Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Tribute to a Fallen Agent

Border Patrol agent, Luis Aguilar was killed during the line of duty in January 2008. On Saturday, October 11th, his comrades, family and friends paid tribute to him during the dedication ceremony of the new Buttercup Ranger Station located in the California sand dunes just west of Yuma, Arizona. Mrs. Aguilar attended with her two children and delivered a brief, tear-filled eulogy.
Every off-duty BP agent, ranger, state trooper and deputy sheriff within a hundred miles attended. I haven’t seen so many cannons since leaving the 50th Armored Division. “Luis Aguilar” street, named for the fallen hero will now serve as a permanent reminder of the agent, father and loving husband.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A word from Timothy Shriver

Rosalie Tilelli, Joey Giardello’s wife received a beautiful letter of condolence from Timothy Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics. He mentioned how much Sargent and Eunice Shriver appreciated Joey’s contributions in time and fund raising efforts on behalf of the Special Olympics.

This letter reminded me that St. Martin’s Press requested blurbs, an introduction and/or a foreword for Down But Never Out. Letters from me will soon go out to Timothy Shriver and John C. McGinley, star of SCRUBS who is the 2007-08 national spokesman for Buddy Walks, which raises money for Down syndrome organizations.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SSA Tucson Conference 2008

The Society of Southwestern Authors just concluded its 2008 Conference (September 27 and 28). A better time for any writer could not have been experienced anywhere, anytime.
My sides still hurt from laughing at the genius of guest speaker, teacher/poet, Taylor Mali. The ‘can’t miss’ future poet laureate will stand beside Billy Collins (2001-03) as one of the two quirkiest poet laureates in recent history. He kept his engagement with SSA even as an urgent call from Norway beckoned him across the big pond immediately after.

Corey Blake, screenwriter and co-author of 12 books dazzled a lunchtime audience with his dynamic talk, “Your Book. Your Legacy.” Corey is a television actor, development producer, writer and inspirational speaker who woke up any would be sleepy attendee with his rousing energetic presentation.

Award winning author, Deborah LeBlanc shared her thoughts with a dramatic talk called, “When Everyone Else Says You Can’t.” Drawing from her sometimes tragic, personal life experiences and her troublesome publishing efforts, one left the room after hearing her knowing that “Yes, I can.”

Thirty professional writers, editors, agents, publishers’ reps, presented a variety of workshops on topics ranging from “Fixing Stories that Stink” to “Branding Yourself” plus everything in between. These experts were also available for fifteen minute one-on-one discussions.

Even food service showed up with its ‘A game.’ Once when the kitchen door swung open I swear I saw Wolfgang Puck high-five Rachael Ray. Cheers to the Holiday Inn - Palo Verde staff.

In summary, the 2008 SSA Conference was a big league experience for any serious writer.
Take a deep bow, Penny Porter and Barbara Stahura, conference committee co-directors.