Monday, July 22, 2019

A Meadowlark Note - July 2019

#readameadowlarkbook
~hashtag us for a chance at prizes and moments of internet fame~
A Note From the Publisher's Desk
July 17, 2019

When I published Green Bike in 2014, I was acting on a dream that had long been under construction in my mind. I have loved reading books for as long as I can remember. And my first memory of "publishing" a book? I was still short enough that I had to stand on a kitchen chair at the table in order to get enough leverage to push down on the stapler to get the cover attached. 

In May we began taking orders for Meadowlark's 19th book, and by August, books 2021, and 22 will be available. It is looking very likely that we will have a total of 25 books on the Meadowlark bookshelf by the end of this year, and our 2020 publishing calendar is already in motion.

I look at all that Meadowlark has accomplished, and though some days I can only see how far we still have to go, most days I find myself feeling like that kid at the kitchen table again, enormously satisfied with these wonders that my hands have played a role in making.

Last month I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on publishing at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. The only downside to being a participant was that I didn't have the freedom to take notes as I would have if I had just been a member of the audience. But in doing my homework to prepare for the event, and then in listening to the other panelists and learning about their experiences in publishing, I came away with a renewed sense of confidence in Meadowlark's purpose and mission.

What does Meadowlark publish? The books we'd recommend to our friends.

Please take a moment to read Meadowlark's mission statement below. And many thanks to Cheryl Unruh for helping me to find the words for this statement, for helping me find the words all along, and for encouraging me to take chances, to act on dreams.

Much love and good reading!

Tracy Million Simmons
Owner/Publisher, Meadowlark Books
 
Nothing feels better than home.
 
While we at Meadowlark Books love to travel, we also cherish our home time. We are nourished by our open prairies, our enormous skies, community, family, and friends. We are rooted in this land and that is why Meadowlark Books publishes regional authors.
 
When you open one of our fiction books, you’ll read delicious stories that are set in the Heartland. Settle in with a volume of poetry, and you’ll remember just how much you love this place too - the landscape, its skies, the people.
 
Meadowlark Books publishes memoir, poetry, short stories, novels. Read stories that began in the Heartland, that were written here. Add to your Meadowlark Book collection now.
Visit the Meadowlark website
Buy Meadowlark Books
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Purchase:
 
Edna Bell-Pearson Publishes “Air Age” Memoir
 
“World War II was in full swing when I did what I considered my patriotic duty and joined the Kansas Civil Air Patrol. We wore crisp, khaki uniforms and jaunty caps, piped in red, and drilled on the athletic field north of the high school before most folks were out of bed in the morning. Not one to do things halfway, I enrolled in a private pilot course and started taking flying lessons in a 1939 bright yellow, 65 horsepower, Piper J-3 Cub.”
 
This is the opening to Edna Bell-Pearson’s memoir, Headwinds, a story of one family’s experiences set against the early days of the “Air Age.” 
 
Headwinds takes place over the course of five years and tells the story of Ungerer Flying Service, a family-owned and operated business stationed in Marysville, Kansas. It covers a time when the United States was becoming the largest aviation manufacturing country in the world, and small planes, designed for flight training and private ownership, with innovations never before dreamed of, rolled off the production lines of Cessna, Taylorcraft, Piper, Beech, and others. The GI Bill of Rights made it possible for veterans to take flight training at government expense. Thousands who had washed out or missed out on flying during the war became pilots. As the business grows and thrives, Edna learns to appreciate the importance of the little things: hunting and fishing trips, being a good housekeeper, and crisp, autumnal days without wind.
 
This memoir examines the importance of family through hardships, and it will leave you appreciating the value of persistence and determination in the face of adversity. Edna loves her job and her life, which is an important piece of this inspirational story.
 
