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Down on the Farm with Sue Glasco

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Down on the Farm. was written from 1962 into 1966 as a weekly newspaper  column first called "Just a Housewife" and then changed to "A Widening Circle."
 
Patti Wittam wrote:  "Inviting writing style that makes me feel part of the family.  Especially enjoyable to me who grew up in the same time period.  Love the journal-type style of writing."

Some of My Favorite Authors
 
Because I believe everyone's story is worthy of being written down and shared with others, I am especially delighted with the work of local authors.  I am pleased with them all.  I shan't try to play favorites.
 
However, many people know my favorite local poet as I was growing up was Ben H. Smith of rural Jonesboro, whose column "Where the Hills Slope Upward"  inspired me and many other people.
 
Other favorite writers (not local) include Jesse Stuart, John Steinbeck, Oliver Sacks, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Madeleine L'Engle, Miss Read, Jan Karon.  I'll probably have to come back and add more.  I have never tried to do a list like this before!
 
Some special children's authors are Peter Catalanotto, Cynthia Rylant, Patricia Polacco, and Maud Hart Lovelace.

An American Missionary Saves Lives in World War II

A wonderful surprise came when  a new book arrived at Woodsong from my friend Dr. Hua-Ling Hu, who moved from Southern Illinois to Colorado.   Hu is also the author of American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin. 
 
This new book The Undaunted Women of Nanking: The Wartime Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and Tsen Shui-fang is edited and translated by Hu and Zhang Lian-hong.  It is published by Southern Illinois University Press as was the first book.
 
An Illinois missionary to China, Minnie Vautrin stood up to the Japanese soldiers and their bayonets during the military occupation of Nanking, China.  I only learned about her from Hu's first book, and I am eager to learn about her Chinese assistant and trained nurse Tsen Shui-fang in this new book. This new book is the first translation and publication in English of her diary. 
 
It is estimated that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by the Japanese soldiers during the occupation.  Between 20,000 to 80,000 women were raped.  Despite Vautrin's and Shui-fang's exhaustion from turning their college into a refugee camp and protecting more than l0,000 women and children, both women kept diaries during this time.  Shui-fang's diary is the only know daily account by a Chinese national during this terrible time.
 
Co-editor Zhang Lian-hong  is   professor of history and chairman of the Center for Studies on the Nanking Massacre of Nanking Normal University as well as associate chairman of the Modern  Chinese Historical Society of Kiangsu Province and Nanking Historical Society.  He has co-authored or co-edited seven books published in Chinese.    
 
Books abound at Woodsong, and I am always behind in reading all I want to read. But I am especially eager to read the stories of these two women written under great pressure  as they faced evil and saved so many lives. Edit TextA wonderful surprise came in the mail the other day:  a new book by my friend Dr. Hua-Ling Hu, who is soon moving back to Southern Illinois from Colorado.   Hu is also the author ofAmerican Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin. 
 
This new book The Undaunted Women of Nanking: The Wartime Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and Tsen Shui-fang is edited and translated by Hu and Zhang Lian-hong.  It is published by Southern Illinois University Press as was the first book.
 
An Illinois missionary to China, Minnie Vautring stood up to the Japanese soldiers and their bayonets during the military occupation of Nanking, China.  I only learned about her from Hu's first book, and I am eager to learn about her Chinese assistant and trained nurse Tsen Shui-fang in this new book. This new book is the first translation and publication in English of her diary. 
 
It is estimated that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by the Japanese soldiers during the occupation.  Between 20,000 to 80,000 women were raped.  Despite Vautrin's and Shui-fang's exhaustion from turning their college into a refugee camp and protecting more than l0,000 women and children, both women kept diaries during this time.  Shui-fang's diary is the only know daily account by a Chinese national during this terrible time.
 
Co-editor Zhang Lian-hong  is   professor of history and chairman of the Center for Studies on the Nanjing Massacre of Nanjng Normal University as well as associate chairman of the Modern  Chinese Historical Society of Kiangsu Province and Nanjing Historical Society.  He has co-authored or co-edited seven books published in Chinese.    
 
Books abound at Woodsong, and I am always behind in reading all I want to read. But I am especially eager to read the stories of these two women written under great pressure  as they faced evil and saved so many lives. Edit TextA wonderful surprise came in the mail the other day:  a new book by my friend Dr. Hua-Ling Hu, who is soon moving back to Southern Illinois from Colorado.   Hu is also the author ofAmerican Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin. 
 
This new book The Undaunted Women of Nanking: The Wartime Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and Tsen Shui-fang is edited and translated by Hu and Zhang Lian-hong.  It is published by Southern Illinois University Press as was the first book.
 
An Illinois missionary to China, Minnie Vautring stood up to the Japanese soldiers and their bayonets during the military occupation of Nanking, China.  I only learned about her from Hu's first book, and I am eager to learn about her Chinese assistant and trained nurse Tsen Shui-fang in this new book. This new book is the first translation and publication in English of her diary. 
 
It is estimated that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by the Japanese soldiers during the occupation.  Between 20,000 to 80,000 women were raped.  Despite Vautrin's and Shui-fang's exhaustion from turning their college into a refugee camp and protecting more than l0,000 women and children, both women kept diaries during this time.  Shui-fang's diary is the only know daily account by a Chinese national during this terrible time.
 
Co-editor Zhang Lian-hong  is   professor of history and chairman of the Center for Studies on the Nanjing Massacre of Nanjng Normal University as well as associate chairman of the Modern  Chinese Historical Society of Kiangsu Province and Nanjing Historical Society.  He has co-authored or co-edited seven books published in Chinese.    
 
