Book Give-away

Free books! Really, truly, free books! August 6 from 1 to 6 pm at the BlackStack Brewery in St. Paul, Ellen and I will be there with other Minnesota authors. The others will be selling and autographing their books, but we, finding ourselves seriously overstocked, are giving away titles by Ellen Kuhfeld, Mary Monica Pulver, and Monica Ferris. Do Drop In:

Books and Beer Pop-up Bookstore

Love books? Love beer? Love meeting local authors?

Get on down to the Books and Beer Pop-up Bookstore!

Minnesotan authors will have their books for sale. Stop by to chat with them over a pint and find your next favorite book.

Check back to see additional authors that will have their books for sale!

Michael Bernabo-
Carl Brookins –
Midge Bubany –
Scott Burtness –
Megan Carney –
Tom Combs –
J. Lynn Else –
Kathy Engen, Linda Heath –
Greg Gardner –
Meg Hafdahl –
Nancy Hedin –
Christine Husom –
June Kramin –
Ellen Kuhfeld, Monica Ferris –,
Brian Lutterman –
K. Bird Lincoln –
Erik McCarthy –
Amanda Meuwissen –
Amanda Michelle Moon –
J. Lloren Quill –
Rhea Rhodan –
Scott Michael Stenwick –
Cole W. Williams –


And, just for fun, do any of you like model planes – the kind that really fly? I am amazed – seriously amazed – at where the hobby has gone lately. For example:

Posted in Uncategorized


Remember card catalogs in libraries? I do, and I loved them. I was disappointed when, after going to a computer system, they discarded the stacks of narrow little boxes. Couldn’t they have kept them both? They made searches so much easier, and there was frequently the joyous experience of finding an even better book (or books!) in the next card or two down the row – Dewey Decimal System, anyone? I thought I – a science fiction fan from an early age – I was being a troglodyte in regretting their disappearance, but have found I am not alone. For example, there’s this:

I do want to say that the Internet, with its powerful search engines, is fabulous and I use them avidly. But I wish there was an app or something that would make connections like the Dewey Decimal System did.

The writing has slowed down again. I wish I knew how to restore my muse!

I am going to the dentist in a little while. It seems that in the last six months my teeth, especially the crowns, have deteriorated sharply. I went in for my bi-annual cleaning and I was shown photographs of the inside of my mouth and was shocked. The porcelain lining of my bridge has chipped away and a natural tooth has broken and there are other signs of wear. It’s like I’ve been chewing pebbles. So now I have to return to get the bad news from Doctor Lunden.   What is it going to cost to restore my mouth? Are my teeth salvageable at all?

Posted in Uncategorized

Nothing to Report

I can’t think of a single item of interest to write about.  There’s a fair amount going to happen, but nothing currently going on.
Posted in Uncategorized

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Hurrah for the Glorious Fourth! I hope your hot dog and potato salad and Jello with little marshmallows and ice cream or Popsicles are particularly fine this year, and the fireworks are truly amazing. We live right next door to Aquila Park, which has an excellent display, set off at the bottom of a steep grassy hill while we sit along the top, so they go off close overhead – nice. The forecast is for scattered showers starting late in the afternoon, so . . . bummer. But we’ll see. They may scatter themselves elsewhere or hold off or finish up early.

I went to our biggest farmers’ market this past Sunday to order the geese for Michaelmas, and as I was working my way back to the car, I came across a booth selling spectacular bouquets in beautiful vases, and bought this one, all in shades of yellow, including roses. Ten dollars – the heavy glass vase alone is worth that. So it sits on our dining room table looking elegant.


The needlepoint bunny I’m stitching for my sister Dolores is coming along, though rather slowly, because I’m experimenting with blending flosses.

I’m changing the order of events in Tying the Knot. The plot is getting complicated and it’s going to be challenging to get all my characters in their correct places here and there to move the story forward. Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse from early on, when Betsy is talking with her ex-husband about their days in the US Navy, when he took her along on the USS Ranger aircraft carrier’s annual Dependents’ Day Cruise:

“Maybe you would have, at that. Remember that Dependents’ Day Cruise I took you on?” he asked. “You really liked it — and didn’t get seasick.”

