Reblog: November 19th – Denton Poets’ Assembly meeting

Picture

Members and the public are invited to the monthly Denton Poets’ Assembly this Saturday, November 19th.

We start the critique session at 9 a.m., regular meeting begins at 10.
J. Paul Holcomb will present a lesson on adding color to your poetry.

Members will read exphractic poems from artwork provided by Susan Maxwell Campbell in September, then will read dramatic monologue poems based on J. Paul’s lesson in October.

Guests are welcomed to bring a poem on one of the assigned topics, ekphractic or monologue.
Continue to full blog post.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reblog: September 17th — Denton Poets’ Assembly Meeting

DPA logo ProcessBlueSml

Denton Poets’ Assembly will meet on September 17th for poetry readings by members and guests at the Emily Fowler Public Library from 10 am – noon. For complete details regarding the meeting click the following link  Denton Poets’ Assembly Sept 17 Meeting

1 Comment

Filed under Arts and Poetry, Uncategorized

Reblog: August 20th Denton Poets’ Assembly Meeting

DPA logo ProcessBlueSml

Denton Poets’ Assembly meets again on August 20th at the Emily Fowler Public Library from 10 a.m. – noon. We welcome members returning from summer vacation. As always, visitors and guests are welcome.

We have a change from our usual poetry assignments process. This month, members have two assignments. J. Paul Holcomb has returned and will be comparing non-rhyming poems from his, “Strawberry Soup” assignment which we will read. In addition, we will read sonnets derived from the that non-rhyming poem.

Click link below for the complete post

http://dentonpoetsassembly.weebly.com/blog/-august-20th-denton-poets-assembly-meeting

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Reblog: April 15th – Merging Visions Reception

MVLogosr4_2016-03-16

Every April, the Denton Poets’ Assembly teams up with artists from the Visual Arts Society of Texas (VAST) in a collaborative exhibit called Merging Visions in celebration of National Poetry Month.

The showing is free and open to the public. The Merging Visions reception will be held on April 15th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the exhibit’s opening.    All poems and artwork are originals created by members of the two groups. Some of the poems are created with the artwork as inspiration, and some are inspirations for the artwork.

Location Information

The 9th annual Merging Visions Exhibit will held at the Patterson Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201.

The exhibit will be free and open to the public during regular art center hours, Tuesday-Friday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 1:00 – 5:00. The opening reception — also free and open to the public — will be held on April 15th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

CoverMV2016-03-10

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts and Poetry, Poetry

Reblog: 30 Years Ago Today: Challenger by Bob Mayer

On this day in 1986 I setup equipment to record the Challenger launch for my employer. The company I worked for used Thiokol O-rings under extreme conditions. It’s an irony that O-ring failure caused the tragedy and the representative for O-rings warned weather for the launch was too cold to go ahead safely. NASA refused to listen and act on that advice.

 

Thank you Bob for sharing this poignant reflection.

The remaining post is from Author, Bob Mayer.

“My God, Thiokol. When do you want me to launch? Next April?” Senior NASA official on a conference call to the manufacturer of the solid boosters, when they recommended on the morning of the launch that it be postponed.
Click link for the entire post. Link

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of Vision of the Griffin’s Heart

by Author L.R.W. Lee

Vision of the Griffin’s Heart is an emotional roller coaster. Andy Smithson is growing up while facing unprecedented challenges.

Vision of the Griffin’s Heart: Teen & Young Adult Griffin Epic Fantasy Book (Andy Smithson 5)

In Book 5 of this Andy Smithson series Andy faces his greatest challenges so far. As the heir apparent to the throan of Oomaldee, he and his family become the primary target of the evil Abbadon. The story opens with Andy and his Mom back in Lakehills, Texas. Andy has been reflecting on events just prior to his leaving Oomaldee about a year earlier when a chest appears near the family mailbox. In it, a letter from this friend Alden and one from Yara Princess of Chromlech. “The two hit it off,” after Hans the healer lead a mission to rescue her from Abbadon.

Shortly thereafter a flock 30 zolts armed with swords appeared, accompanied by a sound like thunder on a clear day. The adventure is on.
Readers of this series by author LRW Lee have come to anticipate a host of challenges, intense battles and on a monumental scale. In Vision of the Griffin’s Heart, you won’t be disappointed.

