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August Newsletter: Audio on the Go

Audio on the Go

Glenda Bonham

Many won’t be able to remember when driving while reading a newspaper was actually a fad. In the pre-audio days of the 70’s it was common to meet drivers on the highways in West Texas with a newspaper spread over the steering wheel. I used to stay on alert for a width of white, visible through the windshield of oncoming vehicles. The distracted reading-while-driving motorists would be cruising at speeds between 70-85 MPH on two lane highways reading the local news on the steering wheel. These were the days before seat belts, air bags, child safety seats, and electronic warnings in cars. If there was a state law on the books prohibiting reading-while-driving, I was never aware of it.

Fast forward to present day, and be thankful for the technology that delivers entire books on audio for drivers. Not only can you listen to a new book on a long drive, you can study a second language, dictate a letter, listen to a text message, get driving directions, and a score of other topics, without taking your eyes off the highway.

Downloads from the internet are inexpensive and many libraries offer audio books for check-out free of cost. There are new laws in place against texting and driving for good reasons. If you tend to get lonely on long drives, take along a better form of entertainment than your phone. You will be much safer and you might even learn something.

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July Newsletter: I Just Don’t Have Time to Write by Glenda Bonham

I Just Don’t Have Time to Write

Glenda Bonham

Have you ever said this to yourself? Most of us who write have probably said it at some point. We’ve said things like, “I’d just love to write, but I feel more important things demand my attention.” So, we procrastinate and tell ourselves “Maybe someday I’ll have the time to sit down and write something, but now I have children at home, or I have a job, or I need to do housework, or yardwork, or…” The list goes on and on.

There are in truth two major causes for us not to write. One is lack of self-discipline to sit and do it. The second is a lack of self-confidence and fear of failure. Which is your greater nemesis? If you can identify it, you can start now to overcome it.

Here is one solution to both stumbling blocks for starting to write. Set your alarm clock for one hour earlier than usual. For that one hour, your house is quiet and your brain is rested. Use the one hour as “my time.” When behind the keyboard, or with pen in hand, you have complete privacy and space. You are free of all demands of your daily life.

What you write need never be read by anyone else. These words are your thoughts, your imagination, your venting, your joy, and your reflections. Consider your writing time as your personal guiltless pleasure. There is no failure. You are the only editor, and the only judge of your work. The only failure is not to write at all.

I certainly won’t discourage doing research online, or reading other sources on the topic of creative writing. There is a wealth of information available, but reading about writing will never replace practical experience. If you want to learn to write, you must practice writing. To improve your writing, you must write.

If in time, you want to show your writings to someone else, that is your option. However, don’t try to write to please someone else. Write for yourself. In doing this, you will develop your skills and your own writing style. Be your own voice first. If in time, you get lucky and sell something you’ve written, and need to re-write to please a professional editor, only then be concerned about pleasing someone else. For now, just enjoy your writing time. Yes, you can make time to write. In doing so, you will discover one of life’s simple pleas- ures. You’ll also find a hidden piece of yourself.

News from NaNoLand

July Newsletter: News from NaNoLand

Camp NaNoWriMo by Sarah Shuttleworth

Have you ever thought ‘Someday I’d like to write a novel’? Have you heard of NaNoWriMo and thought that the idea of writing 50,000 words in one month seems daunting? Well I’ve got the perfect thing for you to test those waters and push yourself to write that story! Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and crea- tivity. NaNoWriMo has Camp sessions in both April and July, and they welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. Maybe a novel isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Camp NaNoWriMo writers can tackle any project they’d like including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories. You set your own goal whether it’s to write a certain number of words, hours, minutes, lines, or pages.

If you would like more information, have questions about how NaNoWriMo works, or would just like to connect with other writers who will be writing with literary abandon this July contact Sarah Shuttleworth at sarahlcsnano@gmail.com.

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes your story matters. They know that writing makes the world a more crea- tive, vibrant place. Through NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program, they work hard to empower and encourage that vibrant creativity. And, they can’t do it without writers like you.

NaNoWriMo

  • Encourages you to focus on a novel! Bonus points for 1st drafts.
  • One goal everyone shares: 50,000 words in 30 days.
  • Hundreds of in-person write-ins led by local Municipal Liaisons.
  • A 100% fun writing challenge that believes your story matters… and that you can totally write it.

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

  • Focus on any writing project: novel, short story, cookbook…
  • Set an individual goal! You can even track time instead of words.
  • Join a virtual “cabin” to create your own cohort of up to 20 folks.
  • A 100% fun writing challenge that believes your story matters… and that you can totally write it.

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Fun Tidbits and Facts

July Newsletter: Water Carnival History

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Fort Stockton’s Water Carnival is back after 2018’s cancellation because of necessary repairs. This year’s theme is “The Crystal of Comanche Springs” written and directed by Genna Young, Reba Subia and Taryn Johnson. The date is July 18-20.

 

The early days of the event was the brain child of the Fort Stockton Lions Club in the late 1930s as an effort to bring recognition and tourists to the area. A huge celebration was planned by a large committee with the goal of an event so famous that Fort Stockton would become a resort town.

 

Events included band concerts, golf tournaments, horse racing, a beauty review, swimming, diving, rodeo, and dances. Over the years several celebrities have been included in the event. Local, district, and state candidates were invited to speak. Attorney General Price Daniel and Senator H. L. Winfield crowned the beauty queens in 1949. Movie star Chill Wills crowned Miss Fort Stockton in 1955, and John Ben Sheppard did the honors in 1957. The United States Navy flew two Naval officers to Fort Stockton to serve as judges for the Bathing Review. Country recording star Johnny Rodriguez crowned Miss Fort Stockton in 197
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2018 is not the only year the event was cancelled. The show ceased during WWII for 4 years, and again in 1951-53 because of low water levels.

Fort Stockton is proud of its Water Carnival, one of it’s longest standing traditions.

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June Newsletter: Shug

“Shug” ~ By Jody Day

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 1.43.31 PM     My dad sat me on his lap the night before my first day of school. “Keep your mouth shut. That way you’ll know everything you know, and everything they know, too.”

I didn’t listen. But it’s a wonder I got a word in edgewise, because he loved to talk and tell stories. Born in Louisiana, the family eventually settled in Jasper County, Texas. They had a maid named Arvetta, and she gave Daddy the nick-name “Shug” as in “Sugar.” Dad talks about being just a tyke standing on a box flipping burgers during the depression. He had an ornery streak. Their Christmas stockings were full of fruit and nuts, and maybe some penny candy. Daddy would wait until everyone ate all their goodies before he started on his. His siblings would beg for a piece, and he loved saying no and having them all watch while he ate his. Such a nut!

He had debilitating asthma but joined the army anyway during WWII. He ended up in Hawaii, where most of his pictures show him on the beach. Not bad, but they had to send him home. His brother was killed two weeks before the war was over. Daddy didn’t talk about it much.

He worked for the railroad, but multiple sclerosis made him a stay-at-home dad, while my mom worked as a telephone operator. He loved to cook and make lunch bags full of goodies for my grandchildren. He would throw his head back and sing his favorite song. “Down in old Joe’s bar room, at the corner ooooooof the square…”

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My dad always told me I could do anything I wanted to do if I worked hard at it. He was right. He gave up drinking, and then smoking in his later life. He loved to freak the grandkids out by taking out his teeth. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. We all miss you.