“That was fun,” she said. Back in the day – and maybe still today – U.S. Navy aircraft carriers held annual “Dependents’ Day Cruises,” during which they took crew members’ relatives to sea for a day. Aircraft were launched and recaptured, did fly-bys and other demonstrations of skill. The USS Ranger was Roo’s assigned ship and Betsy was pleased to go aboard.   It was an experience like no other and Betsy’s mind warmed to the memory: The deafening roar of jet engines, the dizzying stink of jet fuel, the rush of air down the flight deck as the huge ship accelerated into a wind so powerful she could literally lean against it; the curious swift and purposeful movement of men in red, yellow, green, brown and blue knit shirts as they fueled, started and then guided the pale gray jets into position to be suddenly thrown forward from the bow into the air, the roar as they circled the ship, dropping from a height to a few yards above the water, the anxiety and danger as they came home, planes teetering downward one by one to reach for one of the huge cables across the stern with a tailhook which dragged them swiftly to a halt. And all the while, off the port bow hovered a helicopter called the “angel. ” Its role was to scoop up pilots whose aircraft failed to make air speed on launch or to catch the arresting gear on landing, while their multi-million dollar planes swiftly sank beneath the waves. (Once, years later, she’d had a conversation with an Air Force reservist who explained that while Air Force pilots were brave and skilled, Navy pilots were insane.)

Posted in Uncategorized

Back in the Saddle

It is amazing to me how often inspiration comes at inconvenient times. Like, for me this most recent time, at night, when I’m in bed falling asleep and with an early morning appointment. But POW! just as my thoughts are starting to jumble into a dream, I thought, Make It One. There just isn’t enough story for Tying the Knot. I’d have to pad – and I hate reading a book that’s padded with unnecessary digressions and the detective behaving stupidly to make the story longer. I need action and movement and danger and excitement. So, two weddings! And Connor deathly ill! And Betsy’s first husband is . . . um, up to something! Alarums and excursions! Let’s see, first Roo turns up, and then Godwin is excited at planning a huge, expensive wedding, then Connor falls very ill, then the wedding planner is murdered, then Godwin’s friend is suspected of murder but Betsy is too worried about Connor to investigate, then Roo does something stupid, and – yes! Wow, this could be good! Oh, boy! And next thing I know my clock is striking midnight and I’m wide awake. Should I keep the title Tying the Knot? After all, two knots are going to be tied, but on the other hand, I think Betsy marrying Connor will mean she sells Crewel World to devote herself to – what? Travel? Anyway, maybe a new title is in order: Goodbye, Crewel World. Because this will be the end of the series.

Awwwww . . . Sad. But it’s good to find myself back in the saddle. Because I think I have an inkling of a notion of an idea for an entirely different sort of novel.

Meanwhile, I’m wearing a knee brace, which is working pretty well and enabling me to cowardly put off knee replacement surgery for a while longer.

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Signing in the Northwoods

All the blood tests and the CAT scan came back negative for residual infection, so I’m good for the knee replacement – but I don’t want to undergo the surgery until I can’t bear the pain and complications to my life anymore. So on Friday I’m going to a clinic to be fitted for a brace to see if that makes life more bearable for a while longer.

Friday evening we drove up to Remer, a little town about a hundred and eighty miles north of the Cities. It rained a little and then it didn’t rain and then it rained some more, and the trip was further complicated by our attempts to avoid road repairs, so we left here around four-thirty and got there around ten. The trip was to help Remer celebrate books. Their little library – made from the old railroad depot, marked by a caboose (those suckers were big!) – was a beautifully remodeled and very pleasant hundred-year-old place with lots of volunteers. I bought twenty dollars worth of tickets to a drawing for a queen-size quilt featuring bears, plus one book from each of the other four authors and we still made a profit.


Oddly, Remer also celebrates Bigfoot, the legendary hairy creature whose presence is claimed in various states of the U.S. I say “oddly,” because I thought the hairy creature who haunts the northwoods of Minnesota is the Wendigo, a pale hairy creature told of by our Native American (Anishinaabe – Chippewa and Ojibwe) tribes up there. It has a light shining in its forehead and anyone who sees it is shortly to die. Funny how almost every culture in the world tells of a large hairy creature roaming its wild places. Lots of sightings over hundreds of years, but as far as I know no one has ever found the bones of even one.

Anyway, I bought a book from John Schreiber, C.S. Yelle, Margo Hansen, and Terry Oliver Mejdrich, each wildly different in theme from the others (seek their web sites) and had some extremely pleasant fellow authors to talk with between customers.

And my own book, Tying the Knot, progresses slowly – but it progresses.

Posted in Uncategorized

Appearance on Saturday

Saturday, June 17, from ten to two, Ellen and I will be in Remer, MN, for a talk/signing/book sale with other Minnesota authors.  Remer, some of you may remember, was the setting for my book, Buttons and Bones.  More details here:

Posted in Uncategorized