Saturday, June 23, 2018

Author Interview: Ellen Notbohm


Ellen Notbohm is an award-winning author best known for her books on autism. Her new historical novel, The River by Starlight, tells the story of a homesteading couple in Montana in the early 1900s struggling with the wife's recurring postpartum depression. The book was inspired by research into Ellen's own family history.



Ellen recently talked with Rose City Reader about her new novel, women's health, and what she calls her "reading sutra."

How did you come to write The River by Starlight?

In my many years of genealogical work with families around the world, I’d learned that every family has what we call a brick wall—that one person no one will talk about. There’s always an aura of taboo around “the black sheep” or the “fallen angel.” In our family tree, a woman I call Annie Rushton (not her real name) stood behind a century-old brick wall. I felt pulled to her, as a woman and a mother. It took years of digging and a grain of luck to find out why the silence—Annie faced recurring postpartum psychosis at a time when neither medicine or society understood it.

Given the frontier-era social stigma and ignorance surrounding women’s mental health issues, not to mention the gender-biased laws of the day, what we now know to be a bona fide medical condition threatened to cost Annie nearly everything that forms the core of what we build our lives and values upon. I wanted to tell both her story and that of her husband, Adam Fielding, in a way that would heal prejudices and injustices. Maternal mental health is rarely in historical fiction. It’s foremost a woman’s story, to be sure, but the male partner’s perspective, with its profound grief and desperation, is a story even less told. Adam is an equally riveting figure in a love story that extreme adversity did its best to destroy.

How did you research the social and medical history you relate in such detail?

To be able to build Annie and Adam’s world with authenticity, I had to go the places they lived and experience the land and the sky and the water and the people for myself. I made six trips over several years, spending some time on their actual Montana homestead, exploring the city of Edmonton, meandering the back roads of northeastern North Dakota. Over the course of the research I visited or consulted more than forty libraries and archives, and read miles of microfilmed newspapers, and numerous kinds of records: birth, death, separation, marriage, divorce, adoption. School, military, prison, church, land purchase and sale, judicial, census, voter registration records. Immigration, border crossings, naturalization. Business licenses. Insurance records. County and state fair entries.

The medical information came from Montana State Hospital public records and conversations with the superintendent, and from histories of similar facilities of the early 20th century, from newspaper accounts of how those with mental illness were handled by their communities, and from medical texts of the day. The most intriguing of those is a 1916 book entitled Who is Insane? by Stephen Smith, who served as State Commissioner in Lunacy (yes—a real title, real position) of New York in the 1880s. He deliberated the societal boundaries of so-called insanity and put forth the idea that all of us have it within us to, at a given moment, be neurologically or emotionally triggered into a lapse resulting in “derangement,” “peculiarity,” go “wrong in the upper story” or “out of gear.” Dr. Smith was appointed by Governor Alonzo Cornell, who believed that many “insane” individuals had simply never had the opportunity to talk through their experiences with a professional who gave them any credence.

What did you learn from writing your book – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?

Many things about the subject matter were striking—the depth of societal stigma and ignorance surrounding postpartum mental illness, the lack of meaningful treatment, the disregard for doctor-patient confidentiality, the callous laws. It also struck me how the law and the community, so unforgiving of women with mental health issues, seemed to look the other way in other matters of family. Several of my characters are beset by circumstances driving them to leave marriages, which also meant abandoning children and other significant responsibilities. Those who left and those left behind went on to create new family relationships, with no evidence of divorces, remarriages or adoptions. They presented as families, and were accepted as families, like an early version of don’t-ask, don’t-tell.

As to the writing process itself, nothing drops more people’s jaws than hearing that I wrote most of the book, more than 500 pages of drafts, in pencil in spiral notebooks, mostly in pre-dawn hours. I felt the sensory elements of pencils and paper connected me to Annie’s time, the smell of the lead and wood, the smear of the eraser. And writing longhand made the emotion of the words I was forming seem more immediate—grief, ecstasy, anxiety, frustration, hope, betrayal, forgiveness. Writing by hand in the still and the dark of the wee hours (no keypad clacking, notifications pinging) opened me to hearing, feeling, and perceiving a whole other-dimensional world that I may not have otherwise “heard.”

You dedicate your book to your “once-in-two-lifetimes man.” Will you explain that one for us? 

Wow, people read book dedications? Who knew? But nope, not gonna explain that one. He knows who he is. A little intrigue is a good intro to the rest of the story, don’t you think?

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the authors you read?

So many terrific writers don’t get the attention they deserve; most of the books on my nightstand are by authors I’ve never read before. I don’t have favorite authors because I find the designation too limiting and want to continue to challenge myself to read broadly, not just deeply.

