Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wait...what? Howard Days is Over?!

The adrenalin has finally subsided. Howard Days 2016 was a complete success and there are so many people to thank for such a fabulous event.

Thank you, Project Pride for being the main force behind Howard Days. Without your wonderful organization there would be no Howard Days. We Howard Fans are ever so grateful that you sponsor and then put up with...uh, host us for the weekend and for that you have our eternal thanks. The House was shining in the Texas sun, the docents helped folks through the rooms with their ever gracious ways and narrations and the grounds were beautiful. (First time ever we saw lawn mower marks on the grass!)

The hot dog lunch, the Friday BBQ and the Saturday BBQ provided us with authentic Texas chow, the Gift Shop, Postal Cancellation Silent Auction and Swap Meet provided us with REH souvenirs. The Pavilion provided cool drinks and shade from the hot sun and is the perfect place for the ongoing Howard conversation and fellowship we all enjoy.

The Friday Banquet hit an all-time record in attendance at 145! If you were there you knew that we had the Community Center packed to the rafters, there was much energy shown by the bidders at the Silent Auction and the chicken-fried steak was as Texas as ever!

Thanks also go out to the Robert E. Howard Foundation and REHupa - the Robert E. Howard United Press Association and all their members in attendance. Said members always act like REH Ambassadors at Howard Days, which has become a family reunion of sorts for so many of us.

And a big thank you to everyone who showed up to Howard Days 2016. Overall attendance was down only slightly, but you wouldn't know it from the numbers showing up for the panels. The lowest panel number was 75 with a high of over 100 for the Saturday ones. The interest in all aspects of Robert E. Howard continues with much enthusiasm.

So now it's time to not only reflect on this year's event but to do some preliminary thinking about next year's Howard Days. If this event taught us anything, it's that it comes and goes like the speed of Solomon Kane's rapier or Conan's sword or Steve Costigan's fists or El Borak's six-guns or Breckinridge Elkins working a crossword puzzle. Oh, wait...not so much that last one.

Thanks to everyone! Two words for next year: "Y'all come!"

Monday, June 6, 2016

Howard Days is This Friday!

All right! The event we've been waiting for is almost here! While Friday the 10th marks the first "official" day of the Howard Days extravaganza, folks are already gathering in Cross Plains in anticipation of the festivities. The House will be open on Thursday from 2 to 4, the Cross Plains Review will be open the same time and Project Pride is looking forward to seeing old friends and making many new ones!

Don't forget to hit the little tabs at the top of this page for all the info you'll need about Howard Days.

However, even if you've procrastinated until now, you can still come to Howard Days on a whim - no fee is charged for touring the House or enjoying the panels and movies and auctions and readings and cook-outs and other activities planned. The *possibility* of squeezing into a seat at the Banquet Friday is always there (we like to accommodate everyone) but you won't be able to if you're not there!

But the real reason to show up at Howard Days is to honor the Legacy of Robert E. Howard, an American and Texas Original. Fans and scholars and experts and admirers of REH show up in full force to keep alive the magnificent words that flowed from Howard's Underwood No. 5.

We hope to see you there - it's a time you won't forget or regret! Y'all come!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Howard Days is Next Week!!!

With Howard Days starting up next week, we thought we'd bring you a few little tips that will (hopefully) make your visit more enjoyable.

Remember that a lot of time at Howard Days is outdoors. While the House itself and all the venues for the panels and Banquet are nicely air-conditioned from the hot Texas weather, you will be spending time outside at the open-air Pavilion. Sunscreen is always a good idea, along with liberal doses of bug spray to fight off this year's Texas-sized mosquitoes - and keep yourself hydrated so the heat doesn't sneak up on you.
The fine folks of Project Pride do provide bug spray and a huge cooler filled with water and soft drinks, but if you've got a particular brand of bug spray or sunscreen you like, please bring it along. If you've got a soft drink you like and want to share, it's acceptable for you to dump a case of it in the cooler! (Or keep it in your own cooler.) No beers during the day, please - but after hours is fine as long as we keep it at the Pavilion.

The House is open to the public Friday and Saturday (June 10-11) from 9 am to 4 pm. It will also be open on Thursday from 2 - 4 pm.
This year the Cross Plains Review is opening its doors to Howard Days folks - from 2 - 4 pm on Thursday you can go see what newspapering was like in Howard's day while you view their old presses.

