Saturday, October 4, 2008

To the North, and to the Westerners

I mentioned last week that I was headed up to Minnesota. I joined my dad and brothers Alan and Rick up at the family cabin on Games Lake near New London; they were there for fishing while I was out casting for bites on the book.

I made a stop in Windom, Minn., at the Cottonwood County Museum. I left a copy of "Forts" for review in stocking at their gift shop, and a couple employees decided to go ahead and buy while I was there. I left information at the Jeffers Petroglyph site, too, since the supervisor was out - that's kind of what I had to deal with throughout the weekend as most sites were closed either for the week or for the year.

That "mixed bag" carried throughout but it turned out to be a pretty good weekend sales-wise, though; I ended up selling around 25 by just popping in and talking with people. Some sites weren't interested, some took information, some bought five, and one site (Kandiyohi County Historical Society) bought ten. I even got it into the store at the Charles A. Lindbergh House in Little Falls (left), and that has nothing to do with the forts or the Indian wars!
Thursday night was my presentation on the "Lost Forts of the Northern Plains" at my Westerners corral. This was one of the first talks I had set up earlier in the year, after Paul Hedren volunteered to put together the speakers for the year and knew I had a book on the way. I said "OK," even though I hadn't really done any public speaking at that point but figured I'd better get used to it.

Well, I've found out that I actually enjoy doing these talks! And Thursday was a fun one - I passed along info that my fellow Westerners hadn't heard about, and even got some laughs in places. Book sales were very good following the presentation, and I even picked up a speaking gig for November. Other members told me they were enjoying the book; one told me he was finished and looking forward to the next one (which I can hopefully get a good chunk of completed this winter).

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