Monday, August 13, 2012

Nice Surprises

In the past couple weeks, I’ve had some nice surprises.  It’s always nice to get a nice surprise.

It began with renowned photographer and friend Shelby Lee Adams, who wrote me after reading my collection, The Same Terrible Storm, and offered the following words in response and support of my work:

“Our mountains and people are going through a squall, a modern tempo without the banjo.  People in this storm regulate and medicate.  Sheldon explores: a country rock band member, turned punk, saved in Jesus, pulling a gun on us.  Painting a house with needy young’ins. Young men stompin’ on their memories of a grandpa they hated in an old photo, cancer in places now it never was before.  In this book we experience hospital bureaucrats regulating a new cash crop, health care.  Coal miners working their shift, oblivious.  Everyone staying close fallin’ apart and coming together.  Sheldon’s words are kind, descriptive, intelligent, eloquent and needed.  He describes a world I know and wish had not come about just yet, yet here we all are.  Read this book.  A new talent has come out of the hollers.”

To say I’m pleased would be a huge understatement.  I have admired Shelby’s work for years now and am truly honored to call him a friend.  That he would take time to read my book and then, further, offer his thoughts is something I will never forget.

Then, a short few days later, Jan Bowman, who just interviewed me for the literary journal Trajectory, sent a note saying she had reviewed The Same Terrible Storm.  Please read her thoughts, “Place: Not Just a Location”, and be sure to explore the rest of her website, as well as Trajectory.

The last surprise came from the local college here, a place where I have applied to teach many, many times in the past.  I gave up on getting a foot in the door and sent a final email about a month or so back and then my phone rings and they ask me if I could teach a writing class for them.  Boom.  Surprise.  My first day is tomorrow.

I really couldn’t ask for more, professionally. 

Upcoming posts will include my five story picks for August and no small amount of rambling.  Be well, everybody.

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