Here is the reality: The clever folks at Ooligan Press collected cucumber seeds from Portland State University’s Student Sustainability Center and made up seed packets for my author events. Serakh, my time-traveling pursuer of justice in Blue Thread, The Ninth Day, and Seven Stitches, has a passion for cucumbers she first encountered in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs and has been eating them ever since.

The instructions on the seed packet call for planting Serakh’s cucumber seeds two weeks after the last frost, which would have been months ago in Portland, Oregon. Still, I planted them today in a small container a hundred feet up the south side of a brick building blasted by summer heat.

Reality says these seeds aren’t going to make it. Forget cucumbers.

Here is the dream: Serakh’s seeds will grow and thrive, having been reunited with soil, sun, and water during the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere of Planet Earth orbiting a star in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. […]

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Hello, all.

I know it’s been a while, a very long while, since I’ve posted. I’ve been hyper busy on polishing Book Three. Still, I had to share this news, which came to me via a Twitter post from Ooligan Press.

The Oregonian recently compiled a list of 21 little-known must-read books about Oregon. Blue Thread shares the honors with books from many authors I admire, particularly Ursula K. Le Guin. I am blown away.




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I wonder what’s going on beneath those huge tarps on the Janey II. Surely they are not there just to keep the construction dry. What else is happening?

As you know from the last post, I’ve wrapped up the first rough draft of Book Three, and given all 69,000 words to a book editing class at Portland State University.  Meanwhile, I’m doing four writerly projects:

critiquing submissions from the other Viva Scrivas; honing my revising skills by reading Elizabeth George’s Write Away; rereading my own draft of Book Three (yikes!); and hosting a stop on the Sydney Taylor Book Awards blog tour which  is Feb. 8 – 13.

My blog  tour stop is February 10, when I’ll post an interview with the three young French guys whose children’s book took top honors in the older (child) readers category. Cyber-corresponding with three young French guys? What could be bad? See you on the 10th! […]

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In case I haven’t mentioned it before, the Janey II building is under construction right next door to the original Janey apartment building. As you can see from this picture, there’s all-done Janey on one side and work-in-progress Janey on the other. Will they be identical? Probably not. I figure the blueprints are very similar, but the builders learned a bunch from constructing the first apartment building, and they’ll use that knowledge in building the second.

That’s how I feel about my companion novels. Book Two aka The Ninth Day is similar to Book One aka Blue Thread. Both have similar blueprints. Time-traveling Serakh appears and intertwines two teenage girls living centuries apart. Book Three aka Book Three shares in that blueprint, although one time period is in the past and the other is yet to be. What I learned in writing Book One went into writing Book Two. What I learned from them both is going into Book Three. […]

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Today I put aside my competition with the construction crew of The Janey II. No way can I write the next scene in Book Three, as I remember Margot Adler, who took time from her life last year to write a review of my most recent book, The Ninth Day. She called the story “riveting.” Who could ask for more?

Still, I did.

I was hoping to meet Margot in person this fall during the reunion of participants in the 1964 Free Speech Movement. I wanted to thank her again, this time in person. I wanted her to autograph one of her books, Heretic’s Heart. I wanted, and I wanted, and I wanted.

Margot and I are not destined to meet in this lifetime, as she died yesterday. From what I understand of Margot’s Wiccan beliefs, she has made the crossing into another aspect of the continuum which, now that I think of it, is not so different from the universe-eternity olam I write about in Blue Thread and The Ninth Day. […]

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What happens when the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire dies?

I was sitting in my comfy chair and checking email when DOINK! Amber J. Keyser tagged me in her stop on the blog hop #MyWritingProcess. I was delighted. Amber is a super fine writer, and she’s been working her earlobes off for members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Members like me. The Oregon chapter has its Spring Conference this weekend. Lots of great goings-on there.

Back to my  writing process. The blog hop asks four questions:

1) What am I working on?

First off, I’m working on continuing to write despite some health challenges. The real people in my life have been supremely supportive, and my imaginary friends—my characters—have waited patiently for me to devote more time to writing. Thanks!

So…I’m slowly gathering momentum on the third companion novel in my historical fiction/fantasy Blue Thread Universe, which entwines young women across time and space. […]

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This Monday, December 16, 2013, at 7 pm,  the Blue Thread universe will celebrate the launch of The Ninth Day by zooming down to a single spot on the olam: 732 NW 19th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. JOIN US! It’s officially the Koehler House, named for the German family who first lived there, but for me the angular blue-gray structure is the real-world inspiration for Miriam Josefsohn’s home in Blue Thread, a companion novel to The Ninth Day. And it’s still filled with my imaginary friends.

In the 1912 portion of Blue Thread, Miriam spends about half of her time in the house on 19th and Johnson. She sews money into her petticoats in her bedroom and washes off biblical sand in the bathroom. She argues with her parents in the parlor and disappears from the kitchen to travel back thousands of years through time and space. […]

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The next stop for Blue Thread, The Ninth Day, and me is the Lincoln County Historical Society in Newport, Oregon. On Saturday, October 19th, at 2 p.m., we’ll schmooze about the upsides and the perils of historical fiction. Am I playing fair when I try to confuse you about what’s real and what isn’t? Why do I bother to create a world that partially existed? Why not make it up completely? Or stick entirely to the facts? What’s the difference between fact and truth?

The forecast is for a sunny day, so I wish that the Lincoln County Historical Society might switch this event to the front lawn of the Carriage House rather than inside. While in Newport, I expect to explore the Hatfield Marine Science Center and meet this giant octopus—oh yes! And I’ll definitely hang out at the beach. Where’s Ruth? Dipping her toes in the Pacific. […]

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I’ll admit it. When the sun is shining in Portland, it’s hard to stay indoors all day at the Oregon Convention Center. Still, I was delighted to take the stage with Francesca Lia Block and read from The Ninth Day. I switched from conventional 1964 dress to “hippie” 1964 dress on stage, and this photo shows me in a bit of both. It was fun getting up close and personal with Wordstock’s red chair, but even more fun meeting so many readers and writers. Here’s a shout out to Sadie, who read Blue Thread and stopped by to see me. I hope we meet again soon, Sadie! Next events: a book signing at PNBA tomorrow and a talk at the Lincoln County Historical Society on Oct. 19th. […]

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Master Interlacer: Einstein

While Florrie Steinbacher has been posting away on my blog, I’ve combined with to bring you my “new and improved” Web site. From now on, you and I will have one main place to connect and converse. Thanks, Florrie!

I’ve been reading Heretic’s Heart, —Margot Adler‘s memoir of the 1950s through the early 1970s. How I wish I had gone to Margot’s elementary school in Greenwich Village! Here’s how she describes the place:

“City and Country took as an axiom an idea that has been echoed by a host of philosophers and writers from Marx to Muir to Einstein —that when you try to pick out something by itself, you find it connected to everything in the universe.”

Precisely. It’s that sense of connection that compelled me to write Blue Thread and The Ninth Day, and that inspires me to tackle my latest writing projects. […]

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