There is NO FEE for touring the House, hanging out at the Pavilion, going on the Friday Bus Tour, attending any of the panels, having lunch at the Pavilion on Friday or the BBQ on Saturday or for the provided water & soft drinks. If you registered for the Banquet with your $15.00 fee, that helps defray the costs of the list of activities mentioned above. HOWEVER, there is a Donation Jar set out during these activities so please help out with a couple of pazoors now & then.

The Gift Shop in the Howard House is still cash or check only. There are several ATM's located around town.

Check out all the scheduling by clicking on the tabs at the top of this page. We'll have a large schedule posted at the Pavilion and you'll get a paper one when you check in at the House.

The Pavilion is available to all attendees from Wednesday until the wee hours of Sunday morning, so please feel free to hang out and engage with Howard fans from all over the world - there will be lots of good conversation and fellowship and everyone is welcome.
Except for the mosquitoes, that is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Gent from Bear Creek

For all you Howard fans who have some extra dough lying around, here's the deal of the century. The copy of A GENT FROM BEAR CREEK owned by the late Glenn Lord is going up for auction on Ebay, starting May 24th at 7 pm CDT. It will last for 10 days and the opening bid has already been established at $19,500.

The link to Howard Days and why we are mentioning it here: if the winner of this book is attending Howard Days, it can be hand delivered to him or her there.

Happy bidding, everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Barbarian Festival in Cross Plains has been cancelled!

Word has come from the organizers of Cross Plains' BARBARIAN FESTIVAL that the event has been cancelled this year.

Traditionally held on the same Saturday as Howard Days,this year's Festival has been shelved due to its location in Treadway Park being underwater. Texas has seen an incredible amount of rain this spring - rain is predicted over the course of the next 15 days! - and there has been much flooding in a number of areas so the Festival Folks decided to be safe rather than muddy.

The Thrusday night Barbarian Festival Parade will still take place down Main St. in Cross Plains, as will the Senior Center Dinner. Any sponsorships for this year's Festival will be carried over to 2017.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

One Month Until Howard Days!

With June 10th being one month from today, it might be time to work on our Howard Days checklists.

First on the list should be: Registration for Howard Days. Now, you don't have to register to attend the House Tours, Bus Tour, panels, activities or BBQ, but your $15.00 registration fee will get you a seat at the Friday night Banquet at the Community Center. As seating is limited to around 120, you want make sure there's some chicken fried steak with your name on it - plus you'll be on site to bid on all the great Howard collectibles in the Silent Auction there! If you're not already registered, don't wait until the last minute! Thanks!

Secondly, this is a perfect time to support the aforementioned Silent Auction by making a donation of Howard items (books, magazines, fanzines, 2D and 3D art, comics, etc.) There's time for you to ship these items to: Project Pride Howard Days Auction, POB 534, Cross Plains, TX 76443. 100% of the proceeds from this auction goes to the upkeep of the House Museum by Project Pride.

You also might want to gather up a few other items to sell or trade in the Swap Meet at the Pavilion. Table space is somewhat limited but there's enough for you share with other traders. We ask that the items be directly related to or by Robert E. Howard and that you donate 10% of your earnings to Project Pride. (Thanks.)

And while there's no planning for some extemporaneous events that always pop up at Howard Days, we can tell you about several of them.

STOP THE PRESSES! (That's newspaper jargon for 'pay attention'...) While we know the Howard House is open on Thursday June 9th from 2-4 pm, let it be known the fine folks at The Cross Plains Review are also opening their doors at the same time for a tour for any early visitors to Howard Days. Their building is now a designated Historical Site and contains most of the same old-time newspaper printing equipment that was there when REH lived in Cross Plains. So pass through their threshold and step back to a time when newspapers were the #1 for of communication. The CP Review is looking forward to seeing you.

There will be a Launch Party in the Pavilion for the brand new Howard pro-zine: SKELOS #1 - The Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy. This beautiful new vehicle for fantasy stories and art (plus some never-before published REH) will no doubt set the Howard fans and collectors abuzz - and you'll be able to get first crack at it ONLY at Howard Days. Their Kickstarter is currently ongoing and they've got a Facebook page too, so check it out!

