My latest book, ‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend,’ is nearing publication. This past week Creative Texts Publishers made contact and said they had one more book to go. After that, their part of the process for ‘Out There’ would begin.
Creative Texts is an up and coming company, lean and aggressive and with a reputation of picking out good writers and good books. Over the last five years or so, they have had 100 percent profit growth. That, along with some other reasons, was why I was so pleased to sign a long term, multi-book contract with them. They have first refusal on anything I write, and it did not take them long to decide they wanted ‘Out There.’
As we near the time to put a new book on the shelves, I want to thank each of you, my readers, for your continuing kind words and encouragement. A man can write his heart out but unless he has someone who appreciates his efforts, it is all for naught. Some have asked me if I respond to every single comment made about my writing on social media. I tell them that I try, because those are the people I work for.
Most might say that one of my strongest suits are my in-person book tours and signings. Unfortunately due to this Covid scare, those sort of events are not happening. So I am pushing harder in my social media to get the word out. It is not like visiting in person with all of you as I would prefer, but it is my best tool in the box for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, I am coming to you with a request: If you have read my two prior books, ‘Yonderings’ and ‘Destiny’s Way’ and liked what you saw, please consider leaving a note or review with whomever you purchased your copy from. It does not have to be anything too detailed, just let them know you liked it and would recommend my work to others. Or if you enjoy my posts on Facebook or my webpage, steer someone else my direction who you think might enjoy the photos and articles too.
In this book gig, name recognition among distributors and sellers is one of the big ways to have a leg up from the start. There is a lot of paid advertising in this business, far more than what most folks might realize. But I still tend to believe the truest, best advertising to be had in any business is a satisfied customer who will spread the word. You are my customers.
Now that I have gotten that said, on to the photograph I chose for this post. This is known as Rough Spring, which sits about a mile and a half north by northeast of Pulliam Bluff in the Chisos Mountains. Most people, including many park rangers, have not a clue to its existence. From three of the four major points on the compass, you can’t even see the spring until you are mere yards away.
At present, anyone can tell you that we are having a real dry spell in this part of Texas. Some might term it a drought, but I was brought up to not use that word until the greasewood, mesquite and prickly pear starts dying. It’s kind of like cursing yourself to do so, as it only seems to bring worse circumstances upon one’s head.
Yet Rough Spring, be it dry spell or drought, still has good water in ample amounts. The stream eases out from under a solid sheet of rock and goes on for several feet before going underground again, feeding cottonwoods and ranging wildlife along the way. There was plenty of black bear sign, too, including young persimmon trees that had been broken in half and numerous ready-made natural shelters. Tracks and bruin scat littered the floor of the little canyon.
This was along part of a loop I covered this week, starting from near the Croton Peak campground all the way to the base of Pulliam Bluff and back again. I figured it to be a little over fifteen miles, and with thirty-five pounds of pack and gear, it was a prowl to stretch your legs over. Most of that weight was water by the way, two gallons worth on a day that hit a hundred degrees for several hours.
Please consider this photo and written description as a small token of my esteem and appreciation for each of you, my loyal base who has given me so much support. You see, though I usually make these trips in solo fashion I am never completely alone.
For in a way, you are walking right along with me.
God bless to all,
Ben H. English
Author of ‘Yonderings’ (TCU Press)
‘Destiny’s Way’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
Facebook: Ben H. English
‘Graying but still game’
Front Street Books
Creative Texts Publishers
Crockett County Public Library
Medina Community Library
The Twig Book Shop
Old Town Books
The Boerne Bookshop
Hill Country Books
Marta Powell Stafford
Lone Star Literary Life