December 11, 2011

Steven Womack-Wyoming, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Wind and Food

First, I must confess, I’ve never really blogged before, but I’m giving this a go. I hear the money’s good. I’m going to write a little about me and my writing efforts, and also about the state where I live, and where most of you have never been, the beautiful but windy WYOMING. I hope you enjoy my comments, and feel free to contact me anytime.

  A few years ago I did an interview with FALLEN ANGEL REVIEWS, and you can find it on the Home Page of my . It is the more serious side of me, but I also have a Monty Python-ish sense of humor too, often lost on the un-initiated. I would have loved to have personally known the late former Beatle George Harrison, a great fan of Monty Python, because of his sense of humor and wry look at the wacky world we live in. I may have asked him a question or two about his three band mate’s music too. Speaking of the Beatles, I am a huge Beatles fan from “day one” when they came to America in 1964 (probably before you were born) and their music is engrained in my DNA. I even somehow managed to talk my then-girlfriend into getting married in Central Park on the IMAGINE circle on John and Yoko’s twentieth wedding anniversary. It was 37 degrees in March and my bride wore an off-the-shoulder wedding dress. There were about a hundred New Yorkers watching as the minister married us in Strawberry Field, the section in Central Park where the IMAGINE circle is, and they applauded afterwards, which was pretty cool. I managed to visit the area last year when I went to a Yankees game with my brother Bob and his kids, and I was amazed at how much the trees and bushes had grown around the IMAGINE circle in the twenty years plus from that cold March morning. I glanced over at the Dakotas building where John and Yoko lived, and I could almost see them walking down the sidewalk, hand in hand      I love to write, but alas, I love to self-edit even more, so my novel CYCLOPEAN RESCUE, set in the 23rd century, took ten years and ten re-writes to complete before I was happy enough with the results. It is a character-driven piece wrapped as a science fiction thriller, and of course the main character is a big Beatles fan. Although I live in Wyoming now, I am a native Hoosier, and I was pleased when Butler University made it to the NCAA Basketball Championship game, since that’s where my main character in CYCLOPEAN RESUCE graduates from in, oh, about 200 years. I remember going to Butler for high school basketball tournaments when I was a kid, even though I lived 100 miles away. I am a proud Hoosier and especially love the COLTS (Payton Manning is awesome), and of course the Indianapolis 500, which I am attending again in March 2011 with brother Bob. Go Danica!
            I’m working on a fantasy novel now, using my real life teenage daughter as my main character (much to her great annoyance), and surprise, surprise, it’s going slowly, thanks to that “self-edit” thing.
Oh, sorry, I’m supposed to write about where I live, not where my heart is, and so I return to beautiful Wyoming. Wife Debi and I moved here in 1998, with our three young kids, and it was a great decision because this is a good place to raise a family. We live in the middle of the state in a town called Casper, with a population of about 65,000, named after Caspar Collins. Yes, the educated founders of Casper couldn’t quite get the spelling of his name right, so “Caspar” became “Casper.” Caspar Collins was not very lucky. He was a Lieutenant in the US Cavalry stationed near what became Casper, and his father was his commanding office. Dad gave son a severe “dressing down” before the rest of the Troopers because the kid broke some trivial rules, and Caspar, in a huff, went out with a couple other Troopers looking for Indians to “show the old man.” They found Indians, all right, lots of them, and managed to get themselves killed. Dad (Ft Collins, Colorado is named after him, by the way) was broken hearted and retired in grief back to his native Ohio. Fathers and Sons, always an issue… hey, that happens to be one of the themes of my wonderful novel CYCLOPEAN RESCUE, which you can buy at Amazon Kindle at an amazing low, low price.  Wow, if you’ve gotten a Kindle or the incredibly sky-high priced IPad for Christmas, don’t you want to make CYCLOPEAN RESCUE one of your first books in your new ebook library?
            OK, I have the obligatory self-promotion out of the way. That was kind of painful. Where was I? Oh, yeah, Wyoming. We’re actually classified as a “high plains desert” and we have very little rainfall. Not the feet and feet of snow most people think of as Wyoming, that almost never happens, except way up in the mountains, and certainly Casper has lots less snow than my native Indiana.
            But boy, have we got WIND. About nine months a year the wind howls its fury, as much as any other place on earth, and I’m tempting to say it sucks too, but I’m not sure that’s how wind works. But anyway, the wind is very annoying, and does lots of property damage, closes highways, causes depression, and even, alas, gets people killed sometimes by blowing their vehicles off the roads. UGH!
            But in the summertime, Wyoming is the BEST place to live in the world. But please don’t tell anyone, especially Californians, or they’ll all be moving here and pretty soon our taxes will skyrocket and our politicians will turn really strange and spend us into oblivion. Where was I, Oh yes, the summers here are often very warm, 80s and 90s, but those vicious winds become gentle cooling breezes and the almost zero humidity makes the summer days awesome. Since we are a mile high in elevation here in Casper, once in a while the summer nights will get all mountain-ish and turn cold, but it makes for a nice change. All in all, perfect summer days and nights.
            So if you can, please come, unless you’re from California, because if you’re from California, you’ll be all depressed when you learn that here in Wyoming we have very low taxes, low crime, a balanced state budget, and affordable housing. When you do visit Casper, be sure to have lunch at my favorite place to eat, a jewel called the Cottage Café, at 116 S Lincoln (307-234-1157). They have a wonderful, slightly eclectic lunch menu and the food is always fresh and delicious (the Tequila Lime Chicken Soup in incredible, and I wish I had some RIGHT now), and the setting in an old converted house is well served by bustling waitresses in a fast paced but friendly environment. Fine dining and great food is my passion, and I urge you to pass up the usual assembly-line food chains, and have lunch at the Cottage Café in Casper, Wyoming (unless it’s Monday, when they close). Here’s a link for their wonderful menu:
            OK, that’s about it. This blog thing was supposed to be no more than 100 words. How’d I do? Maybe I should summarize, and the blog editor can use that instead of the above, so here goes: I wrote a book, took me ten years, it’s fantastic, buy it at Amazon Kindle. I love the Beatles, so does my main character in the fantastic book that took me ten years to write. I’m working on a new book, a fantasy with a teenage girl as the main character, and you should be able to buy it in oh, about the year 2021. I’m a native Hoosier that loves all things Indiana, but somehow I found myself and the family in Wyoming, a great place to raise a family, where there’s NOT much snow, lots of WIND, an unlucky Lieutenant with a grouchy dad, great housing prices, low taxes, balanced budget, all a secret that must be kept from Californians, and a great place to eat lunch called the Cottage Café. How’s that? Thanks! The end!


