Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Favorite -- speaking engagements

Last week I had the honor of presenting at the State of Sequoyah Conference in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, during the Cherokee National Holiday. I was on a panel with distinguished scholars -- all PhDs or ABD -- which was more than a little intimidating. Still, I always have fun talking about the history behind The Revenant.

Here's a newspaper article about my talk. Thank you, Betty Ridge!

I also have to thank Brandi Barnett for inviting me over for breakfast the morning of my presentation. It was very soothing to spend time with you, my friend!

Thursday night the presenters and attendees were invited to a hog fry at the Cherokee Heritage Center. It was sooo hot, but the food and company were great. Got to spend some time with Karen Cooper (one of my Tahlequah-based critique buddies) and her husband. And I finally got to try frybread!

Here are members of the Cherokee National Youth Choir. You can see a short video I made of the young ladies singing here.

During Friday's banquet I sat with Richard Allen, policy analyst for the Cherokee Nation, and his lovely wife Shelly and daughter Emma. Richard read an early draft of The Revenant and was generous with suggestions. Emma is a graduate student at Northeastern State University, and she told me that Seminary Hall gave her some creeps after she read my book. As you might imagine, that MADE MY DAY.

This lovely lady is Dr. Lynda Dixon, professor at Bowling Green State University and member of the State of Sequoyah commission. She is gifted with a warm personality that instantly puts one at ease.

And this is Dr. Ellen Cushman, professor at Michigan State University and another State of Sequoyah commissioner. She introduced our panel on Thursday and went out of her way to make me feel welcome.

It was a privilege to sign books with Jim Northrup on Friday. He shared thoughts and several moving poems about Vietnam during that morning's session on "Warriors and War."

Overall, the State of Sequoyah conference was quite an illuminating experience!

Tomorrow I will be speaking at SCBWI OK's fall conference in Chandler. Hope to see you there!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]


  1. That had to be such a fascinating time! I'm glad you were able to go; even if it meant not getting to see you at DragonCon.

  2. This is so exciting to read about and, I'm sure, very satisfying for you. A friend of mine is reading (and loving) your book. xo

  3. Sonia!~
    Hey there! Thanks for coming to visit me! This is so crazy--- I just read a big article about your book in the Tulsa World. It was old, probably from months ago, but I thought "Wow, this book sounds great!" I've always been partial to the story of Indian schools because my high school was built on the grounds of a Euchee Mission School (in Sapulpa).
    Anyhow- as for your question- yes! I will be in OKC in December for Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar on Dec. 10 at the fairgrounds. I'd love to see you and chat old timey paintings and haunted Oklahoma stories! I'm also going to have some art displayed at Deep Fork Grill in OKC from Nov-Jan.
    Anyhow...yay! I'm so excited to find that the author article I just read and you are one in the same! Now I need to get your book!~ :D

  4. 27 grams of fat in fry bread? Wow! It was great seeing you.

  5. @Paula -- the Dragon*Con people have been sorta quiet lately. Recovering, I suppose. I know each of my two D*C experiences took a year off my life.

    @Caroline -- you are so lovely. I simply can't wait for May B.

    @Heather -- I'm putting the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar on my calendar! In the meanwhile I'll fantasize about a painting of Willie and Eli from THE REVENANT. :)

    @Brandi -- wasn't it 27 grams in a PLATE of frybread? I hope so. Now, will you get on with HAVING YOUR BABY? Can't wait to meet Alexandra!

  6. It looks like you had a grand old time at the conference! (And how fun to scrutinize old photos for clues!)

  7. Well, you know, that wouldn't be too difficult to make happen! :D I've done some character portraits for a few authors! Its always lots of fun!~