A LIST OF BOOKS BY KANSAS AUTHORS CLUB MEMBERS, PAST AND PRESENT
If you have examples of member books to add (your own or a friend's) please put your addition in the comments section.
--Evie Green, Coordinator of Write Stuff
A LIST OF BOOKS BY KANSAS AUTHORS CLUB MEMBERS, PAST AND PRESENT
Inspired by the June program by Denise Low, "Embellishing Prose and Poetry with Memoir," we pulled books by Kansas Authors Club nembers that illustrate the many and varied techniques of memoir writing.
If you have examples of member books to add (your own or a friend's) please put your addition in the comments section.
Anderson takes us on a journey to 1950s and 60s Kansas and treats the reader to hometown cooking in her tasty memoir Posts of a Mid-Century Kid. With humor and richly crafted details, she chronicles her mid-century childhood, offering a sampling of another era. This delightful and mischievous memoir advocates coloring vividly outside of the lines!
When World War II made her way to southwest Kansas, Edna Bell-Pearson’s life was forever changed. After meeting her husband Carl Ungerer—a pilot stationed in Liberal for the war— Edna’s moved to the opposite corner of the state, and she became one of the first private female pilots in Kansas. Her story takes place over the course of five years and tells of Ungerer Flying Service, a family-owned and operated business stationed in Marysville. As the business is born and takes on the challenges of life, Edna learns to appreciate the importance of the little things: hunting and fishing trips, a good housekeeper, and crisp, autumnal days without wind.
Running Out of Footprints is the true story of three generations of the Neff family, who arrived on the scene in Kansas City in the late 1800s full of energy and potential, contributed as political, business, religious and medical leaders in the city, and then gradually disappeared into obituaries and census data. The author, a fourth generation Neff herself, came into possession of a metal box full of old letters, documents and photographs after her father's death. The questions she asked about these keepsakes and the answers she sought and found, led to writing this collection of biographies.
"With a novelist’s eye for detail and a poet’s gift for language, Cebulska has written a visceral knockout of a memoir packed with vibrant, unforgettable family members and unexpected happenings. Cebulska is a brilliant, big-hearted, and luminous storyteller who can capture a world in a short vignette. I was entirely captivated by these intimate and moving family portraits that have shaped the author's life and work.” -Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Anger and Why Won’t You Apologize?
Scorching heat. Bitter cold. Relentless wind. No trees. Scarce water. That’s what settlers faced on the Kansas plains. Crawford grew up on a farm in Russell County that his great grandparents homesteaded in 1879. Tales of hardship, humor, and grit merge with details of the enormous changes in mechanization, economics, and political forces as the country transitioned from a mostly rural nation to a mostly urban one. Crawford's personal story coupled with meticulous research on the evolution of farming from the homestead years to the recent prairie fires describe the birth and transformation of his family farm. The narrative concludes with a thought-provoking discussion of the future of rural communities, the options for farmers, and High Plains farming.
Following a series of tragic losses, thirty-year old Ann Fell struggles alone in a strange and frightening world. The young widow and bereaved mother retreats to the wilderness for comfort and healing. Planning to stay forty days, she sets up a solitary camp on the river bank of her family’s abandoned farm homestead. Marooned by rising flood waters after only a few days, she faces her own mortality.
Mike and his wife, Barbara, moved to Lincoln, Illinois, in 1972. The town of 17,000 was charming, friendly, and safe. As employees of Lincoln College, a small, private junior college, they quickly grew to enjoy the subtle pleasures of small-town living. Then the campus was hit with a series of burglaries and a student disappeared. Finally, the murders began. This is Mike Hartnett’s personal story, memories that have taken him more than forty years to write. This is not a true crime exposé or a who-dunnit mystery. This is simply a story about one man on the periphery of a series of events that devastate a community for a time. It is a story about the guilt that lingers and the questions that remain.
Reginald D. Jarrell’s book of essays is a thoughtful exploration of experiences that molded him as a Black man growing up and raising his family primarily in Kansas. Mr. Jarrell also lived in Mississippi, Iowa, California, and Washington, D.C. As a pastor, lawyer, communications professional, and university professor, Mr. Jarrell is first of all a truth teller.
In this memoir collection, retired veterinarian James Kenyon recalls his days in veterinary practice. From heartwarming to heartbreaking and everything in between, Kenyon writes of his care for beloved family pets, livestock, and their human caretakers. His memories illustrate a true devotion and love for veterinary work, as well as a passion for people and local history. Each chapter relates a specific memory of working with a quirky, loyal, and loveable animal, as well as the quirky, loyal, and lovable humans who owned them. The work offers not just insight into the work of a veterinarian, but to human nature and the manner in which people relate to and care for each other, as well as their animals.