That said, some authors and books who influenced my work on The River by Starlight are Nuala O’Faolain’s My Dream of You, Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose, Ivan Doig’s The Whistling Season, Anna Keesey’s Little Century.

What kind of books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

My reading sutra is something older, something newer, something foreign, something classic. I just finished Stephen King’s On Writing] and Laura Nicole Diamond’s Shelter Us. Next up, Peter Hoag’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

That you have to able to hear the word “no” a lot. Even successful authors receive far more so-called rejections than acceptances. I say “so-called” because I don’t find the word rejection helpful or even accurate. I have a certain odd gratitude for the countless non-acceptances and non-responses I’ve received over the years, because each one meant I’d avoided placing my work with the wrong agent, editor, or publisher. Not much is more important than that. Once published, you learn very quickly that it’s permanent; once it’s out there, you can never retrieve the book that wasn’t done well, the compromises you come to regret. So, a valuable cousin of that advice about being able to hear “no” is, know when to say “no.” I’ve walked away from book deals that just didn’t make sense, from either a financial or creative perspective. It can also be valuable as well as protective and/or liberating to know when to tell yourself “no,” whether it’s to rules of the trade that make no sense to you, a direction a particular piece is taking that doesn’t feel right, or over-investing effort, emotion, time or money into a literary black hole.

You have a great website and are also active on Twitter and Facebook. From an author's perspective, how important are social networking sites and other internet resources to promote your book?

It’s the way of the world for the moment, so an author who eschews social media and an internet presence does so knowing she’s severely limiting her opportunities to connect with readers and potential readers. They expect an internet presence and can’t be counted upon or expected to dig through less immediate sources. However, there’s a lot of latitude in how much presence, how much effort an author wants to devote to her digital platform. Websites needn’t be elaborate. There’s no “right” amount of social media. I know many authors who are only on Facebook, or only on Twitter, and post only when they feel they have something to say. We do have to leave ourselves time to write and ruminate. Hence the balancing act.

What’s next? Are you working on your next book?

Next up is a 15th anniversary edition of my most popular nonfiction book, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, to be published in 2019. It too traces the journey of a person behind what was once a little-understood condition, in this case, my son and his autism. I didn’t know about Annie when I started writing Ten Things, but the similarities are there. Ten Things is a story about one of her descendants, imbued with her same resilience and tenacity, and has proven timeless in its own way.

After that, I’ll let the creative well refill a bit and see what floats to the surface. I like to keep stretching myself as a writer, trying new forms. One idea currently swirling is a novel in short stories, based on a 1920s tombstone I first saw ten years ago on the Oregon coast. It led me to some intriguing and disturbing information on workplace safety and the value of human life vs the risks of commerce in the building of our state’s most iconic industries, timber and exporting. Another deeply human, 100-year-old story. I seem to like those.


THANKS ELLEN!

THE RIVER BY STARLIGHT IS AVAILABLE ONLINE OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER TO ORDER IT!


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Book Beginning: Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



I was born in the winter of 1898 at Belfast, the son of a solicitor and of a clergyman’s daughter. My parents had only two children, both sons, and I was the younger by about three years.

-- Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C. S. Lewis. Such a prosaic beginning for the creator of Narnia!

This has been on my TBR shelf forever, so I finally decided to read it with my ears and got the audiobook download from my library.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING







Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Life Expectancy by Kirsten Rian


I am in northern Iceland, 913 miles and a softly arcing mapline away from my own Norwegian beginning stories, and I have a lot of questions, too, about things I don't understand, that can't be easily explained or ordered, in my mind anyway. I have plenty of names, but no way yet to compile them, or to at least attach a meaning I'm willing to accept.
-- Life Expectancy by Kirsten Rian. Kirsten's new book of poetry also includes several essays. In both poems and prose she explores family history, motherhood, and life taken in unexpected directions.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Summer Reads

What books came into your house last week? The Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood have been overflowing and I found three books that look like fun summer reads.



The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin



The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner



They Did It with Love by Kate Morgenroth



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Beginning: Beginner's Luck by Malcolm Terence

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Writers use many devices. I think my favorite is irony, in which the writer pretends to support something that is unsupportable.

-- Beginner's Luck: Dispatches from the Klamath Mountains by Malcolm Terence. In the 1960s, Terence helped found the Black Bear Ranch commune near the California-Oregon border, as he has now chronicled in his "rollicking new memoir."

PORTLAND EVENT: Malcolm Terence will be reading and signing Beginner's Luck at Powell's City of Books in downtown Portland on Monday, June 25, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.






Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Author Interview: Dionisia Morales


Dionisia Morales grew up in New York City and now lives and writes in Oregon. Her new collection of essays, Homing Instincts, just came out from OSU Press.



Dionisia recently talked with Rose City Reader about her new book, storytelling, and her ideas of home.

Did you set out to write 14 essays about how the concept of “home” plays out in daily life, or did you later find this common thread running through your writing? How did this collection come together?

About half of the essays in Homing Instincts were previously published in literary journals. One day, I stepped back and looked at them as a whole and found that even though they covered a wide range of topics—from beekeeping to rock climbing to people watching—there was a central theme running through them: How do we define “home”? It turns out that I have been trying to answer that question for years in my writing, approaching it from different angles. With those first essays complete, I set out to write new ones to knit together the idea that we often define home in different ways at different times in our lives. I’m from New York City but have chosen to settle in Oregon. My bi-coastal identity is a big part of the collection, but my hope is that the essays transcend a connection to any specific place and lead readers to consider questions of belonging more broadly.

Your essays seem very much drawn from your own experiences. How would you describe your inspiration?

I come from a family of storytellers. Noticing details and turning them into entertaining anecdotes was a big part of my growing up. I learned some of the best lessons about creative nonfiction writing craft from conversations with my family that started with a story but ended as a discussion about bigger issues.

Intriguing and odd things happen to all of us in the course of a day. When I have a story I want to tell in my writing, I stop and think about how it can go beyond my personal experience and connect to the lives and interests of other people. A good essay is more than just a journal entry; it needs to provide a view into the life of the writer but also open a door for readers to find themselves in the text. I get inspiration from all parts of my life—my kids and my hobbies, the things that make me laugh and the things that bore me. And when I sit down to write about them, I ask: “Now, what’s all this really about?”

Did you also learn something about yourself from writing these essays that you didn’t know before?

Through the process of writing Homing Instincts, I’ve learned that my definition of home is fluid; it has changed as I have changed. It used to bother me that my sense of home wasn’t more constant, as though that were a sign I was unrooted. But now I equate home with a feeling of belonging—which I find in different ways on different days—rather than a tie to a specific place.

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

I had a very active imagination as a kid and loved hearing and telling stories. I didn’t think writing was an option for me because, when I was around seven years old, the school librarian told my class that all good writers are good readers. I was a remedial reader all through elementary school and struggled with reading comprehension. The school put me in a special program several days a week to meet with a reading specialist. Reading and writing remained difficult for me through middle and high school, but I was lucky to have patient teachers. I wasn’t one of those kids who got lost in a book for pleasure; reading more often felt like a chore because it was so difficult. I feel fortunate that I can enjoy reading now but can get overwhelmed, like a need to make up for lost time. The notion that all writers are good readers stayed with me for a long time, and I didn’t know I could be a writer until I actually was one. I knew I would always continue with my family’s passion for spinning a good tale. It just took time to realize that I could also put those ideas on the page.

Do you have any events coming up to promote your book?

Next October, I am reading at the Magic Barrel, an annual literary event held in Corvallis, Oregon to benefit the Linn Benton Food Share. That month I will also participate in the Oregon Authors Day in Coos Bay. In November, I will be at the Wild Arts Book Fair in Portland.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

As a nonfiction writer, if I am missing or am unsure about a piece of information, it can feel like a barrier to moving an essay forward. A valuable piece of advice given to me was to treat these instances as opportunities to ask questions about the information I don’t have. For example: Why is the information so important? Am I making it out to be more important than it is? What would I gain by having it? What would I lose? How far would I go to get it? Exploring a subject this way—peripherally instead of head on—can take an essay in pleasantly unusual directions. I think of it like coming to a high wall in the woods. If I can’t get over it, I might as well walk along with my hand on it to feel for an opening. Maybe I’ll find one or figure out a way around, but if that doesn’t happen, then the essay becomes something else, something unexpected, a different adventure than what I’d planned.

Is there a story behind your name? Having an unusual first name myself (Gilion with a hard G), I like to ask people where they got theirs.

Growing up, my father told us that the tradition in his family was for the paternal grandfather to name the grandchildren. Since my father’s father was no longer alive when my brothers and I were born, my father took over that role. As it turns out, there was no such tradition in his family; he just made that up. I think he did it, in part, to give us unusual names without letting my mother have a say in it. My name is Greek and my brothers’ names are Spanish, but we have no roots in those cultures. I’ve always liked that my name stands out. As a kid I sometimes wished I could find “Dionisia” or even just my nickname, “Dio,” on one of those mini license plates that you could hang on your bike. I knew I’d never find one, but I always checked, just in case.

