Save the Date! Workshop and Book Signing at New Renaissance Bookshop

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Come if you can! For the Workshop, the Book Signing, or just to say Hi! New Renaissance Bookshop Sunday, November 5, 2017 Workshop, 11am-1pm, Book Signing, 1pm Cost: $20, the Book Signing is free: To Register, Call 503-224-4929 “How the Tarot Major Arcana Relate to Your Life” The major arcana cards of a tarot deck tell the story of “The Hero’s Journey”, which is the basic plot of western literature and of each of our lives. Because we are all heros on our own journeys toward enlightenment. In this workshop we will follow one of the many variations of this plot through the major arcana and gain an understanding of the part each card plays in our own journey. Then I will teach you a three card spread that will show you where you are in your journey right now. This workshop will also help you understand my young adult fantasy, Forging the Blade, at a deeper level. I wrote the book as a Fool’s journey through the major arcana. Each chapter is… Read More »

FORGING THE BLADE is Now Available at New Renaissance Bookshop!!!

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When you are a self published author, and your book is available on Amazon, it is difficult to find a brick-and-mortar bookstore to carry your book. But New Renaissance, in Portland, Oregon, now has Forging the Blade  on its shelves. I know that some of you have been holding out for the opportunity to buy my book at a local bookstore, and now you can–and from one of my favorites.

Forging the Blade is now Available at Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR!

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I love libraries. To me they are sacred places. Legend has it that the ancient Library of Alexandria had a sign in its main room that said: “The place for the cure of the soul.”* And so I am thrilled that there are now four copies of Forging the Blade in the Multnomah County Library. Since the sequel, Mainly by Moonlight, is set mostly at Grant High School in Portland, the library was kind enough to place one of the books in Albina Library and one in the Hollywood Library, the branches closest to Grant.  *The Greek philosopher and historian, Hecataeus of Abdera, visited Egypt in the fourth century BC and reported that the library in the tomb of Rameses II had “The place for the cure of the soul” engraved on one of its walls. The modern historian, Luciano Cánfora, says that since the library in Rameses’ tomb was never found, it never existed, and, since the wall is located in his tomb, the soul referred to is the ka of… Read More »

The Crystal-Witch of Valparaiso, Chile

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Valparaiso rises up out of its harbor into a bustling, modern port and skyscraper packed city and then up onto forty-five steep hills, each a maze of winding streets lined with colorful houses and post-colonial edifices.* It’s filled with fabulous street art. And street vendors are everywhere. The best way to navigate the city is by taking the funiculars, steep railroads with two counterbalanced cars that go up and down the hills. Valparaiso has fifteen of them, nine of which actually work. Near the top of one of these funiculars we passed a woman sitting beside a table full of copper jewelry (Chile has huge copper mines). She was one of dozens of vendors that we’d walked by that day, but something made me stop and look at her work more closely. Most of the pieces were made from fine copper wire that had been crocheted into chains and settings for crystals. It was pretty stuff, but not any prettier that the other handmade jewelry… Read More »

The Water Dragon of Los Pozones Hot Springs, Chile

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Chile’s Lake District feels a lot like the Pacific Northwest.* It’s green, rainy, full of trees and mountains and, of course, lakes. But when we looked a bit closer, we realized that those oh so familiar green slopes were covered not with Douglas Firs but with evergreen beeches, myrtles, and eucalyptus trees. And there were a few more volcanoes on the horizon than we were used to. And lots of hot springs. Termas Los Pozones, my absolute favorite, lies nestled in the hills beside the Rio Liucura, just an hour’s drive from Pucon, a scenic resort town on the shores of Lake Villarrica. Lola, Todd and Alex’s camper van, is not a rugged, all-terrain sort of vehicle, so we parked in the upper parking lot and walked down over a hundred river-rock stair steps. There are six pools lined with river-rock. The hottest one is where the steps come down and they get cooler as you go downstream. I only tested three. The first one… Read More »

Fact and Fiction in Storytelling, or, How Do You Really Forge a Blade?

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If you want to tell a story that keeps your readers turning pages, you must convince them that perhaps it could be true. Or, at the very least, convince them to suspend their disbelief for the duration of the story. This won’t happen if they spot even small errors in your work. It breaks the spell and they stop reading–something writers strive to discourage–and say “Wait! That’s not right.” And even if they then continue to read, they will be suspicious of everything else you tell them. In chapter 14, the Temperance chapter of Forging the Blade, the Damian goddess, Brigga, forges a magic sword for Molly, the main character. She uses Molly’s blood to bind her to the blade. As the sword is forged, Molly is also forged into a warrior. I figured that forging a blade would be a perfect metaphor for Temperance. This is a key chapter in the book, and to make it work, the reader must totally believe in the drama of a… Read More »