillon Nature Center with trails and a lake with lots of flora and fauna.  We also toured the Cosmosphere air and space museum.

The Strataca Salt Mines produce salt for road use and most of it is sold to Chicago.  It also stores things in their caves that need to be kept dry like birth certificates, documents and movie memorabilia.  There were some examples of movie sets around and near the gift shop inside the mine.  Someone asked a tour guide what movies were stored there. He was told they couldn’t give out that information. Some were displayed under glass, but there were many more down there away from prying eyes. 

Probably the most interesting to me was the Cosmosphere air and space museum.  We toured this for most of an afternoon until my old legs gave out.  The main entrance has a SR 71 Blackbird (yes, the entire thing!) hanging from the ceiling.  It was impressive. Glamours Glennis sat in the basement. It was the Bell X1 supersonic experimental plane that Chuck Yaeger broke the sound barrier in.  There were lots of displays and information about man’s first attempts at space exploration.

It wasn’t a lot to do, but it was a good outing for mother and daughter with only a weekend available.  We may try somewhere else this summer.

What new things have you explored this week?

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Bernhardt at the Manz

7 Steps to Superior Writing

On August 14, 2021, a free workshop with William Bernhardt will be provided by the  Enid Writers Club, Park Avenue Thrift, and The Enid Arts Council

  • James and Ann Bryant, owners of the Champlin Mansion, have generously offered this historic residence for the workshop.
  • Although free, advance registration is required as the workshop is limited to 60 people.
  • Workshop hours are 10:00 to 4:00 with registration beginning at 9:00.  Lunch and snacks are provided.

The local Enid Writers Club is the oldest writing club in Oklahoma in existence since 1923. They have contracted with best-selling author, William Bernhardt, William Bernhardt author and speaker, for this event. Bernhardt will take participants on a guided and interactive tour through the essential elements of superior writing, prose that captivates readers and leads to successful writing careers. Bernhardt will provide insight on structure, character, plot, dialogue, and much more. Take your writing to the next level!

Bio: William Bernhardt is the author of over fifty books, most recently the Daniel Pike legal thriller series, starting with the #1 best-selling novel The Last Chance Lawyer. His previous works include the bestselling Ben Kincaid series, the historical novels Challengers of the Dust and Nemesis, two books of poetry (The White Bird and The Ocean’s Edge), and the Red Sneaker books on fiction writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writers Center to mentor aspiring writers. The Center hosts an annual writers conference (WriterCon), small-group writing retreats, plus a bi-weekly e-newsletter and podcast. More than three dozen of Bernhardt’s students have subsequently published with major houses. He is also the owner of Bernhardt Books, which publishes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as the literary journal Conclave.

Bernhardt has received the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State), which is given “in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large.” He has been nominated for the Oklahoma Book Award eighteen times in three different categories and has won the award twice. In 2019, he received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

In addition to his novels and poetry, Bernhardt has written plays, a musical (book and score), humor, children stories, biography, and puzzles. He has edited two anthologies (Legal Briefs and Natural Suspect) as fundraisers for The Nature Conservancy and the Children’s Legal Defense Fund.

The H.H. Champlin House (The Champlin Mansion) H. H. Champlin House – Wikipedia sits strategically one block west of the intersection of Hwy 81 and Hwy 412 at 612 South Tyler in Enid. An historic residential area with Champlin Park across the street, participants will find parking on the street. You will not be able to turn onto Tyler from Hwy 412 because of the concrete median. Sequoyah Drive south of the intersection of Hwy 81 Hwy 412 at the Midgley Museum will lead you west to the mansion. The workshop is limited to the first 60 people who register but is free to the public.  Mail your registration form to Enid Writers Club, PO Box 327, Enid, OK 73702. Forms can be found on the Enid Writers Club website at  Enid Writers Club (wordpress.com).

Join us in the morning for coffee and donuts and an afternoon break will provide drinks and snacks. The free boxed lunch from McAlister’s Deli has a vegetarian option on the registration form and let us know if you need handicap or assistance in parking. You must pre-register.

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Glome’s Valley

The Heavener Runestone is set in a magical forest. Southeastern Oklahoma is home to the Ouachita Mountains and lore of Vikings that predate Columbus. The words “Glome’s Valley” is what some people think is carved into the sandstone monolith in the park and as a writer that sparked my imagination.  I call the Glome books Oklahoma fairytales because of the myth surrounding the area.

