2021 – Expect the Unexpected – Independence Day and Upcoming Events

It’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  A day we set aside to celebrate America’s independence from England.  Many people celebrate it with fireworks and hotdogs, I am just enjoying the beautiful morning weather.  We’ve had cooler temperatures this summer—so far—and my morning coffee on the patio was fabulous! 

One of the biggest reasons to celebrate lately is the slow down of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Though not over, we can once again get out and mingle to some extent.  I keep my mask in my purse along with hand sanitizer.  I may always now.  But I have scheduled some book signings and workshops.  Check them out.

July 10, 2021 – Enid Public Library, 120 West Maine Street, Enid, OK 2-4 pm. Oklahoma Authors panel discussion and book signing.  Come out and meet local authors, listen to what they are working on, and purchase a book if you find one you like.  There will be discussions on writing, and upcoming works from many of Enid’s published authors.

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

Meet some authors and find a good read.  What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Ian’s Magic

It seems like a magical week.  Even though part of the country is burning up with record heat, here in Oklahoma we’re having a reprieve from the high temperatures.  The cooler temps and rain could not have been more welcome. 

This Tuesday I will speak to the children in the Summer Reading Program at the Enid Public Library.  I will read the first chapter of my latest book, Ian’s Magic to them and then we will create a story of our own.  Kids love magic and so do I.  So, since school is out and children need to read, we’ll read and create our own story.

Not everyone liked math, but to Ian it was magical.

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.

If you’re in the Enid area, come by Tuesday the 29th from 3-5 pm and join us as we read Ian’s Magic and create a story of our own.  I’ll have books available if you’d like to purchase one. 

Ian’s Magic is available at Putnam Six bookstore in Enid and online at https://books2read.com/u/bMRv1a.

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day!  A day set aside to remember and honor fathers.  Mine is gone but the father of my children is by my side. 

My father was an aircraft mechanic on Guadalcanal with the Army Air Corp and later he continued in that profession as a civilian. He always wrote on every picture he ever had.  Sometimes with arrows so you know who he was talking about.  Not an artist, he would often grab a napkin to illustrate what he was talking about.  Conversations around the table often revolved around his second love – next to his family – aircraft maintenance.  He’d draw a fuselage to show what he was talking about. And as a mechanic, he was certain he could fix anything.  He once built a pontoon boat that he found in a magazine and ordered the plans.  We used it for many years. 

My husband and father of my children was also a very present father in the lives of his kids.  He worked an early morning shift for years and then he was home when the kids came in from school.  He was a scout master and baseball coach to the neighborhood kids who often hung out at our house. With his early morning shift that allowed me to work afternoons, someone was home for the kids when they weren’t in school.

These days my husband is a grandfather to five grandchildren, all grown.  They are scattered around living in different places and won’t make dinner for him today, but we are having a Father’s Day celebration this evening.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  It is a day of celebration for the hard work and dedication he showed as he helped raise them and the continuing relationship they have today.

Happy Father’s Day!

What are you doing this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Railroad Museum Of Oklahoma

I had a great time at my first book signing in a year yesterday!  The Railroad Museum in Enid had an open house and invited me to come and join the festivities.  There were hot dogs and doughnuts, tee shirts were tie dyed, board games were set up in the dining car, and I had the children’s caboose all to myself for the book signing.  Outside it was hot so a water balloon fight ensued.  Drippy feet came and went through the caboose as I sat under the air conditioner and read parts of Ian’s Magic to all who would listen. 

The Railroad Museum of Oklahoma Railroad Museum of Oklahoma is set in Enid and was the brainchild of Frank “Watermelon” Campbell a long-time railroad conductor.  Watermelon passed away this year just short of his 100th birthday, but the museum lives on due to his widow, Edna, and others who love to see it continue. 

The museum is set in grander days of the railroad with a restored station and cars outside the building.  There is even a dining car that is partially restored which will once again serve the public soon.  Yesterday it was set aside for tours and board games to all who were interested. 

The children’s caboose has been restored and set up with a place for books, games and videos.  Kids can play on the toys in the caboose and yesterday I read to them in that caboose.   It was a trip down memory lane even if you never worked on the railroad.  The romance of the time and place showed in pictures, clothing, and dinnerware that had once been used in the cars. 

The museum is open to the public and available for parties and reunions. They are kept in business through grants and donations.  Check them out and bring the kids.  It is a trip down memory lane.

What did you do this week?

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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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