Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stories from KY Christian Writers Conference

I had a good time at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown last weekend. I don't think it's a big conference. I might not be a good judge of that since I've only been to it and ACFW last year. For sure, it's not as big as ACFW. It is a helpful and inspiring conference. This is a photo of the teaching staff and this year's co-directors. This was at the end and you can tell by everybody's smiles that a. it's over or b. we had fun. It's definitely b. we had fun. Or maybe after two days of smiling, the lips were stuck in the upturned position.

I do think there were more writers there interested in non-fiction and devotional writing, but I had some writers show up for my classes. I tried to share some experience and hints with a couple of topics. "Dialogue - the Fizz in Fiction" and "Facts in Fiction - Using History in your Stories." Not too many people were interested in the history one. I should have come up with a jazzier name for it. Say "Turning Truth into Lies." "History - It's Not for Wimps." I have no idea how I would relate that to writing, but it might have caught the eye of potential participants. Actually, I thought my history in fiction class was probably the more interesting of the two, or maybe that was just me since I was talking about the history I'd used in my books.

I met a lot of interesting writers among the staff and the attendees. I gathered a few names for my mental future characters' names file. One lady named Nellotie after her two grandmothers, Nell and Otie.  Then there was Mallonee. I love name tags. That's because I do better with a visual aid in remembering names. Of course there were all the usual names too. Sues and Anns and Barbaras and Jackies. I met one woman who had twelve children. I told her she didn't have time to write, but she said she did. She's the one who matters most there. What I guess I was trying to say is that IF I had twelve kids I wouldn't have time to write. I met a lady preacher who suffered some malady with a long name that made talking at first impossible and now several years later, very difficult. A preacher needs a voice. So she said she started writing to save her sanity. I know some writers, including me at times, who might tell her she was searching for sanity in all the wrong places. :-) But it seemed to be working for her. I met her husband too. He said he couldn't hear and she couldn't talk so they made a perfect pair. I got the feeling that was a much told joke.

Then there is Judy who is going through chemo - again. And yet she's always ready to pray for you and whatever problems you might be having when some might think she's got enough on her prayer plate. Plus she has a teenage son who called her last week to say, "Mom, I'm okay. I'm on the other side of the creek and the ambulance is on the way." That's what any mother of a teenager wants to hear!! He's dropped a rock on his foot and all turned out well, but though Judy could see her son across the creek in their subdivision, she didn't know how to drive to her son. But she found a way. Don't moms always?

And I can't not mention Barbara who went to church with a neighbor when she was nine and heard and heeded the call to salvation. When she got home, her mother asked her what happened to her, that there was a glow around her. I liked picturing her as a glowing nine year old. She grew up to be a preacher's wife and to love writing.

Plus there was Michelle searching for a way to keep her Christian bookstore open. Praying for the Lord to give her the opportunity to continue to minister through her store. The electronic age coupled with the down economy is making it very hard on brick and mortar stores.

Last, but certainly not least, I was privileged to listen to Cecil Murphey speak three times. He was very animated while he spoke and very determined to tell the truth about writing. No mollycoddling. But at the same time he was encouraging. Maybe what he had to say was even more encouraging because he did straight out tell the truth. He has published 122 books - some under his name, some as a ghostwriter for other names. That is an astounding number of books. He knows how to do it and he likes sharing what he knows.

Thanks for coming over to hear my tidbit stories about the conference. Have you been to a writers conference? If so what made it good for you. The workshops? The fellow writers you were able to swap stories with? The one on one conversations with published authors or agents and editors? I definitely enjoy meeting more reading and writing friends.

 Talk to you again Sunday. I'll be doing a book launch at the Corinth Christian Book Store in Frankfort tomorrow on Thursday, June 30 at 7 p.m. Would love to see you there if you're in the area.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Interview with Author, K Dawn Byrd

Author - K. Dawn Byrd

I'm happy to welcome K. Dawn Byrd as a guest on One Writer's Journal today. K. Dawn is a lover of books and an avid blogger who interviews authors and nearly always has some kind of book giveaway going on her blog. When not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband. They like to walk around a beautiful lake near their home while plotting the next story that K. Dawn is anxious to tell. 


