DIY High

DIY High: On the plight of the Working Poor in Small Town America

Thursday, August 1st, I had the opportunity to present my very first formal book reading of my new novel, DIY High, at Ryburn Place, the former Sprague’s Super Service on Historic Route 66 in Bloomington, Illinois. If you’re ever in Central Illinois, USA – especially if you’re a Route 66 fan – Ryburn Place is a must-see!

Amanda L Webster read from her new novel, DIY High August 1st at Ryburn Place in Bloomington, Illinois
Amanda L Webster read from her new novel, DIY High, August 1st at Ryburn Place in Bloomington, Illinois.

Because I was speaking at a Route 66-themed venue, I tailored my talk to the location. The following is a transcript of portions of the presentation (minus introductions and other extraneous materials regarding the location and timing of refreshments at the event.) In addition to discussing modern life along Route 66, I also read a brief snippet from DIY High, which is also included below. Enjoy!

Working Poor Americans on Today’s Historic Route 66

DIY High isn’t about Route 66, but it does take place in a small town on this iconic highway. It is a small town, much like the central Illinois town where I live, with its busy truck stop and historic Route 66 tourist spots. The Paul Bunyan statue down the road in another town even makes a cameo appearance in this book. Continue reading “DIY High: On the plight of the Working Poor in Small Town America”

Biking, Illinois, Nature

Instagram stories: Life on the prairie

I like Instagram, but I’ve found that I don’t particularly enjoy following people I actually know. I’m friends with most of them on Facebook, and many of them automatically share their Instagram photos to Facebook (including myself). It gets old, after a while, seeing all the same photos twice. I have considered unfollowing all the people I know on Instagram and following only complete strangers.

Central Illinois prairie.
My latest Instagram posts are photos from a long bike ride out on the Central Illinois prairie. The corn is just now cropping up, but before I know it, I’ll be riding my bike through green canyons of corn.

Continue reading “Instagram stories: Life on the prairie”

Illinois, Travel

Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum, Part II

As promised, here is part two of my photos from the Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum in Funks Grove, Illinois. Yesterday, I shared several images from the house portion of the tour. Today, you get to see photos of part of one of the largest gem collections compiled by a single individual in the whole entire world.

 

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According to our tour guide, scholars from all over the world – including the Smithsonian! – have visited this collection and have told him that even they don’t have specimens of some of the things that you will see in this museum. And, unlike some of those other museums, this one has an array of rare items that they will allow you to touch, including a baby mammoth tooth! Continue reading “Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum, Part II”

Illinois, Travel

Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum, Part I

This weekend, I visited the Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum in Funks Grove, Illinois. It was a very interesting tour full of historical and scientific stories. What writer doesn’t love a tour that includes storytelling? I took almost 200 pictures while I was there. I wish I could share all of them with you, but that would make for a very long blog post. So today, I will share selected photos from the house tour portion of the tour, and tomorrow I will share pictures from the gem collection. Enjoy!

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Admission to the Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum is free. However, you do need to call in advance to schedule a tour. It is well worth the advance effort! Continue reading “Funk Prairie Home and Gem Museum, Part I”