Monday, June 18, 2012


When are we lost? When we can no longer see our path, find our way?
When we no longer care where our feet lead us?
When our feet don't move at all?

When the contents of our lives become untethered?

A couple of weeks ago I saw a single, filigree earring half-buried in shore sand. I walked on a little way, thinking I should do a post on things lost, so I turned around and went back to photograph the earring. I couldn't find it again. Sometimes things and people are truly lost and stay that way.

But I went looking for lost things again and found some and thought about how melancholy I was feeling. The water-logged spiral notebook in the drowned tote above made me wonder if a writer or student lost their musings and creations to sea and sand. Did the bag fall from a boat, off the pier? (I directed the county harbor crew to it, by the way.)

 I've lost a lot of people this last year and some precious things, including faith in myself at times. It is the nature of life--birth and death, lost and found, doubt and confidence, joy and sorrow. Without the dark would we appreciate the light?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Heroes, sung and unsung

Most days, news feeds batter us with financial disasters, killing fields and other disturbing results of human behavior. But sometimes people do things that are wonderful, and they deserve more notice than they usually get.
So here is a little story of two women who met while blogging:
Natalie Bahm
and Wen Baragrey

The vast Pacific Ocean separates them geographically, but they became critique partners, sharing their works-in-progress and the stories of their lives. (as a disclaimer, I should say I've known both Natalie and Wen through blogging for several years and have shared works-in-progress with Wen)

Enter the horrific earthquakes that tore apart Christchurch, New Zealand where Wen lived. During this, Wen's daughter was pregnant with a child who wasn't supposed to live. But Jayden did fight to be born and survive, and that meant being in hospital with a sick baby while the earth continued to rumble and buck.

To shorten this story, fast-forward to a decision by Wen and Jayden's parents to move to the stable ground of Australia. Jayden's health problems were far from over, however, and he needs special care and living environment.

I'm going to skip to what Natalie did. She decided to hold an online auction to raise funds to help Jayden's family care for him. I don't know all the behind-the-scenes work or who did what, but that meant calling for donations, setting up a website, writing the content for each item with photos and links, setting up payment option, hosting the auctions and contacting the winners.

The auction has been going on for a week with the critiques offered by agents garnering the heaviest bidding. There were many other contributors--authors and artists, who helped give this struggling family a boost. They all deserve thanks for their generosity.

Natalie wasn't done, though. She announced this: "After some thought, I’ve decided, as a personal gift to Jayden, to donate all of the proceeds from my middle grade novel UNDERGROUND to his family. UNDERGROUND is a sweet, back-yard adventure.  It will release early fall 2012, and will be available in both eBook and print.  My agent, Sara Megibow, has helped make this donation possible.
UNDERGROUND’s publication is sure to be an adventure, and, with any luck, it will also be another way to help Jayden and his family."

How extraordinary is that?

There are still a few items left to bid on until the auction is completely over, so please check it out. Or you can also make a direct donation to the family here. And don't forget to order UNDERGROUND--it should make a fine holiday present in more ways than one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Best voting spot in the world

So, yeah, I voted in my state's primary elections today. I hope your voice is heard, too. As a woman, I respect how much the suffragists/suffragettes actually did suffer to gain this right for me.

My polling place has to be the best. The view out front:
Or if you turn your head:

Our polling place is inside the lifeguard headquarters building. Here's a view taken on a pastel night:

Please don't forget about the auction for HelpBabyJayden. So many good things up for bid--agent and author critiques, signed books, artworks.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Critiques, signed books, custom art--come on down!

Ever been to an auction? You don't need to worry about understanding the speed-talking auctioneer for one I'm pointing you towards. This one is easy-peasy online and proceeds help a sick child and his family. Win-win.
I wrote about Jayden here or you can just go to his blog site and check out the auction items. There will be about five new items a day this week and you have several days to make your bid. The rules are spelled out and simple.

For starters, there are manuscript critiques, a custom artwork, signed books and a commemorative picture frame given to people who worked on The Hobbit film. So take a chance, please. You might win the item and help someone at the same time. Thank you!