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10:35 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Author offers free writing workshop at D-H gathering

Courtesy photo<br>
Amy Auker will be a featured speaker at the Dewey-Humboldt Cowboy Gathering June 22.

Courtesy photo<br> Amy Auker will be a featured speaker at the Dewey-Humboldt Cowboy Gathering June 22.

Amy Auker believes that sitting in an office will not make one a great writer.

"We all think we have to have time to write. Time is important, but if we are not living, if we are not getting out there, listening and paying attention, then what do we have to write about?" she said.

Auker is one of several free workshops offered Saturday, June 22, during the Dewey-Humboldt Cowboy Gathering and Western Heritage Festival, which takes place over three days, June 21-23.

Saturday's workshops run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Humboldt Elementary School and include Auker's writing workshop at 10 a.m., Trick Roping with Vic Anderson at 11 a.m., Saddle Making and Leather Crafting with Jon and Jon-Allen Martin at noon, Yavapai Tribal History with Frieda Eswonia at 1 p.m., Old-time Ranching with Chino Valley cowboy Joe Briggs at 2 p.m., and Fabric Spinning with Gisela Gminder at 3 p.m.

Auker's first book, Rightful Place, contains essays about her life as the wife of a cowboy rancher, cooking for Texas ranch hands, raising two children, and loving the land and life. Living in Arizona for nearly five years now, she is married to Gail Steiger, cowboy poet who will be performing Friday night (see schedule).

Auker has a second book, a novel called Winter of Beauty, due out in late September.

"A lot of people are daunted by writing. They don't know how to begin. So I tell them to give yourself six sentences and we will go from there," Auker said.

She said she uses this idea of distilling the idea down to its very essence in her poetry, scenes in a work of fiction, and her essays.

"If you don't have six sentences of things to write about each day, you need to be out there. Go outside and write about the broccoli in the garden that's bolting, count how many ladybugs on the spinach leaves. You have to get outdoors if you have nothing to write about."

For workshop times and more information, call 928-499-9862 or e-mail AZHorseWriter@aol.com.