Free Download Week for “Always Going”

Hello Friends and Followers! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA!

Today starts the 5 day free download for Gwen E Campbell’s book, “Always Going.” This is her autobiography from the ages of four to thirteen as she moved all over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and California. You can use this link: http://amzn.com/B00gw60pgk to access Amazon quickly.
As a favor I ask that if you like this book, if you would go back after reading it, or her last book Purse’averance, and leave a rating and comment. This is how we move forward as publishers in the great world of Amazon.

Many thanks to all of you!
Alexis Campbell Jansky
Solo Press II

“Always Going” an autobiography of Gwen Campbell

11/25/13
Hello Dear Friends and Followers!

We are proud to present the newest book by Gwen E Campbell, called “Always Going.”
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This is her autobiography as a child in Texas from 1937 to 1946: Experience this fascinating, humorous true story of a young, inquisitive girl as she encounters life over thousands of miles of southwest Texas, and Oklahoma and California. Discover small towns like Junction, Texas, in the 1940’s.

“There was no hurry, no violence, and no worry in Junction. Voices were not raised except at mules and dogs. Whatever anger, illness or sadness that resided below the surface only jumped out now and then, like a fish cleaving the surface of a smooth running river. One jump, one splash and it was gone into the deep once more. I used Junction like medicine…”

The following link will take you to her book on Amazon.com http://amzn.com/B00GW50PGK<a

The book will be free for your download between 11/29/13 and 12/3/13. Enjoy and share!

Catching “Genealogitis”!

Notes from Alexis: The first draft of EAB is done!! A day to remember!
11- 2-83

Dearest Lex,

I just wanted to tell you that I have caught a serious disease. It is called ‘Genealogitis.’ Or perhaps I should say ‘I’ve seriously caught it.’ Unfortunately I don’t believe it is catching. I don’t think going to a seminar would do it unless you have the germ already floating around in your brain.

Last Saturday was the most fun I’ve had in ages. I caught the bug, bought the book and joined the club. Hopefully the book will be here by Thanksgiving.

It’s a damn good thing I went because I found out that New Hampshire has the best records in the U.S. of A., going all the way back to 1640 or something like that. Having the town blow up and disappear won’t do it for EAB. So I came home and wrote the last two chapters and I believe you will be surprised at the ending.

So light a candle or something for the first draft of EAB is finished! Now what? Well of course I have to start rewriting it. Sure, I sit here knowing there are big holes in it and all kinds of things need to be done, and I’m all overcome with fear, dread and trembling.

But Lex, listen up, I’ve actually written the first draft of a book, a real sure nuff book! What a day, write November 1rst down as an important feast day.

Speaking of feast day (in the movies that is called (segue in). I have another big piece of news but wanted to soften you up first. Got a call from A. Friday saying, “Gwen, we’re ready to bail out,” what do you think about us coming to K.F.?” Then M. came on the line and said he had A. call, because he was too chicken.

He said he was sick of being poor. Where have I heard that before? So OK, now I have been saying, “Put a guardian angel with each one of them, God, and tell them what to do for they certainly don’t know.” They call me with that, so what can my response be but to send them some money and tell them to get down here.

They should be coming to your place in about a week. We’ll pause now for a 5 minute shudder. The thing is I’ve been helped and you’ve been helped, and we owe, so it looks like we’ll have to pay up. Just keep the kids in mind. We have to help them so they will help little J. Big J., of course is just floating on air. He is going to put out the word and see if he can get him a job and a house.

Dad is having palpitations. He doesn’t know how he will ever be able to support them, but I have faith. The F.s still have their guardian angels. Of course I may need another one myself before this is over, so start putting me in the light.

I will ‘F.-ise’ the house and take everything out of back bedroom, put J.’s old mattress back there, and all the kids can sleep on it. There may be room for the parents in the back bedroom too, or at least in Studio 1. I’m going to take down the loom and am looking for a sofa to put here in the front room.

Turkey day is still on and you and S. will come down and throw your sleeping bags on the floor! There is no use coddling him. He’ll get a taste of all of us–sink or swim. I mean if he can’t survive us, you’ll want to know that now. You don’t want a cream puff for God’s sake! It takes backbone and grit to get through such a thing, so we’ll test him. Perhaps we could package ‘it’ and sell it to NASA for astronaut training.

Always something brewing with Mom!

Love,
Mom

Rubus and Pruñus and all such good thoughts!

Notes from Alexis: “I can do my own talking thank you!” I have to laugh because we were/are both big talkers. I cannot deny that sometimes I think just like her.

