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.
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?
I’ve been busy doing some book things and some family things. I hardly feel I have time to breath. (With all the ash falling from the sky, maybe I shouldn’t! Fortunately, we are getting some rain here in the PNW to wash away some of the ash from the fires.)
At the end of July I did a nice book signing at the PNWA Summer Conference Author party. Here’s my display. I was next to a thriller author. Loved his great covers!
Then at the end of August, I sat with several other authors from the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest at the Waterfront Book Festival, which happened to coincide with the Waterfront Arts Festival. It was a gorgeous day to sit out and enjoy the view. I only feel bad that during the time I stepped out for lunch, I missed several people who stopped by my table. If you stopped by to see me, I would love to hear from you, either in the comments or send me an e-mail. This was one of the nicest events I’ve done so far.
At the end of August, my family took a vacation to Yellowstone. I hadn’t been there to look around, since I was very young and my kids had never been. It was an incredible trip. No, we did not feed the bison, but we saw a lot of them and a lot of elk.
This week I celebrated a BIG birthday with a lot of good food, family and friends! As well as getting some gifts, I was able to play Book Fairy and I left two of my books around town for someone to find. I hope they enjoy them!
Finally, if you don’t have my book Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans, you can pick up the e-book now on sale for a limited time for 99¢ on Amazon.
This morning my post is up on the Writer’s Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a song lyric from my first Shredded Orphans novel “Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans”. Check it out here:
In other news, I had two great events in the past few weeks. At the end of April I had a delightful time with 14 other authors at a book signing at the University Bookstore in Mill Creek. It was a fun evening filled with books and food.
The other was my very first book reading at the Neverending Bookshop in Bothell. It was so nice to see everyone who turned out for it and the owner, Annie, did a great job of setting up for the event and making me feel welcome and comfortable. I read the first chapter of “Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans“, part of “The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates” and a smattering of poems from “Requite Me: Poems of Love Jealousy and Angst“. The two hours just flew by. Also, there were brownies and banana muffins. What more could you want?