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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Speak Up for More than Just a TV Show...

The Shifting Sand and Sorrow

This weekend I saw Sand and Sorrow on HBO…every human being should be required to watch this documentary of what's gone on in the Sudan.
We're an educated people, yet we're making ignoring an artform. How can a country so intent on being the world's police disregard what's going on in Darfur? We barge in where we're often not wanted, yet we allow the brutal genocide of a people who desperately need and want our help. It’s staggering to know that, in my lifetime, there has been genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and is currently happening in the Sudan. We are repulsed by Adolf Hitler, but he is at least four times removed and has been emulated by other fascist extremists, and it will certainly happen again.
The Sudanese are making their place in history, their careful destruction of non-Arabic citizens. What is wrong with us? The human race, I mean… Are we so barbaric that we condone the kind of thinking that says, "Hey, you all don't like people with green eyes? I guess we can't argue with that mentality. Go ahead and kill them, but can you do it while cameras aren't watching?"
I'm proud to be an American…I enjoy the freedoms my country offers. I admire and support our troops, regardless of the missions they enforce. Those who oppose the war in Iraq have to be able to separate the message from the messenger. We must support our troops, no matter what. And if the American mentality is to restore peace throughout the world, I don't know how we can ignore what is happening to the Darfur population. Left to starve to death, they rely on aid simply to survive. A group of people who once thrived on commerce and their own resources. The Sudanese government decided those of non-Arabic descent needed to be 'abolished,' so now, after hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered, several million are left to starve to death.
Have you had enough to eat this year? What have you bought that you've thrown in a closet, a drawer, a cabinet, never to be used again? This is more than just about money… this is about a voice, action, holding people accountable. You can read this and think, I can't help…they won't do anything anyway.
How will you know unless you try?
Write your senator, your representative, even your president…this is a nation of people who demanded a TV show being cancelled be resurrected by sending corporate America packages of peanuts. Yes, peanuts. Hundreds of thousands of them. The rallying cry of Jericho fans -- Nuts! -- was heard, and the show is being brought back. If we can get people to listen to what we want on TV, imagine if we collectively cried out for help for those less fortunate…our own homeless, our battered wives, our abused children. Wealthy Americans have embraced causes by donating their time and massive amounts of money, but only a government can enforce the kind of change needed in a small country being systematically destroyed across the Atlantic.
If we reserve our energy only for TV shows, what does that say about us?

· Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 - 1,500,000 Deaths
· Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 Deaths
· Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 - 300,000 Deaths
· Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 - 6,000,000 Deaths
· Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 - 2,000,000 Deaths
· Rwanda: 1994 - 800,000 Deaths
· Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 - 200,000 Deaths
· Darfur: 2004-present - 400,000 dead; 2,500,000 refugees
"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." ~ George Santayana

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Future Writers of America!

Many of the events I do are so rewarding because I get to interact with great kids who are either avid readers, aspiring writers, or just interested in what being an author is like. This past weekend, I got to be touched by two different groups of teenagers and elementary-aged kids.

Friday, I did a video-conference through the Cooperating School District in St. Louis, connecting with Saeger Middle School in the Francis Howell School District. I talked to a group of 8th graders, and it really took me back to my Oakland classroom teaching days. These kids were fun, inquisitive, and reminded me what I loved about teaching! it was my first experience doing a video conference, and to have interaction with kids via TV was amazing! Plus, the teenagers had some incredibly insightful questions.

Click here and scroll down for photos of the event.

On Saturday, I got a second dose when I did a keynote stint for the Saturday Writers workshop: “Writing for Readers of Any Age.” I talked to a group of adult writers, as well as young writers (elementary through secondary aged). After my keynote, I did a breakout session with the kids that couldn’t help but make me smile! Along with their kids, many of the parents took part as well, and just to see the involvement was inspiring. By the end of the day, I’d made friends with people I’d never met, and had young writers planning to e-mail their work to me so I could critique it.

As a writer, there’s no greater compliment than for other writers to want your advice. To truly take that responsibility to heart can not only inspire future writers, it can also inspire the same generosity in others. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm Thankful...