Writer of poetry, essays, memoir, and fiction—Denise Low did what so many of us did in the spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic sent us to spending long days at home. Denise’s jigsaw puzzling went well beyond pictures put together piece-by-piece, however. The 15 essays in this book document the pestilence that impacted our entire world. In them, Low explores the very culture of jigsaw puzzles while providing poetic lessons in art, geography, history, and more.
"Trudy McFarland's telling of her mother's story in diary form, from her parents' 'love at first sight' meeting in post World War I Germany to 1988 when her mother's very full life ends, is a remarkable account of family relationships, historical events, and the characteristics which make a family strong and memorable. It is a fascinating read!"
--Evie Green, Coordinator of Write Stuff
A childhood on the Kansas prairies in the 1930s springs vividly to life in the detailed memories of Gail Martin. Her simple accounts of long ago school days, celebrations and family life are a treasure. Travel back in time to life in the Flint Hills during the Great Depression and the time leading up to World War II. The memories include her father's work in the oil field, trips to town in the family's Model A, raising her pet badger, fishing on the Cottonwood River, and wearing dresses made from feed sack material. The book also explores her family's role in early Kansas history with details of covered wagons, homesteading, the Civil War and fledgling industries. These range from Tyro to Teterville to Eureka.
“Thirty years after my last ingestion of chemicals, I inventoried the traits and behaviors connected with my addiction, chronicled my early adult life, and wrote a book. My motivation is to help those suffering and their loved ones connect the dots between the destructive traits and behaviors—and the potential for addiction. In so doing, infuse some fresh air into the oppressive stigma that clings to addiction and mental health.
I cannot figure out who I am as a body these days, writes Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg in this powerful, tender and humorous memoir about resiliency and love in the face of cancer. Mirriam-Goldberg braves breast cancer, the breast cancer genetic mutation and the loss of a parent by connecting with an eclectic Midwest community, the land and sky, and a body undergoing vast renovation.
Learn how kids and cops connect at school. You will enjoy 33 personal stories about one officer's professional career as a deputy sheriff and school resource officer. Cop in the Classroom gives an insider's look at the emotional experiences behind the badge--and life lessons for us all.
Even though he was often vastly outnumbered by enemies on the outside and by demons on the inside, Antonio Sanchez-Day took on life. He fought against racism as a boy, fought against family troubles, and fought as a street soldier for his gang which was the “family” he’d always wanted. Then he had to fight simply to survive 13 years of incarceration. Inside the walls, Antonio found his main weapon, his pen. He wrote brilliantly, and with pen in hand, he turned his life around. The 123 pages of new, unpublished poetry in this book was put together by Antonio’s friend and mentor, Brian Daldorph, to “cement [his] legacy” (Antonio’s words).
At 54, Lisa Stewart set out to regain the fearless girl she once had been, riding her horse, Chief, 500 miles home. Hot, homeless, and horseback, she snapped back into every original cell. On an extraordinary homegoing from Kansas City to Bates and Vernon Counties in Missouri, Lisa exhausted herself, faced her past, trusted strangers, and stayed in the middle of her frightened horse to document modern rural America, the people, animals, and land.
Gravedigger's Daughter: Vignettes from a Small Kansas Town is more than a story of the author and her father. It is a reminder of the relationships we all have, more than skin deep, an examination of the complexities of the people we love and care for. It is a love letter to the individuals who always exist at our very core.
Lee Edward Atterbury was born September 1, 1924, into the Atterbury Circus family. He was the fifth of seven children born to Robert L. and Rose Atterbury. By the time Lee was old enough for school, his older siblings were accomplished aerialists and his mother was a slack wire walker. The Atterbury Circus was a road circus, traveling the highways of rural America from Iowa and the Dakotas to Texas throughout the years of the Great Depression. (written by Connie Rae White)
Memoirs of the Dysfunctional depicts the unconventional, but necessary lifestyle, and results, of a family forced to live a somewhat nomadic existence because the father, who was blinded as a child, had no means of support other than working as a street musician. The author, Joann Garrity Williams, is the oldest child of Ethel and Francis Garrity. She served for four years as state president of the Kansas Authors Club. This is the first time many, including family members and close friends, will learn the truth about Joann’s unique childhood and upbringing.
Cathy Callen is a member from Lawrence.
Barbara Waterman-Peters is a member from Topeka.
