Friday, February 26, 2016

First Presentations of 2016

I had a pleasant trip to Havre, Montana on April 22, 23. It was for Humanities Montana (HM) presentations of "Before the Horse, Lifestyles of the Northern Rockies". Monday I was at Montana State University-Northern; Tuesday I was at the Havre Middle School where I met with five different sixth grade classes. This is my second visit doing this duo, the first in 2014.

Several college classes had scheduled my morning talk, and instructors were present, too. A write-up about it was in the Northern Network News (the official newsletter of MSU-Northern), and on the Multicultural Center web site.

At the middle school, the three teachers of the five classes had prepared their students well. Along with a well-planned social studies curriculum, they had been reading chapters of my book Spotted Flower and the Ponokomita to the students. In 2015, the school purchased 90 copies of the book, so students were able to read along with the teacher, or on their own. I left the school feeling good about how all the classes went, and also with a big sheaf of papers from the students: thank you notes, pictures they drew of parts of the book, questions and comments. How wonderful!

I noticed, however, in reading these, the difference from when I and even my own grown children were in sixth grade. It was expected that we would write in legible cursive or with precise printing. That isn't stressed any more, probably because of all the keyboard use and even voice activated dictating. I wonder if someone will come up with software that will convert old-style physical cursive writing to digital print? It might be handy for old journals and other historical documents.

When planning for this Havre trip, I decided at the last minute to get a presentation at the Public Library. My University contact helped me with this, and I had a Monday evening presentation there. This wasn't a HM program. Since I was in Havre the last week of Black History Month, I dusted off my "Forgotten Trailblazers: 1800-1850" talk. It's about intrepid American Black pioneers and adventurers who trekked and lived in the West long before the Civil War. Unfortunately, the one-week advance time frame wasn't enough to get a big crowd, but I enjoyed the evening.

In all, a good two-plus day trip and a positive start for my 2016 presentation calendar.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blood and Bond - Almost Here

The proof for the second edition of Blood and Bond is on its way. I expect to have it all finalized by mid-month. 

I don't have any art shows until April, and the shows are where I sell the most hold-in-your-hand copies of my books. They are all available in electronic editions, but many people still want an actual book.

An overview of Blood and Bond is on the Contemporary Book page of this blog and also at the book page on my website.