Western writer Teresa Jordan refers to her collection of essays and stories "How To Train a Goldfish and Other Stories From the Open Road" as a world in a grain of sand.
"These essays and stories are very small things," she said. "They're an entire world at play and very compelling."
Jordan's free presentation will take place on Thursday, April 28, at 6 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey. It is sponsored by College of Southern Idaho and the Idaho Commission on the Arts' Tumblewords program.
Jordan, author of the contemporary Western classic "Riding the White Horse Home," will share her storytelling charm and her works-in-progress, including a writing project, "The Year of Living Virtuously (Weekends Off)." It is a blog inspired by Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues and the seven deadly sins.
"As a writer in a blog, you have a conversation going on," she said. "Writing has always been a conversation for me. I take a lot of notes out of books, and while reading I'm having a conversation."
Jordan said Franklin would have been our first blogger and a blogging superstar.
"I've always been fascinated by Franklin," she said. "I have such affection for him. He has a gregarious love of communication. He's is a founding father of our country and his brilliance on what would make a nation work involved understanding people coming from different viewpoints."
Jordan read Franklin's autobiography and used it as a trigger idea for writing. She said it intrigued her how virtue and vice play out in everyday lives.
Jordan was raised on a cattle ranch in the Iron Mountain country of southeast Wyoming. She has written seven books about Western rural life, culture and the environment. This includes the memoir "Riding the White Horse Home" and the historical study "Cowgirls: Women of the American West." She is the recipient of several literary awards and has regaled audiences from the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering to the Conference on World Affairs.
In addition to Jordan's reading, several CSI students and friends will give a reading of flash fiction—very short, a page or less, but powerful prose pieces.
The flash fiction writing group has been working on pieces for the past year around the theme of "reinvent yourself" as part of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the CSI Blaine County Center. The group has worked under the direction of Lee Stoops, a graduate student in the Antioch University creative writing program.
"The flash fiction writing group has produced fabulous work over the past several months—great, funny and poignant insights into our local culture and individual psyches," said Jenny Emery Davidson, director of the CSI Blaine County Center. "I'm eager for our local community to hear from these emerging local writers as well as from Jordan, who is one of the rural West's preeminent voices."
The community talk is held in conjunction with a symposium for high school and college English teachers from around the state, "Passports and Passages: Writing as a Bridge Between High School, College and the World."
For details, call 788-2033 or visit www.csi.edu/blaine.
Sabina Dana Plasse: firstname.lastname@example.org