Lawrence author Cathy Callen and Topeka artist/illustrator Barbara Waterman-Peters are hosting a book launch for their collaborative children’s book, A Packrat Named Orange on Sunday afternoon, March 5th, from 2:00-4:00. The event will be held in Topeka at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4775 W. 21st.
A Packrat Named Orange is a story about a packrat with an artist’s eye, who collects orange marbles for her under-the-porch-steps art museum. The book is based on the true story of the disappearance of orange marbles from the author’s front “marble garden.” The book is suitable for children ages 5-10. It includes a section of additional information with questions to ask readers for enhancing their experience of the book’s content. The book price is $20 plus 9.15 % tax.
It is not necessary to purchase a book to attend. Guests can enjoy round, orange snacks, play marble-related games such as Chinese Checkers, or win a prize by guessing the number of orange marbles in various containers. An exhibit of framed photographs will also be on display, including ones of the orange “Gates” from the 2005 Christo project in New York City taken by photographers Barry Molineux and Cathy Callen. More recent photographs of blue, green, red and orange marbles will add to the festivities.
Please take a moment to thank the officers who have shared their time and talent with writers across the state of Kansas and beyond. The following individuals served on our 2022 State Board.
Tracy Million Simmons, President
Tracy Million Simmons enjoys writing about the people and places of her home state of Kansas, both real and imagined. Her writing resume includes more than 500 articles in print, from feature articles in national and niche publications to ghostwritten material for busy health professionals. She has worked with small press and book packagers on everything from book layout and design to editing. She is a past mini-fellowship winner from the Kansas Arts Commission and has been an honorable mention in the Kansas Voices contest (Winfield). Tracy is the author of Tiger Hunting (a novel) and A Life in Progress (short stories, fiction).
Tracy is the founder of Meadowlark Press, an independent publisher that focuses on stories and authors from the heartland. The press is the home of The Birdy Poetry Prize (since 2019) and 105 Meadowlark Reader: A Kansas Journal of Creative Nonfiction.
Tracy joined Kansas Authors Club in 2000. She has been a member and has served in various offices of Districts 7, 1, and 2. Tracy produced the Kansas Authors Club yearbook from 2006-2016. She has also served as Prose Contest Chair (2004), Newsletter Editor (2007-2010), Assistant Financial Secretary (2017-19), Financial Secretary (2018-20), and State Vice President (2021). In 2022, as well as fulfilling the role of president, Tracy served as the club’s first paid part-time manager.
Monica Graves, Financial Officer
Monica Graves is the Director of Dental Assisting and Division Chair of Health & Human Services at Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia, Kansas. She was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of FHTC in 2017. Monica writes engaging stories about her upbringing in the rural Flint Hills where she lived with her parents, five sisters, one brother, and a couple of aunts in a farmhouse furnished with one bathroom and lots of love.
Monica has been published in 105 Meadowlark Reader. She has been a member of Kansas Authors Club since 2015.
Monica makes her home in Emporia with her husband, Michael D. Graves, author of the Pete Stone Private Detective series. Mike and Monica currently sponsor the First Chapter of a Book category of the annual literary contest.
Cathy Callen, Secretary
Cathy Callen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in English and elementary education, and from the University of Kansas with a master's degree in early childhood special education. She also attended the Kansas City Art Institute for two years, majoring in photography. Cathy spent her career with Topeka Public Schools as a teacher and later as coordinator of the district’s preschool special education program. Cathy has had poetry published in Inscape, a publication of Washburn University, and in Tallgrass Voices, a publication of poems by members of the Kansas Authors Club, edited by Gary Lechliter. Her non-fiction article, “Reconstituting Allen,” appeared in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Connections, a journal published by the Indiana Historical Society. Her non-fiction article, “Magic Mondays,” appeared in the Summer 2013 edition of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Cathy’s article, “The Kansas City Daily Drovers Telegram and its leading role covering the livestock industry,” is included in the summer 2016 issue of the Jackson County (Missouri) Historical Society journal. In addition, she has written four books: Running out of Footprints (a family history), in 2013; Words in Rows, Poetry and Prose (a collection of poems and short prose), in 2016; Ginkgo Glen (a novel) in 2018; and Marble Shorts (essays) in 2022.
Cathy has been a member of the Kansas Authors Club since 2008 and was KAC state treasurer for 6 of those years. Cathy resides in Lawrence, Kansas.
