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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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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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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