We're going to have a second smaller Auction at the Pavilion on Saturday afternoon/evening (time TBA), but probably tied in with the BBQ) where we'll have y'all bid on items like the Howard Days banners and a few other special items. One of those items is rumored to be a limited edition bottle of Robert E. Howard beer - a special import brew compliments of Patrice Louinet. Again, 100% of the proceeds go to the Robert E. Howard Museum.

And while not so extemporaneous this year, the REH Porchlight Poetry event will feature an encore presentation of the poem "Cimmeria" being read in SEVEN languages! Last year we just let it pop up at the Saturday night Porchlight Poetry and it was simply fantastic. Come hear one of Howard's most powerful and endearing poems read in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and Polish. It will be memorable.

Also, be sure to check out Cross Plains' BARBARIAN FESTIVAL on Saturday from 10-4 in Treadway Park, 3 blocks west of the Howard House. It's a great time at a good ol' country fair with vendors, games, rides, activities and great food - family fun for all!

No doubt there will be additional surprises and special guests who show up at Howard Days - there always are - and it's never too late to decide to come to Cross Plains for The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom. We certainly hope to see your smiling mug on June 10th & 11th - or even a day or two early.

Y'all come!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Howard Days is Six Weeks Away!

With Howard Days only six weeks away, June 10th & 11th are looming large for the hordes of Howard fans who are making plans to join us for The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom. Reading and poking around this blog will provide you with the necessary info for a wonderful weekend filled with panels, tours, exhibitions, auctions, featured guests and events - and this year there's even a full length feature showing of The Whole Wide World!

We certainly hope to see you with a Texas sized smile on your face, but even if you can't show up in Cross Plains, you can still help Project Pride extend the Legacy of Bob Howard for the whole (wide) world by making a small donation. Your money will help keep the Robert E. Howard Museum up and running throughout the year, is tax deductible and greatly appreciated!

And money isn't the only way you can help! Friday night at Howard Days features our Celebration Banquet. This year our Guest of Honor is Michael Scott Myers, screenwriter of The Whole Wide World and he'll be making his keynote speech at the Banquet. But another fun aspect of the Banquet is the Silent Auction. This is another way of donating to Project Pride, as 100% of the proceeds from the Silent Auction goes to the Robert E. Howard Museum.. And it's a way you can help the Legacy of REH without leaving your home.

Many of you reading this have Robert E. Howard books, magazines, comics, artwork, 3D art, paperbacks and all sorts of REH related items in your collections that would be perfect for the Silent Auction. Some of us have duplicates of our Howard items that would be also be perfect for the Silent Auction. So, make yourself feel good by donating these items to Project Pride, won't you?

You can send your items to;
Project Pride
Howard Days Silent Auction
POB 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443
Or, you can Paypal a monetary donation to: Any amount is greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much for your generosity! We plan on keeping the Legacy of Robert E. Howard alive for many years to come because of fans like you!

Shown above: an item from a previous Auction: etched glass and a frame made from materials of a damaged window from Howard's actual writing room! Rumor has it there may be one in this year's Auction!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dan Ireland RIP

We are saddened to report the passing of Dan Ireland on April 15th. Dan was the Director of The Whole Wide World, the marvelous movie depicting the relationship between Robert E. Howard and Novalyne Price.

The Whole Wide World will be featured at this year's Howard Days, as our Guest of Honor, Michael Scott Myers, is the screenwriter and 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of TWWW.

We'd like to share this article about the making of The Whole Wide World, pulled from the pages of Cinefantastique from January 1986.

Rest in peace, Dan Ireland - with your fine talent and art, you helped bring a sense of realness to the life and art of Robert E. Howard.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Registration Form Clarification!

We would like to clarify one item on the Howard Days Pre-Registration form (shown below this post.)

Project Pride wants everyone to know the $15.00/person pre-registration fee is ONLY for a dinner at the Friday night Banquet. The entire weekend of Howard Days activities: House tour, Bus Tour, postal cancellation souvenir, all panels (including the screening of The Whole Wide World), the Swap Meet and Pavilion Fellowship - are FREE to everyone.

