Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Serendipity of Research and Writing

Last weekend my family went to Canon City to see our friend, western singer Barry Ward, perform in concert. Barry is a wonderful musician and singer and we had a great time. A local group, Saddle Strings, opened for Barry. During their performance, the lead singer, Dave, mentioned he lives in Howard and runs Bandera's Bunkhouse, where they have cabins and a motel along the Arkansas River. After the concert, I asked Dave if he had heard the story of the cattle rustlers in the Howard area in the 1880's. Not only had he heard the story, Dave told me he could take me to the gulch where the cattle rustlers (Watkins and Christison) butchered the stolen cattle!

Serendipity: "The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for." (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary)

When I told Barry what had happened, he said, "You were meant to be here tonight!" I e-mailed my writer friend,
Dianne Butts, about it when I got home and wrote, "Can you believe it?" She replied, "Yes, I can believe you found more people to take you further on your book-writing journey. You know why? Because stuff like that ALWAYS happens to you!!! THAT'S what I can't believe!"

For those of you who follow Colorado Reflections, you know this to be true. More often than not, the great finds and contacts I've made have not been diligently searched for, but have been surprises I found when least expecting them.

A few examples:

Photograph of Wilburn and Elizabeth Christison

You Never Know - Discovering a cousin who worked in the same library district as I do

Lynn Monroy, Graphologist - Coming into contact with a woman who does handwriting analysis

Black Mountain - Contacted by a Mulock Descendant

Writing a book is a journey and one that I am enjoying moment by moment. I am reminded of what author
Jane Kirkpatrick told me: "The story wants to be told and will find ways to reveal itself to you." Sometimes I want to rush to finish the book, but I know it will be done at the proper time as the story makes itself known to me.


Jan Verhoeff said...

Awesome story there, Gayle. I know things like that happen, they happen to me too. I'm always in shock when I fall into the next step of some project I'm working on. The payoffs are always good!

Keep trusting, the story will come.

Gayle Gresham said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jan!

~Cheryl said...

I have enjoyed reading your posts. You have a wonderful way with words!

Gayle Gresham said...

Thanks, Cheryl! Keep coming back!

Sue said...

That's so incredible and exciting! Just gives me chills! I truly hope we can get together when you come to NC in May. Haven't seen your Mom lately-haven't been to church-battling sinus & RA, but I'll try to keep up with when you're coming. Maybe drop me a post on the blog. Now I have something to look forward too (besides school getting out June 9!).

Gayle Gresham said...

Sue, read the post I just added today - probably while you were reading this one. It's exciting, too!

Looking forward to seeing you!