Last Thursday night I spoke to the St. Louis Writers Guild at the Barnes & Noble in Ladue, and I'm thankful so many writers want to be inspired…

Friday, I drove to Springfield to receive an award as Professional of the Year from the LDA organization for my work with high school Kickapoo senior Henry Stratmann III. I'm thankful for generous people, and that I was honored in such a touching way.

Friday night and Saturday, I got to spend time with my mom and brother since they were going to be in San Antonio for my niece's wedding over Thanksgiving. I'm thankful the award took me through Lebanon to see them…

This week, I got a break from classes, from pressures, from the constant barrage of expectations…a big Thanksgiving dinner with my family reminded me exactly what this holiday is all about. It isn't a feeding frenzy, it isn't football overload, it isn't pecan pie… I'm thankful to men who've fought for our country, for soldiers who continue to keep us safe and free.

Saturday I have a booksigning at the Borders Bookstore in Lee's Summit. It's back to the grind, back to the highway, back to the world of 8 Days, Slipping, and Dregs… I'm thankful I have a reason for such demand, that I chased my dream and it came true…

I'm thankful for the time, the energy, the motivation, and the support network to live this dream, to pursue my PhD, to enjoy the rewards of it. Imagine living somewhere that not only didn't allow me the luxury of chasing such a dream…Imagine living somewhere that discouraged dreams altogether… I'm thankful I don't.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Conferences, Events, and Networking…oh, my!

For the past few weeks, I've been doing different writerly things. Instead of the usual Borders signings or talking at schools, I've gone to a library signing with a group of other writers, and this past weekend, I attended the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild conference (The Write Direction). It was the first conference I'd gone to in forever as a participant and not a presenter, and for once, I could relax, listen, take notes, and not be worrying about the session I would be giving later.

I got pumped about writing the screenplay for 8 Days. I was inspired to do more with my website, and when the day was done, I had 6 pages of notes of all the things I wanted to do. Of course, during a conference, I'm always prone to making To-Do lists (at the top is always Blog on Monday) but for the most part, I was engaged the entire time and felt inspired by the day. I wish published writers could get together more just for time to bounce ideas off one another and not feel pressured to sell, sign, and smile all day long!

Of course, I love the smiling and signing part…it's the selling that gets wearisome. But then again, it's better than the alternative, right? Yep, when I get tired after a weekend writing event, I have to stop and remind myself what life was like BB (Before Books). I might've had more time and not be forced to watch recordings of Mizzou or the Chiefs, but then again, I wasn't living my dream either.

You just gotta pinch yourself sometimes!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cries for help...

Cries For Help…

There's been a frenzy of school violence in the past few weeks. Bomb threats, weapons in middle schools, open threats written on school sidewalks. Yet aside from Virginia Tech coverage, while scouring national papers, the most recent prominent article in Time magazine was this heart-wrenching, though six-year old, article. The Boston Globe and USA Today are equally as old…

Boston Globe:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/01/04/a_new_chance_to_stop_teen_violence/

Time:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,999473,00.html

USAToday:
http://www.usaweekend.com/00_issues/000416/000416teen.html

Why is it that something that is almost epidemic only gets media attention when there's blood spilled? They give these "threats" minimal attention, sending what message to troubled teens? The Virginia Tech shooting was covered on TV for over 30 hours…so the message is loud and clear, and the teacher in me cringes to know that they get a heck of a lot more than their "15 minutes" these days.
I'm a fan of the media, obviously as an author, I can't live without them. But by and large, it's a reactive industry. Yet with the power to reach millions, imagine what the media could do if they targeted a cause a month… The high-powered papers could combine forces and have outreach facilities join force. They could have hotlines, prevention tips, and information for parents on how to recognize the signs and possibly help kids who might become our next newspaper headline. Just imagine…
We could choose different topics every month: Drugs, gangs, gun-control. With the media's help, this could become an Oprah-sized solution to problems that are very likely going to be the undoing of our nation. It's hard to imagine that Corporate America wants kids to kill other kids, but with their vast resources, you have to wonder why no one sees the epidemic or has thought it's time to do something about it. Haven't we done the same thing with gangs and drugs? Now they're so commonplace, we don't even know where to start to diffuse these issues.
Teachers know the problem is too real, kids have known it for decades…it's time for the rest of the country to step to the plate and take a swing at one of the scariest trends in our nation's history. It isn't just about bullies anymore, because as much as we know about cliques, those who tease aren't just generating tears anymore. They're stirring hate in with a society filled with guns, anger, and a vast internet of people frothing at the mouth for violence. It took eight years for Columbine's numbers to be eclipsed by the Virginia Tech tragedy. Do you really think it will be eight years before another one tops the list?
There's an act of school violence every 2.3 seconds in this country… While you read this article, at least 10 schools fell victim to a gun brought to school, someone assaulting a classmate, or God forbid, severe injury or death. If that doesn't get the media's attention, I shudder to think what's coming next.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

