Books that Inspired SONG OF COUNTY ROADS

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Mar 072012

Ginny Greene, author of Song of County Roads recently supplied information for use in securing wider distribution of the book.  Like most of Ginny’s writing, her lyrical rendition of what might have been a mundane list deserves a wider readership.

Gladys Taber and Hal Borland were my earliest heroes of inspiration, method and style – right after a long list of pioneer stories and horse stories I read early in life.

Gladys, because she and her girlhood friend, both widowed, were brave enough to leave the city and take their children to a Connecticut country life they all had to learn bit by piece.

Books: Still Cove Journal, Stillmeadow Calendar, The Stillmeadow Road, Stillmeadow Sampler, and many others, published by J.B. Lippincott.


And Borland, because he felt so strongly that even New York city dwellers needed a daily dose of peace in nature. He took them for a stroll in his New York Times untitled “outdoor editorials” for many years (1941 to 1978).

Books: Sundial of the Seasons, When the Legends Die, and many others.


And of course everything ever written by the poet Robert Frost.


Many other titles are similar to Song of County Roads, or they inspired me by their rural or wilderness or frontier content:

  • Sue Hubbell journaled A Country Year, and a book about bees and beekeeping.
  • Betty MacDonald wrote her story The Egg and I, which became a movie, with spin-offs of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories for children and the Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
  • Sylvia Jorrin wrote Sylvia’s Farm – the journal of an improbable shepherd, Bloomsbury, 2004
  • It’s Hard to Look Cool When Your Car’s Full of Sheep by Roger Pond
  • (It made me remember my old beater station wagon full of goat kids)
  • Bean Blossom Dreams – a city family’s search for a simple country life by Sallyann J. Murphey, Berkley Books, 1995
  • Rescuing Sprite, by Mark R. Levin (I know his dog better than his politics), Pocket Books, Div. of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2007
  • Enslaved by Ducks – How one man went from head of the household to bottom of the pecking order by Bob Tarte, Algonquin Books, 2003
  • The Women at Pine Creek by Allis McKay, the Macmillan Company, 1966
  • Still Life with Chickensstarting over in a house by the sea by Catherine Goldhammer, Hudson Street Press, Penguin, 2006
  • One wasn’t an adventure in nature exactly, but it certainly was an experiment in an adventure of lifestyle: A Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs, Simon & Schuster, 2007
  • The veterinary tales of James Herriott and the Pecos veterinarian Ben K. Green.
  • And always, the pioneer stories like those written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and O Pioneers by Willa Cather. Stories that preserved nostalgia as they preserved farmstead cheese, or skills and practices such as weaving, spinning and candle-making.
  • A Sand County Almanac – by early conservationist Aldo Leopold reads like poetry. Oxford University Press, Inc., 1949

One story I enjoyed so much was about a family who took responsibility for raptor rescue. Searching with a realtor for the perfect property in which to expand, they took with them a long list of preferences necessary for the comfort of eagles. Living quarters for themselves took a back seat, except that the mother bravely stuck in one requirement for family needs – two bathrooms.

  • More stories of commitment to earth’s creatures:
    • The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton, Simon & Schuster, 2008
    • A Hummingbird in My House by Arnette Heidcamp, Crown Publishers, 1990
    • Through Animals’ Eyes by Lynn Marie Cuny, University of North Texas Press, 2001

And then there is Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers – and Guideposts’ Their Mysterious Ways Too – my story about our family’s boxer puppy are in both!


Several of these books are on my own shelves. Add to that many more borrowed from the library and returned when finished, keeping for myself a memory and a fondness, but losing the title and author.


Ginny Greene

Ginny Greene

Ginny Greene likely arrived on Planet Earth with a blue pencil clutched in her fist. Past president of Abilene Writers Guild, her writing life includes years of newspaper lifestyle features, a newspaper column, and a handful of newsletters, including seven years editing the Guild’s newsletter. These days she is one of the four partners of Silver Boomer Books publishing company. For fun, Ginny writes poems and works crossword puzzles. She edits everything, even street signage, especially yard sale signs, even in her sleep. She’s happiest seeing her love of words spilled over to her children and grandchildren, including daughter, Karen, also a Silver Boomer Books editor. Ginny’s grandson’s essay is included in the junior writers section of the Silver Boomer Books anthology This Path, which constitutes a three- generation contribution to the book. Ginny still has ties to her Northwest hometown, but Texas is “home.”

That Year – This Year

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Jan 052012

Two thousand eleven was an eventful year for Silver Boomer Books. That, my reader, is the classic understatement. On the one hand – the positive one – we opened our physical office, published five great books, have agreements we’re working on with two guest anthology editors well-known in their fields and recognized on the subject of the anthologies. And then, again, another guest editor agreed to come aboard yesterday to help with at least one of the anthologies, so that makes three, not two. I’ve been on the radio three times in the last three weeks with a fourth tomorrow. We’re getting real readership on some of our books. The five books I’m pretty sure we’ll publish next year are strong contributions to the catalogue, and two more I’ve got exuberant hopes for – though they’re not even written.

On the other hand, we’ve had our issues, jointly and severally. Karen left at the beginning of 2011; sadly, Ginny has chosen to leave a year later. She’ll be devoting her time to writing in her own writing space – in Idaho. I’ve never been to Idaho. But maybe I’ll get there sometime. And she will spend the cold months down here in Texas, so that makes it less distant. Becky moved from Shreveport to St. Louis, and she’s had some distractions that made concentration on writing, editing, and publishing more difficult. And me? Besides leaving the courthouse after more than 30 years as a lawyer then a judge, I’ve found the full-time publishing office fits well, and I’m happy. I also left my house and husband, living in an apartment again, the first time in 35 years. And I became a grandmother – twice, the same day! How about that. I hear, though, it’s pretty common for Grandmoms of twins. And I’ve worked on wearing out my car, not just driving across Texas, but I’ve been to Michigan a couple of times, too, with more trips planned. It was a good year, balancing all on both hands.

We’re about to finish the fifth day of 2012. I’ve done a ton of work already, intend to plow through a whole regimen this month, and more in the months to come, to do everything in my power to do our great authors justice by getting their books out there and read. I’m excited about 2012. And scared. But I lived through 2011, happier than I could have believed I could be when I started it. If my world gets that much better in 2012, I just might explode. And you’ll hear the repercussions here – and hopefully around the world as we become real, as we find we really do have “potential.” Come with us!

An author, editor, and publisher with Silver Boomer Books, “Barbara B. Rollins” appears on thirteen books. Her most recent, A Cloud of Witnesses – Two Big Books and Us, written with OAStepper, matches each verse in the book of Hebrews with a quotation from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and responds in poetry and prayer. It is the sequel to A Time for Verse – Poetic Ponderings on Ecclesiastes which lacks the Big Book quotes. The six Silver Boomer Books anthologies are edited in part by Barbara, and she has a forensic crime solvers series for children from Capstone Press and the young adult novel,  Syncopated SummerA retired judge, Barbara still sits occasionally but more often sits in her car, going or coming from wherever she chooses.