10-12-83

Dearest Lex,

I planned, last night, to get right up this morning and write you, then I forgot until just now when I went outside and saw how beautiful everything is turning. It has been cold at night and until noon then it warms up to 60 or even 70, sometimes which presents all kinds of problems as I build a fire and then have to open all the windows to cool it off.

I am testing blackberries today and I feel all out of sorts, so is that the fault of the blackberries or any number of other things. One thing for sure and that is I really hate blackberries. I would rate them one half step behind strawberries. I have one more meal to gag down and that is it! Never again! So ‘why do you ask’ am I bothering to test them if I hate them, because I have this theory that they were the culprits in the first place. I looked them up in the plant book and my day didn’t become sunny and bright when I found out raspberries are also Rubus. I knew boysenberries were a cross between blackberries and something–loganberries I think, but I didn’t know raspberries were also Rubus. Now if I pop out from blackberries (or even if I don’t) I will test raspberries tomorrow. I also feel headachy. (Have you noticed that I have a wild ‘S’ that seems to want to pop into every word. (I have removed them) How does one tame an S? Gad, just one problem after another).

J. got a job as a guard at Weyerhaeuser. He is only working part time and usually graveyard or swing but he is thrilled. He has a uniform and hard hat. I hope it turns out permanent or until little J. can support him, whichever comes first.

Squirrely came out just now and is running over the wood pile. I have only seen him a time or two this summer but he has built himself an elaborate home out in the pasture.

Here is my latest beef. You know, when I tell someone I’m writing a book. I keep getting, “So is my girlfriend, brother, husband, etc.” It has the desired result of cutting me down to size and stopping the conversation dead, and putting the talk back with them, so they can hear something interesting.

I have started doing something I should have done years ago. There are people–all the C’s, PB, AB, ML,- -who interrupt every other word to stick in their own and now I say, “Please let me do my own talking.” If they persist, I get more emphatic. In other words I scream and stomp my feet. If there is anyone in the world able to do their own talking it is me! So obviously they have some other reason than incompetence on my part. Some reasons I can think of: (A) Gwen is boring (B) they are interesting (C) they are stupid. Which one do you think I’ve chosen as the correct answer?

I have been so irritated at people for their response to my saying ‘I’m writing a book,’ I’m sure it’s because I consider writing a book such an exalted endeavor. Then along came CH, and when he came up to get tomatoes he was just thrilled, he wanted to know if I was “really sure enough – writing a real sure enough book!” and then he said it was something he had always wanted to do but had never gotten down to it. So maybe there is the clue. The only ones who would be interested are the ones who want to write.

I have EAB down to a ‘countable few’- -say five or six- -chapters before I go back and start knitting it all together. I consider this first draft spinning, second is knitting or weaving, 3rd draft is sewing, and the final draft should be blocking and pressing. Of course there could be some embroidery on the finished piece.

I am going up to OIT Friday to a computer fair and pick up brochures, and then I am going to the County Clerk’s office to find out how one starts out to do genealogy. Am going to go to library and call The Genealogy Society. I have precious little interest in my own genealogy although at one time I was excited about it. However, Anna in EAB is interested in genealogy, and I have to know what she has to go through to find out things.

Have come up with a working title for Book Two–It is ‘Tangled Webs’ from the old saying “Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” This tickles me because weavers call all that thread business on the loom the web and many times it’s “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to weave.” God knows that linsey-woolsey was a tangled web.

Book two is also a tangled web. I have one chapter written and one cooking and some good names. It amuses me to write about the kind of fantasies people really do have–such as ‘what if I was adopted’ or ‘what if I was stolen by gypsies,’ of course in my case I was sorely disappointed that I wasn’t.

I dreamed the other night that you were trying to teach an Indian boy some kind of code on a computer. I was a little condescending but admitted you weren’t doing too bad with the teaching. I woke before I could remember the message. Too bad, it was probably of great significance. Do you suppose my subconscious is trying desperately to communicate with me?

Well, Rubus and Pruñus and all such good thoughts.

Love,
Mom

Verboten “Unmentionables”

Notes from Alexis: Well I never said another word to others, about her Unmentionables. Writers around the world can breathe deeply. 

10-5-83

Dearest Lex,

What we have here is Panic with a capitol P in Keno. When you wrote that your new friend is a writer and has a character named Willard your mother just about lost it. The very thought that you would be bandying about such names as characters, be it his or mine, sent me into a tailspin.

