With six days until the election, gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, a Democrat, is touring the state one last time before voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
He stopped at the Democratic headquarters in Emporia this morning.
He said that 16 months ago when he started his campaign, people said, “Paul you’d be a good governor but Sam Brownback can’t be beat.”
“Well, we’re certainly not having those conversations anymore,” Davis told the crowd.
The race is close, the candidates are neck-and-neck in the pre-election polls.
“Under the shadows of cedars toward the cemetery’s north end lies Harry Lewis, a bachelor, retired from the U.S. Railway Postal Service. He kept to himself mostly, didn’t speak to kids, and he wore a city man’s hat.
“One Halloween, my friends and I dared ourselves to trick-or-treat at Harry Lewis’ home, doubting he’d open his door, afraid that he would. Harry answered, then stepped away into the darkness of his house. He returned with foil-wrapped cylinders, peeled back the aluminum and handed us each a nickel.”
Just a moment in time in Pawnee Rock.
David Beeson, from way over the ocean in England, wrote a lovely review of my Flyover People book:
So, this story about my new book, Waiting on the Sky, was in the Emporia Gazette prior to last Thursday’s reading at the Lyon County History Center.
I’m thrilled to be giving a book talk/reading at the future home of the Lyon County History Center, 709 Commercial in Emporia, on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 6:00 p.m.,
The Lyon County Historical Society is in fund-raising mode, working at bringing in money to renovate the building in downtown Emporia. Right now the museum is in the cramped, yet historical, Carnegie Library building. But, there’s not enough room for exhibits or to store artifacts. Or to have a large community gathering.
Anyway, I’m excited to have my first Emporia reading from my new book here in this new but empty building. I’ll read from Waiting on the Sky and will talk a little about my writing process and about the Flyover People column that I wrote for 11 years for The Emporia Gazette.
Greg Jordan, Director of the Lyon County History Center, will speak about the plans they have for developing the building and will give tours of the facility after my talk/reading.
I will happily donate half of the profits from the book sales that evening to the building fund. So, come, listen, tour, and purchase a Flyover People or Waiting on the Sky book to help contribute to the *new* Lyon County History Center. Be a part of our history!
And today, a lovely review came in from Terry Needham, an author from Illinois. Terry’s review of Waiting on the Sky:
Cheryl Unruh is one of my favorite Kansas authors. She gives this place called Kansas a voice. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it roars . . . and occasionally, but rarely . . . it is silent. Still, whatever you hear, you also feel, when you read the words by Unruh. Because she gives not only a voice to the elusive and surreal spirit that is Kansas, she reveals its soul. A place of boundless space, timeless presence, and infinite blue skies or vast starry nights. A haunting history, eternal now, and beckoning future . . . that beguiles you to get to know her . . . Kansas . . . and feel her heart beat, revealed in the exquisite and lovely words of Cheryl Unruh.
I believe brief book reviews are best. Get to the point, before the reader’s mind starts to wander away. Yet, dear reader, indulge me a moment longer, for when reviewing this book, the words of the author best express what I feel—
“Here, we step into that space between questions and answers, a place where we are satisfied with the unknown.”
The poetry in her words, as when she describes emptiness—
“The streets, normally as empty as a yawn, were suddenly busy with grain trucks . . .”
Or, the glorious imagery as she fills the reader’s mind with light—
“Once as I was traveling eastbound through Rice County, the evening sun spread its love over a wheat field. I could barely stand the intensity of golden light on golden grain.”
Or, the tender expression of the bonds that connect us all—
“What matters most in this world is the love we give . . . It is love that connects us.”
And, the reassuring voice that haunts our memories—
“We’ve each left our footsteps and our thoughts on various pathways in our lives. And we can go back anytime to retrieve those memories; they’re still there, right where we left them.”
Or, the tender urge to simply keep our focus on what matters—
“It’s all well and good to see the big picture, but sometimes it helps to narrow one’s focus, pay attention to the light and take the best shot we can.”
Plus, the inevitable conclusion, to a never ending story that is Kansas—
“Eventually we will each leave this state by choice or by default, but our lives and our stories will always be a part of the wind, a part of the land, a part of Kansas.”
Thus, in reading—Waiting on the Sky – More Flyover People Essays—you will discover that Kansas and her people and places are rooted in the heart and soul of the Great Plains, and given an eloquent voice by this gifted writer, Cheryl Unruh.
Terry Needham is the author of an entertaining fantasy novella for young (and older) readers: The She Wolf; and also of a fascinating memoir of his family, When I Was a Child based on a true story of love, death and survival on the Kansas prairie. Other books by Terry are Kitty Claus, and Pesky Poems. Terry lives in Illinois.
To purchase Waiting on the Sky, visit Quincy Press.
Follow Flyover People on Facebook.
To purchase Terry Needham’s books, visit his Amazon page.
My friend Tracy Million Simmons, author of a great novel set near Dodge City, Tiger Hunting, and co-author of the soon-to-be-released The Green Bike, has posted a review of my new book Waiting on the Sky.
And the winner of the book giveaway is…. Seth Bate of Winfield.
The random number generator selected the number 25. Seth’s 22 was closest.
Thank you to all who played. This was fun. I’ll have another giveaway again, so stay tuned.
8.3.14 – UPDATE: SETH BATE of Winfield is the winner of the book giveaway. The random number generator chose 25. Seth’s number was closest at 21.
Hey, I think it’s about time to give away a copy of my new book, Waiting on the Sky: More Flyover People Essays. Wanna play along?
Here’s how the giveaway works:
1) Post a number between 1 and 100 on this blog post. Entries are only valid when placed in the comment section of THIS blog post. (In other words, entries will NOT be valid if posted on Facebook or other social media.)
2) If your number matches the number selected by an online random number generator and you are the only entry with that number, you will win the book. If two or more people have posted the correct number, I will draw TWO names from those who have posted the correct number and those TWO people will each receive free copies of the book.
3) In the event no one matches the number selected by the random number generator, the person or persons with the number closest to the correct number will win. If, for example, the generated number was 50 and no one chose 50, the person with the closest number would be the winner. If the closest numbers (example: 48 and 52) are a tie, two books will be given away. If there are more than two people involved in the tie then names will be drawn from the multiple entries and two books will be given away.
4) One entry per person.
5) Contest ends at 12:00 noon, Central Time on Sunday, Aug. 3. Entries after that time will not be included in the giveaway.
6) Sometime after 12:00 noon on Sunday, August 3, I will contact the winner(s) via the email address that was used to register to post a comment on this blog. At that time, the winner(s) will be asked to provide me with a mailing address and the book(s) will be sent to the winner(s).
7) The winner’s name will also be posted on this page as an update.
OK, friends and strangers, post your numbers. Good luck!
Feel free to share this blog post with your friends on Facebook or Twitter or other social media.
(For those who haven’t posted on this blog previously, your post won’t show up immediately. I have to “approve” the post first, so there may be several hours delay until it appears.)