Readers can now order the book for August delivery via the Meadowlark Bookstore,www.meadowlark-books.com. The book will also soon be available for order through traditional and online bookstores in both paperback and ebook formats.
______________________________________
About the Author: Edna Bell-Pearson’s stories, articles, essays, and poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies world-wide. She has published six books. She is noted for Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams and Other Stories, a southwest Kansas saga, chosen during the Kansas sesquicentennial year, as one of “150 Best Kansas Books.”
Purchase:
Wry and rue---it sounds like the recipe for a craft cocktail.  But those are really the main ingredients in Ruth Maus’s sly wise and expansive book, even or especially in the poems that really are about cocktails.  Most of her poems are short—and a lot bigger than they seem, poems marked by gallows humor and a poker face, and with just a twitch of a tell that reveals how much lies beneath their surface.
~Michael Gorra, author of Portrait of a Novel: Henry James 
and the Making of an American Masterpiece
 
In Valentine, Ruth Maus offers a love letter to the world, powering her lines with the engines of parallel structure, formal play, and bright image. Using diction that is conversational, at times outright rollicking, we’re invited into a world where “the righteousness of salt / on a monster margarita / sings psalm and hallelujah enough,” while the speaker considers romantic temptations, one’s call to art, and what lies ahead. This is a creative and sprightly collection.
~Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves
 
About the Author: Ruth Maus, a native of Topeka, Kansas, has pursued a love of learning around the world, with languages, curiosity, and an appreciation for all beings a constant thread. Valentine was a 2019 finalist in The Birdy Poetry Prize competition.
www.birdypoetryprize.com

Accepting Entries: May 1 to December 1, 2019
 

Final Deadline for Entries: December 1, 2019 - Midnight
 
Entry Fee: $25
 
Prize: $500 cash, publication by Meadowlark Books, including 50 copies of the completed book 
 
All entries will be considered for standard Meadowlark Books publishing contract offers, as well.  
 
 
Submission and contest entry fee of $25 must be received by December 1, midnight.
 
Full-length poetry manuscripts (55 page minimum, 90+ pages preferred) will be considered. Poems may be previously published in journals and/or anthologies, but not in full-length, single-author volumes. All poets are eligible to enter, regardless of publishing history.
 
Copyright © 2019 Meadowlark Books, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 333, Emporia, KS 66801

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Meadowlark Author, Ruth Maus, Celebrates the Anniversary of the Lunar Landing





    Tranquility Base
       July 20, 1969

            To N.A.

They should have sent a poet with us scientists. But the Mission’s success
is far too critical to leave in non-technical hands and no computational plan
would accommodate an additional man.

As long as night has torn the peaceful sweet of day,
And orb of ghostly light pulled time and tide along its way,
That long have fools and sages pondered why
The step-child moon menaces world and sky.

Before engineering and flight school I studied history. Sailors, shepherds,
cavemen, kings, all subject to this moon. No one’s ever been immune.

So ancient souls bemoaned its hazen rings,
Omen of tempests, torments, born of godless things.
Its blood-red face foretold in prophecy,
Apocalyptic star-cursed tragedy.

Affirmative. Poet imperative. But I am the one who has to convey
the historic importance of today.

Yet this the moment now dispels our dread,
Undoing doubts we’ve wailed as prophets bled.
To tame the sterile rock as was designed
I take One Giant Leap for all mankind.

Must rehearse that “Giant Leap” verse. Brainwork of some pedant
on the payroll. Now it’s all political.

A leap unmatched by legions’ swollen ranks
when continents lay leveled in their tracks.
This chasm breached by stepping to the sky;
my mortal footprint firm in Heaven’s eye.

When the moon-a hits your eye like a big-ga pizza pie…

“Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.”


Author: Ruth Maus

“Tranquility Base” is included in the poetry book, Valentine

coming from Meadowlark Books, August 2019.



Sunday, July 7, 2019

Now Taking Orders: Headwinds, A Memoir by Edna Bell-Pearson



Shipping in August!
Place your order now for the next book on the Meadowlark Bookshelf.


“World War II was in full swing when I did what I considered my patriotic duty and joined the Kansas Civil Air Patrol. We wore crisp, khaki uniforms and jaunty caps, piped in red, and drilled on the athletic field north of the high school before most folks were out of bed in the morning. Not one to do things halfway, I enrolled in a private pilot course and started taking flying lessons in a 1939 bright yellow, 65 horsepower, Piper J-3 Cub.”

This is the opening to Edna Bell-Pearson’s  memoir, Headwinds, a story of one family’s experiences set against the early days of the “Air Age.” 