D.C. -- One Rung Higher

When I became an author – a split second after signing my first book contract – I had visions of the New York Times Bestseller List, mile-long lines at my book releases, and Capote-like reverence from everyone around me. Instead, I learned the trek is long and climbing each rung that ultimately leads to the NY Bestseller List is a slow process. Those lines take years to form.

I saw it firsthand Saturday… I was an author invited to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. I watched people walk around like Ken Burns, Joyce Carol Oates, David Baldacci, and the one I waited in line to meet: Jodi Picoult. Regular people who’ve topped that bestseller list, normal folks who put pen to paper and likewise leapt into that “famous” category. What I learned is that they’re just like me…hard-working authors appreciating their fans. Jodi Picoult couldn’t have been kinder. With literally hundreds of people in line, she smiled for pictures, signed multiple books, and seemed to know what every author should remember: without readers, authors end up with day jobs and old copies of their books gathering dust in warehouses.

Encountering 200,000 readers, fans, autograph-seekers – it puts the craft in perspective. I got my first hand cramp from signing my name so many times, it became illegible. What a feat to accomplish! It gives me new fuel for my speaking engagements, new topics I will now be able to cover. Fans of my YA book can get a glimpse of Dregs on a new teens site now, which is pretty cool.

The other aspect to visiting D.C. for the first time encompassed visits to the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the most memorable for me: The Vietnam Memorial. With a perpetual lump in my throat, I absorbed our history, our reverence for those who serve our country, and it humbled me. I may write books, but there are people out there inspiring books to be written. The quote that “freedom isn’t free” has new meaning for me now. For every veteran or anyone currently serving our nation’s military, I salute you, and I thank you for the privilege to do so.

Perhaps there’s in book in me about that, waiting to be told.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blinkers and Road Rage – A Direct Connection

This week, I’ve had an epiphany…new cars don’t come with blinkers. They must be an option now, and cars falling under the luxury category clearly charge exorbitant fees for them. How else can you explain all the BMWs, Jaguars, Lexus’, even Porsches that don’t use signals when turning? And honestly, their SUVs are the worst. I’m thinking it could even be a malfunction. The driver is probably trying to signal, it just won’t work or the feature is not there….

This new phenomenon has led to raging cases of ADS (Angry Driver Syndrome for those of you not ‘in the know.’) Just yesterday, I followed a Lexus SUV for nearly two miles, and we turned six times…I did the signaling for both of us. I found myself, between expletives and banging my head on my dashboard, wondering if the rich moron in the Lexus thought it unnecessary, too much physical exertion, just entirely too exhausting to flip the damn little arm to let me and everyone else on the road know he was turning? (Note, I said “he”…) I have a message out there to every person who doesn’t use a signal: when I was in college, a classmate of mine was killed by an 18-wheeler because the guy driving the car with my fiend in it didn’t signal when he merged onto the highway. The lane was also an exit lane, so the trucker said he assumed the car was exiting. Apparently, when the Blazer, the car my friend was in, merged, the trucker didn’t have time to get out of the way… Both in the Blazer were killed, and a blinker could’ve saved their lives.

Not every turn requires a blinker, but it’s the habit that lets other drivers know what you’re doing, even if you don’t. New car manufacturers should be ashamed, getting rid of such features. I just can’t imagine that so many people in such nice cars could be that lazy, that stupid, that irresponsible that they’re just choosing not to use their blinkers.

I’m thinking of rear ending the next one who cuts me off without a blinker…I wonder if they wear their seatbelts?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL?

I’m a summer girl, but there are so many things to love about this time of year…U.S. Open tennis, breathable weather, beautiful trees, the possibility of the Cardinals in the playoffs (they’re working on it…), and FOOTBALL!

