A Grateful Author

On the eve prior to the official day of thanksgiving, I wanted to offer a few things I was thinking about today.

First, I am grateful to have been born in, and to live and work in, a country where freedom of expression is valued, even if it is controversial, and where it is protected for all.

Second, I am grateful that through technology and the foresight and ambition of others there are several venues by which independent authors, such as myself, can make their creative voices heard today and for future generations.

Third, I am grateful for those who provide encouragement and support of authors and poets, as do the members of this writer's group and other writers' groups across the global community, who keep one another focused and help one another overcome obstacles they may be facing.

Fourth, I am grateful to those local, national, and global businesses who take the time and invest space in their shops in support of traditional and indie authors by making their books available for sale to the communities they serve. In my area, that is our local Hy-Vee, the Nodaway News Leader, the Maryville Daily Forum, the Nodaway County Historical Society Museum, and Minnie Lane.

Finally, and most importantly, I am grateful to God, who has graciously granted me the opportunity to write, the ability to learn, the desire to know and understand, and who has provided a supportive community through which to continue to develop the variety of skills and abilities it takes to pursue such a challenging and rewarding endeavor.

Susan Cronk

I'm done with 1984 . . . moving on.

Researching information can be a long, drawn-out process. For me, it's just fun. I am in my element in a library or museum searching through seemingly endless stacks of information in order to mine a few jewels to be used in a book. Tonight, I pulled a Marty McFly, climbed into a mental DeLorean, and zipped back to the year 1984.

It was fascinating wading through the old newspapers for that year. "Old?" I guess I shouldn't say that, because it ages me. But, looking at the ads in the papers, I saw the hairstyles I used to sport, and I even saw one of my favorite coats (that they don't make anymore) on sale for about what you could buy dinner for now.

The purpose of my time warp this evening was to secure information for the new Nodaway County jail, which will have its own chapter in the upcoming book, The Human Squirrel Cage: Nodaway County's Rotary jail. I felt it only right to give the new jail its own chapter. After all, the other jails had one.

What I learned from my sojourn in the land of what was . . . some hairstyles don't go out of style -- but it's probably a good thing these did. Coats should never go up in price. And, Nodaway County's efforts at building jails, however needed they were, never came easy to the county residents and the administrators.

Take a gander at the book's page shown above and be sure to check back from time to time to read updates and learn when the book will be released.