“Monsters are real…and sometimes they win” (Stephen King, The Loft Wordplay, May 11th, 2019)

Ever since I cracked open my first paperback copy of Carrie around 1980….I was a loyal King reader. (Carrie, was published in 1974, however I didn’t read it until I was around 10 years old. A respectable age to begin reading Stephen King, or so my older brother thought)

Reading was, and still is, one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve read hundreds of different authors and genres. But King has remained one of my favorites through the years. The reason is simple. He is one hell of a storyteller.

So when I read that King was coming to Minneapolis as part of The Loft Wordplay event this weekend, I figured this was my chance to get a glimpse of the man behind the stories. He isn’t an easy author to meet.

I headed out early to get a good spot in front of the stage. King was to take the stage, along with moderator, Benjamin Percy, at 10:00 a.m. I was skipping my high school son’s baseball game that morning. When I asked if he was OK with Mom skipping this one game he simply replied….”Mom…you have to see the King.” (yep, my son is a King fan, too-especially with the resurgence of the I.T. films)

I wasn’t the only one thinking of arriving early…and by 9:00 a.m. there was already a sizeable crowd in front of the stage. When he took the stage promptly at 10:00 a.m., the crowd was so large, it wrapped around and blocked some of the other tents and exhibitors.

My immediate take on King. He’s an even better storyteller in person. And he has the best laugh. (think classic Vincent Price-sounding. Cool yet slightly creepy) Mr. King did not disappoint. I ended up missing my sons base hit to right. (they lost 4-0) But hey, I got to see a storyteller legend. And tonight my son and I are having a King movie marathon, starting with I.T.   Long live the King.

Top Fav King Quotes:

If you can read, you can write. And if you can read and write, you can own the f***ing world.

I don’t know when I’ll get an idea, but I’ll be charmed by it…and I’ll think…I really ought to write about it.

My wife is a CNN junkie. I am a Price is Right junkie. You get a certain age man…you have to watch the Price is Right.

I like to write to write about people who are sort of falling apart.

Sometimes (ideas) they fall right through…and sometimes…they just stick in the filter

(King explaining his idea about writing Finders Keepers, a crime novel published in 2015) I’m not sure this is what people want from me…it’s about a cop and a serial killer..it’s not supernatural, and I remember very clearly walking and stopping and saying, ‘listen you dumb s***. You don’t exactly need to pay the mortgage this month. You’re doing OK. Why are you worried about whether or not you please people. This isn’t how you got here…you please yourself before you please everybody else.

The Outsider is going to be an HBO series next year (King’s latest book, published in 2018)

I even got a shirt, that say’s “Minnesota Nice”

Did you see the story this morning about the clown handing out candy? He was an old guy, does it every year on his birthday…everybody got scared and worried…and I thought ‘I did that.’ (and laughs-the crowd loved it)

I love an idea, and I say to myself, I want to write it down, and see what happens

I do my best thinking when I’m walking or lying in bed, drifting off to sleep.

(after Ben asks about a sequel to Salem’s Lot) Jesus…it’s like Led Zeppelin…or Lynyrd Skynyrd…Play Free Bird! But it’s great….

Monsters are real…and sometimes they win.



John Madson Fellowship Winner

June 12, 2012

McDonnell, Pollmann receive 2012 OWAA Madson Fellowships

MISSOULA, Mont. — Outdoor Writers Association of America selected Kelly Jo McDonnell and John Pollmann as co-recipients of the 2012 OWAA John Madson Fellowship. The fellowship is an annual grant program that funds continuing education opportunities for OWAA members. This year’s recipients will share the total award of $2,500 for reimbursable expenses related to attending educational opportunities of their choice.

McDonnell, of Lino Lakes, Minn., is a writer and TV producer for Ron Schara Productions and has been with the company for 16 years. TV segments air on NBC, Fox and Outdoor Channel. McDonnell is also a freelance writer of outdoor-related features for the (Minn.) StarTribune. A member since 2011, she is the daughter of late long-time OWAA member Jim McDonnell. She will be attending the Travel Writers Conference in Corte Madera, Cali., this coming August.

Pollmann, of Dell Rapids, S.D., is an educator and freelance writer and photographer. He has had credits appear in the Ducks Unlimited e-newsletter, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Delta Waterfowl Magazine, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Outdoor News and other outlets. Pollmann has been an OWAA member since 2008, and will be attending OWAA’s Goldenrod Writing Workshop in Missoula, Mont., in July.

OWAA’s Madson Fellowship is funded through the John Madson Fellowship Fund, an endowment that thrives primarily through OWAA member contributions and fundraising efforts. Its goal is to enhance professional communication skills for OWAA members. The fellowship program is designed to honor the legacy of John Madson, one of OWAA’s most talented, respected and honored legends. Applications are evaluated by a committee of past OWAA Jade of Chiefs conservation award winners.

For more information on the Madson Fellowship, visit http://owaa.org/programs/scholarships-fellowships/madson-fellowship.

OWAA is The Voice of the Outdoors®. The Outdoor Writers Association of America is the oldest and largest association of professional outdoor communicators in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by members of the Izaak Walton League of America and includes professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. OWAA’s professionals include writers, photographers, outdoors radio- and television-show hosts, book authors, videographers, lecturers and artists. The association is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For more information, contact Robin Giner, executive director, Outdoor Writers Association of America, 615 Oak St., Ste. 201, Missoula, Mont. 59801; 406-728-7434, rginer@owaa.org; http://www.owaa.org.