  1. I can imagine myself living in Wyoming; especially without humidity. I loved the post about your life and new book. I think my granddaughter would love a copy for Christmas. Best of luck!

  2. Steve, I didn't know anything about Wyoming and now I want to move there. It sounds perfect. How are housing prices? Well, I was around for the Beatles and thought no one ever compared. Maybe this can start a rock war on your first blog.

  3. I grew up in Wyoming (way north of Casper), but have been to Casper on school events. Yeah, wind. Lots of it. LOL! I LOVE Wyoming and have to agree, stay away if you love to tax, cause we like our State the way it is! LOL! Congrats on the book! (I grew up with Beatle love, too. We watched them on the Ed Sullivan show. Couldn't hear anything because of the screaming fans.)

  4. Great job for a first blog, Steven. We learn something about your background, your book and even some things most of us wouldn't know about Wyoming.

  5. I have been to Wyoming. I have visited most of the states. They are so unique and varied. Thanks so much for sharing. Great blog post.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  6. Having visited WY, I am envious of anyone who lives there or gets to visit often. Since I'm in North Carolina, I've only been once, but I do plan to return. What an adventure! When my husband and I spent the night in Casper, a tornado came very close to our hotel. We had to leave our second floor room and hunker in a downstairs bathroom! Scary! The next day, we drove through snow showers to the South Gate of Yellowstone. Interesting weather to say the least.
    Wyoming is beautiful. We loved Cody too, and I didn't get to Jackson Hole, but plan to ge there on the next trip west. Thanks for a great blog, and best wishes with your writing! Merry Christmas to all y'all!

  7. I'm originally from Montana, so I can identify with living in Wyoming! Loved your story about your wedding. Your wife is a courageous woman!

  8. Great blog post Steven. Nice to get yo know you and the State of Wyoming, a little better. From one "Paperback writer..." to another. It made me feel, "Glad all over..."

  9. Loved that humerous look at the world of Steven W. Yes, the final summary paragraph did meet the parameters of the blog...but who cares, the rest was great. Well, I guess your teenage daughter isn't too happy, but then that goes with the territory. Thanks.

  10. Enjoyed your sense of humor! Thanks for sharing more about your beautiful state and your books!

  11. Not sure if I am suppose to post here for the blog hop but here goes. Happy Holidays!


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