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What Is an “Astonished Tamale”?

Hi, I’m Gary L. Matthews. My wife, Cheri, and I are owners of Stonehaven Press, a publishing company in Knoxville, Tennessee. This web site, The Astonished Tamale!, is my online journal.

Around 10 years ago, I used to send out a monthly (more or less) newsletter by e-mail, called Notes from Stonehaven. That was fun, but as the number of subscribers grew, I soon found myself spending more time updating addresses than actually writing. That wasn’t fun. Then I became preoccupied with more pressing duties and had to let the whole thing slide.

Fast-forward to 2012: “Blogging” software such as WordPress (which I’m using here) now makes it easy to post articles on the Web. I can now write what I want when I want; you can choose when or whether to read it; and the links at the top right of the header make it easy to subscribe or unsubscribe at will. The Internet does most of the heavy lifting. I’m free to write. So it’s fun again!

Better yet, it’s a conversation! My favorite feature of WordPress is the option for threaded comments. As a journalist, I want to know what people think, and why; and I interview them accordingly. That’s also the point of any essay I compose: It’s a conversation piece, designed to share my thoughts in hope of learning yours. So please use the comment form at the bottom of each post to share your knowledge of the topic. Feel free, in fact, to comment on other folks’ comments. I’ll join in as one of the gang. As moderator, I’ll have to read and green-light comments as they’re submitted. But unlike some blogs, The Astonished Tamale! won’t cut off comments after a certain date. You can leave comments months or years after the original article.

More later!