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With the Ned Wynkoop talk* now almost upon me, I have entered survival mode as I try to figure out what I’m going to say. Nothing new here; usually the last one or two nights before a talk I burn the midnight oil.
* This talk will be taped.
Unprepared? Nope, just the way I like to work. The goal is to find life in the story. If there’s an edge to it, better yet. If one person, just one person, walks away from a talk determined to dig into the subject I’m one happy fellow.
As the talk begins to dominate my time, I play with juicy tidbits and wonder if I can add one or more to the talk’s flow. If so, will they break it? Worse (or rather better), I’m toying with using a few words I’ve never used before in a talk. These words have been swirling around in my mind for days now. They belong, and yet I know they’ll jerk a few people awake. Certainly someone will walk out the door mumbling, “I’m not going to read any of his bullshit!” They’re in luck, I hate selling my writing (you notice I didn’t call it that nasty word).
Do I risk using these words? I’ll know the answer when it’s time to say them.
The talk kick-starts me on getting back to research, for Sand Creek and the Tragic End of a Lifeway is about to dominate half of every week for the next three years (that is, if there is no interference from that other life that I sometimes live). It also gives me quality time w/two writer-historian friends, cementing a friendship that has grown long distance, seeing old friends and meeting new ones (perhaps even talking about Olivia de Havilland), and finally a radio interview w/Irene Rawlings on her Focus show for Clear Channel radio in Denver.
When I return to sunny SoCal, it will be time to hit the pavement running.
- The talk was eventually placed on YouTube. To view it click Wynkoop’s Last Stand, (or the real link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKWuoggHWk), which leads up to Ned Wynkoop lashing out against the murder of Cheyennes in New York City in December 1868.
- Irene Rawlings’ 15 or 20 minute interview of me was a waste of my time (and probably hers). To my knowledge it never aired.