Her new story that was just released as an e-book is Mistaken Identity. I think the cover is fantastic. It's a story for young adult readers, but as I used to tell my readers when I was writing young adult books, you can be young at heart and enjoy the story no matter what age you are by the calendar. K. Dawn is generously offering a gift card for a free download of her new book to one of you who leaves a comment here. Winning something is always fun.

Now let's let K. Dawn talk.

How did this story come to you?

Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I wondered what would happen if a not-so-pretty good Christian girl and her gorgeous non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. Who would get the guy?

Sounds like an interesting "what if" question, K. Dawn. Can you tell us about the journey to getting Mistaken Identity published? 

I had already published several books with Desert Breeze Publishing when they opened a young adult line. I'd been writing romantic suspense and thought it would be fun to try my hand at a young adult novel. It was so much fun that I'm signing a contract for a young adult mystery series that will debut in January.

Sounds great. Congratulations! So tell us three things about K. Dawn Byrd that might surprise readers.

1. I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.

2) I love sour things...pickles, lemons, sour candy.

3) I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don't miss mine at all.

My husband likes the scenic route too. Not on a Harley though. I'm sure you saw a lot of pretty country. But now that you're not riding that Harley, what are you working on now? What's next for you?

I'm editing my October release with Desert Breeze. This Time for Keepis an inspirational romance.

I'm sure your readers will be anxiously awaiting it. Do you have any parting comments?

Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away copies of their books to my blog readers.  K Dawn Byrd's Blog

Where can fans find you on the internet?

Links:YouTube Trailer
Desert Breeze Publishing 
K Dawn Byrd Website   
K. Dawn Byrd's Blog  

I'm also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and Facebook (K Dawn Byrd). I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering Facebook Group. If you join this group you'll get reminders about the weekly book giveaways.  

Thank you so much for coming over to visit One Writer's Journal today, K. Dawn and hope you have great success with your new book. K. Dawn is giving away a gift card for a free download of her book to one lucky commenter. Clare Revell gave Mistaken Identity 4 1/2 out of 5 stars on her blog, The World Can Wait. Here's some of what she said:

I loved Mistaken Identity. I read it in one sitting, so engrossed that the toast burned and milk boiled over as I read. Eden faces all the problems young Christian girls do today. Short skirts, make-up, protective parents.  ....A book for parents and teenagers alike, this one deals with important issues as well as having an engaging storyline, lovable characters and enough nail-biting moments to keep you rooted to the pages and wondering about the characters after the last page is turned.

Thank you all for reading and remember if you'd like to win a gift card for a free download of Mistaken Identity, please chime in with a comment and a way to contact you. I'll be telling you all about the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference this Wednesday. Before that I'm going to have to get busy trying to find those magical two words "The End" on my Shaker 5 book. I'll be at Corinth Christian Book Store in Frankfort, KY at 7 p.m. on this Thursday night, June 30th to talk about The Blessed. If you're in the area, hope you can come.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writing Workshops & the Winners are...

I've been working all week on getting ready for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown coming up this Friday and Saturday, June 24 & 25. I had actually thought this was my first writers conference when I went last year, but then I was reminded that I had led some workshops at the Green Rivers Writers Retreat some years back - probably in the 1980s or 90s. That was in Louisville and I drove back and forth so maybe that's why I didn't think about it actually being a conference. But I did meet with writers and try to share my limited writing knowledge with them. That's what I'm going to be trying to do again at KCWC.

The picture is of me and last year's keynote speaker, Virginia Smith. Ginny did a great job of delivering the keynote speeches last year. Ginny does a great job every time she speaks. Just check out her website, Viginia Smith and you'll see that she has some interesting topics for her talks. And she's always fun. She was last year too. This year they have Cecil Murphey who has written so many books it's a wonder he hasn't lost count. Maybe he has! He has his name on some of the books and some of them he ghostwrote such as 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. They say he's a tremendous speaker and encourager so I know the conference attendees will more than get their money's worth. 

I always feel a little inadequate - oh heck, I feel a lot inadequate when I am asked to lead a workshop. I'm a writer, not a teacher. But at the same time, I enjoy teaching. I did a community ed writing class for several years here in my county and found it fun. Time consuming, creative energy draining, but fun. So I do have some experience teaching and almost all the comments on my sessions last year were favorable. Wonder why that one really critical remark is the one that stuck?   (Sigh)

Last year I had workshops on character and rewriting. I was a little surprised to discover that a lot of writers thought the rewriting topic was not all that interesting. I like to rewrite. For one thing that means I've finished the hard part of writing and have the story told. But I'm not trying to encourage the wisdom of rewriting your work this year. My workshops are "Dialogue - The Fizz in Fiction" and "Facts in Fiction - Using History in your Story." 

