There are certain people I’ve met in my life that have made an impression on me. Some are those I’ve known  on a personal level, and those we refer to as, personalities–those not in our circle of acquaintances. We admire them from afar.

For those of you who follow the Food Network and Pioneer Woman…well, I got to meet her, in the flesh, this past Saturday at Watermark Books in Wichita, Kansas. She’s everything I imagined her to be…down to earth, friendly–a gracious woman. I’ve followed her blog over the years, and I loved her book, The Pioneer Woman:Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. I enjoyed her book because it was so relatable. I found myself laughing out loud! She lets the reader see who she really is, warts and all, as she does in her blog–her everyday life on a ranch.

So, on Saturday I went with my friend and author, Beverley Olson Buller,  to a signing and promotional tour of Ree Drummond’s new children’s book, Charlie Goes To School. I’m looking forward to her next visit when her holiday cookbook comes out.


The other personality is Tim O’Brien, the award-winning author. I first became aware of Mr. O’Brien when I was writing my first book, With Love Stan: A Soldier’s Letters From Vietnam To The World. I thought it was important to read and gather information from those who knew,  first-hand, what being a soldier in Vietnam was like.

After I read,The Things They Carried, a fictional story based on Tim’s own tour of duty in Vietnam,  I knew I wanted to include quotes from his book. He was most gracious–granting me permission to quote from, The Things They Carried.

In the fall of 2011, I was privileged to meet, in person, and hear Tim O’Brien speak at Wichita’s, The Big Read. It is one of those experiences that has stayed with me.

These two personalities are so different, but yet so entertaining and honest. Tim O’Brien’s books make me think, cry, and yes laugh at times. His writing is raw, and filled with gut wrenching images of war, a war our family knows so well.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I enjoy a wide variety of personalities and their talents. I enjoy a good novel that brings out emotions in me, words which make me float with anticipation. And I love the stark reality, suspense, and emotion that a non fiction read might provide.

For me, it’s good to break away from what’s comfortable, and explore that which might make me, squirm.

Today is Tim O’Brien’s birthday…Happy Birthday, Tim!

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