'Ree' and 'Hyacinth' regale library audience

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska authors Anne Marie “Ree” Drummond and Cyndi “Hyacinth” Kane made an appearance April 25 at the public library to promote interest in a new foundation account that has been set up for the library to receive charitable, tax-deductible donations.

The authors told stories about their friendship and their books, entertaining a receptive audience of several dozen people. Following their remarks, the two began to sell and sign books, with proceeds to be contributed to the Pawhuska Library.

Kane and Drummond have been friends for more than a quarter-century, and they recalled with amusement that an early project they shared was the idea of writing a cookbook together. They mailed letters to publishers and were roundly rejected.

No more. Kane is the author of a 2022 cookbook titled “Save-It-Forward Suppers: A Simple Strategy to Save Time, Money and Sanity.” Drummond is the author of numerous volumes, most of them cookbooks and children’s books. She is also widely known as a blogger, business owner and television personality – “the Pioneer Woman.”

Drummond shared the unlikely origin of the nickname – “Hyacinth” – by which she refers to Kane. She described composing a message to send to Kane and having software reject the spelling “C-y-n-d-i” by asking if she wanted “Hyacinth” or perhaps “Cyanide.” She recalled running the choice by Kane, who now laughingly says she chose “Hyacinth” because, “I didn’t want to be the poison friend.”

Drummond’s penchant for self-deprecating humor was fully on display, as she asked her audience at one point, “Does anyone want to ask any, like, embarrassing personal questions?” No one ventured anything truly personal or embarrassing, but there were questions about writing books.

“It really is a muscle and you have to flex it,” Drummond said, counseling aspiring authors to “write, write, write, write, write.”

She also advised anyone interested in publishing a book to figure out what they want their readers to take away from the experience of reading it.

“Be firm and clear on what your message is,” Drummond said.

Each woman noted characteristics and strengths of the other. Kane commented on Drummond’s prolific creativity and tendency toward photographic illustration. Drummond noted that Kane’s book is illustrated with watercolor images. She emphasized Kane’s practicality and gift for organization, quipping that she had always wanted “to be Cyndi when I grow up.”

People attending the Library Foundation event April 25 also learned that an event is scheduled for late September in Pawhuska for fans of the “Little House on the Prairie” television program from the 1970s and early 1980s.

Jack Bishop, a producer, and Charlotte Stewart, who played the role of “Eva Beadle” on the television program, were in the audience at the library. Among the events planned for September is a “Little House Murder Mystery” dinner theatre, to be held at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile Event Center.