What's so good about the usually fatal disease local writer Tom Doyal contracted?

What's So Good About It?

Leave it to Tom Doyal to contract a disease no one has ever heard of. (It has the cruelly ironic name of Goodpastures Syndrome.) A person who has Goodpastures Syndrome -- and that's not very many people, since the autoimmune disorder is rare -- tends to be a man in his 20s (Doyal is in his 50s); the disease has no known cause and is usually fatal, so it's of particular note that Doyal has survived and come out swinging. One Web site about the syndrome states, "There is no known prevention for Goodpastures Syndrome. Avoid glue sniffing and siphoning gasoline," which in Doyal's case is fair to say was not a precipitating factor. It couldn't have been; Doyal is one of those people who maintains such a dizzingly busy schedule that sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch. As president for the past year of the Austin Writers' League, senior legal counsel for the Texas Association of School Boards, and with a collection of short stories recently acquired by agent Cullen Stanley of Jenklow & Nesbit, Doyal is occupied with all sorts of endeavors.

Doyal won second place in the Chronicle's annual short story contest in 1992 and 1993 and has reviewed books for the Chronicle for several years (most recently, he wrote about Larry L. King's new book of letters in October). He has been in rehabilitation for about 60 days since his initial hospitalization on October 28 and a stay in the intensive care unit for 11 days. By now, that precarious state he was in at the onset of the syndrome has passed, and he is writing a new short story to add to the collection already in his agent's hands.

Call for Entries

Opening Closed Doors, a juried exhibition of art of several media that "provides opportunities for a community of artists to address aspects of social conditions that impact the lives of women and girls" is accepting submissions of poetry to be read at participating art galleries. Entrants should submit no more than two poems no longer than 60 lines each. Each manuscript must include a $5 reading fee, as well as a self-addressed, stamped envelope for announcement notification. On a separate sheet of paper, include your name, telephone, address, exhibition you wish to read for or have your work read, and title of the work. All entries must be typewritten on one side of an 81é2 x 11" sheet of paper. Manuscripts will not be returned. Entries must be postmarked by January 15, 2000. Notification of works selected for readings during the exhibitions will take place on February 15, 2000. Individual poems may have appeared in journals, magazines, or anthologies. Four original and not previously published works will be selected for the fall 2000 edition of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Submit entries to Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, c/o Editing Staff, PO Box 33096, Austin, TX 78764.

Clue Cards

Local mystery writer Robert Bitterli, author of this fall's The Hoover Print, has been on an extensive reading tour with a twist: At each of the bookstores he has visited, he has left "clue cards" that pertain to the plot points in The Hoover Print and, if guessed correctly, allow a reader the chance to win a grand prize of a trip for two to Washington, D.C. Bitterli will be announcing the six winners and one grand-prize winner at Cedar Street the night of January 5. Call Bob Bell at 478-2028 for more information.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002


Tom Doyal, The Hoover Print, Opening Closed Doors, Boderlands:Texas Poetry Review

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