Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The End of a Pickle Summer

Nicholas and Spike shared a moment in the kiddie pool as the summer drew to a close and the heat waned.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here's a beer for James Crumley

I woke up today to the news that James Crumley has died. If you don't know the name, you're missing out. Crumley was the finest mystery writer to ever come out of Texas, though he lived most often in Montana.

When I was studying creative writing in grad school, the two coolest people I got to meet were Andre Dubus and Crumley (both Iowa Writers Workshop grads). The latter influenced me to write mystery novels. He was hard-edged, hangdog and a hell of writer. I met him twice more but heard a lot of stories of his drunken excesses. Five wifes, too...

Austin author Jesse Sublett has talked doing some sort of tribute to Crumley. I hope it happens.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Violet Crown Book Award finalist!

I just got word that my novel-in-stories EVACUATION PLAN is a finalist for the Violet Crown Book Award in Fiction given out annually by the Writers League of Texas. Very nice prize--$1,000 for the winner, which is announced Nov. 1 at the Texas Book Festival!

The six finalists are in the hands of some unnamed judge at this point. I know what that's like. I was the final judge for this contest two years ago. It was a tough job, but I was blown away by one book. I'm sure this year's judge will feel the same, but there's not telling which book that will be. I truly am just flattered to be a finalist.

Cyndi Hughes of the WLT sent a letter telling us finalist folk about it. I came home yesterday after a very long day. We'd been at a wedding in Temple then a surprise birthday party in the big city of Hutto. We got the mail as we were driving in with a very overtired Nicholas. Tiffany handed me the letter, and I at first thought it was junk mail. You rock, Writers League!