Not all challenges require physical skills and acumen. As an example, while searching the contents of the attic at his home in Lakehills, Andy finds a parchment, the Prophecy of Deliverance. In the prophesy there’s a mystery. Deciphering the mystery gives clues to his fate. The prophesy begins:

 

 

The enemy borne from within appears, casting shadows, darkness, and fear.
He avenges without pity,
makes the Land’s inhabitants quake;
chaos and destruction
ravage in his wake.
Blind to the troika’s beacon,
a glow pierces the night.

This challenge and others provide guidance to Andrew, his friends and allies. Andy receives assistance from: his father, mom, his Mini-Me (sort of like his conscience), the magician Merwin and other leaders. As the story progresses, Andy realizes the people of Oomaldee can’t defeat Abbadon on their own. The allies must build a coalition with friendly states in the area to challenge Abbadon.

LRW Lee draws upon epic fantasies like Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia which to a large extent are based on Nordic myths and the Bible. These writings challenge protagonists to engage enemies in battles of good against evil. The good folks in these stories aren’t super heroes. The draw strength bonds of friendship, the participants working together toward a common goal. Sacrifices are made for the greater good of all. Friends draw upon faith from belief in a higher power, in God, and are guided by representatives of that power.

In this story Andy faces grief as people he loves either die or threatened with death. Through various means he is allowed to view and better understand, life beyond physical life, something that provides comfort if not elimination of grief.

This book shows us a more mature Andy, someone begins to understand the meaning of love and the pain that follows when love is taken away.
Andy Smithson Book 5 advances the ongoing quest as the stakes are raised. For lovers of fantasy, I consider it a must read.

L.R.W. Lee Author Page

LRW Lee author of the Andy Smithson series

Amazon Purchase Link

Biography

L. R. W. Lee is the author of the Andy Smithson juvenile fiction series of epic fantasy books for kids 9 to 99 including teens and young adult, set in medieval times with knight, magic and mythical adventures. She lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband and her daughter who is a Longhorn at UT Austin. Her son serves in the Air Force.

Her teen YA fantasy series includes free young adult books. Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, the series starter, is one such Kindle freebie. Lee gives away the first ebook of her teen & young adult books for free in order to let readers sample her work at no risk and so those without a large reading budget can enjoy an epic adventure.

LRW enjoys hearing from readers! Find her at:
http://www.lrwlee.com
https://twitter.com/@lrwlee
https://www.facebook.com/LRWLee
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047233.L_R_W_Lee

 

5 Comments

January 13, 2016 · 9:43 am

An Interview on The Captive Boy

By Julia Robb

Friends, I want to welcome author friend, Julia Robb. Her newest release is, The Captive Boy which is the topic of this interview. I hope that after hearing what she has to say you consider purchasing this compelling read.

 

51qhosnycyl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Cover art – The Captive BoyJulia spent 20 years as an award winning journalist before becoming a novelist. Since July 2012 she has published four 5-Star rated books on Amazon.com all set in West Texas. This interview covers The Captive Boy, her newest book, released on December 17th. The print version will be published next week.

Question: Julia, I’ve enjoyed reading your three previous western novels but found The Captive Boy exceptional. Why did you write this story?

First, I wanted to show readers that America’s frontier army was heroic, our troops served their country with courage and honor and did their best in a hard time and a hard place. They were tough. We have reason to be proud of them. I wish more Americans knew that.

Also, I wanted to write a story showing readers what happened to white captive kids. After they were recovered, they were emotionally unstable people who couldn’t maintain jobs or relationships. They didn’t feel at home in the white culture, the free-wheeling Indian culture was gone (living on the reservation was not like living with a nomadic tribe). Those kids were sad and never again found a real home. I was, and am, sad for them.

 

Question: Tell my readers about your protagonist, Mac McKenna. I think he’s a compelling character and a respected leader by those who served under him. Is he based on a historic character?

 

Yes, Mac is based on Col. (later General) Ranald Mackenzie. Mackenzie was a hero, and he is my hero. He got the job done. He never gave up. He beat the Comanches. He didn’t want to kill, but he did his duty. I also see him as having been a lonely, isolated man who wanted to love and be loved but he never got the chance. I gave Mac many of these traits, including, kind of, Mackenzie’s fate. But Mac’s fate is a metaphor for what happened to Mackenzie.

 

I felt Mac on a deeper level than my other protagonists. He was inside me. I love him, which is natural, I guess, as I am the only person in the world who thoroughly understands him.

 

Also, I want to add, I have some of Mackenzie’s letters, written while he was commander at Fort Sill (the army fort and the Comanche and Kiowa reservation), and those letters prove Mackenzie was a humane and wise administrator. So, naturally I can tell you my Mac was both humane and wise, both as administrator and soldier.