I'm an avid Chiefs fan, so I have plenty to worry about, but just the idea of football gets my heart pumping! I've become a regular viewer of the NFL Network, I often check in with ESPN just to see what's new, and sometimes I leave it there because it's better than most of the shows on. I got sick of Vick (what kind of man makes money off cruelty to dogs???), and I admit, I'm tired of the whole steroid hunt. Just legalize it and level the playing field already. No, it's not the perfect answer, but there really isn't one…and why should Barry Bonds reap the benefits while other guys play by the rules and can't compete? They're all damaging the heck out of their bodies anyway…and I know steroids are horrible for athletes, especially during the teenage years, but from what I know about sports, a huge percentage are doing worse things trying to get the same result.

Anyway, I digress…everything about this time of year rocks, and it isn't just football. Sports rule, I even have a burgeoning interest in NASCAR since Carl Edwards is from Columbia and went to the junior high where I taught. Cardinals, Mizzou Tigers, Andy Roddick and James Blake, Venus and Serena, Albert and Ankiel, Tiger, LJ, Tony G…it's enough to make your head spin, even if Americans can't seem to win the U.S. Open now that Pete and Andre are gone. Yes, Andy had his year, but this guy Roger is a giant shadow over everyone else!

It also means the beginning of the TV season. Thank god for my DVR…I don't watch much TV when the shows are actually on. I study early in the evening…but I admit, I'm addicted to several shows that I'm eagerly awaiting: CSI (HELP SARA!), Criminal Minds, American Band, Survivor, House, Jericho (I hope it's been saved!!), Without a Trace…see, there are so many…at least with DVR, I can skip the commercials. All except the Sonic ones, of course.

Yes, Fall is here and the sound of crashing helmets, whistles, and grunts just makes me reach for the remote. Maybe ESPN is showing a rerun of NFL Live…

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Double-Speak

Does it ever amaze you the people who speak out against gay marriage and have such an opinion about it end up getting caught in men’s restrooms in uncomfortable predicaments? Me thinks thou doth protest too much…

Republican Senator Larry Craig proves what is wrong with passing judgment and using a political platform for it. Even if the quest for equality is qualified with separate phraseology (civil unions instead of marriage), the point is to allow people who are different the rights that being an American entails. We need only glance over our past to see how long it takes to give equal rights…women and blacks aren’t the only ones who’ve had to fight for them, but they are among the most prominent.

Why can’t we accept everyone for their differences and just move on? Every time someone stands up and decries gays for wanting equality, the listeners should wonder why that person cares so much. God is forgiving, and He’s the only one with the right to judge. The rest of us need to live our own lives and subscribe to the 1-800-Let-ItGo mentality. Managing one life and living it right is enough work without trying to do it for everyone else.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sick of Vick...

I'd be okay if I never heard Michael Vick's name ever again...

I've waited a few weeks to blog about the situation with Michael Vick because frankly, the whole thing is hard for me to stomach. I'm not sure what disgusted me more…the idea that someone of Michael Vick's celebrity and status would be so blatantly stupid and cruel or that his colleagues went on camera and said, "What he does at his own house is his own business." Two NFL players stood on camera on ESPN and laughed about the situation…of course, this was in the very beginning, but how idiotic can grown men be?

I was told this was a cultural thing, that powerful men in the hip-hop and professional sports community have been fighting dogs forever, but does that make it right? Celebrities have been committing adultery, snorting cocaine, and spinning through the revolving doors of rehab forever too, but it doesn't validate that drinking, doing drugs, or sleeping around is socially acceptable.

For any human being to think that it is okay to subject an animal to the cruel arena of dog fighting -- and then to punish dogs when they don't perform well -- should be forced to a punishment akin to their crime. In some countries in Asia, they make the punishment fit the crime…i.e. if you steal, they cut off your hand. Michael Vick and his posse should be starved for a few days, trained to fight, and then put in a ring with other rabid idiots and forced to fight to the death. If Michael wins, he lives to fight another day. At least he would know why he's in there. People have been calling for this type of vindication for weeks now, but the truth is, there is no punishment that fits this crime. These poor dogs have no idea what a good life can be; they're oblivious of the luxuries most animals are afforded: a safe home, plenty of food, and the love and respect of his owner. The most apropos punishment would be for Vick to lose anyone and anything he's ever loved.