In the first book, Glome’s Valley, Ethan travels to the forest with his archeologist father for the summer.  Dad is engrossed in his work of translating the runes and Ethan is bored – so he hikes.  Climbing up one hill and down the next Ethan encounters a very abstract cottage and the inhabitants who live there and begins to play with them.  He soon finds out that the boy dressed in Viking garb is the ghost of a Viking who has been in the forest a long time.  Ethan is soon drawn into the magical world of Glome and the fairies that live there. He will meet the smelly trolls who rampage through the forest, the wood nymph held captive by them, and even Thor and his stepbrother, Loki.  It will take all Ethan’s skill, his father, and even the Highway Patrol to survive and get him home safely.     

A few years later I released the sequel, Return to Glome’s Valley that takes place fourteen years later. Ethan once more returns to the valley he left as a child and finds out nothing has changed – except him. Oh, and a dragon lives in the pond by the cottage.  Ethan has earned his PhD in archeology like his dad and returns once again.  Glome is not happy he’s been gone so long and calls him old.  While Ethan is trying to prove he’s as young as ever, Glome mentions knowing where the Vinland Maps are hidden and protected by the draugrs. Ethan is warned by the dragon, Trondelag, not to chase a piece of paper to be famous when Loki and other magical creatures want to keep it hidden.  Does he listen? As an adult he might if not for Mac, the young girl who much like him as a child, is wandering the forest and soon kidnapped by Loki to settle an old score.

Check out Glome’s Valley https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm and Return to Glome’s Valley http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w available on Amazon.  There are fairytales in Oklahoma too.

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – OWFI Conference

This week was the annual Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. conference.  Due to the pandemic, it was virtual.  Not as good, but still I got to connect with friends and sit in on some very informative sessions.  I missed a few and plan to go back and watch them later. At least one deserves another look.  That is the good thing about a virtual conference.

I was a judge this year for the Unpublished Middle Grade novels.  I cannot tell you when I’ve bumped into so much talent in one place.  I’ve judged before, but it was a very difficult choice this time.  I found out who won last night and realized I knew at least some of the people whose works I read.  First Place went to A Story Unwritten by Jennifer Sneed, Second Place, Ron the Red, The Courageous Bearded Dragon by Dee Dee Chumley, and Third Place was awarded to Billie Holiday Skelley for Hypatia: Ancient Alexandria’s Female Scholar. I knew they were great writers and they proved it once again.

I stopped by the Happy Hour session for a few minutes even though I didn’t have enough time.  But still I got the chance to say hi to some old friends. 

I can’t wait for next year and hope that it is in person.  I was really tired by the time two days of videos were over.  In person vs Zoom is not even a question.  In person wins every time.  But we tried and my hat is off to the officers and webmaster for making this work.  They are all probably still in bed comatose after what they accomplished. 

You can still go to Bridging the Epic Gap 2021 Virtual Conference — Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. (OWFI) and pay to experience the conference.  Everything was recorded and can be watched again for some time. 

Ian’s Magic received an other five Star Review this week on the Barnes & Noble site.  Check it out!

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Ian’s Magic

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have trouble getting my checkbook to balance.  Dumb stuff like math errors or not entering something correctly (or not at all!) make it impossible.  Math!  Ugh! But what if math were something you could do to make magic happen?  Or what if the numbers danced on your page?  They did for Ian.

Ian was in the fourth grade this year and math and other subjects had become harder.  He liked school and seeing his friends, but his little brother, Sean, had a lot more trouble with it than he did.  His red hair became the object of teasing and he’s seen Ian perform feats of magic using his math skills – like the day the vacuum cleaner ran itself while Ian did his math homework.  To Sean, life wasn’t fair.

Ian Conner learned in the first grade he could perform magic using math. And this year, the prize for the annual math contest is $500! Ian really wants to win, but he knows classmate Thomas Martin will be stiff competition.  Thomas wins every year.  And this year he has a college tutor helping him prep for the contest! 

Ian decides to study accelerated math, hoping it will help him win. But when the day of the competition arrives Ian must make a difficult choice – hope his studying helps him win fair and square – or cheat using his “math magic” to win the contest.

