Cheyenne Spring, Summer, & Autumn

Wow! So my last post was pre-Covid!  We, um, have some catching up to do, don’t we?  Let’s begin with the book stuff and then we’ll move on to “The World” stuff, shall we?

A couple days after my hopeful little post about the book toddling off into the world, I received notice that it had won the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Western Novel, from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  My first thought was “How cool!”  Then I visited their site, saw the names of some of the people who had won the award in years past, and nearly crapped my pants.

It’s called the Wrangler Award and, when Covid finally lets the awards ceremony happen, I get a cool statue to bring home with me after the event.  If he’s able to make it to the show, Robert Duvall will be there and, to top it off, Connie will get to meet her childhood crush, Kurt Russell! 

Wrangler Award

So I get to score some major “hubby points” along with my statue!  The ceremony has been postponed twice now, due to the pandemic, but we have big hopes for making down to Oklahoma City in April of 2021!

Since this spring, the book has gone on to win the Wyoming State Historical Society Book of the Year Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award for First Book.  No statues and no Kurt Russell for those, but still, some very prestigious recognition.

It’s important that I acknowledge here that, while the awards might have a little to do with how I tell the story, the recognition the book has received is due primarily to the very real people who actually lived the story.  Were it not for them and their amazing effort to live as they knew they must, I would have nothing to write.  It is truly all about them… it’s their story.

Now, on to what I did on my summer vacation.  Nothing, really.  In addition to all the great work by folks at Farcountry Press, the great start for sales has been driven by three other contributors… My biggest fan and publicist, Ms. Connie, my Bro and Sis-in-law, Major and Michelle, and their Sage & Oats retail powerhouse, along with my personal Reservation Camp Crier, a.k.a. Sister Sandy.   My job was to stuff books in envelopes and boxes while my loved ones drummed up sales.  Family is a blessing folks, and I take them for granted far too often.

We did have some Covid-related slow down through the middle of the summer, but the media finally caught wind of us this fall and I’ve been quite busy recently with interviews for different events and various publications. Here are a few links to some of the fun stuff I got to do.

■  Native America Calling:

■  RezNet News

■  Helena Independent Record

■  Yellowstone Public Radio

■  Montana Bookfest Keynote

■  This House of Books

Punished Woman’s Fork Battlefield

I had been working all summer on trying to get a research trip down to Oklahoma and back along the Cheyenne trail home.  I was finally able to make it happen in August, and my bonus prize, for being so patient and persistent, was that I was joined on the trip by Dr. Richard Littlebear, the President of Chief Dull Knife College.  We didn’t create quite as much of a stir as the first group of Cheyenne who followed that route, but, suffice it to say, the locals knew we were in the country.  I’ll share more about that first group and our own trip in a bit.

That’s enough for now.  There’s plenty of starter material here for a few more posts, so I’ll get this one up and expand on things in a bit as the weather cools down and the pellet stove heats up.  The last thing I’ll say, for all those who have asked is… Soon! I’m writing it as fast and as well as I can.  As it was with my work on book one, it’s very important, that as I write book two, I be respectful.  That involves giving my ancestors the time, effort, and consideration they deserve as I put the account of their lives down on the page.  They thought of me as they lived this story, I need to consider them as I write it.

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