Mary Lynn will stop by and answer your questions about her memoir, her memoir writing experience and the topic, “Is There a Book in Your Life?” Look for Mary Lynn’s guest blog post on this topic in the coming days!
Post your questions now by filling in the comment box near the bottom the page and clicking on the “Post Comment,” button anytime between now and her WOW! Blog Tour Visit on August 19th, when she’ll stop by to answer your questions.
Also, watch for an audio recording of Mary Lynn’s NAMW Book Reading, on August 10th! now available below!
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You may be wondering, what is a blog tour? A blog tour is a virtual book tour. Instead of going to your local library or bookstore to see an author speak, you go to a website before an assigned date to post questions OR after an assigned date to read an author’s interview or hear an author reading in the comfort of your own home. You can meet Mary Lynn and learn more about her without even leaving your chair!
Welcome, Mary Lynn! We are so glad to have you visiting with us!
Thank you all! What a treat and an honor to be with you.
Hi Mary Lynn,
I so enjoyed hearing the excerpt from your book; the picture in my mind of the garden hose coming through the bathroom window and you at the stove boiling snow was just too funny!
My question is…at what point did you decide to write a memoir of this experience. The humor I hear suggests you waited a few years after leaving the ranch (it is never funny when you’re in the thick of it ). If you did wait, did you have a stockpile of (not so humorous) journals to set off your chapters?
Thank you for the excerpt– I can hardly wait to buy the book:)
I had piles and piles of journals that I kept throughout our time at Twin Creeks Ranch, and as I read through them when we sold the place in 2002, I realized I just had to share that experience. Hope you enjoy the book.
If you haven’t already checked out the August special NAMW has graciously allowed me to offer, find it on my RedRoom blog, and thanks for stopping by to listen.
The book cover looks great, Marylynn, and I love your title. What prompted it?
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers
The title tells the story. I was an interior designer when we acquired the ranch. Whoops! All of a sudden I was feeding cattle and mucking out the barn. It was such a quick change, I nearly got whiplash.
As far as the cover goes, I hired a talented and experienced designer, gave him a few photos and a rough idea and he ran with it! Actually, he had three covers to choose from—all good—but the first two featured dairy cattle. I loved this one, as it conveys my “deer-in-headlights” expression, and the cows pictured are our own sweet babies.
Ah, the foibles of ranching unawares! We tried a similar experiment on a farm in SW Missouri with pigs and cows and a few chickens. It was mostly the economy that drove us back to the city, so it was a bittersweet experience. Before this, I had not considered the humor in the situations there, but you’ve given me some fine ideas! Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us. Unfortunately all of my journals were lost in one of our moves, so I’ll have to make notes and rely on my husband’s wonderful memory. I mean, who could forget the day I caught a pig on fire??? Memories are flooding back. Time for a new file on the computer, I think. Thanks again for the inspiration.
Pigs on fire? Definitely a story there! Glad I could help.
I really like the title of your book. Did it happen organically? As a big aha? Or suggested by someone else? Tell us more about how you chose it.
Thanks, Debra. Well as I said to Lynn above, it was part AHA and part a little help from my friends, but mostly seemed appropriate because I had previously had no intention of becoming a cowgirl, but suddenly, there I was doin’ it, with no idea how-to!
Dear Mary Lynn,
I SO loved your book! I sat down with it late one night just to look through it, and before I knew it, I’d nearly finished it. The idea of “we are just going to get a little land….but then…” came through with such humor and skill that I laughed out loud more than once. And to think that your land “came with” some cows blew me away! Reading about “pets” that weighed several hundred pounds with such personality was a delight. My family owned farms in Iowa, but they killed their animals.
I enjoyed your creativity with the house, the land, and the travails of plumbing, and learning about the feeling of love between you and your husband, and the connectedness of all life that you experienced on the farm.
Reading about neighbors helping you reminded me of the stories I’ve heard about farmers and their dependence on each other for survival.
Your writing style brings the world of your farm to life delightfully. Best of luck with your book, and thank you so much for being our guest today and for being a member of The National Association of Memoir Writers!
Thanks so much for your comments, Linda Joy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Our first sacrificial victim, Hamburger, was very nearly our last, but we did hire others to do the deed now and then.
There was one mercy-killing, if you’ll recall. Baby, our first calf, had to be killed after her second calf was born, as she had a prolapsed uterus. Very serious. Carl shot her himself. To this day, I don’t know how he managed to do it, but it had to be done. Every time a cow died, we were destroyed. Not having grown up as ranchers, that part of ranching was never second-nature to us. But then I cried when anything died—a bird, a cat, a skunk, a raccoon, a coyote…
I commend your courage to share your delightful story with others. My memoir deals with more serious subject matter; the loss of my son. Any tips on how I can present my experiences in a way that will touch the hearts of my readers, yet keep it light enough to not be depressing to them?
Dear Kaye Lynne,
There is nothing sadder than the loss of a child. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine.
My best advice is to share as many of the good times as possible. Keep it true and write from your own deep heart, but give your readers some respite now and then. How old was he? What was he like? What interests did he have, if he was old enough to develop them? What was your life together like? Show us this person.
That’s the best I can do without more information. Hope it helps.
Okay, so who won the contest for a copy of my book?
I’m afraid you’re going to have to hold on a bit longer:) ….we’ll be announcing the winner in our next newsletter, set to be sent out next Tuesday on August 1st!
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