Monday, October 21, 2013

Slices of America's Pie - Accepted for Publication



Slices of America’s Pie, a story about my successful attempt to visit each of the 3,076 counties or parishes in the United States, has been accepted by my publisher and hopefully will be available in mid-to-late 2014.  Slices of America’s Pie is made up of short stories written about one memorable county in each of the 50 states.  The quest to visit all these places ended on May 30, 2000, when I entered Deschutes County in central Oregon. It was my final county and a most fitting way to end the journey. (The Deschutes County sign at the start of this story will also serve as the front page artwork for the book).

This will be the 8th book I have published and the fourth one about travel. 

Following is a synopsis of Slices of America’s Pie as it will likely appear on the back cover of the book.


A simple question posed on a moonlit Wisconsin summer night sent author Craig Faanes on a journey.  Tens of thousands of miles later the journey ended on a highway in central Oregon when he had visited every county in the United States.  Where most people are content to visit all 50 states, Faanes took the challenge one step further and visited every county in each of the 50 states.  His travels provided an intimate glimpse into the foibles and faults and funny characters making up the core of the United States.


This story began in the 1950s when everyone knew their neighbor and when you could leave a car on the street with the keys in the ignition and fully expect it to still be there when you returned.  It ends in the 21st century when the probity of earlier days is more difficult to find.  This series of short stories reveals that, despite its sometimes mercurial nature, America’s innocence can still be discovered whether it’s a baffled woman at a Jimmy Buffett concert on Waikiki Beach, or a recently-enlightened Lion’s Club member in Palco, Kansas, or Bonnie the waitress with her bouffant hair do at a truck stop near Cuba, Alabama.  The only requirement is a desire to seek out what lies beyond your backyard fence.

The chapters in the book and their titles follow:

Chapter Titles in Slices of America’s Pie

Chapter
Topic/State
County
Chapter Title
1
Introduction

How It Began
2
Alabama
Sumter
Black-eyed Peas for Lunch
3
Alaska
Northwest  
Staring Down a Moose
4
Arizona
Cochise
Looking for Trogons with Jennifer
5
Arkansas
Monroe
A Special River Runs Through It
6
California
Monterey
“What Are You Doing to Those Sea Otters?”
7
Colorado
Jefferson
When A Leader Can’t Be Trusted
8
Connecticut
New London
A Tropical Outpost on a Connecticut River
9
Delaware
Kent
Bombay Hook Isn’t In India
10
Florida
Monroe
If They Shoot, Shoot Back
11
Georgia
Clark
What Language Are You Speaking?
12
Hawaii
Oahu
The Best Buffett Concert Ever
13
Idaho
Lemhi
Two Million Acres of Wilderness
14
Illinois
Pulaski
A Safe Haven for Venomous Snakes
15
Indiana
Montgomery
Fossil Hunting in Crawfordsville
16
Iowa
Des Moines
Walking in Aldo Leopold’s Footsteps
17
Kansas
Rooks
A Meeting of the Palco Lions Club
18
Kentucky
Muhlenberg
Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train
19
Louisiana
Lafayette
The Gator Cove
20
Maine
Washington
Barna Norton’s Puffins
21
Maryland
Somerset
See It Before It’s Gone
22
Massachusetts
Dukes
Is Carly Simon On The Island?
23
Michigan
Keweenaw
Wolves and Moose and a Great Lakes Island
24
Minnesota
Hennepin
When WCCO Radio Ruled the Upper Midwest
25
Mississippi
Jackson
The Pascagoula Run
26
Missouri
Greene
A Baseball Game in the Ozarks
27
Montana
Gallatin
Hunting the Elusive Wapiti
28
Nebraska
Hall
Tornado Warning!
29
Nevada
Elko
On Top of the Ruby Mountains
30
New Hampshire
Coos
This Car Climbed Mount Washington
31
New Jersey
Cape May
The Marshes of Avalon
32
New Mexico
Hidalgo
The Mexican Mountains of New Mexico
33
New York
New York
An Irrational Fear of a City
34
North Carolina
New Hanover
My First Time on the Ocean
35
North Dakota
Stutsman
Tranquility Wrapped in Prairie Grasses
36
Ohio
Portage
Never Forget Kent State
37
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
In the Aftermath of Timothy McVeigh
38
Oregon
Deschutes
The End of the Quest
39
Pennsylvania
Delaware
An Urban Center for Environmental Education
40
Rhode Island
Washington
The Clam Diggers of Point Judith Pond
41
South Carolina
Berkeley
Where the Northern War Began
42
South Dakota
Harding
“We’re All Going to Die” 
43
Tennessee
Moore
The Dry Home of Gentleman Jack
44
Texas
Hidalgo
The Potential Energy of Dwight Lee
45
Utah
San Juan
Monkey Wrenching With Hayduke
46
Vermont
Essex
The Northeast Wilderness
47
Virginia
Arlington
Riding the Orange Line
48
Washington
San Juan
Where Killer Whales are Guaranteed
49
West Virginia
Cabell
A Wild Plane Ride from Pittsburgh
50
Wisconsin
Pierce
On The Banks of the South Fork
51
Wyoming
Teton
The Otters of Teton Marsh

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