While the $15.00 fee helps defray the cost of donuts, drinks and Friday lunch, these are also (basically) free. Donations are most welcomed, of course, so when you grab a pop or a water out of the big cooler or you chow down on that great hot dog lunch, remember to throw a couple of pazoors into the Donation Jar!

Also, please note that the Saturday BBQ at the Museum is compliments of Janet Swanson. Another fantastic no cost activity for your weekend's enjoyment!

So, registration for attendance is not required for Howard Days, but it's a nice way of letting Project Pride know who's coming! And we hope it's YOU, because this is The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom! And it's FREE!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The "Official" Howard Days Registration Forms

No sooner did we mention that Project Pride was sending out the pre-reg forms than they show up in our local mailbox!

If you're not already on the Project Pride mailing list you may reproduce the forms here when sending in your pre-registration money (or use the PayPal account) and you will be automatically included on the list.

Remember to register as early as you can, because seating at the Banquet is limited to 120 and the Banquet *always* sells out!

CLARIFICATION EDIT: THE $15.00 PRE-REG FEE IS ONLY FOR THE FRIDAY NIGHT BANQUET. ALL of the weekend's activities are FREE to everyone and the registration fee helps cover the costs of the donuts, drinks and lunch. The BBQ is compliments of Janet Swanson, so there is no fee involved there either.

Of course your donations are always welcomed to help defray all costs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Howard Days Registration

The snow is gone, the smell of Spring (and hot dogs) is in the air, so that can only mean one thing: t's time to pre-register for Howard Days!

Project Pride of Cross Plains is in the process of sending out the information/registration forms for the 2016 event, so for those of you on their mailing list, be looking for them coming soon to a mailbox near you.

But if you are not on the mailing list, never fear! Registration for Howard Days on June 10-11th is only $15.00 per person. When you register, you are guaranteed a seat at the Friday Celebration Banquet but you also qualify for three additional meals: breakfast donuts and an incredibly tasty hot dog lunch (I can smell those dogs cooking now) on Friday and a real Texas chuck wagon BBQ on Saturday.

It's the deal of the weekend! But remember: you don't need to pre-register to attend Howard Days! Most of the activities for the weekend are free: House & Bus Tour, panels, Swap Meet plus all the fine Howard Fellowship. Project Pride likes to pre-register folks for the Banquet as seating is limited to 125.

So, if you Just Can't Wait, you may send your registration fee to:
Project Pride
2016 Howard Days Registration
POB 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443
Or use your Pay Pal to

We're looking forward to seeing you at Howard Days this year, so register early and often. Well, you know what I mean...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Robert E. Howard Days Info Brochure

Here's a little item that can be found at rest stops in central Texas. Every time we look it over again, it gets our blood up about Howard Days! We'll be posting more of the complete scheduling soon, along with periodic detailed vignettes to help with your Howard Days enjoyment, but in the meantime...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Michael Scott Myers is 2016 Guest of Honor

Robert E. Howard Days is proud to announce that our 2016 Guest of Honor is Michael Scott Myers, the screenwriter for The Whole Wide World.

Howard fans and movie buffs alike know that this 1996 movie is Mr. Myers adaptation of Novalyne Price Ellis' memoir novel, One Who Walked Alone, an account of the time she spent with Robert E. Howard in Cross Plains. The Whole Wide World, starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996 and won the Seattle Film Festival award later that same year. Mr. Myers was later nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay (along with Zellweger for Best Actress) and won the 1997 Lone Star Award (for films shot in Texas) for best screenplay.

What some people do not know is that Michael Scott Myers is a former student of Novalyne Price Ellis when she taught in Lafayette, Louisiana. With this year being the 20th anniversary of TWWW and the 30th anniversary of Mrs. Ellis novel, Mr. Myers is double qualified to be the Howard Days Guest of Honor!

In addition to LOWDOWN, a short film which won first prize at the Ft. Worth Film Festival in 1998 and the River Run Film Festival in 1999, Myers completed four other screenplay adaptations - TO THE BRIGHT AND SHINING SUN by James Lee Burke, BLOOD TEST by Edward DeAngelo for CBS, COME AND GO MOLLY SNOW for Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and FINE LINES by Simon Beckett. His most recent project is THE BLACK MASS OF BROTHER SPRINGER, adapted from the novel by Charles Willeford.