Books abound at Woodsong, and I am always behind in reading all I want to read. But I am especially eager to read the stories of these two women written under great pressure  as they faced evil and saved so many lives. Edit TextA wonderful surprise came in the mail the other day:  a new book by my friend Dr. Hua-Ling Hu, who is soon moving back to Southern Illinois from Colorado.   Hu is also the author ofAmerican Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin. 
 
This new book The Undaunted Women of Nanking: The Wartime Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and Tsen Shui-fang is edited and translated by Hu and Zhang Lian-hong.  It is published by Southern Illinois University Press as was the first book.
 
An Illinois missionary to China, Minnie Vautring stood up to the Japanese soldiers and their bayonets during the military occupation of Nanking, China.  I only learned about her from Hu's first book, and I am eager to learn about her Chinese assistant and trained nurse Tsen Shui-fang in this new book. This new book is the first translation and publication in English of her diary. 
 
It is estimated that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by the Japanese soldiers during the occupation.  Between 20,000 to 80,000 women were raped.  Despite Vautrin's and Shui-fang's exhaustion from turning their college into a refugee camp and protecting more than l0,000 women and children, both women kept diaries during this time.  Shui-fang's diary is the only know daily account by a Chinese national during this terrible time.
 
Co-editor Zhang Lian-hong  is   professor of history and chairman of the Center for Studies on the Nanjing Massacre of Nanjng Normal University as well as associate chairman of the Modern  Chinese Historical Society of Kiangsu Province and Nanjing Historical Society.  He has co-authored or co-edited seven books published in Chinese.    
 
Books abound at Woodsong, and I am always behind in reading all I want to read. But I am especially eager to read the stories of these two women written under great pressure  as they faced evil and saved so many lives. Edit Text

The Southern Illinois Writers Guild meets the third Thursday of every month but December at 7 p.m. at John A. Logan College in the Terrace Dining Room.  Kathleen Carl  is our club sponsor. Guests and new members are always welcome. Dues are $15 a year except for college students, who pay $5.  If you like writers, we hope you'll come to our meetings!

 

Down on the Farm Appeals to All Ages-
Jane Henrickson read the book to her l0l-year-old mother Clara Winning, a resident of Parkway Estates.  Jane wrote about Down on the Farm: One American Family's Dream:  "...the heart-warming journey of a farm family living in Mid-America.  Their experiences as a family of six will bring smiles to the reader, knowledge of rural life in the mid 60's and appreciation for the unique ways they solved big and little problems that came their way."
     "The reader will be drawn into the family's life by the friendly style of writing.  Many articles allow for visual mind pictures."
     "One will appreciate the God-fearing, well educated, political astute, hard working family."
     "The journal format allows one to read for a short time or by chapters."
    "Down on the Farm:  One American Family's Dream fits in well with 'Baseball, apple pie, and the American flag.'"  Thanks, Jane!

Down on the Farm
bookcover2.jpg
Social History from the 1960s

My writing has appeared in many local publications (and some national), and I like to promote these local magazines which help share our region!

Check out Springhouse--An Adventure Shaped Like a Magazine established by Gary DeNeal and two colleagues back in 1983.  Springhouse has been pleasing  area residents and those across the nation and some folk outside the nation ever since.  Those who have an interest in Southern Illinois and its legends and people will love this magazine. Subscription price is $25. Add $5 extra for Mexico and Canada and $10 extra for other out-of-USA subscriptions.Springhouse is printed 6 times a year  Send to Springhouse, P.O. Box 61, Herod, IL 62947-0061.  To link to Springhouse, go to Links page.

Radio Free Boskydell: A Literary Magazine for Southern Illinois was partially sponsored by a grant from Carbondale Community Arts. the Southern Arts Fund, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the  Arts.

The Saga of Southern Illinois is a quarterly publication of the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois.  The $25 annual membership fee covers subscription to a monthly newsletter and the quarterly journal.  The Society meets on the second Sunday afternoon of the month (except in July and August) at the library at John A. Logan College, 700 Logan College Road, Carterville, IL 62918-2500.

Stories and Poems by Members of the Southern Illinois Writers Guild is an annual anthology open to submission by Guild members.   Sold at area festivals, the journal can also be purchased from Guild members for $5.00.  Started in 2002 as a fund raiser, which seemed more appropriate than having a bake sale, the anthologies have become popular for birthday, Christmas, and hostess gifts.  They offer a cross section of diverse writing by established area authors and have also served as a pathway to publication for many beginning writers. 

 

 

The Pondside Kids
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Gerry at the bat, Jeannie, Mary Elllen, and Kathy

Some background for my book Down on the Farm:

I learned to love rural life when my teacher parents rented out their house in town and moved to the farm each summer.  The school year was eight months, and teacher salaries were for eight months.   Living creatively on mostly their imaginations, my parents found ways for the family to live well during those four summer months. 

They daydreamed of opening a summer camp so more children could experience the old ways.  After we children grew up, my father took many other youth “down to the farm” for Saturday adventures at his old home place in rural Johnson County near the village of Goreville.  An almost faded way of life existed there for me and others to enjoy.

When I married Gerald Glasco, an agriculture major, together we dreamed of a farm of our own, but people said it was not possible if there was not a family farm passed on to us.  I also wanted a large family to rear on that farm and I wanted to write. Ignoring the naysayers, we bought a farm, had four children, and I wrote about it. Training as an educator was helpful as we reared our children, and experiences with our children helped me when I returned to teaching and family literacy work. 

As a family history project for our children, I compiled columns I had written in the 1960s and created a book entitled Down on the Farm:  One American Family's Dream, which was published by PublishAmerica.  

Now I am trying to reorganize life so I can get back to work on the Trail of Tears research that  I have done intermittently for over a decade.  Unfortunately I have been steadier about the breaks than about working on this project. I think this is an important work and I am trying to find time to do it.