|Sadly, I don't have time to go canoeing on the Niobrara this time. That was an adventure to savour.|
In three days I'll be flying out to Lincoln, Nebraska for the start of a short lecture tour spread over four weeks.
I have eight dates in all. The first, out in the Panhandle, is at the Mari Sandoz Conference in Chadron, Nebraska. I'll be putting up at the magnificent 19th century Olde Main Street Inn (https://www.facebook.com/Oldemainstreetinn/).
I have two speaking engagements in town. On Saturday at 9.00 a.m. I'll be at my favourite hang-out, the Bean Broker Coffee House (https://www.facebook.com/beanbroker/) talking about my six-month spell, alone, in a hunting lodge on the banks of the Niobrara. I'll try to explain how it mirrored the early experiences of Mari Sandoz, daughter of Swiss Pioneer Old Jules, and what it taught me about living in this elemental landscape.
Later, at 11.30a.m., I'll be at the Public Library. The subject of this address is my new novel, my first. (How many debut novelists aged 67 are there out there, I wonder?). Cody, The Medicine Man and Me is the story of a boy growing up in post-war England whose life is changed when he is visited by Great Uncle Bill, an American showman who claims he is the son of Buffalo Bill. In adult life, still fascinated by the west, our hero becomes a professor in American Lit and History. Then he decides he needs to get away from the world of books, and experience the land of his dreams for real. He sets off to locate a plot of land he believes Bill may have owned. Nothing could have prepared him for what he finds as he travels through Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. I'll be talking about how the book came about, and why it took me 25 years to complete it.
I'll put out further posts about my later engagements - in Red Cloud, Aurora, Lincoln and Omaha - over the next week or two.