October 29, 2006

Stay the Course-my new, recycled mantra!

Aline Lesage and Janelle
10-29-06-The above photo was taken at Aline’s first book-signing for her novel, Gaby’s Penance in September (more below). I’m not just behind in my photos, I’m behind in everything—it’s time I get back on track. To make matters worse, I’m beginning to see that the schedule that I’ve made for myself—one book a year—has the unsatisfactory requirement that I miss summer. I am just not that driven. From now on, my summer’s work schedule will be cut in half. That means of course, that books will come out in spring, and not at Christmas. As most of my book fairs are in summer anyway, I figure this will work just as well.

Custer and His Naked Ladies-The above decision is not, however, why Custer is late. Custer is late because I decided to add Comanche words to my Southwest novel, along with the Spanish phrases (the story really required it). The problem is, I’m a language ninny. It took me four times longer to do the required research than it should have. My next novel, that is well underway but has no title yet, will use just one language: English. I hope. Maybe. Unless I decide to rewrite it

Bush- Since he’s not using “Stay the Course” anymore, maybe I can use it! I need a new mantra. My old one: money, men, chocolate--is tired and outdated. And, if I use Bush’s old mantra, it’ll be recycling. Always a good thing in this time of glut and waste!

On my bed table- Gaby’s Penance by Aline Lesage, just released. I read this book while it was still in galley form, but it’s so much more satisfying to hold the actual book in my hands. According to the tag line, Gaby is set in the early 20th century, and is the saga of an avant-garde, not-so-sweet Québécoise whose unspeakable sin and cruel consequences lead her to unlikely redemption. It's time to curl up with a good book!

On my dvd machine- family movies. I’m redoing all of our scrapbooks and video. Right now, it feels as if I’ll never see daylight, but it must be done. I’m not a detail type of person, but I am very archival. I’ll muddle through!
Language- tartaruga, turtle, Italian

Quote du jour:

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.” P.J. O’Rourke, courtesy of

October 26, 2006

The stench over DC

Our latest book event...ya'll come!

10-26-06 Ha! No sooner than I'd posted my piece about being afraid (Saturday?) there was an article about Condi Rice going to Russia and calling for free press! Fress press?! We don't even have free press here! And haven't she and Bush made enough of a mess of this country to keep her busy? Why is she telling other countries what to do? The stench over DC isn't really air pollution--it's arrogance!

But I'm losing focus--what I really wanted to tell you about is the next book event for Independent Northwest Authors. The flyer is above. Think Christmas!

October 18, 2006

Got broom, America?

4th of July Street Fair, Steilacoom Washington
Ah! I got the picture to post! We have a great time meeting our readers at the local summer fairs. It was early when this was taken, but we get a good crowd! That's me in the middle. everyone always wants to know how much of the snake chapter in As Brown As I want, the Indianhead Diaries is true. Answer: ALL of it! Except for that one teeny-weeny part about the turtle...
Elfi (on the left) was there with her two autobiographies, Dancing to War and Shadow of Defeat (Spielberg where are you?), and Aline was there with her first novel, Gaby's Penance.
Come see us sometime! See our websites for more info!

10-18-06-This is a portion of a letter I sent to a local editor in 2003. After Bush’s signing a law that nullifies the Habeas Corpus law yesterday, I figure it bears repeating:
As a writer, for the first time in my career, I am afraid. I have a long history of protesting peacefully. I wrote Nixon during theViet Nam war and told him that "America wasn't silent because we agreed with him. We were silent because we were busy praying."
I signed the letter.
I was not afraid.

Things have changed. Now, whenever I protest, I wonder if the government--my government--will say I'm a terrorist. I never dreamed that we would someday have a president who makes Nixon look good. What have things come to?
(Please burn this e-mail—I am afraid.)
Janelle Hooper

Well, what have things come to? Why is it that our Congress has betrayed us? Why do we not expect our Supreme Court to reverse this law? Why is everyone rolling over?
Obviously, I don’t know. I wish I did. Shame on Bush. Shame on our Congress. Maybe, shame on our Supreme Court.
I’m thinking of putting a broom in my living room window symbolizing that we need a clean sweep. How about it, America? Got broom?

Quote du jour:

"Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse." Lily Tomlin

October 13, 2006

Bagels in Bulgaria, who knew?!

Bulgaria-So I was sitting on my couch the other day finishing off a bag of garlic-flavored bagel chips and watching Keith Olbermann sock it to the White House when my mind went on overload and I began studying the bag the chips came in. It really was a thing of beauty--New York Style bagel chips, it said across the top. Lots of nifty artwork on the shiny bag touting the garlic-flavored, thin chips--a real thing of beauty (You do know, of course, that I got kicked out of art school when I was in my 40s? So I know about graphic artwork...). Then, on the side, in real tiny letters, it said: a product of Bulgaria. Bulgaria! What does Bulgaria have to do with bagels? Or even Jews, for that matter? I still don't know, and will have to find out if I ever quit editing Custer and His Naked Ladies.
But it started me thinking about one of my favorite topics: economics. Now, I'm just small potatoes, and no one ever asks me for my opinion on anything, much less economics, but I think I have a clearer picture of what makes the world go around than a lot of professionals. Take those bagel chips. Because, halfway across the world, I bought a product made in Bulgaria, some child is eating. This is more, I'm sure than Bush has done for the same child.
Wonders never cease. Because of the Internet, and shopping networks on television, third world countries can play with the big boys--and win. For instance, I have purchased jewelry from all over the world on my favorite shopping channel, QVC. There used to be a little black man who came from the Savannahs in Africa. His little country had a ruby mine. I was fascinated to hear him tell us about the cave that his people mined for rubies in the day--and how the lions and other animals moved into the same cave at night to sleep. When the workers came back in the morning, the animals got up and walked away. No one got eaten. I haven't seen the man lately. The last I heard, the mine was just about played out. It's a shame. I'm hoping they find another vein because I never did get a Savannah ruby--they aren't cheap!--I'm saving up! There's an Indonesian woman who brings silver jewelry set with semi-precious and precious stones from the Island of Bali, and a man who travels all over the world, visiting villages, and buying jewelry fashioned from all sorts of materials--metal, wood, seashells--
They bring in other vendors from all over the world, and I've learned to love these people who are coming to America, via technology. Irish, Italian, and Polish wares are frequently shown, presented by the vendor. Most times, they sell out. When they do, I'm as excited as they are!
Some might say this is exploitation. I don't think so. These people are selling direct to the buyer, and not being sucked into the great Madison Avenue machine that spits back tiny payoffs to the crafters, then slaps a big, fancy label on the item and resells it, for big bucks.
I often complain about all of the world leaders and all of their failures, which are too many to name in our lifetime. I see this economics thing as a way the people (us!) can do something good on our own. It's a small way of taking control of a bad situation.
It is said that the business of America is business. It's what we do best, and maybe it's our true gift to the world. Hopefully, it will be remembered more than our politics and foreign pollicy, which sucks.
There's no time to edit this. Send your complaints about poor punctuation and fractured sentences to: janellemhooper@comcast.com.