I think I came up with good titles anyway. Now to put the meat into the session and deliver it in such a way that my advice will encourage other writers. Even if they leave my class saying that was a lot of nonsense and I can do better than that. A lot of good books have been written by writers who said that very thing. Motivation is necessary for characters in stories and for writers.   

But in the three conferences I have been part of I have found one thing true of them all. It's the people you meet, the friends you make that give you the most lasting benefits. The writing information is good. Feedback is good. Discovering new markets or new possibilities of ways to use your writing talent is good. But best is making friends who know how hard writing can be, who may have experienced the same discouragement over rejections or joy over acceptances. People who understand because they have the writing bug crawling around inside them too.

So if you're at the conference in E-town, be sure to introduce yourself and tell me you are a reading friend. Then we can be face to face writing friends too. 

A couple more items here. My first book launch for The Blessed will be next week on Thursday night, June 30th at the Corinth Book Store in Frankfort, KY at 7 p.m. If you live in the area I'd love to see you there. Then I'll have a Hometown Book Launch at the Anderson Public Library in July on Sunday the 24th at 2 p.m. Door prizes and chocolate there. Both places I'll be talking about writing my new Shaker book, The Blessed. On June 30th at the book store I'll be sharing the podium with Catherine Sheets, a Frankfort author with a new book out titled A Place Called Morning

And now for the big news. I have the winners of my Celebration giveaway. The winner of the "never win anything" (at least from my website) is Abi of ND. She picked Orchard of Hope.The winner of the "I've been blessed" drawing is Ann Marie. The winner of the angel figurine and a book is Donna of KY. The winners of autographed copies of The Blessed are Susan of NE, Sally of TX, Katie of CA, Linda of MI, and Virginia of VA. Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. I'll be doing some more giveaways in September (you know, because when you get older you have to celebrate by giving stuff away), so check my events page on my website for when and how to enter. I'll also be guesting on some blogs that will be giving away a copy of The Blessed. That info is also on my website event page. 

Blessings to all of you. And wish me smooth talking and intelligent words for my workshops this weekend. If you were attending one of the workshops, what would you most want to know?

Snf no

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dad - Before and After Me

Happy Father's Day to all of you - those who are dads and those of us who have dads. There's nothing like a dad, but it's also true that our dads weren't always dads. They used to be boys and then young men looking to the future, trying out their wings, finding their independence. This picture is my dad on his motorcycle long before he became my dad. The year was about 1931 and he was getting ready to take off across America all the way to Oregon.

What a way to see the country! What a way to say I'm ready to be on my own now. His mother wasn't happy with him. I've never heard anybody say what his father thought. Maybe that he wouldn't make it. That he'd turn around and come home before he got a hundred miles down the road. Or maybe he was proud of him for wanting to do something a little daring. Or he might have been worried he'd never come home. Lucky for me, Dad did come home and meet my mom some eight or nine years later. 

But that trip was Dad saying I'm old enough now to do what I want. His parents weren't happy about it, but he went anyway. All the way across country on a motorcycle. I've always thought I got my grab hold of a dream or goal and keep on keeping on spirit from my mom, a very determined woman. But now that I think about my dad and this trip, I'm seeing he had plenty of that perseverance and focus too. He wanted to go, so he did. And all his life, it was something he looked back on with pleasure and pride. Riding by the Grand Canyon. Nearly running out of water in the desert. Eating nothing but cantalope for a couple of days because someone was selling them cheap by the side of the road. So many adventures.

I look at the young man in the photo above. That was before I was even a thought he might imagine. He was young, footloose and fancy free and he took advantage of that.

Years later when he was almost forty, I came into his life. His last child after two other daughters. I remember the motorcycle. It sat in the corner of the garage for all my childhood years. Dad didn't ride it. I think it needed repair. But he kept it for many years. A symbol of freedom. Of independence. He finally sold it and I think regretted the sale almost immediately.