Her website is: www.cathycallen.com
Kristine A. Polansky, Vice President
As a writer, Kris Polansky, is best known for her poems, four of which were published in Tallgrass Voices edited by Gary Lechliter. She experiments with various poetic forms, studying how content and form shape each other. She grew up in Western Kansas (short grass country), writing puppet plays and short stories. She took a fiction writing class from James Gunn at the University of Kansas and went on to teach middle school English and social studies ten years before returning to school, the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, where (she jokes) she learned to write creative nonfiction. She has been named KAC Poet of the Year three times, most recently October 2021. Her poem, “Turning Points” won the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest, adult division, Manhattan, Kansas. She has served KAC for four years (2010-13) as Youth Contest Manager, 2021 as KAC Financial Secretary, and multiple years as District 4 Treasurer. She has also served as a judge for the youth contest.
Congratulations to the following members who will be published in Issue #4 (the food issue) of 105 Meadowlark Reader: A Kansas Journal of Creative Nonfiction
Lindsey Bartlett teaches composition and literature at Emporia State University. An Emporian by choice, she lives in the Flint Hills region of Kansas where she spends her days writing in various coffee shops, holed up at home with a good book, or driving the countryside for good photo opportunities. You can find her wherever there is a sunset. Bartlett has published one poetry collection, Vacant Childhood. Her writing and photography have appeared in The Write Bridge, Flint Hills Review, 105 Meadowlark Reader, and The Wyandotte Window.
Boyd Bauman grew up on a small ranch south of Bern, Kansas, with his dad the storyteller and his mom the family scribe. He has published two books of poetry: Cleave and Scheherazade Plays the Chestnut Tree Café. After stints in New York, Colorado, Alaska, Japan, and Vietnam, Boyd now is a librarian and writer in Kansas City, inspired by his three lovely muses. Visit him at boydbauman.weebly.com.
Cathy Callen was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Since then, though, she has lived mostly in Kansas. Her father worked for Southwestern Bell, and every time he was promoted, the family got to see more of Kansas. They lived in Sunflower, Manhattan, Hays, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita. Her career as a teacher and special education coordinator with Topeka Public Schools kept her in the state for more than thirty years. After retiring, she moved to Lawrence with her soon-to-be husband, Barry, and it is her current favorite Kansas location. She likes the Lawrence Busker Festival, the Art Tougeau parade, the library, The Raven Bookstore, the political environment, the summer pooch swim, Liberty Hall, Wheatfield’s Bakery, and walking on the KU campus and in her friendly neighborhood.
Annabelle Corrick was born and raised in Topeka, lived in five other Kansas towns and three other states, returned to Topeka the last decade, and currently resides in Columbia, Missouri. She earned advanced degrees from Emporia State University and Kansas State University and was the Kansas Authors Club 2015 Prose Writer of the Year. Her writings have appeared in The Poet’s Art, 2016 Kansas Voices Writing Contest, Well Versed, and other publications. Her most awesome Kansas experience has been standing against the wind and viewing the vast vista of western Kansas where her paternal grandparents pioneered.
Michael Durall grew up in the thriving metropolis of Pawnee Rock, Kansas, population 250. He was the champion sentence diagrammer in his sixth grade English class, which eventually led to his writing nine books about his work as a consultant to nonprofit organizations. He lives in Salina and writes a weekly column for the Salina 311 newspaper and has recently published a book of essays from local residents for the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission on the theme of The Day That Changed My Life Forever.
Mark O. J. Esping first lived in a Swede-Town in Pottawatomie County. He graduated from Bethany, a Swedish-Lutheran College. He reprinted NEQUA, a feminist sci-fi novel first published in Topeka, Kansas, in 1900. Mark directed www.folklifeinstitute.com, a nonprofit, and two N.E.A. Folk Art grants. His work has appeared in The Clarion Folk Art, Country Living, Scandinavian Review, Victorian Homes, and Hemslöjden. He is an Eagle Scout and a veteran. He and his wife share a home in Merriam, Kansas, with three near-feral cats. Twin deer occasionally graze in their backyard. Mark tells stories, true stories, with a humorous nature and a hint of morality. In collection they are packets of maps that are Near Invisible, Like Footprints in Ever Shifting Sand.
Beth Gulley first moved to Newton, Kansas, when she was two. Her family moved to Latin America, but Beth returned to the Olathe area for college where she met her husband. They moved to Paola, Kansas, to raise their family. Beth has advanced degrees from UMKC and the University of Kansas. She teaches writing at Johnson County Community College. Her recent writing is included in Kansas City Voices, Dragonfly Magazine, Kansas Speaks Out, and The Write Bridge. She has published three full-length poetry collections: The Sticky Note Alphabet, Dragon Eggs, and The Love of Ornamental Fish. She currently resides in Spring Hill, Kansas, which gives her easy access to Hillsdale Lake where she enjoys trail running and fishing.
