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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We interrupt the epic saga of Book Three vs. Janey II to bring this public service announcement to all of you readers and writers in Oregon. Starting in September, more than two dozen authors divided into teams of eight are speaking for eight minutes per author to support independent bookstores in eight locations across the state. For free (we don’t get paid and you don’t pay to attend). Hence the name Crazy8s Author Tour.

This is the brainchild of Oregon writer George Wright, who put together the original tour in 2012. I was on that tour with George, and I’m delighted to be part of his one. On September 18, I’ll be in Cottage Grove, along with Bill Cameron, Lisa Ohlen Harris, Lindsay Hall, Karen Karbo, Gina Ochsner, Alexis M. Smith, and Ellen Waterston. On September 24, Lindsay, Alexis, and I will join up with Dana Hayes, Susan Hill Long, Cari Luna, Ismet (Izzy) Prcic, and Jody Seay in Salem. […]

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OK, so in the last post, I wrote about getting my facts straight for the sultan’s harem in 16th Century Istanbul. Let me tell you, there is a ton and a half of material about that time and place. I could spend the next six months researching that aspect of Book Three, but I’ll restrain myself. It’s one thing to drill down to get the solid facts and the juicy bits for a novel. It’s another to get so lost in the research that the novel never gets finished!

I could also spend the next six months on research for the other major aspect of Book Three, which is Portland, Oregon, in 2059. This part, too, requires drilling. I’m looking into the past…and exploring what’s just below the surface in the present…to discover trends that might make sense in my future world. Ecology, climate, politics, social media, energy sources, technology, transportation, diet, demography, education. […]

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Dan Sadowsky, of Oregon Public Broadcasting. Dan read The Ninth Day in record time, spent half a morning with me at Tea Zone, and showed his humor and patience while photographing me in the North Park Blocks. Here’s the resulting Q&A. Why Calvin Coolidge? Dan knows. Read the interview, and you’ll know, too.  I’ll be reading from The Ninth Day at the Oregon Jewish Museum on Nov. 12 at 7:30 and Powell’s-Cedar Hills on Nov. 15 at 7pm. And that’s no lie. […]

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It’s been over a century (101 years to be exact) since Miriam Josefsohn of Blue Thread fame attended her last class at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. A lot has changed at the school since then, especially the extra-curricular activities. I’m sure that Miriam would have liked to join the Politics without Borders Club, and the SciFi/Fantasy Club, and the Human Rights Club. I suppose if her friend Florrie Steinbacher were still enrolled with her, the two might have considered SMA Cruisers. Here’s a photo of the 2011 team. Can you imagine them racing along the Willamette River in dragon boats?

In 1912, dragon boats were as unheard of as an SMA activity as the Harry Potter Club. But humans have been racing long-boat canoes for at least 2,000 years. Dragon boat racing gained international attention in the 1970s, and may one day have a place of its own at the Olympics. […]

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I don’t think that there’s a definitive answer about the origins of the maypole, although the tradition of dancing around a maypole seems to have been with us since forever. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Miriam Josefsohn and her friends danced around a maypole in 1912, although the earliest photograph I’ve seen from Portland comes from a few years later. It shows children dancing around a maypole in front of the Kennedy School in 1916.

The celebration continues, thanks to the Maypole Dancers from the Laurelhurst School. Here’s a recent snapshot of them performing in front of the Kennedy school (now a McMenamin’s hotel and restaurant). See them dance today!

May Day has been around for 2,250 years. At least. Way back when, the Romans celebrated the coming of spring with a festival honoring Flora, the goddess of flowers. In northern Europe some people celebrated April 30-May 1 with bonfires, and treated the time as a gathering of witches six months after All Hallows’ Eve. […]

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Earth Day wasn’t celebrated back in the time of Blue Thread, when the Willamette River sorely needed attention. The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. According to Earth Day Network: “The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.”

In 1970, the Willamette River was starting to recover from the mess it was back in 1912. […]

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To tell the truth, the Blue Thread characters are still all aglow and a bit full of themselves after receiving the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony this week. I certainly am not about to dampen their enthusiasm, since at least two of them are working hard with me on the next book, The Ninth Day. Lots to do before Ooligan Press releases them to the world this fall. No wonder this is such a short post! […]

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I am honored to announce that Blue Thread has received the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature, a category of the Oregon Book Awards. The announcement came last night during ceremonies at the Gerding Theatre, and this morning my local (and favorite) florist delivered this flower arrangement from my current project managers at Ooligan Press. Thank you, McKenzie!  Thank you, Kelsey! Thank you Ooligan! A small press with a big heart. I’m so glad to be working with Ooligan again on a companion novel. […]

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Seven writers whose books are finalists for the 2013 Oregon Book Awards will be reading tonight at Literary Arts. I’ll be there with Blue Thread, along with authors Kerry Cohen (Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity and Seeing Ezra), Carter Sickels (The Evening Hour), Aria Minu-Sephr (We Heard the Heavens Then), Alexis Smith (Glaciers), Tony Hanner (Gertrude: Poems and Other Objects), and Ismet Prcic (Shards). The event begins at 7pm and takes place at: Literary Arts 925 Southwest Washington Street Portland,OR 97205

There will be food. And music. And fun. We’re gearing up for the Oregon Book Awards on April 8th. Soon.

Oh, and you were wondering about the mom and baby aardvarks? I just felt like it. They are so cute! […]

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