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  • Writer's pictureLaura Bray

My Very Favorite Inscription

Harrigan's inscription

After attending the Boerne Book and Arts Festival, Stephen Harrigan @stephenharrigan took his “Big Wonderful Thing” to the Book and Author Luncheon in San Antonio last October.

Before the actual luncheon, we meandered around the ballroom where the San Antonio Cancer Council sold books by the participating authors. I already, of course, had “Big Wonderful Thing,” so I bought two of his other titles (“Remember Ben Clayton” and “The Gates of the Alamo”).

After returning home with my copy of “Big,” I had skipped ahead to the section where he covered the New London School Explosion. It was very well written (“It launched her into the sky where, before losing consciousness, she gazed down in shock-filled wonder at the unfathomable commotion below”). I thought I could tell, from my own research, what his primary research source was. (“Gone at 3:17,” and I was right.)

At the Boerne event, I was too scared to mention that I was working on a novel of my own. But he is very personable, and on the drive into San Antonio, I screwed up my courage.

I handed him my two books, and he kindly remembered me from the Boerne event just a few days earlier. I took a deep breath and said, “I’m working on a novel of my own, about the New London School Explosion,” I said. “I’d love to read it,” he replied. (Near-faint, but I recovered.) And then he inscribed my second book (see photo above). BTW, it says "With best wishes for your own novel."

A picture of this inscription sits near my writing desk. I’m hopeful it will provide inspiration as I move through the difficult work of revision.

Order your copy of Through Layered Limestone: a Texas Hill Country anthology of place today.

That’s all she wrote……Laura

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