I regret watching the media footage that has since haunted me, but for those of us repulsed by cruelty to animals (and I can't fathom the mindset of those of you who aren't), I hope the courts and Roger Goodell see to it that Michael Vick never plays football again. He should never be any kind of role model for our youth (except to know what NOT to do), and at the very least, needs to spend some time in prison.

For animal lovers, his crime is unthinkable and unforgiveable. For human beings, it should be equally repulsive, because someone with that blatant disregard for life usually translates to similar thoughts and behaviors toward other people.

Hopefully, Vick's arrest will put a stop to dogfighting, or at least raise awareness. For one year, let's channel our contributions and make a collective effort to end this cruel and useless sport. True role models like Tiger Woods, Cal Ripken, Tony Gonzalez, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Andre Agassi embrace their fame and use it for charities, children's organizations, and fundraisers.

Take heed, famous athletes…these should be YOUR role models.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Archon & MySpace

I'm back from a mega-conference in Collinsville, Illinois (Archon), and man, what a weekend! I got to meet some really phenomenal authors and chatted with the likes of Peter Beagle, Sharon Hambley, and Linnea Sinclair. I didn't get to chat with Laurell K. Hamilton this time, because she and I were never on any of the same panels. But all in all, it was a great success.

The glory of Archon isn't so much the networking as it is the appreciation for people who don't succumb to the parameters of social expectations. I love the attitude of attendees at sci-fi conferences who dress for the joy of showing off their dedication to a character or an era. If all of us dropped our guard more and lived for ourselves and not for the expectations of others, what a world it would be…

The main thing I learned from Archon was that I need to develop my MySpace page and not just my website (http://www.barrilbumgarner.com/). No matter how cool my website is, my MySpace page will reach a vast audience that I haven't tapped into…and I need a really cool background!!

So I'm going to take some time this week to do that…If anybody has pointers for me, I'm all ears!

When you visit my website, take a peek at all the new additions, then venture over to my MySpace page and give me some input.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter & Sawyer Wade

Two teenagers with a lot in common....



Everyone knows the first one. Good old Harry. I will be in line for Deathly Hallows, and I will start it tomorrow. I should re-read or re-listen to book 6, because I've entered those memory-sucking 40s. But I won't, because I'm too excited. Isn't it a great day and age when the entire world is united over the release of a book? As a former reading teacher, the very idea makes me want to stand up and holler! :-)



The second teenager is a new burgeoning author in Columbia, MO. Sawyer Wade is a fantasy writer who is 14 years old and has already written 2 novels and well underway into his 3rd. You heard me right...he wrote his first fantasy book as a 12 year old! He's innovative and a wizard at what he does.



Sawyer and I are doing some marketing training, and he is a quick study. If only every writer had such passion and started as young. I was thrilled to publish before 40!



So teenagers are my focal point today, and tomorrow it will be all about Harry...



And I'm sure I won't be the only one!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Frenetic Pace...

A week out of the country rejuvenated me for the bump and grind of life back in the states.

I learn more about Americans every time I leave the states, the most important of which is that we're WAY TOO BUSY!!

Why do we go at such a frenetic pace when we know it's taxing our brains, our bodies, our families? I don't think there's an answer...no se, as they say in Puerto Vallarta. Life is sure simpler on the beach, away from phones, e-mail, and the daily pressures we put on ourselves.

I'm a hypocrite though, because as soon as I got home, I let the 572 e-mails overwhelm me, along with the packed two weeks I was facing: Literacy Academy all day Monday through Wednesday and also in Rolla on Friday, meetings all day Thursday, and then out of town in Rolla the following week before driving straight through to the Florida panhandle. *Whew* All the while, I need to be prepping for classes I teach at MU in the fall. Have I missed a deadline for the textbook? Did I answer that e-mail about the updates for the online class? Wasn't I supposed to write a short synopsis for my upcoming book (Playing the Line) for Vox Magazine?

AHHHHHHHH!

My next task...lobby for a bill for a 25th hour in a day or put a rush on that whole cloning thing...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

What am I thinking?