 

Question: Tell us about the title character, August Shiltz. I suspect his definition of captive would be quite different from Mac’s definition.

 

Yes, August didn’t see himself as a captive until he was retaken by Mac’s troops. He was brainwashed. After all, his Indian parents were the only ones he could remember. It’s like being dropped on Mars and adopted by the natives. The trauma destroys previous memories.

 

I checked with a psychologist to find out what this kind of trauma would do to people, and then I used what the psychologist said. They have Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

 

But August did understand after…oops, almost had to add a spoiler alert.

 

Question: Julia, you used a writing style that made the events leap off the page for me. Your scenes were like reading from a current news story; like an anthology or journal. Would you care to comment on this choice, maybe set the reader’s expectation?

 

I just came to it by happenchance, by fooling around. In some ways, writing a novel is like growing a garden; you water the plants, you weed, you introduce new plants. One thing leads to another. Then before you know it, it’s harvest time.

 

Question: The Captive Boy must have taken an enormous amount of research. Would you like to give us some background on that process? It seems to have been based in large measure on historical events.

 

I read everything I could find about Mackenzie and his troops, about the Red River War, about the frontier cavalry, about the country and its terrain, about Comanches, about white captives, and I’d been doing this for years before I started formal research. I had compiled a 100-page research book before writing one word.

 

Almost everything in the novel, as regarding events, really happened. I changed some things for novelistic purposes, but not much.

 

Do you remember the scene where the Comanches attacked soldiers in the night and the horses panicked and went so wild they pulled the stakes (holding them) from the ground? The stakes then went flying through the air. That made those stakes lethal weapons. That really happened.

 

Of course, the scenes between characters only happened in my head. Except for the scene with Gen. Sherman, when Mac and Sherman found out the Comanches had destroyed a teamster train and killed most of the teamsters.

 

Question: We’ve touched on your main characters. Do you have anything to share about the supporting cast of characters?

 

I loved all of them so much, and I miss them. I loved Eliza who told her friend Jane about everything she saw and heard in Col. McKenna’s quarters, I loved Asha, August’ eventual wife and Asha’s relationship with Mac. I loved it that Mac loved August and he also desired his wife (that’s quite a three-cornered dilemma, isn’t it)?

I loved Sgt. Major Pruitt, who told tall stories and loved baseball and loved his baseball team, I loved Sam Brennan, Mac’s adjutant, who was a brilliant anthropologist and naturalist, actually a kind of Leonardo De Vinci.

 

Sam was based on a real soldier, John Bourke, author of “On the Border With Crook,” the all-time best frontier memoir.

 

Question: What would you like to share about the time and place; the landscape where The Captive Boy took place?

 

Tough country. The Southern Great Plains are not flat but rolling and covered with thorny plants so sharp they can cut your arteries open. Very little good water. The canyon country (as you know Richard) drops from level ground. First, you’re riding on level land and then the bottom just drops 1,000 feet.

Climbing from the base of the Cap Rock toward the rim. Photo by Julia Robb

Men went blind from riding in the sun day after day, and died of heat stroke, and dysentery (from drinking contaminated water), and snakebite, and, of course, war wounds.

 

The Comanche often used barbed arrows (which were nearly two feet long) and you couldn’t just pull them out. They had to be cut out. Not good. Wounded men often died from infection, and even lockjaw.

 

Question: This book is somewhat different from your western novels. Would you like to comment on its genre?

 

It’s an historical novel. Historical novels are supposed to educate readers on the time and place, and why things were as they were. I hope I’ve done that.

 

Question: Do you have any additional comments you would like to share, Julia?

Yes, you’re a good guy Richard. Thanks for the interview.

 

 

Thank you again, Julia! I appreciate your answers, your efforts to lift up the heroic soldiers, to humanize the Comanche and your dedication to presenting realistic events through fiction. I have found that it’s often easier to present truth through fiction as opposed to biased and alleged fact.

Click here for the Amazon.com link to: The Captive Boy

For my review of The Captive Boy, click here.

For a list of Julia  Robb’s biography, other books and purchase links, click here

Short Bio of Julia Robb

I’ma former journalist and editor-I spent 20 years in the newspaper business-51pfsindzal-_uy200_

and I’m now a free-lance writer/editor in Marshall,
Texas. For fun, I drive across Texas, to the deserted corners, the wide spaces, heading west past Waco, watching the mesas fl
oat in the distance.

3 Comments

Filed under Comanche, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Texas