I can't imagine what it must have felt like for a farm boy like Dad who had probably never gone farther than Louisville (about 60 miles from here) to just take off. To shut his ears to his mother's pleading for him to give up such craziness. My mother remembers Dad saying his mother even offered to give him money she'd hid away for a rainy day if he would stay home. In her heart it was storming for sure.

Now I wish I could hear more of Dad's stories about the places he went on that motorcycle. I wish I knew the Dad before there was me. And I wonder if my children ever wonder about the girl before the mom. I think that's sort of what we all want - for our loved ones to see us as we see ourselves. Unique, one of a kind, our own person. 

That's what writers need to do with our characters too. To know them is to breathe life into them. And some of them are fathers. Like Victor in Angel Sister. Victor was a yearning to be better father in spite of his flaws and troubles.

My dad wasn't perfect either. But then who among us is? But he was a good dad and he surprised some people by buying a motorcycle and heading west. Maybe himself most of all.

Hope you had a good dad who made your life richer and better. What's one of your favorite things or memories about your dad?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Young and in Love

I've been having fun with this picture on my Facebook Author's page. I had posted a picture of Darrell and me on his birthday last week and mentioned how long we'd been together. A loooonnng time. We met and started dating when I was fourteen and he was seventeen. My parents trusted me too much, I'm thinking now. But it turned out well.

Anyway one of my FB friends asked to see us when we were young. This is probably the first picture we ever took together. We were at an amusement park in Lexington, KY called Joyland Park. It's long been defunct, but we went on a date there. Actually we went with Darrell's church youth group from Goshen where we still go to church these days. They had a lot of young people then. We don't have so many now. So do you remember those little booths they used to have where you put in quarters and went inside and the camera snapped five quick pictures and printed them out in a little strip? This picture is one of those. I don't know what happened to the others. Maybe they were of us sitting down or not looking at the camera. You had to be ready when you went in those booths. Darrell carried this one around in his billfold for years. That's why it has some worn places on it. I found it in a bunch of old pictures of his a year or so ago and stuck it on the fridge just to remind myself of how young we used to be. You can see in this that we had the whole world in front of us and we were eager to get started on the journey.

We're quite a bit down the road now as you can see in this picture taken a couple years ago with our nine beautiful grandchildren. It's been great having the people - our children and grandkids - join us in life's journey.

Darrell had another birthday just last week. I cooked one of his favorite meals - greens and hard boiled eggs. He went to practice singing. He's been singing gospel music for almost forty years with one group or another. He sings bass. Now he's singing with The Patriot Quartet. They have a website if you want to check out his low down sound.  We'll celebrate more for his birthday and Father's Day on Saturday by churning up some homemade banana ice cream. At least that's the plan.  

Thanks for reading. I know you won't believe somebody as "young" as me forgot to post this last night, but better late than never. Hope your journey down life's road is a good one too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blue Skies, Raspberries and News

I have absolutely no reason for this picture other than I wanted to use a picture and we've had blue skies this week. This is a hayfield on our farm and a place I sometimes walk. I'd like to walk around it now because there's a nice patch of raspberries in the fencerow, but my husband hasn't mowed the hay yet and the grass would be up to my waist. So guess the deer will enjoy the berries. They are another reason I'm not wading through the grass. They're probably eating all the berries off the vine and I'd make the trek only to find nothing to pick. The other reason is we've got some raspberries in the garden. I love black raspberries. They hold the sweetness of early summer for me even more than strawberries.

In my work in progress it's June and I have my girl picking blackberries. Maybe I'd better go back and change that to raspberries. I'm two weeks or more early for the blackberries.

It's been a slow week down here on the farm. Hay mowing time for Darrell which means equipment breaking time. The baler is in the baler repair shop now. Meanwhile I'm having my periodic computer troubles. I'm about ready to go back to those wirebound notebooks I used when I started writing years ago. I actually met a writer the other day who still writes everything in long hand first. Not me. The keyboard is my pen of choice. Gotta get those words down. But there are times when the keyboad along with all it's connected to does its best to drive me bonkers.

I'm pushing hard to finish Shaker 5 that has an accepted title now, The Gifted. I'm in one of those awkward places for a writer. I need to get the story finished. I'm rushing to get it finished. And I've got enough words written for it to be finished, but I'm some way from being finished. That means I'm going to have too many words. That means I'm going to have to cut lots of words. Nice words that I worked hard to dig out of my head. Sigh.

