Another Tax Year — Have I Learned Anything?

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October 15 was Extension Day, the day when all the late tax returns are supposed to be in if they’re going to avoid penalties. If yours was on extension, I hope it’s done, too.

For the next three months I will be preparing for the upcoming tax season. I have to pay various fees to various people, order a bunch of books and software, and studying changes in the tax law. I’ll try not to abandon you.


Web sites updated

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I just spent some time updating the web site for My Little Book of the Soul, and now you can see some sample pages and (assuming the shopping cart works correctly) even buy a copy!

I’m working on another website, a project for a friend, so I can’t post a link here yet. But it’s looking good, and I hope it will be ready soon (and I will post a link when it’s ready.)


Followup I Should’ve Written a Month Ago

Yeah, the Harvest Festival was a whole month ago. We had a great time, sold a few books (really, a few—­ okay, four copies of Serpent and two of My Little Book of the Soul). Not a big day, but not bad, either. Since I shared the cost of the booth, it wasn’t expensive at all, and I made a profit.

Not one person came to the talk/interview. Several people had assured me they were coming, but none actually did, other than the friend who did me the favor of the interview. (It helps to have someone to look at and a conversation to keep things flowing.) Another friend of mine did videotape it, but since there’s no audience, the tape is less than exciting in its raw state. But the hour-long talk can probably be distilled into ten minutes that’s not bad at all, so I’m looking forward to that.


My First Public Appearance

…since the publication of The Serpent and the Stag. I’ll be at the Sacramento Harvest Festival this weekend. I’ll do a short Q&A at 1:30 Saturday, then be around all day Saturday and Sunday to sign books and chat. Come and say hello!


Some Reminiscences

The interview I did for the Pagan Writers Community led me to think about a few things I haven’t remembered in a while. One of those is my aunt Marjie. I can’t say how she would have spelled that; when she wrote her name it was always Marjorie. But I know my family always called her Marjie, or maybe Margie. We saw her occasionally, but her influence on me was through her letters, not her presence.

Marjie was determined to be a published writer. For some thirty years she took creative writing classes at her nearest university. Her letters to the editor appeared occasionally in her city’s newspaper. She subscribed to Writer and Writer’s Market, and probably a few other writing magazines. She wrote steadily, and I was the fortunate recipient of some of her writing. She sent me some of her magazines, and endless encouragement to write. At the time, I was more into reading.

One of the things she wanted to write was my grandfather’s story. I was barely twelve when my grandfather died, so I never really got to know him well. My grandfather was a sailor when sail was being replaced by steam, a young German seaman caught at sea when the First World War broke out. His story is certainly worth telling, and writing. The nonfiction version has already been told, in a book called Santa Rosalia, Further and Back, by Harold Huycke.

But he was also very deaf, and spoke English with a heavy German accent. Following my mother’s lead, I wrote notes, but my limited ability to understand his accent limited our communication. Nevertheless, thanks to my cousin, I have a recording of Marjie interviewing him for her novel, testing his patience by shouting questions better answered by a history book. I don’t know if she ever finished her novel, or what became of the manuscript. I heard about this project when I was still a child, and would dearly love to have read her manuscript. I’d have been glad to edit it for her.

Anyway, it was Marjie who wanted me to write. And, perhaps partly for her, I do.


My Interview In Pagan Writers Community

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Wow! I sent her a whole lot of stuff and Rosa Sophia did a very nice job of distilling it down and making me look like I know much more than I really do. Anyway, you can see it at PaganWriters Community.


Just a quick update…

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It’s Ready!

Comments Off | The Serpent and the Stag

For months now, I’ve been promising you guys real, paper copies of The Serpent and The Stag.  Well, now you can get your very own copy. CreateSpace is printing the book for me, so they have the very first copies. Expect to see it at Amazon soon. Autographed copies will be available from Gallery14, both online at and at the gallery. (Of course, if you stop by with your copy, I’ll sign it for you!)


Happy Midsummer’s Day!

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I’ve always wondered why we call this the first day of summer. It’s the longest day of the year, certainly. But for most of history, it’s been called Midsummer’s Day. How can Midsummer’s day possibly be the First Day of Summer?

This year, it seems more reasonable that most. For most of the thirty-plus years I’ve lived in Sacramento, sometime in early May, right around Beltaine, the weather gets hot rather suddenly, and the air gets heavy and thick. For all practical purposes, I call that Summer.

I dont know what it is about the air here, but it’s like that all summer. It’s not the heat; the few times I’ve been on the Coast in hot weather, the air still smelled light and sweet. Yes, I know the North Coast doesn’t get hot, but Santa Cruz does.

This year, though, the weather didn’t change until a couple of weeks ago. It was cool and rainy all through May and into June. Very unusual. I think I’ve only seen this once, maybe twice, before. Our dry summer weather depends on a high-pressure system off San Francisco Bay, which diverts the storms far to the north of us. This year, the “storm door” closed unusually late.

Sacramento is a wonderful place for outdoor festivals, because it doesn’t rain during our summer. We can pretty much count on dry weather till September, and mostly even till October. I’ve missed a couple already this year; I don’t have weekends free when there are art shows to put on.


I guess I should follow up….

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I think I left you out in the cold regarding that art show. All three of you. So this is your update.

First of all, the artist had to leave early, since she was not spending the night in Sacramento. So she had to leave at 8:30 in order to reach Lake Tahoe, her next destination.

Since our reception hours are six to eleven, that means only a few people had come by before she left us.

All in all, it seems like it ought to have been a quiet evening, with only a few people here at a time, but still they came steadily enough that we didn’t close up till past midnight. All our regulars, plus a few others. Not many that we had not seen before, but enough that the evening didn’t feel like a waste. No sales yet.

I’m sure this work can be sold. It’s charming, accessible and not too expensive. Can I sell it? I have no idea.

But if you have time and you’re in the area, you might as well come by and say hello. I’m at Gallery 14. Click for map and directions.

If you’d rather see pictures, I posted them to our Facebook profile.