What’s next? Are you working on your next book?

My next project is a memoir about my father. He reinvented himself in his twenties, not only changing his name but also creating a new origin story. I am reuniting with long-lost cousins to learn about our family and am getting glimpses into the complicated circumstances that led my father to want to be someone else and start over again.


THANK YOU DIONISIA!

HOMING INSTINCTS IS AVAILABLE FROM POWELL'S, AMAZON, AND OSU PRESS, OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOK SELLER TO ORDER IT!



Author photo by Ralf Dujmovits.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Sum



When she arrived, Chimsky was already waiting at their usual spot in the back, a small booth for two underneath a mounted moose head, a drink in hand. He was dressed in his dealer's garb.

-- Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum, published by Forest Avenue Press.

 I love Queen of Spades, the debut novel retelling Pushkin's short story of the same name, set in a Washington state casino in the 1980s.

The eye-catching cover is by Portland artist Gigi Little.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Author Interview: Bette Lynch Husted

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Bette Lynch Husted is a poet and essayist who just wrote her first novel, All Coyote's Children, a compelling story set in northeastern Oregon.

PORTLAND EVENT: The book launch of for All Coyote's Children is this Monday, June 11, 2018, at 7:00 pm, at Broadway Books. Bette will be there to read from her book and sign copies.


Bette recently talked with Rose City Reader about her new novel, writing, and her own favorite books.

How did you come to write All Coyote’s Children?

In 2007, wondering if I could step from creative nonfiction and poetry into fiction, I took a Fishtrap workshop from Molly Gloss, and at the end of the week she said, “Bette, you have to write a novel. Get started, now.”

The story takes place in in northeastern Oregon, on and around the Umatilla Indian Reservation. What drew you to this location for the setting of your novel?

I spent some time researching local history and spinning my wheels, trying to find a way into the story I wanted to tell. In some ways this book was born at a June wedding a year after that workshop when I heard a Umatilla spiritual leader say, “We’re not just joining two people here today. We’re joining two families.” My son, wearing a ribbon shirt and moccasins, looked as happy as I’ve ever seen him; the bead and shell wedding veil he was lifting from his bride’s head was one he had made especially for her. His own heritage is mainly Celtic and Northern European; the bride, who is Umatilla-Cayuse and Apache, was a former student and my own longtime friend.

I knew this marriage wasn’t the answer to the question that has troubled me all my life—the story most Americans don’t talk about because, as one of the characters in All Coyote’s Children puts it, “it cancels all our mythologies. No wonder we can’t face it.” (How do any of us face the fact that the indigenous peoples and cultures of North America were dehumanized, seen as obstacles to be eliminated as others “tamed a continent” -- a phrase used by our president in his recent Naval Academy graduation address -- and then all but erased from national consciousness?) But it was a joyful day, and the spiritual leader’s words felt extraordinarily generous. That day, healing -- and a story about healing -- seemed possible.

What is your professional background? How did it lead you to writing books?

I studied literature because I wanted to be a writer. This was before M.F.A. programs, or at least any that I knew about. For years, teaching high school and then community college literature and writing took most of my time and energy. But it fed me as a writer, too. Teaching Oregon /Northwest Literature and Native American Literature courses, as well as an expanded-canon American Lit. class -- and learning to guide students deeper and deeper into their own writing -- were gifts.

You are known for your poetry and essays. What was it like to write your first novel?

As a young writer, I imagined being able to say, “I’m working on a novel.” A real writer could do that, I thought. Even after I believed I was a “real” writer, I wondered if I could write a sustained work of fiction. But discovering these characters, and watching them move through their lives, was as close as I have ever come to experiencing magic. I wrote much of the novel in the community room of our public library, a space I shared with and homeless people trying to stay warm or escape the eastern Oregon heat. Away from phone and dog and my own loved ones, I could enter the world of the novel and live there for a few hours. As I pulled into a parking space I always wondered, what will they do today? They always told me.

And I was “working on a novel.” It was a joy. I almost didn’t want it to end.

What is the significance of the title? Does it have a personal meaning for you besides its connection to the story?

In inland Northwest Native cultures, Creator chooses Coyote to prepare the world for human beings. He’s comic, too -- making the same kinds of goofy and appetite-driven mistakes we humans make. (“I was engrossed to the exclusion of thinking,” he says in Archie Phinney’s translation of the Nez Perce creation story, his excuse for forgetting to save the piece of the Swallowing Monster that will become the Nez Perce. Not to worry: they will spring up from the blood-soaked earth.) And Coyote is resilient. A survivor, in spite of himself. Ranchers have waged all-out war on coyotes for years, but a few years ago I read that there are now more coyotes in America today than there were in 1492.

