Reblog – Inspired for Hiking Season

There’s a lot of mutual admiration among authors, and I’m grateful for the ways we support each other in this solitary work. Here’s where the  mutual admiration part comes in. In January,  I wrote about how Lauren Danner and I met at one of my readings for Hiking Naked. Next week I’ll host Lauren when she reads from her new book at Lopez Bookshop. And yesterday, Lauren reviewed Hiking Naked on her blog, “Wilderness Within Her.” You can read it here and learn of two other books that may inspire you to hike. Thanks, Lauren!


John Muir wrote that “going out is really going in,” and these books prove his point. Get inspired for hiking season by reading about how three adventurers engage with the wild. The post What I’m reading | Three books to inspire you for hiking season appeared first on Lauren Danner.

via What I’m reading | Three books to inspire you for hiking season — Lauren Danner

*Afterthought #73 – Diverse Reading


so_many_books_so_little_time_book_lover_mug-rbea615033e65472aa410e89e12f61101_x7j1l_8byvr_324The only downside to working at Lopez Bookshop is that at the end of each shift I feel a bit blue—and overwhelmed—about all the books I want to read and haven’t gotten to yet. And knowing that the next week, there will be another stack of New Arrivals calling out to me. There’s a reason the truism “So Many Books, So Little Time” emblazons t-shirts, tote bags, and coffee mugs.

With limited time for “pleasure” reading, I have to settle on just a few titles every month or so. I recently joined a book club for the first time, and that takes care of one selection. Recently I started following the blog Reading Diversely by Lopez Island native Emma Ewert (now transplanted to Montana). In her blog’s introduction, avid reader Emma notes that last year her reading habits started to shift, “…consciously choosing to read books written by women, or people of color, people from other non-European countries, or people from other typically marginalized groups.”

Despite the reality that male writers are published in far greater numbers than women writers, and that white authors dominate the literary world, Emma created an enormous book list of diverse authors she’s read since she began this challenge in April 2017.


It might take me the rest of my life to read all of the books on Emma’s shelf as of today, not to mention all the other fine titles she’ll undoubtedly continue to add. But I’m grateful to have her recommendations to help with the tough choice of what to read next.

tear in soulI have a suggestion for all of you, and for Emma, that meets her list of criteria for diverse reading. As soon as I finish this post, I’ll return to a book I’ve just begun (and can hardly put down)—A Tear in the Soul by Australian author Amanda Webster. The memoir relates Amanda’s personal journey to uncover her own racism, and that of generations of Australians, toward Aboriginals, and to move toward reconciliation and friendship.

What diverse reading have you done lately?


*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

Screen Time, Take Two – Reblog by Heidi Barr

Fellow Homebound Publications author Heidi Barr has become a voice I listen to regularly. She often puts into words my own seeking, wondering, and musing. Her latest post, “Screen Time, Take Two,” and re-blogged here, especially spoke to me.

bosuMaintaining balance with my use of screen time, as well as many other behaviors that drift off-center, is like the BOSU ball I use in my fitness workouts. I can be standing solid on the rounded, ribbed surface, and a small shift sets my legs wobbling. With focus and perhaps an equally slight alteration, I regain my steady stance. Sometimes, though, I lunge forward, arms flailing, feet sliding to the flat, steady floor. I take a few deep breaths and step up again onto the tippy ball, knowing that sustaining equilibrium requires constant adjustments.

Thank you, Heidi, for your honesty, wisdom, and help to name one of the big challenges I face.

Heidi Barr | Author

I wrote the following post four years ago.  The issues outlined in it are still a struggle, but we can only change what we name, right?  Right.  So, here it is again, slightly modified to fit the present. 

I spend too much time looking at screens.

I have decided this before, but it screens have proved very persistent at creeping back into the limelight.  They have become a central part of my days, and I am realizing that my balance is off.  I have been crafting my definition of what “simple living” means to me for a long time now.   But even with a mindset that is pretty solidly committed to principals of simplicity or “enough but not too much”, it still seems like screens have been taking center stage.   I need to figure out how much screen time is enough, but not too much.

Generally, when I think about living…

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Happy Birthday to GUTS! — Janet Buttenwieser

Five weeks ago, I celebrated the “birth day” of my first grandchild (Maggie), born to my son and daughter-in-law in Chicago.  That’s where I’m writing from now, as I spend this month  learning to be a grandmother.

A6.inddThere’s a part of me that also wants to be in Seattle tonight to celebrate another “birth day” –  the launch of the memoir, Guts, by Janet Buttenwieser.  For the past seven years or so, Janet and I have written together, critiqued each other’s work, and boosted each other’s spirits while seeking publishers.  She helped me discern that the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program would be a good fit for me, and more than once she’s bolstered me when doubts about my writing overcome me. And through the years, we’ve also become friends. Seeing her story in print is a great joy.

author Janet Buttenwieser

Guts is a memoir about family, friendship, illness, loss, and hope.   Janet was working on it when author Brian Doyle came to teach in our writing program. Here’s what he thought of it:  “Can you read a book about pain while grinning and trying not to cry and not being able to think of a single book that’s anything like it? Yup. This one. Guts.” 

maggie smile 2-13-18If you can’t make it to the release party tonight, check Janet’s website for future events. I know I’ll be getting to at least one of them. In the meantime, Maggie and I will be cheering her on.




It’s finally here: the publication day for GUTS!! I’m over the moon that this long-awaited day has finally arrived. Tonight is the first of many celebrations and events: a launch party hosted by the wonderful Hugo House. For the past few weeks, as people have received and read advance copies of GUTS, I’ve been sent […]

via Happy Birthday to GUTS! — Janet Buttenwieser