But it's a good writer time for me too with a new book out. The Blessed is available on Amazon now.  I got my copies last Thursday. So I planned my Hometown Book Launch for Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m. at the Anderson County Public Library. If you're in the area, I hope you'll come join in the fun. I always give stuff away and we have fun talking books. I might even make brownies again. Maybe.

I've actually got a lot of things going on in the next few weeks. Blog tours and posts and interviews. First up is an interview on Carole Brown's blog, Sunnybank Meanderings on June 15. Then on June 24 & 25 I'll be doing a couple of workshops at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown. Maybe I'll give you guys a preview of my classes next week. So you can see why I need to get this new Shaker book finished. I think I know where my characters are going. I think I know what they're going to do. I think I can, said the little writer who thought she could get over the hill to the end.

By the way, if you leave a comment on my interview with Carole, you'lll have a chance to win an autographed copy of either Angel Sister or The Blessed. And now that I've got my author copies, I'll be drawing the winners for my celebration giveaway next Saturday. So if you haven't entered, check out the details on my website and join in the fun. 

As always thanks for reading. And hope you liked the picture.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Shaker Photo and a Shaker Cover

I tried to post this on my Facebook author page today, but Facebook is not liking me lately. So I said whatever, I'll just share it with my journaling friends. Okay, take a good look at the picture to the left. Then scroll down and take a good look at my cover. The first picture here on the left is one I took at the Shaker village of Pleasant Hill last summer. The cover below is my new Shaker novel, The Blessed. Doesn't it look like my picture is the background of the cover? It's not but gee, it looks like it even to the open gate and the trees. Of course my photo is missing Lacey. But even though you can't see her there, she was in my imagination then as I was finishing up her story.

You may be wondering about the one door in the building because I am always writing about  the buildings having two doors, one for the sisters and one for the brothers. But the buildings with only one door were generally workshops used exclusively by either the sisters or the brethren and therefore didn't require two doors. The Shakers were efficient people and didn't believe in wasted effort or materials and supplies.

What do you think about covers of books? Do they influence you when you are shopping for something to read? What makes you pick up one book over another? I admit I'm more likely to pick up a book with a cover that catches my eye.

My publisher, Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group, does a fantastic job of coming up with eye appealing covers. The cover for my book, Angel Sister, was wonderful and I know cute little Lorena on the cover made that book practically jump off the shelves into a reader's hands. They might not have decided to buy the book, but she got them to look at it. That's the purpose of a well-done cover. Get the reader to give it a second look.

Titles are important too. A title can awaken a reader's curiosity about what's inside the cover. The Blessed  fits my book very well. I don't know whether it's one that will whet a reader's appetite, but it works with the story. Lacey was always thinking about the Beatitudes and repeating them in her head to get her through some hard times. Plus she wanted to feel blessed. She wanted to have joy in her heart and be ready to do her "dandelion dance" to welcome spring. But sometimes joy can seem out of reach when life throws a person some curves.

Thanks for reading and don't forget you can still get in on my giveaway since I haven't received my copies of The Blessed. I think they've gotten lost in the mail since I'm hearing about other people receiving copies. But that was also in the mail, so who knows? But I'm going to give some books away to celebrate when they do come. You can check out my website, for how to enter.

Also for those of you who read Suzanne Woods Fisher's wonderful interview here, you can catch her interviewing me tomorrow (Thursday June 9) at 4 p.m. CST on Amish Wisdom. That's 5 p.m. Eastern standard time. Last summer when I was on Suzanne's show talking about The Seeker, a lot of people said they couldn't get the program to come up. One of the feeds messed up that day. So give it a try again tomorrow. I'll be talking about Lacey's story, The Blessed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Books at the Door

Books are arriving in the mail and by UPS. That's always fun. And it's just as much fun when I hear from family and friends that they  received my new book in the mail. Several people got gift copies of The Blessed yesterday in the mail. Other family members may get a surprise in the mail next week. It's fun to get nice surprises in the mail. Just a week or so ago I got the dog story book, The Dog Next Door complied by Callie Smith Grant that includes a story I wrote about one of my dogs. My nine-year-old granddaughter picked that book up last night while she was at my house and went straight out on the deck to lie on the swing and start reading. She loves horses and dogs.