Headwinds takes place over the course of five years, and tells the story of Ungerer Flying Service, a family-owned and operated business stationed in Marysville, Kansas. It covers a time when the United States was becoming the largest aviation manufacturing country in the world, and small planes, designed for flight training and private ownership, with innovations never before dreamed of, rolled off the production lines of Cessna, Taylorcraft, Piper, Beech, and others. The GI Bill of Rights made it possible for veterans to take flight training at government expense. Thousands who had washed out or missed out on flying during the war became pilots. As the business grows and thrives, Edna learns to appreciate the importance of the little things: hunting and fishing trips, being a good housekeeper, and crisp, autumnal days without wind.

This memoir examines the importance of family through hardships, and it will leave you appreciating the value of persistence and determination in the face of adversity. Edna loves her job, and her life, which is an important piece of this inspirational story.

Edna Bell-Pearson’s stories, articles, essays, and poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies world-wide. She has published six books. She is noted for Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams and Other Stories, a southwest Kansas saga, chosen during the Kansas sesquicentennial year, as one of “150 Best Kansas Books.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Opportunities to visit with James Kenyon, author of Golden Rule Days

“You’ll read this book and quickly become absorbed in the stories, the people, and the buildings. . . James Kenyon did a phenomenal amount of research to gather all of this information to be saved and savored for decades to come. I am grateful to James for bringing one last bit of glory to all of these small schools that once meant so much to our communities.”
-Marci Penner, director/author, Kansas Sampler Foundation


James Kenyon is looking forward to visiting with the public about his book, Golden Rule Days: History and Recollections of 109 Closed Kansas High Schools

Upcoming Dates:
August 3, 2019 - Cimarron City Library, 11:00 AM
August 3, 2019 - Plains Kansas High School Reunion, 9:00 AM
August 4, 2019 - McCracken Kansas Community Center, 3:00 PM
September 29, 2019 - McCune Kansas Museum, 10:00 AM
October 19, 2019 - MeadowLark Hills, Manhattan, 7:00 PM

James Kenyon made twelve trips across Kansas to visit every county in the state, collecting stories of former Kansas high schools as he went and sharing his appreciation for small town life. Born and raised on a third-generation family grain and livestock farm near the town of Bogue, Kansas, population 300, his roots make him a natural candidate for recording the histories and stories of these schools. From his grandfather, John Gibbins, who was the superintendent of four high schools in Kansas and a college professor, to his three aunts and two sisters who were teachers, James was raised in a community that valued education.

James is the author of A Cow for College and Other Stories of 1950s Farm Life, Meadowlark Books, October 2017, winner of the 2018 Martin Kansas History Book Award.


“. . . a fascinating book for the countless Kansans who were heartbroken when their high schools closed . . . I was pleased that my own hometown, Pawnee Rock, was one of his highlighted schools. It was a painful time for our community. Those who were directly affected by these closures will treasure this book, and the nuggets of small-town history will make this a treasure for anyone interested in the Kansas experience.”
-Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State,
Waiting on the Sky: More Kansas Essays, and Walking on Water

Friday, June 21, 2019

Get Published Panel at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library hit it out of the park again with a great program for writers, and I don't just say this because I was invited to be a member of the presentation panel. I did enjoy getting the opportunity to talk about about Meadowlark Books, but I also really enjoyed hearing the stories and learning from the other panelists. If I had been in the audience, I would have been taking notes like crazy.

The event highlighted for me, once again, the variety of publishing options that are available for an author today. I brought home a few new ideas for marketing that I look forward to adding to the arsenals of Meadowlark authors.

Here is a brief introduction to each of my fellow panelists:

Theresa Hupp is an independent author who has published three historical novels and an essay/poem collection. Her description of teaching herself to write novels was inspirational.

Jennifer Brown is a traditionally published author, most recently on my radar as a 2017 winner of the William Allen White Book Award. Though she is probably best known for her young adult novels, Jennifer also writes women's fiction under the name Jennifer Scott.

Jennifer Haskin is a former literary agent and author. She had a lot of good information about the publishing industry, in general.