It has taken me 41 years to get to the point where I can discuss a work in progress and I jealously guard its life until it grows up and gets published. So talking about a writer’s work is a no-no especially to another writer. Now reality tells me that you, yourself, have a difficult time keeping track of the people in EAB so it seems logical a disinterested party would care less. Who is talking about reality and logic! We are talking about writers and writing and there is nothing real or logical about them.

I really don’t mind you discussing my work habits- -you know the notebooks and boxes etc. but characters and story lines are forbidden, verboten, unmentionable! I particularly don’t want to know verboten unmentionables. I want to be able to tell you things about my writing. I think it helps me considerably, but you must become a repository, a bank vault, an unimpeachable source. However, if they put burning bamboo under your fingernails then you can tell–otherwise no, a thousand times no!

See, you go along thinking you know someone and then a little thing like this crops up and you are faced not by your dear sweet old mother, but by a snarling stranger. My, life is just full of pitfalls. (Lovely word ‘pitfalls’–makes one stop and think doesn’t it and conjures up all sorts of things)

Have been writing like mad on EAB and then along comes one whole chapter on the ‘as-yet-unnamed book’ about God-only-knows-what, so I must stop and write it up before it gets away from me. I now have beginning and end of EAB, and am starting to think about middle. I have not wanted to tackle middle as I didn’t know what I was talking about, but decided not to let that stop me.

The logistics of EAB are getting huge- -having to keep track of every fact, name, date etc. is quite a chore. This morning started a card file to go with notebooks and will have to start notebook for the new book, too. Imagine me without a title!

Your picture touched me so. I love everything you do but some of them touch me deeply–Fat Woman Sculpture and now your Fence Flowers, for instance. Actually some of my own things do the same. Frameworks has not, but the quilted wall hangings have. Frameworks is more intellectual and the wall hangings come from deep, deep within.

Last Friday B. called and wanted to know if you were coming up that weekend and I said you hadn’t said so, but anything was possible. She gave me details of where she would be all week as she is leaving Friday to go God only knows where for a month. She wanted you to pick out your stitchery. I rather expected you might have written her that you were coming?  Have you noticed that all my dealings with B. Dear are total misunderstandings! I shall assume henceforth that anything said by the party of the first part to the party of the second part is ‘oompah.’ Maybe you can communicate with her but I cannot!

We will have sheep butchered Friday afternoon. They are pissed because Dad bought grass hay instead of alfalfa (of course that’s not why we are butchering them). Had a mild attack of hysteria after reading what I just wrote.

Lovely days we are having and I hope they stay until you come. Must rush to get this to PO before pick up time.  

All our Love, 

Mom

The Business of Analyzing and Answering to All

Notes from Alexis: The story of EAB is on the daily list of “To Do’s.” But gardening and preserving are running a tight second.

9-29-83
Dearest Lex,

Well it has been fun and games time again this past week. We picked more plums and froze three pints and dried 2 pints (about the same as freezing 6 pints). They are ripe and so sweet they can be eaten raw. We also canned 7 quarts of tomato juice, there are tomatoes lying all over the place.

Then yesterday my face began swelling again so I called Dr. H. and made an appointment for this morning. Went in and he gave me cortisone pills and something else to get rid of hives, and it is just now beginning to work. Of course, he also put me on elimination diet. It is very easy for me since I already don’t do ‘the don’t do’s’ and just have to alter one or two little things such as using safflower instead of sunflower.

I’m also lucky because of the time of year. Two of the vegies I can eat as much of as I want, are cauliflower and broccoli, and I have a ton of each. Cut three nice heads of cauliflower the other day and the garden is still making broccoli like mad. Asparagus is on the list and is available in the stores for some reason. Can’t imagine where they would be getting asparagus this time of year. Bought a turkey and will roast it today or tomorrow. We plan to get another small freezer and put it just inside the door of the pump house and butcher the lambs in a few days. So there you have the food portion of this day’s broadcast.

He said ‘no coffee’ and I said “no, YES coffee.” He got a little huffy like he does and said, “Well, you are the one with the hives, etc.” but I just smiled. If it proves to not be anything else I’ll consider coffee.

J. and P. loved your book as did I. It came at the exact moment when I had to laugh or else, and I sure did laugh. I tell you I have heard more ‘poopy & peepee’ stories since little J. was born, than I’ve heard in my previous 50 years. He is a cute lad but what a serious soul. He takes this baby business very seriously. I don’t think he has spent much time in his bed. The parents hold him all the time.