I've had a crazy busy week, and I constantly wonder why I'm so busy...during the summer! Sunday I met with a new young writer named Henry Stratmann III. He writes flash fiction, which is a new wave in short short stories. We decided that this could be a wonderful segue for teachers -- a resource book for units like inferring, predicting, connecting, etc. to use with his flash fiction.

It begs the question...what am I thinking? Something new? Do I have a clone I don't know about?

But the teacher in me knew what I was thinking -- Henry's teenaged enthusiasm, the educational opportunity it presented, and broadening my marketability...it's a win-win situation for both of us. And since deciding to do it, education guru Cris Tovani has agreed to write the foreword!! Wow!

So we're planninng a teacher resource book using flash fiction from Henry's Eye Has Not Seen and the upcoming Flash Fiction Fever.

And since I don't know what I'm thinking, if any of you have tips on cloning, I'm all ears...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

chaos is normal, right?

Yes, chaos must be normal, because it's central to my life. That's how everyone lives, right? One need only visit my website to see my schedule, the basic grind of my author life... http://www.barrilbumgarner.com/

And being an author is just one small part of me. I'm a PhD student, a participant in numerous groups, on the board of several organizations, and all-in-all, I'm continually swamped. So this is par for the course, Americans are just like everyone else, right?

Wrong...I'm doing some analysis of media violence and our culture, and it's absolutely astounding how differently we live than most other advanced nations. France, for instance, has negligible school crime compared to ours, plus they take daily siestas during the middle of the day...WHAT? For real?

Yes, they take time out right in the middle of the day to relax, spend time with family and friends, drink a glass of wine, and wouldn't you know it? They live longer than we do.

There is an act of school violence during school hours every 3 seconds in this country...and kids learn their aggression from us. If we want to stop it, we have to start now. The sad part is, who has time? Where do we start? How in the world can we change what kids watch and listen to?

The easy answer is: How will we know unless we try?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Optimistic and Charitable...

Imagine the horror of losing a loved one, a child even. There’s nothing worse for a parent…for Linda Valencia, she lives with it every day. And her son Jesse didn’t just die, he met a murderous fate that’s inconceivable for many of us. The three years since have been tough, compounded by financial hardships only true trauma can induce.

When we whine about our problems, about how much work we have to do and all the petty things that we get mired in each day, remember to calibrate: whether your glass is half full or half empty, you have a glass.

Linda Valencia’s glass is shattered, the remnants scattered about from Columbia, Missouri to Kentucky.

Be grateful for your glass…cherish it, keep it precious, treat it well. You can always buy a new one, but the original gift is irrepacable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Rios Rollercoaster

The past couple of weeks have seen the overturn of Steven Rios's verdict, the media chum the waters by speculating when the re-trial would be, and then prosecutors appeal the decision. On Monday, Attorney General Jay Nixon said he wanted a Missouri court to either re-hear Rios's case or send it to the Missouri Supreme Court.

In other words, let's get on with it... And no matter what happens, this will be the final chapter in a story that no author could create and be believed if she didn't have the press to prove it. If it were fiction, a publisher would toss it in the trash and say it was over-the-top.

The bizarre thing is that it isn't fiction, and the story has yet to hit its climax. By the time all is said and done, Columbia will be more torn apart than ever. And the living victims will be shoved back to Go to start the healing process over again, no matter the outcome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Check it Out...

Life is at a frantic pace right now, but I'm excited to be releasing a new book, having a book release party, and eager to spread the word about stopping school violence!

I've done literally a decade of research on school violence, so my fictionalized account reflects on that research and will hopefully be inspiring for those who read it!

If you're in Missouri during one of my Book Release Parties, I'd love to have you!

Columbia @ Otto's Corner on Friday, May 11th from 5:00-late. I'll read an excerpt ~6:00. Free appetizers, cash bar, great fun!

Lebanon, MO @ Longhorn Grill out at the Country Club on Friday, June 8th 6:00-11:00ish. I'll read a snip ~7:00...drinks and food all courtesy of Missouri Eagle, God love 'em.

If you want to read an excerpt of Dregs, visit my website at www.barrilbumgarner.com

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Welcome!

Welcome to Barri L. Bumgarner's new blog.