Carolyn Hall is an award-winning author who grew up on a farm outside Olmitz, Kansas. Her childhood on the farm provided wonderful memories which she shared in her book, Prairie Meals and Memories: Living the Golden Rural. It was named to the Kansas Sesquicentennial’s Best 150 Books list. Her stories and poems have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Christian Science Monitor, The Kansas City Star, and various anthologies. She lives in Lenexa, Kansas.
Jerilynn Jones Henrikson, a retired English teacher, has always loved teaching, telling, reading, watching, and writing stories. To date, Jerilynn has published nine children’s picture books, an adult memoir, and a young adult historical fiction novel. Her work reflects her sense of humor, love of words, and talent for detail. Jerilynn finds her inspiration in the rolling hills of east central Kansas. No matter the subject of a current work, she is motivated by the people, history, and changing seasons of this place. As a student of history and language, she enjoys traveling to beautiful places. But ultimately, she finds the greatest joy in travel is coming home. www.prairiepatchwork.com
Thomas N. Holmquist is a fifth-generation farmer and rancher near Smolan, Kansas. He also is a retired teacher in the Smoky Valley School District having taught music, American History, and agriculture for forty-four years. He has also published three books, including Pioneer Cross, Swedish Settlements Along the Smoky Hill Bluffs, Bluestem, a novel, and Salemsborg, A History of the Salemsborg Church and Community, Volume 1, 1869-1939, for which he won the Award of Commendation for Lutheran Church History from the Augustana Historical Association. Tom has several writing projects in the works in between feeding cows, putting up hay, and planting and harvesting crops.
Deb Irsik was the owner of Makin’ Waves Salon in Emporia, Kansas, and retired from the beauty industry after twenty-five years. She is a Kansas girl and shares her life with her husband Mike, and children John and Emily. Deb is a member of the Kansas Authors Club and Emporia Writers Group. Deb’s favorite thing about Kansas is the people. “Most people in Kansas have a strong work ethic and family values. The beautiful Flint Hills and Kansas sunsets are second to none. What’s not to like?” Poetry and lyrics have always been part of her life, but she felt a call to write middle-grade Christian fiction after her daughter found it difficult to be “that God girl” in eighth grade. “It is my hope that my books will encourage young people to hold onto values and faith as they navigate their teen years.” Deb’s “Heroes by Design” series was completed in 2020, and she hopes to dedicate her time to creating a book of poetry and continuing to write essays, prose, and fiction. Deb can be found online: facebook.com/D.A.Irsikauthor, Twitter:@Writerwannabe1, www.dairsik.com, amazon.com/author/dairsik, https://instagram.com/debirsik/
Miriam Iwashige lives on a three-acre property outside of Partridge, Kansas, near where her preacher-farmer dad and mom raised twelve children. She aims to live large from this small place, just as the land and sky around the property suggest. Reading, earning a bachelor’s degree, teaching, conversing, and traveling have often fostered large living, as did homeschooling her children and investing deeply in many aspects of homemaking, gardening, animal husbandry, nature study, and church and community life. She and her Japanese-immigrant husband parented three sons who all live nearby right now. Those who have joined their sons’ families through marriage or birth (nine grandchildren!) spent childhood years in such diverse places as Bangladesh, Kenya, El Salvador, and Washington state.
Sally Jadlow grew up in Ft. Scott, Kansas. After marriage, she and her husband moved to Overland Park. Teaching creative writing for the Kansas City Writers Group is one of her joys. She writes historical fiction, inspirational stories, devotionals, and poetry. Sally has published thirteen books. Her work has appeared in many compilations including Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Her books are available on Amazon.com. Sally also loves to bake, cinnamon rolls, her specialty. Family Favorites from the Heartland contain her favorite recipes. The eastern Kansas countryside with its gently rolling hills claims Sally’s most favorite area of the state. She believes what Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home,” is true—if you live in Kansas.
Amy Deckert Kliewer has lived her entire life in Kansas. She grew up in Pawnee Rock, Kansas, and went to high school in Larned. After attending Bethel College and graduating from the University of Kansas, Amy lived and worked in the Kansas City metro area as a civil engineer. Recently retired, Amy and her husband moved to North Newton to enjoy the smalltown feeling and be close to family. She is enjoying exploring her Next Chapter.