Even though I was swollen and had a headache, and I had to hold a wash cloth to my head, I still wrote two more chapters of EAB. I’m working on the ending. I dreamed last night that you read the book and cried and said it was a super book. I remembered that on the way to the doctor. It was just so real that I had forgotten it was a dream. I think that is a very hopeful sign, don’t you? Of course, what I am doing now, this first version, is just like an agenda, a plan of what I hope it will be about. Later I will go through and try to make it good, or better, or right, or whatever.

Are you ready for another marvelous coincidence?

I finally decided on a true love for Anna (in EAB) and you will be delighted to learn I have found someone tall, dark and handsome (no moustache). I think it is interesting that I always thought of him in terms of his occupation. Remember I mulled over a farmer, a veterinarian, detective, sailor, editor and finally found him as a professor at a teacher’s school.

I dreamed about him and know exactly how he looks and everything. So I began looking for a teacher’s school and there is one about 30 miles north of Wellman. It was there in 1960 and all of a sudden I had the whole thing–him and the ending.

His name is Ethan (his friends and family call him E). He is 40 years old which is 16 years older than Anna, but he can’t be any other age.

Now that I know how it is going to end, I can go back to Bainbridge and write the middle. The book will be in three parts: Range, Bainbridge and Wellman. There are a great many points I want to make, and this will allow me to do it.

When I told J. the night little J. was born that I was writing a book, he wanted to know if I was writing a paper back. Well, am I? I never know how to answer such things. What turns a person’s mind to such a question.

One of the things I have discovered and find amusing and exasperating is this: Everybody makes me account for everything I say. Every thought and every opinion has to be substantiated. If I like or dislike something it is always, “Why?” Of course I always have a reason and I don’t mind explaining, I just find it curious that this is so. However, that is well within my field of expertise–this business of analyzing and answering, and is of tremendous help with the writing. Are you called to account by everybody (not just me) for every opinion?

Will close for now and run mail this, and then get back to Wellman. You will love E., he has the most curious family.

Love,

Mom

Following the writer’s brain to a story line.

Notes from Alexis: She is working on the Disappearance of EAB, her soon to be first novel. It is fascinating to me what it takes to get the writer’s brain to find a story line.

9-23-83

Dearest Lex,

Well, today is warm and looks to be an Indian summer after several days of fires in the morning. Got a letter from A. and I can’t figure how those folks are getting by, and it all gives me the willys.

Had my luncheon with L. and there was not one thing wrong with it. We went to library, and the Stevens Hotel has opened up again and she wanted to eat there, and then went to banks and Duffy’s. So why do I feel as if I have been run through a knot hole? This business of associating with people that you haven’t one thing in common and no deep affection is so tiring. The older I get the less patience I have for manufactured friendships.

This past month has tired me and that’s a fact. I can’t quite decide how to cure me. Have some tomatoes to can and have a new apple pie recipe I’m dying to try, but I’ll tell you the truth all my get up and go, got up and went.

Shall I tell you about EAB? Well, first off I decided Wendell would not go to Dartmouth which was the college in N.H. he probably would have gone to. Then I found a book about Dartmouth and changed my mind. Until World War I, it might have been OK but certainly not later. They were the fourth largest medical school in U.S., and one of his ancestors, his great-uncle Harleson was a doctor and went to Dartmouth (class of 1836 I think).

So then I found out Dartmouth didn’t and doesn’t have a school of pharmacy, which meant William and Wendell would have had to go someplace else, and I just got mad. It really upset me because I had assumed I could go to the library and just check out a book on the history of pharmacy. Well I couldn’t, but by poking about a bit I found an address to write to about licensing and so forth and the name of a school in Boston came up.

Now I really feel much better because it seems to me that Wendell is much more the Boston pharmacy school type than the Dartmouth type, so why did I get upset? The thing is this whole book is just working out so neat.

I went out to the Worden cemetery and then stopped at the Keno cemetery and came back and wrote it up. So lucky I did because I could see so plainly that the physical lay of the land is almost identical to Wellman and it was easy for me to get it clear in my head.

Have changed my mind about the ending, last night I dreamed about the ending and will have to get it written down so I can start working it up.

I am going to look at typewriters today. I am haunted by the Kay-Pro Word Processor and am going to send for a couple of books about word processors so I can investigate further.

So how have you been? And D. and did she start school? I like a little more substance in letters. I like details. You seem to think I’m not interested in things like that but surely you can see from my letters to you that I do. I suppose you cast about in your mind for something that you think would interest me, and discard most of them. Write all the discards. From them I will weave a tale.Love, Mom