What would you do if your little brother were always interfering, you had to share the only computer in the house that sat in the dining room, and you just HAD to win the annual math contest at school this year.

Life can be tough for a fourth grader, even if math is easy for them.  Ian will learn not only math lessons but life lessons as he and his brother negotiate school, brotherhood, and friendships. But Ian will always remember that math is magic!

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Writing Conference Time

It’s writing conference time in Oklahoma!!!!

OWFI will hold their conference virtually this year due to the pandemic Bridging the Epic Gap 2021 Virtual Conference — Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. (OWFI).  It was cancelled last year but will once again take place on April 29 – May 1, 2021virtually.  Here is the schedule of events so you can decide if you want to participate – Bridging the Epic Gap 2021 Virtual Conference Schedule — Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. (OWFI). There will be approximately 30 speakers, editors and agents available to help you learn the art of writing and to pitch your manuscript to.  The annual writing contest winners will be announced virtually. Check out registration on the website.

On August 14, 2021 the Enid Writers Club (sponsored by Enid Arts Council and Park Avenue Thrift) will host Bernhardt at the Manz all day workshop with William Bernhardt.  The writing workshop will take place at the historic Champlin Manson in Enid and is free to the public with pre-registration.  There will be more information coming and the registration form will be on the Enid Writers Club website.

WriterCon 2021 takes place at the Skirvin Hotel in downtown OKC September 3 – 6, 2021Writer Con. There will be 60 speakers at different times, and you can sit in on their workshops virtually or in person. Check out registration on the website.

The Enid Public Library Enid Public Library – Enid, Oklahoma (okpls.org) hosts a summer Reading Program for both children and adults.  It is a good time to get caught up on the reading you’ve been putting off.

If you are a reader or a writer literature is calling your name.  Answer the call. 

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Beach Read!

It’s time for a beach read! Novella, Strawberry Sundae Delights, is available e-published and in the anthology, One Scoop or Two from The Wild Rose Press. It is a part of the Sandhill Island series and may be just what you need to get your warm weather started. Check it out!

Schoolteacher Sienna Schultz is still stinging from a bad breakup with her fiancé when she finds herself unexpectedly infatuated with a new man. While working her summer job at her aunt’s ice cream shop in the small tourist town of Sandhill Island, she meets Jake White, a college student from Corpus Christi who is working on a shrimper for the summer. Sienna is not ready for another relationship, but Jake is difficult to resist.

Sienna’s peaceful summer is shattered when a series of suspicious events unfold. Her aunt’s suppliers refuse to sell to her, putting the future of the shop in jeopardy. Then, when the store is vandalized, they wonder if someone is out to harm not only the business, but Sienna and her aunt as well.

Jake offers to help uncover who’s behind the incidents, which brings the two of them closer together. Can Sienna trust him…or is she headed for another heartbreak?

You can purchase a copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Wild Rose Press or fine bookstores anywhere. Get your beach read started!

https://tinyurl.com/y2qe84qx A Taste of Danger | The Wild Rose Press Inc

Strawberry Sundae Delights by Peggy Chambers | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Easter!

It’s Easter!  Do you have your Easter bonnet and is the ham cooking?  I hope your Easter is unexpectedly wonderful. 

Easter is a time of change.  It is a time of religious festivities if you are Christian and a time of rejuvenation of the earth.  We had a terrible cold snap here in the Midwest with temperatures dipping to a minus 14 degrees.  That is unusual for Oklahoma. Some of the plants didn’t make it over the winter.  I have a bush out back that really looks bad. And after the unusual October ice storm, my tree out front took a beating.  But spring is here.

Nature is resilient and once again I have forsythia blooming and my clematis has buds.  Some of the herbs in my garden are looking good. Even the hostas are coming up.  I see a tinge of green on the Bermuda which means mowing season is not far behind. 

Once more nature will rejuvenate itself and with it we can do the same.  Shake off the cold and begin to get outside again.  We’ve walked every afternoon this week and it makes my poor old body feel good.  The old folks take the old dog and amble around the neighborhood.  It is good to get out and check on the neighbors again. 

But don’t forget in your spring festivities to find a good book and sit in the sun and read.  Maybe a hammock, or a glider on the porch, or the local park; they are all good places to start a new book in a new season.

Happy Easter!  What are you reading this week?

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