Nancy Julien Kopp grew up in the Chicago area and moved to Kansas, her adopted state and home, in 1975. She started writing in her mid-fifties, realizing a long-held dream. She has been published in many anthologies, including twenty-three times in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, in addition to publication on websites, in magazines, and in newspapers. She writes creative nonfiction, including personal essays and short memoir pieces, and also poetry, short fiction for children, and articles on the craft of writing. Nancy and her retired husband live in Manhattan, Kansas, and are strong supporters of all things K-State. She is mother to two and grandmother to four. She is a voracious reader and enjoys playing bridge. www.writergrannysworld.blogspot.com
Marilyn Hope Lake, PhD, writes short fiction, poetry, plays and children’s picture books. She has many awards for writing, including through the Kansas Authors Club contests. Dr. Lake’s first-place story, “Harry’s Stone,” was published in Words Out of the Flatlands; Kansas Writers Association. Lake has been published in Rock Springs Review, STIR, Well-Versed: Literary Works, the Gasconade Review, and the Mizzou Alumni Magazine. Marilyn lived in Hutchinson, Kansas, from 2002-2017, is a Kansas Authors Club ten-year member, and was a facilitator of the 2014 Annual Conference. Her Kansas favorites are the Wichita Art Museum, State Fair, Underground Salt Mine, Delos V. Smith Senior Center, Hutchinson, and others. Although she misses her Kansas friends, she is happy to live with her dog, Hugo, and near family in Columbia, Missouri.
A Kansan through and through, Sandee Lee celebrates being published in every edition of 105 Meadowlark Reader. Her favorite writing topic for nonfiction and fiction is Kansas. The turmoil of the mid-1800s in the Lawrence area is the topic of her current fiction project. Relaxing on her porch with her two border collies lying by her feet and watching cattle graze on the hillside is where you’ll find Sandee most evenings except in the winter months. From that porch she can observe the homestead where her family has lived since 1925.
Errin D. Moore, an emigrant from Montana, has called Kansas home for eight years. She lives in the Flint Hills near Leon with her husband, infant son, and eighteen-year-old stepson—along with their menagerie of chickens, turkeys, geese, pigs, and an overabundance of cats. She fell in love with the unique beauty Kansas offers, most especially the magnificent sunsets. Errin and her husband own Able and Ready Appliance Repair. She runs the office from home while raising Oliver. She was a teacher and administrator for nineteen years, and she owned and operated a bookstore in El Dorado. Her humorous, touching, and unique sense of voice is especially effective when she writes about the joys and challenges of being a first-time mother at the age of forty-four.
Audrey Phillips is a Kansan through and through. She grew up in Overland Park, attended the University of Kansas, and is now living in Kansas City, Missouri. Audrey loves to represent her favorite parts of being a Kansan by cheering on her Jayhawks or Chiefs or Sporting Kansas City. Audrey loves Kansas because of the way everyone feels like family here. She is a proud midwesterner and strives to promote the kindness that midwesterners possess. She has always loved to write, even from a young age. She was and continues to be inspired by her famous Aunt Mary-Lane Kamberg who has published many books in her time as an author. Even though now she lives right across the state line, Kansas will always be her home.
Cynthia Schaker (Cindy), a retired Kansas educator of thirty-seven years, grew up on a farm outside of Hamilton, Kansas, in Greenwood County. Cindy taught grades six through eight at Towanda Grade School and served as school counselor at Circle Middle School in Butler County. One of her favorite places in Kansas is the Flint Hills because they remind her of going home. She currently resides in El Dorado, Kansas, with her rescue dog Moxie. Cindy does volunteer work in the Gift Shop at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado. She serves as President of the SBAMH Auxiliary. She loves humorous writing and penning stories from her childhood. She recently had her humorous murder mystery play performed at Cardinal Creek Farm in Butler County.
Julie A. Sellers was raised in the Flint Hills near the small town of Florence, Kansas. She currently resides in Atchison, Kansas, where she is an Associate Professor (Spanish) and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Benedictine College. Julie’s creative work has appeared in publications such as Cagibi, Wanderlust, Unlost, The Write Launch, and Kansas Time + Place. Julie was the 2020 Kansas Authors Club Prose Writer of the Year, and the Overall Poetry Winner (2022) and Overall Prose Winner (2017, 2019) of the Kansas Voices Contest. She is the author of Kindred Verse: Poems Inspired by Anne of Green Gables (Blue Cedar Press, 2021) and the novel, Ann of Sunflower Lane (Meadowlark, 2022).