It was a fantastic, two-hour event that honestly could have gone at least an hour longer. I have enjoyed exploring the websites and social media pages of my fellow panelists. I look forward to seeing where their writing journeys take them.

Many thanks to Chris Blocker and Miranda Ericsson for the fantastic programming they provide for Kansas authors.
Tracy Million Simmons, Theresa Hupp, Jennifer Brown, and Jennifer Haskin made up the four-person panel for the Get Published event at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library on June 18, 2019


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Updated: What's Next on the Meadowlark Bookshelf... and next, and next, and next

A note from the publisher's desk: Tracy Million Simmons


File this entry under "good problems to have!" Selecting manuscripts for publication in 2019 was difficult! We had so many quality submissions this year. The following manuscripts are currently in the queue at Meadowlark and we look forward to sharing these titles with our readers in the coming months.  (Post updated 5/29/2019)



Now Available
James Kenyon's, Golden Rule Days: History and Recollections of 109 Closed Kansas High Schools, is now available! Coming in at 388 pages, this has been a project many months in the making. We are so proud of this gorgeous book!

James Kenyon has created a fascinating book for the countless Kansans who were heartbroken when their high schools closed. He has done extensive research and has interviewed former students of 109 Kansas communities who lost their high schools, many due to a Kansas school consolidation law passed in 1963. He’s featured at least one school from each of the 105 counties and tells a brief story of the school, the community, and its people. I was pleased that my own hometown, Pawnee Rock, was one of his highlighted schools. It was a painful time for our community. Those who were directly affected by these closures will treasure this book, and the nuggets of small-town history will make this a treasure for anyone interested in the Kansas experience.
~Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State, Waiting on the Sky: More Kansas Essays, and Walking on Water



We are also thrilled to be at work on the poetry collection, A Certain Kind of Forgiveness, by Carol Kapaun Ratchenski, winner of The Birdy Poetry Prize in 2019. We expect a fall delivery for this book.

There is a worldliness in these poems, the kind of grit that accompanies a strong heart. There’s awareness--of the self, of the world. And the poems are populated with the magical, husky things of this earth: warm beer in Berlin, rice in a bowl in a monastery, and stains from fresh cranberries. These are poems we can savor, now and again.
  ~Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-2019





Valentine, poems by Ruth Maus
Coming to a bookshelf near you!
A second collection of poetry forthcoming is Valentine, by Ruth Maus, of Topeka, Kansas. Ruth was
a finalist in The Birdy Poetry Prize competition.








































Edna Bell-Pearson's much awaited memoir, Headwinds, is going to be coming soon to a bookshelf near you this summer.

Edna’s stories, articles, essays, and poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies world-wide. She has published six books. She is noted for Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams and Other Stories, a Southwest Kansas saga, which was chosen during Kansas sesquicentennial year, as one of “150 Best Kansas Books.”  

Headwinds tells the story of one Kansas family's experiences during the early days of the "Air Age."






We are looking forward to publishing our first true crime story, a page-turning gem by Mike Hartnett of Lawrence, Kansas, formerly of Illinois, titled And I Cried, Too. Mike will be one of the seminar leaders at the 2019 Kansas Authors Club convention in Wichita in October. Learn more about his project here.



We are very excited our first YA book, a story by Julie Stielstra, of Lyons, Illinois, called Opulence, KS. We fell in love with this story from first read. In fact, I (Tracy) quickly dropped my plans to preview the first 20 pages of all submissions for that day and stayed with the story until I was finished, cover to cover. It is a delightful read, and one we think our readers are going to love, too.

From Julie's submission letter:
Opulence, KS germinated from a seed in a book of Kansas history, describing the 19th century town of Runnymede–founded by a wealthy Irishman who was going to teach the younger sons of British gentry how to farm. It didn’t go well, but some remnants of that project linger in the prairie. Add in some aspects of my adopted hometown of Ellinwood, and Opulence was built, a prairie town where a big-city girl finds herself for the summer in the aftermath of her wealthy father’s death. Katie Myrdal is abruptly shifted from one form of opulence to another, from urban to rural, from material wealth to emotional richness, from a land of vertical skyscrapers to a sweep of horizons and uninterrupted sky.  



