Coming Soon!

Jiang Li, Warrior Woman of Yueh is the companion novella to My Adventures As Brother Rat. Jiang Li is now available; for a signed copy, please contact me via my website Contact Me button. Price is $7.00 plus s/h of $2.20 for envelope and postage, or $4.90 for Priority Mail (6 copies will fit in a Priority Mail envelope).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yellow Bellied Grape Eater

Not only do I have friends visiting Kenya (see links at the side for Jo and Bas's trip) but I also have friends in the Ukraine. Lulu has been transferred there, and she and Ted will be there for at least two years. Be sure and check out their blog, linked at the right. Very funny, check them out.

One would think, after living here as long as I have, that the squirrels would be used to my comings and goings, and ignore both me and the wee wannabee dog. Alas, such is not the case. However, I managed to get one of them the other day as he was really concentrating on eating the few grapes I had left on the vines just for his enjoyment!

My friend, Cecile, was going to throw away her rhubarb last year, and I drove to Walla Walla to rescue it, brought it home, and planted it. I must have done something right, because I managed to harvest a good 4 quarts of rhubarb this summer! It must be a glutton for punishment, because I quite literally ignored it, except to go out and pull up stems! Anyhow, we had a couple of cool nights, and one of the remaining large leaves turned this brilliant red.

My Gratefuls:
*Sisters of Choice who like to come visit and spent a mad 3 days every autumn turning all our fruit into jams and butters and ketchups!

What I'm Reading:
*Still working on the same three books about Islam, Anasazi, and Africa.

Quote for this post:
"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." -- Richard Bach

Friday, September 24, 2010

All Bread

Aaron and I went to Spokane WA the other day, and on the way home stopped off at a Rest Area. I looked over, and saw a photo op.  It reminded me of the poem, All Bread by Margaret Atwood. The third stanza of the poem begins: "Good bread has the salt taste / of your hands after nine / strokes of the axe..."

All Bread has been one of my favorite poems since I first read it many years ago. I hope she doesn't mind that I've quoted some of it here, without her permission.

Fall has for sure fell in our area. We've had gray days, rainy days, blustery days, and now a sunny day. According to the weather people, we will have a few more sunny and warm days, but not like summer. The other night we had a marvelous thunder storm, with slow rolling thunder and fast paced lightning. Unfortunately, the weather people refuse to schedule these storms between 7-10pm so I can enjoy them!

My Gratefuls:
•Four seasons
•Programmable sprinkler systems
•The ability to think of 'what if...?'
•Publishers who still believe in publishing good books
•Publishers who don't print everything in hardback!

What I'm Reading:
Destiny Disrupted - A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes --by Tamim Ansary
     This is the third book on my bed at the moment. I'm still reading the bio of Richard 'Anasazi' Wetherill, as well as West Into the Night by Beryl Markham

Quote for this post:
"Personal beliefs are unarguable, even if the other side has all the facts." --Sheri S. Tepper

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Thousand Strips of Sunshine

For those of you who are fans of all things African, a friend of mine has returned to Kenya for the first time in 33 years, and is blogging the visit. It is fascinating:

Happy Tuesday!

The reason there was no post yesterday is because I was working on the quilt top at the right. (I'm trying to post something at least weekly, and on Mondays - just so any of you who are still out there will know ;-)

My living room faces west, and only gets the afternoon sun, and in the winter, it isn't a lot. I found this quilt pattern in a catalog, rushed down to my favorite quilt store (Stitch n Bug for you who are local to the Tri Cities of Washington) and, well, I've been busy for the last few days.

As you can tell, the quilt is bright, cheery, and when finished will be just perfect to snuggle under while reading or watching tv/movies.

Next project? Why, another quilt, of course, but one in blues, greens and yellows, if I'm remember correctly. But
not one of a thousand stripes.

Also, getting ready for the Jam Session when my two SOCs come over from Seattle and we spend a hectic three days making jams! That takes lots of naps (need those quilts) both in preparation for and recouping from the week end;-)

My Gratefuls:
*Good friends who are my Family of Choice
*Patient ladies who taught me to quilt
*Good water to drink and use that hasn't been privatized
*Shelves full of books
*A camera I may some day learn to use!

What I'm Reading Right Now:
*Richard Wehterill: Anasazi
Yes, I'm still reading it, but I'm more than half-way through

What I'm Working On:
*The Veiled Healer, a short story rejected by a magazine where the editor was kind enough to tell me where the story is broken.
*Jibutu and the Mage, a novel on which I am about to begin major revision.

And, remember, if you liked Brother Rat, you will really like Jiang Li! Honest. Trust me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jiang Li, Warrior Woman of Yueh

OK, I tried and tried to upload the photo somewhere in the right margin, and couldn't do it, so I just added it as a 'gadget'.

The book is on schedule, and can be ordered from either the publisher, Sam's Dot Publishing at or, if you want a signed copy you may order from me at

The Price will be the same, $7.00 plus shipping and handling (yet to be determined, but shouldn't be very much.

My Gratefuls:
• Free blogs, even if I can't figure them out (like how to get rid of the underscore!)
• Another sunny day
• A wee dog to keep my lap warm (just what I need when it's 90 degrees out)
• A huge cat nicknamed Elephant Paws who keeps me warm at night whether I need it or not
• Publishers who buy my words

What I'm Reading;
Take a Bite of Literature! Small pieces of work by members and friends of Oregon Writers Colony

Quote for the Post:
"There comes a time when autumn asks,
"What have you been doing all summer?" - unknown

Monday, September 13, 2010

As Gene Autry used to say...

I'm back in the saddle again. So to speak. (It's been years since I've actually been on a horse, and it will be that many more years before it happens again, I'm sure;-)

It has been a very busy summer. I picked, cleaned, and packaged several gallons of plums and peaches, have a few gallons of grapes, a scant gallon of Bing cherries, a few quarts of Oregon Grape, raspberries, and black berries in the freezer. All are ready for the Jamming Session that will be the first weekend of October!

I have also been writing. Am polishing a novel with the help of good friends who are doing likewise with their novels, have several short stories about ready to go forth, in fact, a few are now waiting on the desks of various editors.

And Jiang Li, Warrior Woman of Yueh will be out the first of October. It is a novella, 37,000 words, and a companion piece to Brother Rat. Jiang Li will sell for $7.00US plus s/h (cost of envelope and postage). Stay tuned, more information to come. In the meantime, you can read the Prologue on my website .

What I'm reading:
Richard Wetherill: Anasazi
Pioneer Explorer of Southwestern Ruins
--by Frank McNitt

A biography I spied on a friend's bookshelf about the (white) man who discovered Chaco Cyn, Mesa Verde, and other ancient ruins. A very interesting book published by University of New Mexico Press. I'm a little less than a quarter of the way through the book, and it is holding my interest. But, then, I love the ruins and the SW.

My Gratefuls:
*I have wonderful friends
*I have two good kids
*The sun is shining
*Fruit is in the freezer
*Jiang Li is on her way

Quote for the Post:
“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee
and just as hard to sleep after.” --Anne Morrow Lindbergh