Leaving a Writing Legacy

Note: This first appeared today, Friday February 7, 2020, as a guest post on the Mysteristas blog. It is reprinted with their kind permission. I was surprised to see Debra Winegarten’s name come up on my phone that morning in the summer of 2018. I knew her but not...

Chili on a Chilly Night

Jordan has it firmly fixed in her mind that there’s a connection between wintry weather and chili. Let there be the slightest forecast of snow, ice, sleet, even freezing rain, and she issues a call for chili. So far, today’s predicted storm has missed us, though it’s...

Creativity at Three O’clock in the Morning

One of the blessings of my life is that I usually sleep well at night—and frequently in the daytime too. But last night about three o’clock, I woke and then my busy mind kept me from falling back to sleep. I’ve been known to write great fiction at such times, but the...

Confessions of a Cook Who Should Follow a Recipe

Sausage skillet supper It’s predictable. Every year after the holidays, the other adults in the Alter/Burton compound go on a diet. So I wasn’t really surprised when it happened this year—nor am I completely out of sympathy. I know that they seem to feel better when...

The Back Story Behind a Novel

Today is what I’m calling a soft launch for a reprint of one of my early novels about Texas, So Far from Paradise. But I’m sharing the story behind this one, because I think it’s kind of interesting. I hope you will too. In 1986 a kind of fervor swept Texas as the...

A Magnificent Accomplishment for TCU Press

I went to a reception last night, book launch if you will—for a simply magnificent book from TCU Press. It’s The Art of Texas: 250 Years, Ron Tyler as editor and contributions from well-known scholars, art historians, and curators. At 456 pp, measuring 10 x 12, and...

My Good News

Sunday night seems a good time to share good news. This past week I signed contracts with Globe Pequot Publishers for a new book—and five reprints. The new book is a study of one mega-ranching family in North Texas and Fort Worth, with a feminist approach to the...

Texas Literary Hall of Fame

I’m in danger of the big head tonight. I just got home from the biennial induction ceremony for the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library. Hors d’oevres, wine, and the presentation ceremony. It was my great privilege to...

Sundance, Butch, and Me Book

Anyone have any need for a “never before used” set of notes for a talk on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as seen from Etta Place’s point of view? I just happen to have such. My calendar said I was to speak on my book by that title next Wednesday, but I had heard...

Cookbook Launch Day!

Today was launch day for my third cookbook, Gourmet on a Hot Plate: Tiny Kitchen Tips and Recipes. The tips and recipes combine my lifelong love of cooking, wisdom and practicality of my mom, and my experience of cooking in a tiny kitchen for over two years. No stove,...

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