|Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors||Vol. 2, No. 20 June/July '99|
Betty & The Grand Canyon Womenby Jane Eppinga
Betty Leavengood began writing as Managing Editor of her high school newspaper in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in the early 1950s, but women from West Virginia didn’t become writers, they became nurses, teachers, or secretaries. Betty chose teaching and spent ten years teaching American history and English to seventh and eighth graders. She came to Arizona in 1969 and worked at the University of Arizona as Assistant Director of Volunteer Services at the newly established University of Arizona Hospital.
She wrote her first freelance article in 1984 after a hike across the Grand Canyon. She became entranced with the Grand Canyon and getting paid to write at the same time. Since that time she has authored many articles on hiking in the Tucson area and authored the Tucson Hiking Guide which was published in 1991. The book has been very successful and is considered the “bible” of hiking in Tucson. A second edition was released in 1997.
She got the idea for Grand Canyon Women while at Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon. “I saw a picture of Mary Jane Elizabeth Colter, the architect who designed Phantom Ranch in 1922 and thought that there must be other women associated with the Grand Canyon,” Leavengood says. Now, several years later, Grand Canyon Women: Lives Shaped by Landscape has just been published by Pruett Publishing Company in Boulder, Colorado. Leavengood will show slides and tell of her experiences researching the book at our June 20 meeting.
These isNancy's Wordsby Nancy Turner
I wish I knew better the strong women and men in my lineage who inspired this novel. Until I had adult children, my “folks” were just vague images that peopled some family anecdotes about covered wagons and ranching and hard times. We had no records, not even names, of most of our family, and I had always felt a deep sense of being untethered , or not belonging.
About the time I moved to Tucson, Arizona, some family members made the discovery of half a dozen old photographs and a genealogy that led to pioneers in southern Arizona. When the memoirs of a great great uncle came to light, I was thrilled. Henry Prine had taught himself to read and write, and put down in simple, poignant words a story of his life, of sudden death and unexpected happiness, of hard work and bad weather. He wrote of a time when the odds were always against you and callused hands and a wry smile might be all you owned. And it had all taken place right near my new home. I suddenly found myself able to walk streets my ancestors walked, lined with old adobe buildings, travel the land where they ranched horses and cattle, smell the desert after a summer rain in rugged territory that hasn’t changed in a hundred years — the same territory Sarah Prine traversed in a covered wagon with a glass window packed between two quilts and fresh eggs nestled in a crock of white flour.
The real Sarah Agnes Prine was my great-grandmother -- I met her one time when I was four by then she seemed to be a brittle doll permanently affixed to a rocking chair, not at all the hardy, clever person I had heard tales about from my mother. THESE IS MY WORDS is not meant in any way to be a story about my family. It is simply inspired by the strength found between a few lines or memoir, a battered newspaper clipping, and the lines deeply worn into the face on a fading daguerreotype.
RECENT SUCCESSESDale Adams had some teensy, weensy successes (actual sales): April issue of Arizona Flyways "Foolishness and Wisdom," a future issue of Arizona Flyways "I'll Push," and a future issue of Arizona Highways, maybe October "The Fire Truck."
Pearl Burk sold her short story, "Weeds," to The St. Anthony Messenger, a leading Catholic magazine. Her story, "Jake's Legacy," appeared in the March issue of The Liguorian.
LaVern Harrell Clark, presented a banquet talk and 3 readings from her recent novel, Keepers of the Earth, in March at the annual series of the Living Literature program at Tarrant County College, NE campus, in the Greater Fort Worth, Texas area.
Duval Edwards has not been dormant in 1998, he had articles published in Global Alliance, and Agent Report in the U. S., plus one in Australia in A.I.A. and one in New Zealand in The Informer. At the Clock on the Corner, his sequel to The Great Depression, is expected to be out by the end of this coming summer.
Evelyn Elster's poem won second place in ByLine Magazine's Valentine/Love Poems Contest.
Mary Tate Engles has a new book this year: Corazon Contento, Sonoran Recipes and Stories from the Heart, co-written with Madeline Gallego Thorpe, Texas Tech Univ. Press, 1999.
Marci Martin signed a contract with Fiction Works for E-book publication of her book Go to Hell and Make a U-Turn. It is also under consideration for release as an audio book.
Janice Mitich, Cowgirl Poet, was the covergirl for the March 1999 issue of NEA Retired magazine. In the article, she talks about writing poetry to record how she grew up. Her stepfather never wrote down his poems and much was lost. Now she is inspiring children to write their experiences for future generations to read.
gaël Mustapha writes a column for World Wide Seniors called "Grandparenting in the 21st Century."
Carol St. John's book, Taproots: Where Ideas are Born, has been published by Twin Lights Publishers in Rockport, Massachusetts. The book is about the power of metaphors in our lives, how they surface and help us express ourselves in universal language. It also shows the interrelationship between the word and the image, by examples of poetry and prose interfacing with the paintings of St.John.
Anne Swerdlove recently sold a bronze and several paintings to the tune of nearly $2,000. She has been editing Anne Stokley's autobiography and the memoirs of James Palka.
Frank Tornabene's book, The IKE & MIKE Funny Book and Stories, was published last month via Mike White. It's his third book and is illustrated with 30 cartoons that he's drawn plus 3 wild, wooly short stories.
The Write Word
Deadline for next issue is the 29th day of July