Sunsets, Raptors and Living in the Sky

Living in a high rise has proven to be interesting. For a man who was never fond of heights it has been an adjustment. I am adjusting and can venture out on the balcony with impunity.  The picture is from a recent sunset out our window. It is surprising how many evenings are punctuated with beautiful sunsets. 

One thing that I have had to get used to is the absence of sparrows, mocking birds and the like. None of the song birds that I see at the ranch want to fly up twenty-six floors to visit. This morning there was an epic visit from a large raptor who crashed into one of our windows. After the crash I looked out and saw a raptor flying back and forth near the balcony. I was relieved because we had several owls and other large birds fly into a picture window at our former home, some with tragic results. I told Kathy the bird had flown away and all had ended well. She took a closer look out the window and reported that there was a huge bird on the balcony. To my horror I saw a giant raptor staggering around the deck looking as if he had been in a boxing match. I cautiously opened the door and it seemed to recover. It spread its wings and flew off seemingly no worse for the crash. We are doing research now to determine what it was. It was not a red tail hawk which we have seen before. It was larger than a red tail and all chocolate brown. Let us know if you have suggestions.

So when you think of friends  who live in the sky, don’t think that the wild kingdom can’t come visit them. I’ve had enough excitement for one day. I don’t think our friend was hurt, but doubt he will be visiting us again soon.

Lone Star Literary Life lauds Anahuac

Anahuac A Texas Story

Anahuac received a very positive review from Lone Star Literary Life that I wanted to share with you. Lone Star Literary Life is an online publications that focuses entirely on books by Texas authors, often on Texas subjects. It’s an honor to be in the company of authors writing about the “miles and miles of Texas” with different approaches and perspectives.

The reviewer called Anahuac “an entertaining, engrossing legal thriller that offers both darkly humorous and good-natured thrusts at life, love, and law in early 1970s Texas,” and I couldn’t ask for a better description! I encourage you to check out the site and learn more about how Texas writers like myself have been chronicling this great state.

Malvern Books Event-Austin Book Launch

Malvern Books in Austin hosted the  book event to launch Anahuac in Austin, Texas this past week. I was honored to read an excerpt from Anahuac to a large crowd that came out on a wet and cold night. Malvern Books is one of those great resources for local

Poster @ Malvern’s Book Store for Austin launch of Anahuac

Austin writers. The local independent book store keeps your reading options open to more than just the picks that large publishers choose to print these days. I encourage you to seek out these stores like Malvern and The Twig in San Antonio who assure that there is a wide diversity of literature available for your reading tastes. I will post a video of the Malvern event in the coming days when it becomes available.

There was a positive review of Anahuac that appeared in Lone Star Literary Review this week. Writing is such solitary work that feedback is welcome even is it is unfavorable. When it is favorable, it is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow Night in Austin at Malvern Books

Poster @ Malvern’s Book Store for Austin launch of Anahuac

 

For you who are attending tomorrow night’s book launch for Anahuac at Malvern Books, there are some things to consider. The store is in the University of Texas area just just off of Guadalupe (the Drag) on 29th Street. Those of us in Austin know that is a high traffic area and parking is at a premium.  The event starts at 7, but there is a great alternative parking area that opens for the book store parking at Breed’s Hardware at 7,  a half a block west of Malvern on 29th. Malvern is a decent sized store, but I am sharing the stage with Boyd Taylor who goes on first. I expect between the two of us it will be crowded.  There are several places for a pre-event supper close to Malvern that might ease the parking issue. The two pictures below give you an idea that Breed’s is going to be your best parking option.

Malvern Book Store and Oat Willie’s

Malvern Books is an excellent Austin Book Store and is next to Oat Willie’s, the iconic Austin store selling all kinds of interesting things. There is an Austin and UT vibe about the whole experience. Just understand they have not created any new parking in the UT area in the last two centuries. Come early, be respectful of the parking issue and have fun. I am looking forward to telling you about Sarita Jo Franklin. I think you’ll like her.

 

Malvern Book Store Austin Texas

San Antonio Launch of Anahuac – A Pearl of a Day

 

The Pearl—Market Day Nov. 4 2017

Anahuac was well received at the Twig Bookstore at the Pearl in San Antonio yesterday. It was a beautiful day and there was a large crowd enjoying all of the excellent shops and outside vendors of fine vegetables and meats. The Twig is a wonderful bookstore and I will be returning again when I am not signing books. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. There is a stunning array of books that will thrill the both adults and children alike. During the signing I was particularly amused by one of the children who brought two hand puppets from the Twig’s realistic animal collection over to entertain me. On the crass commercial side, I sold out of the shelf copies of my first Morgan’s Point and sold many copies of my new novel Anahuac. I am looking forward to my appearance at Malvern Books in Austin on November 8th at 7:00 pm.

Author’s table at the Twig

The day was made even more special by Dee and Gloria Keller stopping by the talk and renew old acquaintances. It turns out that Dee is a natural born salesman and had books flying off the shelves. Gloria was so kind to help spread the word that I was back in San Antonio. It’s good to have friends like these.

