Tag Archive: authors

Loews Hollywood Hotel

I had the pleasure of attending the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) conference in LA last week at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Things are just now getting back to normal enough that I can post about the trip and the conference. Our middle son, Cameron, went with me. The conference began on Wednesday evening with badge pick-up and opening networking reception. Cameron and I flew out on American Airlines from DFW Tuesday morning so I could show him a few things and see some sights.

We were all in our seats and ready to go at the departure time of 9:05. I was enjoying the fact that I had walked my guitar on without any problem and it was safely resting in the overhead bin. The plane had been started. We’re all thinking “here we go” and getting ready, when the pilot comes on the speakers.

“ Ladies and gentlemen, we have some liquid on the side of the plane. It’s probably just fluid that leaked when it was filled up, but we called the mechanics and they’re here to check on it so hopefully we’ll be taking off shortly.”

After a very pregnant pause, he came back on to tell us we would be changing planes. After we had all left the plane, we were sent to another gate. After we got there – some of us anyway – it was not long before they found us another plane. However, this was a considerably smaller plane. Cameron and I thought that some people would not be able to get on the plane, but there were empty seats on the plane when we took off. Some people, I’m sure, made other arrangements if they had connecting flights in LA.

The flight left without any further delays or problems. When we arrived in LA, we were just about to come in on the runway when the pilot suddenly jerked the nose up and hit the gas. We shot up and then headed out over the ocean. It wasn’t my first flight there so I was pretty sure I knew what he was doing.

Then he made a hard banking left. People were beginning to wonder if he was going to take us into the water. But he finally got turned around and told us that the air traffic controllers had switched runways on us at the last minute and we were circling around to try to land again. Which we actually did, thank God. We arrived at LAX almost exactly two hours late.

Cameron and I had a reservation for our GO Shuttle two hours earlier, so it didn’t take long to get on a shuttle. After the obligatory run back around through the airport to check for more passengers, we were on our way to the hotel. We checked in at the hotel and put our stuff in the room. Then we went to get something to eat before I played at Pig ‘n’ Whistle on Hollywood Blvd….

Peace be with you.


I was fortunate to be included in an authors and illustrators signing at the local library, Manske Library, on Saturday. About 20 local authors and illustrators were present from 3 to 5 p.m. to sell and sign books and meet with the public. Belinda Jacks, Library Director, was very hospitable.

I was there to promote my book, The Minutes of Salem Baptist Church, the story of a pioneer church north of Chattanooga, Tennessee in the 1800s and early 1900s. I was also promoting my upcoming poetry book, Timepieces, Contrasts, and Memories, and other upcoming projects. It is comforting to converse with other members of a profession that is largely a lonely one.

An author signing is an interesting event. Readers have a chance to meet authors and illustrators who have a chance to tell their stories. Illustrators such as Pat Kochan, a professional artist at the Artisan’s Studio-Gallery in Farmers Branch, with her book of watercolor paintings that capture the history of downtown Dallas. The book is titled Once Upon a Time in Dallas.

Authors like Tracey Richardson, originally from New Orleans, with her book, Florestine, telling the story of her ancestor about whom little is known. Taking the known facts and stories, Richardson used fiction to fill in Florestine’s back story. Or Lynette Norris Wilkinson, who grew up in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Living in Dallas by the time of Hurricane Katrina, she found herself with 16 family members and friends on her doorstep who had lost everything – except what was in their cars – during the hurricane. Which led her to write the book, UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew, and create the corresponding website with stories of the survivors. Proceeds from the book benefit New Orleans charities.

Martha Trevino Castilleja talked about her children’s book, The Courage of Little Alex, a story of doing wonders with faith and courage. Castilleja’s other book, Something to Remember, is a story about families surviving the devastating flood of 1954 in Acuna, Mexico, and the bordering town of Del Rio, Texas. In Dr. Grace Allman Burke’s book, The Stranger’s Son, the reader sees what it might have been like to witness the events from the Bible’s book of Exodus through twelve year old Gershom’s eyes. After reading the book, they will have a “whole new appreciation for what it meant to be Moses child.

Stay tuned – as they say – for more authors’ stories.

Peace be with you.

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