Michael currently lives back in Lafayette and is the creator and curator of the Cane Fire Film Series which runs monthly at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

While at Howard Days this year, we'll have a screening of The Whole Wide World with additional commentary by the movie's screenwriter. Michael will also tell of his time spent with Novalyne Price Ellis and he will be the keynote speaker at the Friday Celebration Banquet.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, Two-Gun Bob Howard!

January 22nd marks the 110th birthday of The One and Only Robert E. Howard! Everybody blaze your pistolas and brandish your Bowies in his honor! And a little nip of your favorite beverage certainly is in order, too.

For some time, there was a discrepancy in Howard's birthdate. While Howard himself always celebrated it on the 22nd, on the birth registrar for Palo Pinto County where he was born, the date is listed as January 24th. We mostly figured that there was a two day delay in filing the paperwork (hey, it was 1906!) and the hard core Howard Heads have always used January 22nd.

Last year at Howard Days, REH's distant Howard cousins brought in (among other things like a tattered copy of a Jenkins' Gent from Bear Creek) the Howard Family Bible. Sure enough, Bob's birthday is listed as January 22, 1906. Score for the hard core!

Neat little surprises like this are always showing up at Howard Days. Along with all the great activities already planned, we're hoping something like this might intice you to come to Texas this June and join the fellowship for Ol' Two-Gun. We'll be looking for you!

Happy Birthday, Bob Howard!

Thanks for the photo go out to Todd Vick and his blog, On an Underwood No. 5.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Robert E. Howard Days 2016 is June 10th & 11th

Welcome back to the official Robert E. Howard Days website! As the cold winds of January blow, what better way to get warm than thinking about Howard Days in Cross Plains in June? We're starting to sweat already!

One thing we aren't sweating is the great line-up and all the activities we have planned for the 2016 version of The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom! This year we've got a pile of anniversaries to celebrate, so the "theme" for Howard Days is...wait for it...Anniversaries!

Looking at our spiffy new logo banner at the top of this page will give you an idea of three of the anniversaries we'll be celebrating. But here's a list of them all:

  • 110 years since Howard's birth
  • 80 years since his death
  • 70 years since the publication of Skull Face and Others from Arkham House
  • 50 years since the publication of Conan the Adventurer from Lancer Books
  • 40 years since the publication of The Last Celt by Glenn Lord from Don Grant Books
  • 40 years since the first appearance of Damon Sasser's Two-Gun Raconteur magazine
  • 30 years since the very first Robert E. Howard Days
  • 30 years since the publication of One Who Walked Alone by Novalyne Price Ellis
  • 20 years since the film The Whole Wide World
  • 10 years since the creation of the Robert E. Howard Foundation
Quite an impressive list - each anniversary has major significance in Howard Fandom. Howard Days can only give you a small taste of each anniversary, but we're hoping you can join us in Cross Plains in June to partake in the celebration and fellowship involved with every Howard Days.

We're proud to announce that the Guest of Honor for Howard Days 2016 is Michael Scott Myers, the screenwriter for the movie The Whole Wide World. Michael's importance as our GOH is double good for all of us, as he was also a student of Novalyne Price Ellis. Here's hoping you'll be amongst us to hear not only Michael's revelations about TWWW but also his reminisces of Novalyne and her magnificent memoir of her relationship with Robert E. Howard.

All of the usual activities connected with Howard Days are in place: the Robert E. Howard Museum and Gift Shop are open to all, the adjacent Alla Ray Morris Pavilion is availble for the Swap Meet, extemporaneous activities and a couple of genuine Texas cook-outs, the Bus Tour of Cross Plains and surrounding environs, a special Postal Cancellation souvenir, the Celebration Banquet and Silent Auction, interesting panels on Howard and related topics, the Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards - all this plus much more that we can't think of right now! We'll be posting detailed information over the course of the next month.

One of several special events that will happen this year is a showing of the movie The Whole Wide World, with commentary from Michael Scott Myers.

We're in the process of firming up the scheduling for Howard Days - but it's never too early to start to plan on joining us in Cross Plains in June. Hey, air fares are cheap(er) right now and gas is at a 20 year low so you've got no excuse this year! Y'all come!

Needless to say, keep this website and the Howard Days Facebook page bookmarked and check back frequently for all the information you'll need for a fantastic Howard Days!