Two of my favorite people have published books this week.
Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest novel, Everything She Didn’t Say, is an exploration of the life of real life pioneer Carrie Strahorn, who penned her own memoir in 1911, titled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage.
I’m thinking that if I had traveled 15,000 miles by stage, I’d be talking out of my head before I ever arrived. My memoir would have to be titled Everything She was Unable to Say.
A local gal had given Carrie’s memoirs to Jane several years ago, thinking that Jane would love Carrie’s writing, which she did. But, Jane noted, that Carrie painted a pretty rosy picture of what it must’ve been like for a woman to travel 15,000 miles across country in stagecoach. I mean, c’mon, these women didn’t even have the convenience of tampons. I can’t even imagine having to deal with menstruation while riding on a wooden seat or on a horse. Never mind the dust. The heat. I’m am an unabashed woman who prefers comfort and hot showers. I’m happy to leave the pioneering to women like Jane and Carrie.
I love Jane and her wickedly feminist sense of humor.
You will, too. Check out her new novel.
It was my other buddy, Bob Welch, who inspired Jane to publish her first book, 30 books ago. Bob has been a journalist/columnist at the Eugene Register-Guard for decades. He is beloved by readers everywhere. While I don’t share his passion for all things UofO, it tickles me to witness Bob’s rabid devotion to Ducks.
Sports and storytelling are Bob’s jam. He’s been documenting his adventures hiking the PCT for years now, long before anyone had ever heard of Cheryl Strayed.
But Bob’s latest book isn’t about his love of hiking. It’s about the high jump. Yeah. That high jump. Bob teamed up with Dick Fosbury to write the story of how Dick managed to revolutionize the Track and Field’s High Jump competition. The Wizard of Foz documents the origination of the Fosbury Flop. But this story does more than just provide the technicalities of successful high jumping, it’s a reflection upon the 1960s, the racial tensions, the war tensions, the personal challenges and losses that Dick faced.
It’s the story of rising above, personally and professionally.
A call to urge the rest of us to rise up.
To celebrate my friends, I’m giving away two copies of each book. Leave your name and a shout-out to someone who has helped you rise up, to do hard things, for a chance to win.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Christian Bend (Mercer University Press).