March 13, 2008

The pressure is on

Statues in Fremont, Washington, 2007

The townspeople have a lot of fun with the statues in Fremont. Their attire changes with the mood and the season. I love the town of Fremont. It's full of creative people; ya'll go visit.

Years ago, during an illness, I learned to appreciate the small things I could have (chocolate, popcorn, friends, books), as opposed to the big things (bigger houses, cars, and bank accounts) that everyone else in this country seemed to be clamoring for. I understand this urge to have everything super-sized because most everyone in this country is working so hard they are ruining their health. Might as well die happy. To an outsider, it may seem like an easy fix. Just work less. I wish it were so, but for every person working himself to death in this country there are at least a few hundred standing in line behind him, willing to work the same hours for less. The pressure is on. I have no where to go with this, but I just remembered a French woman in a news interview criticizing Americans for working so hard. I wish I could transport her to this country for a while. She'd soon learn that this is the land of milk and honey, but it comes at a very high price, and she might find herself with the choice of being over-employed or unemployed*. It's a tough balance. *Please don't email me about this run-on sentence. I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

David Southwell- At last, a blog post from fellow writer David Southwell. I was beginning to fear the Londoner had been trampled by a kangaroo on his recent book promotion trip to Australia. I'm gathering the trip was not without peril, but I'm so relieved to hear he survived. I'm a lousy traveler, so I empathize with his experience.

Custer and His Naked Ladies- Have ya read it yet? It would make a great beach read.

Go My Son-for those who have asked, the song really does exist, and information on it can be found from: email: or

I'm glad my readers are enjoying the Comanche words I've added. I handpicked words I thought you'd have a use for in your daily life. More info can be found at:

Quote du jour:

"It has been a bad year. The next one will be even worse." The Raisuli (Sean Connery) in The Wind and the Lion. I thought this was a good quote for an election year.

March 02, 2008

Anti-French redneck hate mail

©JMH, cross country skiing, Alaska

I had another picture to post from when we lived in Alaska, but my photo files are being reorganized and I misplaced it. A lot of my short stories in Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories were inspired by our time in Alaska. It's a kind of frozen Africa to me--animals everywhere! My husband and I used to travel a lot and we enjoyed it immensely...well, maybe that trip he took to Viet Nam wasn't so much fun. although he has never complained.

On my CD player- Rod Stewart's If We Fall In Love Tonight. It's old, but still one of my favorites.

On my TV- The History Channel. Their shows on UFOs are so bad it should be called The Lying Channel. But still I watch because a future book I've got planned has UFOs in it.

Email- I got one of those African scam letters. It said I'd won a lottery sponsored by Yahoo! and Microsoft and that I had won over $300,000 dollars...unfortunately, the money had been sent to Africa. There would be a fee to get it back. I've had a lot of fun with it, telling my family that I'd pay for dinner, but unfortunately, all of my money has been sent to Africa.

I also got one of those anti-French redneck hate mails. These guys need a history lesson. It was the French who saved our patooties in our war against the British during our War of Independence. Without them, there would have been no United States of America. When we went to help the French fight the Germans in World War I, General Persching visited the gravesite of Layfayette and said, "Lafayette, we are here!" It was a debt we were honored to repay.

Allow me to add that the last thing we need in this world is more division. So, Yanks, drink that French wine, eat those French fries, heat up that brie, and warm up the French bread.

Now, all of this doesn't mean I have any grudge against the English. How could I dislike a nation that has sent us such wonderful music, like The Beatles, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and more? It may seem strange that a writer is applauding English music instead of English authors, but I am a poet at heart, and some of the most beautiful lines in the world's languages have been put to music.

Custer and His Naked Ladies-I'm about out of books and shipping envelopes, and my office feels bigger. I really hate the clutter of stacks of books, packing supplies. I said I hate the clutter--not the books! There's four of them now, and another well on the way.

This last book reminds me of that song I Did It My Way. Being a small niche, pod writer does have its perks. There was no one to stop me from writing the story the way I thought it should be written. It's full of Comanche words, a few Spanish phrases, and a Navaho song. A traditional publisher would have never allowed so much material that was so specific to location. To them, a book set in Southwest Oklahoma would never sell as many books as a book with wider appeal (read: New York City--publishers love books about New York City--it's in their comfort zone). Of course, having said that, I'm reminded of exceptions to the rule, like Barbara Kingsolver. But anyway, my point about doing the book my way still stands. An author who can be true to her story is truly blessed. Maybe not with money, though!

Custer thank yous:

Tantara Records (, ) for permission to use the lyrics to Go My Son. They have a beautiful website with music to suit every taste (well, I haven't seen any headbanger music there).

The Comanche Nation ( ) for their help with the Comanche language.

I'd better get to work so I can watch the primary results in a few hours. Ya'll vote! It's never been so important.

Quote du jour:

"He that lives upon hope will die fasting." Benjamin Franklin (VOTE!)

No time to edit, it's primary day! JMH