Going to school

A Pinch of Rodeo

By Joe R. Nichols


Going to school

I went to my first bronc riding school at 18 years of age as a freshman in college. Taught by Lyle and Ike Sankey, it was a three-day event that benefited me immensely.

Since age converted me to a team roper, I have attended numerous roping schools. You have to have high credentials to put on a school. These are people who have achieved great success, or are making their living at what they are teaching.

However, I have been around some of the most talented and accomplished cowboys in the world, that couldn’t teach you how to tie your shoe. Some folks have such a natural talent for doing something, they don’t even know how they accomplish it. Therefore, they are at a loss at how to explain the method to someone else.

In contrast, I’ve never encountered a published author that I couldn’t learn  from. They all seem to have the ability to pass along valuable, helpful, information. They are willing to encourage your given voice, without imposing their own style as the only correct way of writing.

I’m grateful for the talent I’m surrounded by in my critique group, and the other contacts I’ve made through Jodi Thomas and her Writers Academy at WTAMU.

I intend to keep learning and improving in my writing and roping. I just wish some cowboys could express what they know as well as authors.




By Nandy Ekle

It’s almost here! I can feel it in the air and smell it everywhere I go. There are whispers of excitement all over the world! Writers everywhere are gearing up, tucking in, researching, outlining, planning, reading, listening to music, dancing, whatever else they do to get ready for National Novel Writing Month.

November has been deemed National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, also affectionately known as NaNo. And what a month of adventures this has come to be. For thirty days a writer is encouraged to live totally inside their story. If you join the website, which, by the way, is absolutely free, you can register as a writer and meet thousands of other writers, make new writer friends, and converse about writing things twenty-four hours a day. But that’s only a small part of NaNo.

The goal of every November is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. This actually can be done with a lot of discipline, commitment, perseverance and support from those around you. Yes, the 40-hour a week job still has to be done so you can buy groceries and soap to do the laundry that also still has to be done. But the rest of your waking hours, and some of your sleeping hours, will go into the story you have been waiting all year to put down on paper during this adventurous month.

The rules are simple. Write a novel of at least 50,000 words. It must be a brand new piece of work, meaning not one single word of the story has been written before. You are allowed to research and outline before you begin, but not actually start the story. And believe me, you will want to do as much research before November first as you can so that the rest of your time will be for writing.

It’s a very fun, challenging and exciting month. The work you produce will in no way be publishable, but it will be a novel-length manuscript giving you something to build on. The NaNo site even has a list of published books that were written as NaNo books.

Go to  http://www.nanowrimo.org to register. Look around and search for Nandy Ekle. I’ll need all the support I can get!

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.