I'm looking forward to reading selections from my book tonight, December 15th, at the Bud Memorial Library. In preparing for the evening, I'm wondering which essays attendees would like to hear. I have my favorites, but I know everyone has their own perspective on life and the world. Sharon Carmack, my writing teacher and editor, particularly likes, "A Robin's Nest." An editor with Farm and Ranch Living liked "Gifts of the Harvest" well enough to publish it. Jennifer Lay, the events coordinator at the library likes "The Bull Sale." And one of the first men to read my book after its publication liked reading my essay about my Boston Terrier.
In past readings I've selected "Gifts of the Harvest" not just because of its shorter length, but its illustration of the long-held ranching tradition of hay season. On another occasion I read "Quilting Cattlewomen" at the annual meeting of our Cattlewomen. They were of course interested because they were the focus of the story. Tonight, with an unknown audience, I will have a couple of essays in mind and then check in with my audience to see which one might make a nice fit.
I've appreciated being able to share my essays in this way. I think the reading of the written word, mine or anyone else's, has a way of transforming the story. I wonder if it's not a result of the dearth of live experiences in our modern culture. Our experience today is so confined to a colored monitor, television screen, iPhone, iPad, or gaming screen. Storytelling in person, whether it's around the dinner table, at a Christmas party, or in a library hall, connect us, not only to the story, but to the "teller." And in that connection we come to know something more about ourselves, as well as others and the world in which we live.
I'd like to thank Jenny Lay and all the staff at the library as well as the crew at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore for their support and help in hosting this event.
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