Catching Up

First of all, since I was out of town when the Blog Carnival ended on Feb 28th, I want to announce the winner of a copy of my book, Play It Again, Sam. The Carnival was held by Classic Romance Revival and each of the participating authors chose a winner from the visitors to her blog. I am happy to announce that the winner from my blog is Sara J. Her name was drawn in a random selection process. Congrats, Sara.

The Take 190 West Art Festival in Killeen was a wonderful experience. The facilities at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center are beautiful, well-managed, and very comfortable. The staff at the Center, as well as Killeen library staff were all gracious hosts and hostesses, and I truly felt pampered.

Friday evening there was a reception for the artists and authors with delicious food — we’re not talking chips and dips here – and stimulating company.

Half of the exhibit area was filled with artists’ booths, and the other half held displays from art students in the Killeen schools. The work was really impressive and covered a variety of mediums from sculpture to weaving to painting and drawing. It was fun to watch the students point out their work to their parents and share in the excitement of seeing their creation on display.

The professional artists also had quite a variety of work displayed for sale, predominately paintings. Burl Washington had a wonderful assortment of paintings and prints that depict the history of the Buffalo Soldiers, black Cowboys, and Blacks in Aviation. What a wonderful way to get a history lesson.

Another interesting artist I met was Todd Alan, who is known as The Crayon Man. He does all his work with crayons — regular old Crayola Crayons — and the results are stunning. I do some sketching with colored pencils, mostly just for fun or to share pictures in letters to my mother, but I have never thought of using crayons. And I’m not sure that I could match his abilities even if I stopped writing right this minute and concentrated on art.

I think one of the reasons I enjoyed talking to Todd was the enthusiasm he had for his work, and it delighted him when people stopped to admire it. Not in an egotistical way, but much like those children sharing their art with their parents. Pure delight.

Todd told me that he really enjoys visiting schools and talking to young people about art, and I’m sure those classes are a lot of fun. Children love it when you engage them on a creative level.

The other authors at the Festival represented a number of genres and age groups, predominately children’s books and young adult. I was quite impressed with Jazmine Swanson, who wrote and published a young adult novel, Avalon, during her sophomore year in high school. What a wonderful accomplishment for this Killeen teenager. For a story about how the book came to be click HERE

After I have participated in an event like this, people invariably ask me if it was successful, and in the next breath they ask if I sold a lot of books. For me, the success is not measured by how many books I sold. It is measured by the interesting people I meet and the fun I have. Not to mention how many books I can buy. So this was very successful.

How about you? If you are an author or artist, how do you measure the success of an event?

5 thoughts on “Catching Up”

  1. Wow! Thanks for the link to the Crayon Man! Incredible.

    I think success is measured by what you get out of it – meeting people, exchanging ideas, having a good time.

  2. Keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, “RaPR”, a great story of black military history…the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never’ let them ‘know’ their history.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn’t for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial…and visit the website

    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn’t like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see at;

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890’s, “spread the word”.


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