“We’re all in this together,” characters in All Coyote’s Children realize. That’s what the title means to me. Coyote still has much to teach us if we pay attention.

Please tell us a little about the poem fragment from William Orr at the beginning of your book and why you chose it: “To see the world and say it true / Means starting with loss. / But that’s not what the heart wants, / That’s not where the saying stops.”

The novel begins after great loss, devastating losses for the Cayuse culture (half of their number dead less than 20 years after the arrival of the Whitmans, and decades of intentional cultural attack in government boarding schools) and on a smaller, more personal scale, a good non-Native family suddenly devastated by unexpected separation and grief. To be honest, we have to acknowledge loss. But the heart wants more, the heart wants not only survival but a healing story. “We are still here,” Native people say. “We will never fade.”

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the authors you read?

Molly Gloss has been a writing mentor, a guide as well as a friend. I loved her work long before I met her. I was fortunate to be in a writing group with her and with Ursula K. Le Guin, and I can hear both voices in my head as I revise. Leslie Silko’s Ceremony -- what need I say? It’s an amazing book.

What kind of books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

I read fiction, creative non-fiction (sometimes just non-fiction) and poetry. We have been inviting Northwest writers to the First Draft Writers’ Series [in Pendleton, Oregon] for five years, so every month I get to read writers I admire. And just now I’m reading Kevin Young’s Brown, Tracy K. Smith’s Wade in the Water, and Ursula’s Always Coming Home, as well as the manuscript of Molly’s forthcoming collection of short stories. (Lucky me!) And I recently finished Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

Last month I watched the trailer of Arwen Curry’s forthcoming documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin and heard Ursula say, “To learn to make something well can take your whole life. And it’s worth it.”

One last gift, I thought. And the best writing advice any of us could ever receive.

Do you have any events coming up to promote your book?

After the launch at Broadway Books on June 11, I’ll be:

  • reading at Buttercreek Coffee and Mercantile in Echo, Oregon at 6:30 p.m. on June 19;
  • reading at First Draft, Pendleton Center for the Arts, 7 p.m. on June 21; 
  • reading at Josephy Center Brown Bag event in Joseph, Oregon at noon on June 26 
  • reading at the Clearwater Memorial Public Library in Orofino, Idaho on July 12 at 2 p.m.;
  • Orofino area book club on July 13;
  • reading in Baker City, Oregon on July 27 (time and place to be announced);
  • reading at Leach Botanical Garden for “Why There Are Words PDX” at 4 p.m. on August 19;
  • reading at Eastern Oregon University on October 16 (time and place to be announced); and
  • keynote speaker at Women Writing the West conference in Walla Walla, Washington at 7 p.m. on October 27.
What’s next? Are you working on your next book?

I hope to be working on another novel soon. And in the writing workshop group I mentioned, we each write and critique two poems each month, so I have quite a file to sort and revise, so I’m hoping for another poetry collection. I write a monthly column, “From Here to Anywhere,” for the East Oregonian, so I’m writing something nearly every day.


THANKS BETTE!

ALL COYOTE'S CHILDREN IS AVAILABLE AT BROADWAY BOOKS, POWELL'S, AND AMAZON, OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOK SELLER TO ORDER IT!


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Beginning: Pay to Play: Sexual Harassment American Style by Tootie Smith

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



Simply defined, Pay-to-Play is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or for the privilege to engage in certain activities.

-- Pay to Play: Sexual Harassment American Style by Tootie Smith. A timely and lively book explaining what sexual harassment is and offering real life solutions to the current problem.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Seasons of Doubt by Jeannie Burt



The door opened, a whip of wind rustled in. Traber stood in the door in all his startling height.

The Seasons of Doubt by Jeannie Burt. In the winter of 1873, Mary Harrington must save herself and her son after her husband abandons them in a sod house on the Nebraska prairie.

As you can tell just from this short teaser, Burt's writing crackles and she knows how to bustle the story right along.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Nonfiction Books

Two interesting and completely different nonfiction books came my way last week. What books came into your house?



Beginner's Luck: Dispatches from the Klamath Mountains by Malcolm Terence. In the 1960s, Terence helped found the Black Bear Ranch commune near the California-Oregon border, as he has now chronicled in his "rollicking new memoir."

PORTLAND EVENT: Malcolm Terence will be reading and signing Beginner's Luck at Powell's City of Books in downtown Portland on Monday, June 25, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.



Pay to Play: Sexual Harassment American Style by Tootie Smith. A timely book offering real life solutions to the problem of sexual harassment.




Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

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