Family Plowing, a collection of poetry by Duane L. Herrmann, will be our third book of poetry for this season. Duane is a native and poet of Topeka, Kansas. His poetry, histories, memoirs, fiction and children’s stories have appeared in a dozen countries in four languages and can be found in libraries on three continents. He has received prizes or recognition from the Kansas State Poetry Society, Kansas Authors Club, Writers Matrix, Ferguson Kansas History Book Award, Kansas Poets Trail, Kansas State Historical Society and he appears on the Map of Kansas Literature. We look forward to sharing Duane's poetry with our Meadowlark Readers.



There are also plans to work with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on a collection of poetry at year's end or possibly next year's beginning titled How Time Moves: New and Collected Poems. If you have not already read Caryn's recent interview at Written in Kansas, by Cheryl Unruh, please take a moment to do so now!


There is one more non-fiction read on our list of books to be published, tentatively titled, The Land that I Love: Rural America at Four Miles per Hour.

Lisa D. Stewart is a Kansas City-based writer and horsewoman who has combined her two passions in a forthcoming memoir about her 500-mile horseback ride through the Midwest, on her horse, Chief.

In 2012, Lisa Stewart, with her horse, War Chief Lobo, traced the gravel roads of Kansas and Missouri, alone, in the region where she first came of age—the mythical land of meth, guns, and religion.  Through the weeks in wind and sun and ceaseless sway of her horse’s walk, Lisa reconstituted the independent, fearless girl she once had been, and, more surprisingly, met women along the way who helped her explore a deeper question: What does it mean to be a woman in her middle years?  This journey celebrates those and other discoveries, in a land she found even more beautiful and profound than when she left it decades earlier. 

We invite you to read more about the book at www.lisadstewart.com.



We look forward to sharing our progress!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Shipping in May! Golden Rule Days: History and Recollections of 109 Closed Kansas High Schools

Now is the time to place your order

Golden Rule Days: History and Recollections of 109 Closed Kansas High Schools
Meadowlark- Coming May 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7322410-4-6
BISAC: Regional Nonfiction

James Kenyon made twelve trips across Kansas to visit every county in the state, collecting stories of former Kansas high schools as he went and sharing his appreciation for small town life. Born and raised on a third-generation family grain and livestock farm near the town of Bogue, Kansas, population 300, his roots make him a natural candidate for recording the histories and stories of these schools. From his grandfather, John Gibbins, who was the superintendent of four high schools in Kansas and a college professor, to his three aunts and two sisters who were teachers, James was raised in a community that valued education.

Appreciations: 

“You’ll read this book and quickly become absorbed in the stories, the people, and the buildings. . . James Kenyon did a phenomenal amount of research to gather all of this information to be saved and savored for decades to come. I am grateful to James for bringing one last bit of glory to all of these small schools that once meant so much to our communities.”

          --Marci Penner, director/author, Kansas Sampler Foundation

“. . . a fascinating book for the countless Kansans who were heartbroken when their high schools closed . . . I was pleased that my own hometown, Pawnee Rock, was one of his highlighted schools. It was a painful time for our community. Those who were directly affected by these closures will treasure this book, and the nuggets of small-town history will make this a treasure for anyone interested in the Kansas experience.”

          --Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State, Waiting on the Sky: More Kansas Essays, and Walking on Water

“Author-detective-explorer-historian James Kenyon has created a treasure trove of memories and discoveries about hometown high schools now lost to school consolidation and unification. In a dozen trips over 15 months to his home state, Kenyon uncovered fascinating facts, photographs and anecdotes about high schools in every Kansas county that have been lost to history.”

          --Dave Webb, co-author of 999 Kansas Characters: Ad Astra, a 2015 Kansas Notable Book

 “Driving through Kansas, I often glanced at small town high schools; closed but full of stories of students . . . James Kenyon literally ‘brought to life’ the tremendous impact that rural public schools made on their residents and generations to follow. His incredible research produced one of the most enjoyable books I have read.”

          --Floyd Winter, retired Iowa School Administrator

Author, James Kenyon



Buy now from the Meadowlark Bookstore.

Purchase both books for $30 + shipping & handling.
Sold out! The two book package is now available
for $32 + tax, shipping & handling