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Poet Laureate Update

Where to begin after the busy spring? Wyoming Writers hosted a wonderful conference in June. With Tereasa Jordan, Hal Cannon, Johnny D. Boggs, M.L. Liebler , Matthew and Jennifer Mayo, and literary agent Anita Mumm, we enjoyed the varied presentations this faculty offered.

Early July found me laid up with a broken leg. No hay crop at the ranch this year so if I had to break it, this was the time to do so. With walker in hand, I gave a reading to a Belle Fourche, SD sorority on July 30th. Warm and gracious, these ladies made me feel right at home.

In August came the announcement of finalists for the High Plains Book Awards. I was so fortunate to be among them for the Best Woman Writer. Much to my amazement came the announcement of the Women Writing the West Will Awards. Married Into It won the poetry category. I called for CPR!

On August 15th I joined fellow writers at the Campbell County Library for a joint program with the Wyoming Department of Education and Wyoming writers. Fellow Bearlodge Writer Katie Smith, Chris Ellsworth, Darcy Accord, wonderful writer and organizer of the event and many others read from their powerful writings. I believe the experience was beneficial for everyone and I hope to become more involved with the schools in Wyoming.

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, Gaydell Collier and I were guests of the Books-a-Million store in Rapid City for book signings. Gaydell pleased many readers with her book, Just Beyond Harmony, a book I highly recommend to everyone who loves a wonderful story filled with laughter among difficult times. Many fellow Bearlodge Writers stopped by as did friend Linda Hasselstrom, terrific author of twelve books of stories and poetry. Gaydell, Linda, and Nancy Curtis also edited the Wind Anthologies; Leaning Into the Wind, Woven on the Wind, and Crazy Woman Creek, Women Rewrite the American West.

October 18, 2012 found Gaydell and I on the road to Albuquerque for the Women Writing the West Conference and acceptance of the Willa Award. This conference had a wonderful lineup of workshops by top writers, among them former neighbor and dear friend Page Lambert who delivered The Yearning Factor workshop . The unforgettable Susan Tweit presented Writing with Heart and not a dry eye in the audience when she finished. Writers Ann Hillerman, Laurie Wagner Buyer, Dawn Wink, three outstanding agents and four publishers rounded out the offering. Met so many lovely people there and look forward to next year. I hope Gaydell joins me again; she is an exceptional traveling companion!

In the meantime . . . same weekend . . . Nancy Curtis of High Plains Press, publisher of Married Into it, generously attended the High Plains Book Awards where I was blessed with winning Best Woman Writer. So many blessings having a fabulous publisher and the beautiful art work of Sarah Rogers on the cover. They share the success of the book. Another important part of this wonderful dream is the friendships made and meeting others who love poetry.

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