So far I haven't received my box of author copies but I'm glad one of my fantastic editors at Baker sent out a copy of The Blessed to me as soon as the book was available. Actually holding a new book in my hands and enjoying that new book smell is part of my reward for months of work digging words out of my head. I have to confess it's pretty nice on the eyes to see that "by Ann H. Gabhart" on a book that lands on my doorstep.

A few years ago, I actually spotted one of my new books on a shelf in a store before I had a copy. And no, I didn't buy it. But I did pick it up and flip through the pages. Then I went home and called the publishers to hurry up the copies to me. 

Now with the book out there in some readers' hands, I'll have sit back and wait to see what people think. Will they like Lacey's story? Lacey was a good character I enjoyed getting to know. She has her own special voice that I hope readers will enjoy too. I'll also be planning some book launches. It's been such a hard spring and I've been trying to finish Shaker book 5, but that doesn't mean I can't celebrate a new book with my reading friends. Remember, I am giving away books, several of them, as soon as I do receive my author's copies, so if you haven't sent me an e-mail saying you want to throw your name in the hat for the giveaway, you still have time. You can check out the giveaway details on my Events and News page on my website, Plus you can take a sneak peek at The Blessed.

Since we're talking about giveaways, it's time to announce the winner of Suzanne Woods Fisher's book, The Waiting. Drum roll please. ONorman is the winner. I numbered the comments and put all the numbers in a hat - well, actually a bowl - and drew out her number. I started to ask my mom to pick a number between one and whatever the end number was, but I decided that wasn't fair to the number one person. How many times have you ever picked the first or the last number when told to pick a number in a range of numbers? Nobody ever picks one. Or is that only true for me? Anyway, I drew out a number so this was random and fair.

Thanks for reading. And I hope you get good surprises everyday. A new book. An e-mail or letter from an old friend. Finding a ten dollar bill in your pocket that you'd forgotten about. Catching the biggest fish. A grandkid's sweet kiss. What is a good surprise for you? 


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book Clubs, Libraries, and Art from the Farm

Art Piece at the Mercer Co. Library
Last week I was privileged to be invited to join the Lunch Bunch Book Club at the Mercer County Library after they read my book, Angel Sister. Getting together with book clubs either in person or via phone is one of the most fun things I do as a writer. I like to talk about books. I like it when people read MY books and talk about them.

And it's absolutely the neatest thing to be able to be in on the conversation. To sit there and listen while readers tell you what this or that character was thinking and explain why they did the things they did. Me, I just write down their stories, so it's interesting to find out more about their motivations. Then they sometimes talk about what my characters might be doing now in the imaginary beyond after I wrote "the end." People who read books are the best. And here are some of them.

Thanks so much to Kate Sumner for arranging for me to come meet with the group. And I also appreciate my friends in the book club who might have recommended Angel Sister as a  book club selection. With so many books to choose from, I always consider it a special honor when a club picks one of my books. Then it's a double honor when they want me to show up to talk to them about the book.

So I really like book clubs. I also really like libraries and Mercer County has just added on to their library and they have a beautiful, very user friendly facility right in downtown Harrodsburg. And when you go in the front door, the first thing you see is this fabulous piece of art. It was a minute after I went in before I realized the piece was completely assembled from old farm equipment and tools. In the picture above Darrell is telling Kate what all the tools are or what the pieces were from and how the equipment or tools were used. He knew because he had used a lot of them. I knew what a lot of them were for the same reason. Well, I never swung a lot of sledge hammers, but I watched my dad use them. And the tobacco knives and scythes and mowing blades and rake teeth, just to mention a few of the things in the sculpture. It's an amazing piece of art so if you're in Mercer County you should go by the library just to see that and then go on in and talk to the friendly staff. You might even check out one of those books that Gabhart woman wrote. You'll have to look in the Kentucky section for those.But even if you don't get a book, the art piece is worth the trip. It's beautiful and it shouts the history of our agricultural region. I took several pictures so may post more on my facebook page in the days ahead.

Thanks for reading, and welcome those of you following my journal. I do appreciate each and every one of you. If you want to comment on Suzanne Woods Fisher's guest interview in order to be in on the drawing for her book, The Waiting that is a finalist for a Christy award, you've got until Sunday noon to do so if you haven't already. June 1 today. A granddaughter's birthday. One month to finish my Shaker 5 book. I like June. Hope you do too.