The bluebonnet seeds on the table in the picture are a give away that I bring to help direct potential readers to this web site. I loved the reactions of visitors who were either thrilled to have something to plant or not sure what they were. There are a lot of new Texans these days.  There are also a lot of condo dwellers in the area and many were hesitant because they had nowhere to plant them. I told them to simply plant in nature somewhere they liked. I am the Johnny Appleseed of bluebonnets.

I highly recommend that you visit the Pearl on a weekend even if you don’t live in San Antonio. The sound of laughter and joy of adults and kids alike was spectacular and uplifting. The quality of the products sold in the outdoor booths was spectacular.

 

Proud to have been invited to appear at The Twig

Fun for Adults and Kids alike @ the Pearl

World Class produce on sale at the Pearl in San Antonio.

Tell them what you told them.

When I first became a trial lawyer a mentor gave me some terrific advice about connecting with a jury. He said, “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.” Tomorrow I will be signing my new book Anahuac at The Twig Book Shop at the Pearl in San Antonio between 11-1. I know I have told you this before, but just think of me as a lawyer practicing his craft. The Twig is a wonderful book store and I recommend it even if you can’t come by to see me tomorrow. That’s all I’ve got to tell you right now except for this.

The Twig Book Shop began its evolution in 1972. Currently located at the former Pearl Brewery on the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, The Twig provides newly released books for children and adults as well as award-winning classics. The space at Pearl has become a venue for local and national poets and authors. The Twig makes books available for book clubs, schools, and conferences. The Texana collection makes The Twig a destination for history lovers near and far.

Hard cover, soft cover, and even electronic books can be purchased through our website which accesses a national distributor for independent bookstores. Electronic books, or e-books, can be downloaded from our website through Kobo. We welcome and appreciate your physical and/or virtual patronage.

Anahuac A Texas Story

Preview Anahuac-The Mystery Begins

I appreciate those of you have purchased my latest novel Anahuac. I have created an opportunity for you who might wonder if it is a book for you. Click here to read a portion of the book.

Save the Date–November 4, 2017

On November 4, 2017 I will be doing a book signing event at The Twig in San Antonio for my new novel. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and new. The event is from 11 am-1 pm. I will send out a reminder the week before the event.

My Father’s New Suit

My father was industrious, hard working and the most optimistic man I ever knew. He made money in many ways. He had a difficulty however. As a child of the Great Depression he had experienced many privations on the Kansas farm where he grew to manhood. Oatmeal three time a day for weeks at a time may be great for someone on a high fiber diet, but it wasn’t very fun.

Dad really struggled with letting go of money. He was generous with gifts, jewelry and other notions for my mother. Beyond that he was frugal. One day he came home with a fine wool custom suit. My family was amazed at the quality of the suit. We were further amazed at the cost of the suit, which he confessed to my mother with great difficulty.

As the weeks went on we waited for him to wear his suit. He didn’t. It languished in the closet in a suit bag. Finally one night at supper my mother asked him, “when are you going to wear your new suit?”

He hesitated for a moment and then said  softly, “I bought this suit to be buried in.”

We looked at him in horror. Was disease about to strike our father dead?”

“I don’t know when that will come, but I want to look nice at my funeral.”

It was more than 20 years later before that sad day came. A few days after dad’s  funeral my mother busied herself cleaning out the closet. As she reached the back of the closet she laughed and then she cried. There it was, still in its original suit bag. The frugal modest man was buried in a nice suit, just not the one he pictured. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Maybe there isn’t one. What do you think?

Texas sunset

Publishing a Novel is a Brand New Game–Please write a review

The book publishing business is very different today than it was before Amazon joined the fray. In years gone by, publishing houses ruled the lives of authors. There is no way to know, but I suspect that there are hundreds of books you would have loved stuffed in land fills and ancient trunks in dusty attics that were “too” something to get past the guard gate in traditional publishing. It’s even harder today because unless your name is Grisham you are even less likely to get a big publishing house to take the financial risk to publish your first book.

Anahuac A Texas Story


Self publishing with Amazon as your platform has revolutionized the industry and it is now flooded us with those once thought lost volumes of “forgotten lore.” You have to take the good with the bad. How can authors get their work noticed in the daily avalanche of new published books. By doing just what I’m doing in this blog. So far I’ve buried the lead in this article. The way you help people whose books you like is the review them honestly on Amazon and other sites devoted to books. It only takes a minute and you don’t have to do a New York Times Review. My new book Anahuac is a fun read and will also challenge you to think about justice, greed and religion. If you have done me the honor of reading Anahuac, please give your opinion. I like good reviews, but there is a lot to learn from “less good” ones. You help us all by reviewing. One more request, stop by my new Author Page on Amazon. It is under William Duane Darling. The Author page and my website will tell you my schedule of book signings and speeches. I have two scheduled now in Austin and San Antonio. Times and dates will be posted tomorrow. Exciting times for me. I would love to see you if you are in the vicinity. No purchase required.