Perry Shepard is a Vietnam veteran who has written two novels: The Hero versus Me and Monkey Jo, and Hard Love. He co-wrote two plays in the anthology titled Annabelle. He won a second-place award in Eber and Wein’s Best American Poetry of 2013, and an honorable mention in Writer’s Digest 84th annual Poetry Competition. Perry is a member and former District 2 president of Kansas Authors Club. He makes his home in Eudora, Kansas.
A month after the sudden death of her second husband, Anne L. Spry had a mystical dream that detailed a new business based on capturing personal history for writing memoir. She had already begun publishing books through Createspace for herself and others following a twenty-seven-year career as a newspaper publisher and editor. Since the fortuitous dream, Spry and partner Cheri Battrick have developed a DIY Memoir Kit and Spry has expanded her book publishing to some two dozen titles under the Personal Chapters LLC banner. They include children’s books, memoir and fiction, and a few titles authored by Spry. Anne serves as President of District 1 of Kansas Authors Club and produces a newsletter for that group and another for a local Sweet Adelines group. She is married to a retired military pilot, and they live on a family acreage south of Topeka where Anne spent her first five years.
Chuck Warner is a lifelong Kansan. After growing up in Wichita, he has lived in Lawrence since first attending the University of Kansas in the 1960s. With business and law degrees, he embarked on a nearly forty-year career in business and banking. After he retired in 2008, he began writing about his maternal grandfather and in 2019 Birds, Bones, and Beetles: The Improbable Career and Remarkable Legacy of University of Kansas Naturalist Charles D. Bunker was published by the University Press of Kansas. In 2020 his book was recognized as a Kansas Notable book, and also won awards for the best Kansas history and best book layout from the Kansas Authors Club, and was a finalist in the High Plains Book Awards.
Barbara Waterman-Peters is an artist by training and a writer by chance. Both pursuits have come together over the years in her articles about art and artists for such publications as Topeka, Kansas, and New Art Examiner magazines, in her book cover paintings for authors such as Marcia Cebulska’s Watching Men Dance, and in her collaborations with poets, most recently, Two Ponders: A Collaboration with Dennis Etzel, Jr. Co-owner of Pen & Brush Press with author Glendyn Buckley, Waterman-Peters illustrated their first two children’s books, The Fish’s Wishes and Bird which won awards from Kansas Authors Club. She co-wrote and illustrated their third book, TING & the Caterbury Tales, which came out this spring. Recently her fiction piece, “The Critique,” appeared in The Pen Woman and her creative non-fiction and poetry have been included in several anthologies. She lives in Topeka and her studio is in the NOTO Arts & Entertainment District. She spent five years living in rural Jackson County and Holton.
Cat Webling is an actress and author based in Kansas. She loves everything mad and macabre, philosophical and silly, so that’s exactly what she writes! Scifi, fantasy, and poetry are her mainstays when she’s not writing about literature, theater, gaming, or fan culture. She currently has a novel, a couple of short story collections, and several poetry collections under her belt. She works as an editor for SUPERJUMP Magazine, is an active member of the Kansas Authors Club, and daylights as a copywriter for hire. Cat writes from her home in Russell, which she shares with her loving partner, adorable son, and several very cute cats. You can find her work at www.catwebling.com.
Theme for Issue #5 (Nov 1 - Dec 31, 2022 Submission Period):
“I have a lot of marbles. I confess to you that I have 18,734 of them, more or less,” writes Cathy Callen in the opening essay of Marble Shorts.
Marble Shorts contains eight essays, filled with sparkles of color that rival the marble images that adorn these pages. This book is a gift to the collector, the curious soul, the seeker of color in this bleary-eyed world, and the rest. Meet the Marble Lady of Kansas City. Meet the Girl Scout who uses marbles to earn her “think like an engineer” badge. Meet Bruce of the Moon Marble Company. You just never know what might happen if you plant a marble. It may grow!
