Happy Summer Days!
Hope you are having a great summer. Mine has been full of music so far. A few weeks ago it was X and Psychedelic Furs at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Zootunes. An amazing concert and so much fun! Last Friday we were at the free concerts at the Mural Amphitheater in the Seattle Center to see Taco Cat. Check out this link if you’ve never heard this band. They’re a lot of fun! Opening for them was Snuff Redux and The Coathangers. Another terrific concert. It just goes to prove that music is still alive and well in the Seattle area.
If you’re in Marysville, Washington this weekend for the Marysville Street Festival, stop in and say hi. I’ll be at the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest booth on Friday, August 10th from 9am to noon and on Sunday, August 12th from 10am to 3pm. I’ll have books to sell and free magnets! (My daughter made them and they’re pretty cool!)
Hope you’re enjoying some sun, music and good books!
If you’re looking for something great to read, my Shredded Orphans books are on sale. Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans is on sale for 99¢ and The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates is on sale for $2.99 until the end of August on Amazon. (You can also get Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords for 99¢ if you’re looking for epub!) This coincides with the summer promotion on Instafreebie. Check out these great Sci-Fi books, samples and previews all written by women authors.
Hope everyone is enjoying May and here in the great Pacific Northwest we have tons of flowers blooming. We’ve had a strange May with tons of rain and some sun (not so unusual), but several really hot days (one came in at over 90 degrees) and then dropping down to 60 degrees the next day.
Here’s a bunch of flowers that are in my yard this week.
And then to top it off the bumblebees have moved into the birdhouse gourd that I took from my dad’s house. Unlike the rest of my family, I’m thrilled. (They hate that it’s a few feet from the front door, but it doesn’t bother me as much.)
Hope you’re enjoying some May flowers of your own.
If you’re looking for some great reading materials, there’s a few more days left of the BookFunnel promotion I’m in with fellow Pacific Northwest authors. Check out these fabulous free reads.
Happy May and Happy Reading!
Much thanks go to Lynn Whitbeck and her team at Petite2Queen for this great flyer. You can check it out on my Events page. I won’t be there in person, but I’ll have signed books available. If you are in the area, you should stop in and chat with the local authors who will be attending. I’m sorry to miss this one, but look for another event like this around July.
Once again it’s time for the annual World Record Store Day this Saturday, April 21, 2018. And once again, I’ve got a million things planned that day. I’m hopeful that I’ll get a chance to get to at least one of the two record stores close to me: Vortex Music or Silver Platters.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the list of music you might be able to find, click the link below. There’s new and old music: David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Car Seat Headrest – something for everyone!
Growing up in the 80’s, I was a fan of The Alarm. If this stirs a spark in you, you have to check out the video of Mike Peters of The Alarm talking about his new album release and his planned 24 hour Trans-Atlantic tour. This is amazing!
If Lix and the Shredded Orphans were a real band they would definitely be supporting this. You’re reading this and you’re real. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to get out to your local record store this Saturday and show them some music love.
Happy Reading and Happy Listening!
Saturday was the second annual Women’s March. I missed it. I also missed the first march. I don’t know, maybe it’s just so much stuff in my life now is going crazy. I have this weight of other things hanging over my head, that this was just not a priority for me. I have friends, that are younger, that did the first march and lament that they did not for some reason participate this year. The time was not right for me.
Here are some facts that might shed some light on my perspective. I grew up in the seventies. It was a time of protest. Maybe the sixties were more known for it, but I certainly saw it often on the news in the seventies. I couldn’t wait to grow up and go stand outside some “evil” factory chain link fence with a protest sign or march down the street chanting for equality and burning my bra. That never happened.
By the time I got to college it was the eighties, a time of prosperity and relative peace, at least in my area. I would occasionally hear about a protest going on, usually Greenpeace related. If you went to the area where the protest was happening, there would be maybe twenty people huddled in a group holding five signs in Red Square on the UW campus. To those people it must have felt like being on a small raft in a sea of apathetic students passing by on their way to classes. I found ads in the classifieds for activist jobs. You could get paid to do this – make a living from protesting things? Somehow that seemed to take all the meaning out of it for me.
It was a bit of an eye opening experience. It wasn’t that people didn’t care about whales or whatever the protest was about, but the time was not right for that. Historically, you can look and see that events tend to pendulum back and forth. It’s not getting progressively better, but swinging back and forth along a fairly straight path; times of peace – times of conflict, times of prosperity – times of scarcity, times of hope – times of despair, times of enlightenment – times of ignorance. To some this might be disheartening, but if you think of it this way, it just means that if you are in a down swing, then things are heading towards an upswing. It is ingrained in human nature to keep us in that balance.
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud those protesters. There is something to be said for solidarity. Being part of a group, belonging, gives people a purpose, worth. We all need solidarity at some point in our lives or in certain areas of our lives. This is what being in a group does for you: brings you together and gives you a purpose, feeds your soul, uplifts your spirits, gives you strength, courage and hope. You see this in sports, clubs, religions, communities and other organizations.
The times feel like despair now. This does not feel like a great place to be, but in fact adversity breeds creativity. Women have experienced this for ages. They have expressed their protests in craft, needlework and knitting for hundreds of years. These pink hats are nothing, but the latest expression of protest. Not only women, but all people feel the need to create art when they have something to say and need a way to express themselves; through song, paint, drawing, sculpture, writing, poetry and other crafts.
Had these marches taken place thirty years ago, I would have been right in the middle of it. It is something I would have loved to be a part of. Now, maybe, I’m too cynical and definitely older and more tired. My friend from college, who sometimes would go to protests told me years later that she learned that it was more effective to work from the inside to make change, rather than standing outside that chain link fence holding a sign. I believe she was right.
I urge you all to make that change from the inside, starting with yourself. Stand together in solidarity, but at the end of the day stand individually by your own solitary self. You have more power than you think you do. If you see something that needs fixing in the world, then take the initiative and fix it. Even the smallest things make a difference. While we can’t always do the best thing or the right thing everyday, when we make a conscience effort to try and do the right thing, like helping someone out, being kind, picking up after a stranger in shared public spaces, spending our money with companies that try and make the world better, this makes a difference. These are things that if we all did them, would make a difference in the world.
What if everyone lived their lives as if the reason for being here was to make the world a better place? I try and teach this to my children, because this is a world that I would like to live in. What about you?
Some last minute shopping; jump online and check out the Kindle Countdown Deal I have going on for The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates. 99¢ from November 24-27th and $1.99 from November 27th to December 1st at Amazon.com or £0.99 from November 24 to December 1st on Amazon.co.uk. Get the 99¢ deal today for Cyber Monday.
My books are set to Kindle matching, so if you buy a print book from Amazon, you should get the Kindle of it for free. Remember, books make great gifts!