Billings author keeps memories alive through short stories

Posted at 9:11 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 08:23:49-05

BILLINGS - For many, home-school has become a routine since the pandemic began.

Q2 spoke to a local author whose book was just published, and attributes much of that to how he was raised during home-school, in our latest Rebound story.

First time author, but long time story-teller Tim Gilge shares tales of his childhood with home school, siblings, and mischief.

"We were gathered at my sister's wedding and we just started telling stories and we must have laughed for two hours, and I had so many of these moments where someone would remember half a story or someone would not quite remember the details and it filled me with sadness because already we were losing some of the best stories," Gilge said.

Now, he refuses to let those stories die.

Snakecicles is a series of campfire style stories from growing up with the world as his classroom.

"One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that it lets you teach your children what you think is important. I was able to get through a lot of life's lessons that way, very early. My parents taught me a lot of hard life lessons, right off the bat, and I think that benefited me to no doubt later on. Hard work, determination, not giving up, invaluable," Gilge said.

Each chapter is filled with adventures, misadventures, and a tremendous amount of patience from his parents.

"There's plenty of stories in there. I think if you read the book you'll understand that my parents were probably saints. Between setting the driveway on fire with Napalm, to shooting each other with blow darts," Gilge said,

The book is not illustrated, but does feature a few pictures to mark chapters, and throwback photos from their childhoods.

"I just don't know if I have the patience, or the willingness to teach that they did. A big part of the book is what my dad would call teachable moments. Any time you get a chance to spend time with your kid and you run into a teachable moment, take advantage of that," Gilge said.

You're always going to have that fear, you're always going to have that uncertainty, but I would say that if you're teaching them and you're loving them you're doing it the right way.

He dedicated the book to his sister, Katie, who they lost to pneumonia last year.

"Oh yeah, she'd love it. She'd want royalties from it," Gilge joked.

Spoiler alert, one theme runs through the book-family.

"I remember quite a few times my dad reading me stories before going to bed, Patrick McManus, Dr. Suess, McElligot's Pool, and I just remember those were some big moments, and I just wanted to give that to the next generation," Gilge said.

"In these trying times, the more time you can spend with family, and tell family stories, the better," Gilge said.

To find out the meaning of the book's unique title, well, you'll just have to read it.

Gilge credits his wife Juletta with being a terrific editor and support system.

Snakecicles is available on right now both in hard copy and e-book.