“What spectators view as art in homes, businesses, and museums is the culmination of a creative process that starts with an idea. The work that goes into transforming a creative idea into something that can be displayed is not always obvious. If you are a patron of the arts, I would think your interest would lie primarily in the finished product—what you can see, what you can admire, what you might purchase, what you would then display. If you are an artist, the journey toward that destination belongs to you.” –CC
What Readers are saying:
A sense of nostalgia pervades this charming work which introduces readers to extraordinary collectors—people who collect off-beat adventures, lasting friendships, and fascinating skills, as well as marvelous marbles. This is a summery, sunny book that can warm a winter’s day. It is a book to slow down with, to savor and enjoy, and perhaps coax up a memory or two. –Kathy Koplik
Marble Shorts is a collection of gems. Profiles, pictures, and personal observations about passion, all inspired by those perfectly round glass objects that generate smiles throughout the world. Cathy Callen introduces us to connoisseurs, history, manufacturing, and, most importantly, the sheer enchantment of those magical pieces. In this case, one can judge a book by its cover; the photo of a blue marble between the toes of a baby's foot promises the delightful read to be delivered. –Romalyn Tilghman, author, To the Stars Through Difficulty, 2018 Kansas Notable Book
Cathy Callen checks all of the boxes with this delightful book. You can’t imagine how many times I interrupted what my wife, Nancy, was doing to relate or read aloud what I’d just read. –Jack Kline, author of Rhapsody
Both Cathy Svacina and Bruce Breslow are at the top of their game when it comes to marbles . . . excellent biographical material on them, as well as the other individuals mentioned in this book. The variety of stories relating to collecting marbles and collecting in general is widespread. Well done! –R. Merwin Kirkwood
I enjoyed learning about the people in the stories—all of whom began their marble journeys at different stages of their lives and for somewhat different reasons, although as I read through the book, it seemed clear that love of color, focus on art and science, and personal memories created their individual journeys toward creating their various collections. –Gayle Stuber
Ms. Callen has a great appreciation of enthusiastic people who take pleasure in simple joys. It is a perfect release for these anxious times. –Jim and Lene Brooke
When I was a child, play was mostly physical. I loved to roller-skate, swim, ride my bike, walk along rock walls, and even climb a few trees. Reading was play, for me, too, and a main way I spent my time when I wasn’t outside. Family leisure time involved working puzzles and board games together, or playing cards—especially on summer vacations to Minnesota when we’d play Canasta and Hearts while slapping at mosquitoes. I had my first near-death experience at age eight, when my Dad sent me to a strip mall near our house in Salina to purchase the game of Monopoly. After making my purchase, I decided to cut through an alley behind the store. Proud of my accomplishment and hugging the bag with the Monopoly game close to me, I started to sprint home and was nearly struck by a speeding car in the alley. I did live to tell about it, and we played a lot of Monopoly.
Play is different now.
Any time there is a camera in my hand, or a yellow legal pad and a pen nearby, I am happy. Throw in a few thousand brightly colored marbles that need tending, and I can be ecstatic.
Kansas Authors Club is run by an all-volunteer board. Officers from across the state devote time monthly to everything from district programming to our annual writing contests and convention. Visit with your district representative about how you can contribute!
Cathy Callen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in English and elementary education, and from the University of Kansas with a master's degree in early childhood special education. She also attended the Kansas City Art Institute for two years, majoring in photography. Cathy spent her career with Topeka Public Schools as a teacher and later as coordinator of the district’s preschool special education program. Cathy has had poetry published in Inscape, a publication of Washburn University, and in Tallgrass Voices, a publication of poems by members of the Kansas Authors Club, edited by Gary Lechliter. Her non-fiction article, “Reconstituting Allen,” appeared in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Connections, a journal published by the Indiana Historical Society. Her non-fiction article, “Magic Mondays,” appeared in the Summer 2013 edition of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Cathy’s article, “The Kansas City Daily Drovers Telegram and its leading role covering the livestock industry,” is included in the summer 2016 issue of the Jackson County (Missouri) Historical Society journal. In addition, she has written three books: Running out of Footprints (a family history), in 2013; Words in Rows, Poetry and Prose (a collection of poems and short prose), in 2016; and Ginkgo Glen (a novel) in 2018.
Cathy has been a member of District 2, Lawrence, Kansas for about eleven years and was KAC state treasurer for six of those years.
Her website is: www.cathycallen.com
Works in Progress:Death by Marbles, (a novel), and
Untitled, (a biography)
SPRING BOARD MEETING
Cathy Callen, KAC secretary
The KAC Board of Directors met by Zoom for their spring board meeting on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021. Sixteen officers and board members from across the state participated, led by KAC president, Duane Johnson.
It was noted that all KAC contests are now open for submissions. In addition, 105 Meadowlark Reader, a Meadowlark publication, will be accepting submissions for stories about Kansas counties in May and June, with the theme, “Kansas Road Trips.”
The next KAC board meeting is scheduled for August 7, 2021.
How to Submit News:
If you have news of writing events that would be of interest to all Kansas Authors Club members, or if you are a member (dues current) who would like to announce an achievement, please submit your news via this form.