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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A few weeks back, Susan Olson, the blogger of Time Travel Times Tworeviewed Seven Stitches and asked me four questions. And so now here’s where I get to do the questioning and Susan does the answering. She’s got a soon-to-be-published children’s book that combines historical fiction and time travel. Yes!

Susan, about three years ago, you gave us ten reasons why blogging is like gardening. If you were writing that post now, what, if anything, would you change?

Aargh—don’t you know how painful it can be to read one’s old blog posts? 😉  (Yup, Susan’s got a point there!) Since writing that post I’ve finished four online courses in editing, and I now feel that gardening is more like editing than it is like writing. At least editing is like the kind the kind of gardening that I do which is about 90% weeding and pruning, and another 5% moving things around. […]

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It’s the reader’s equivalent of a double-header, a two-for-the-price-of-one special, a club sandwich, pizza with extra cheese. Amber J. Keyser and I will team up at Annie Bloom’s Bookstore in Portland this Thursday (April 20) at 7. She’s bringing Pointe, Claw; I’m bringing Seven Stitches. There will be laughter. There will be secrets to share. And you will likely not be in attendance.

No worries! Amber has a solid presence on social media, so you can get to know a lot about her there. I show up once in a while…take this post for instance. But you can learn more about me and my writing life on Susan Olson’s long-time, well respected blog, Time Travel Times Two. Click over to the interview/review, and you’ll find out when and where in time and space I’d like to spend a two-week vacation. After the interview, I asked Susan a few questions myself, so you’ll get to know her better in another post. […]

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Playfulness offers relief from the stresses of…well…I needn’t enumerate them…so I wasn’t surprised when Charles insisted that he come to the launch of Seven Stitches this Thursday at Another Read Through. After all, Charles and I go back more than a year, when I decided to do some fact checking for the story.

In the Seven Stitches of my imagination, a stuffed blue giraffe is the beloved companion of a homeless girl who lives in Portland. Problem? I’d never seen a stuffed blue giraffe. To find out whether one existed, I went to the purveyor of virtually all things material: Amazon.

The result? Many, many, many, and even many more stuffed giraffes live in cybermarket world, and an amazing number of them are blue. Who knew? The choices were so vast and I was so intrigued that I bought three. Yes, I auditioned three stuffed blue giraffes for the position of Charles. […]

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Today I offer a lesson in irony.

If you’re reading this post you likely know that Seven Stitches is the latest companion novel in the Blue Thread Saga. Ooligan Press has teamed up with Another Read Through for the official launch on February 16 at 7. This book pairs the past (16th century Istanbul) with the future (Portland, Oregon, in 2059).

How did I decide about what will have changed by 2059? That’s for another post. One aspect of 2059, though, is that Facebook is gone, gone, gone. Here’s a snip from the book:

Mr. Utopia was back to his regular banter a few minutes later, waxing nostalgic with Rose about cane sugar tasting better than the beet sugar we often used. As he inhaled fried tempeh, Rose told him about the sugar beet trains in Russia and about her mother’s recipe for borscht. Then, to my surprise, she told him about coming to the States. […]

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Sketch by Scriva artist and writer Addie Boswell, 2010

Today is the summer solstice, the official start of summer. The elves at Ooligan Press are turning the manuscript for Seven Stitches into book form, and I get a breather. I’m not exactly sending my muse on vacation. The truth is that she and I are already discussing the next story (she does most of the talking). Still, for the nonce I am deadline free, and I want to use some of this time to introduce you to each member of the current Viva Scriva, the writer’s critique group that continues to nurture, cajole, advise, suggest, sympathize, guide, goad, and otherwise keep me writing and keep me sane. Over the summer and maybe into the fall, I’ll be devoting blog posts to each of these Scrivas, so you can get to know them and their work. You are in for a treat! […]

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This first week in May brings to mind the liberation of the concentration camps at the end of World War II. The Nazis had exterminated an estimated 11 million people because of political or religious affiliations, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disabilities.

Six million of these people were Jews.

Some were members of my family.

I have yet to write about those Holocaust years, although The Ninth Day (companion novel to Blue Thread and the forthcoming Seven Stitches) spirals between the free speech protestors in 1964 Berkeley and the Jewish granddaughter of Rashi in 1099 Paris, in the aftermath of the Crusader attack on the Jews of Mainz. The story touches on survival and guilt, on speaking up, and on the power of song.

The main character in The Ninth Day speaks up as little as possible to avoid stuttering.  She would have admired Aaron, the boy who stutters in Anna Olswanger’s Greenhorn. […]

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