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An occasional blog, with musings on the writing life

What makes a writer happy? A happy reader. Read on:


Hi Kate,


I just started your book. It is amazing! I had it in my vast collection of books and my resolution is to read books I have purchased. I looked on Amazon and was shocked that only 4 people had reviewed it! It didn't appear to be available as an Ebook. Len Edgerly who does The Kindle Chronicles could help you find the people who could get it into ebook format. It really deserves to be read by more people. It makes me so sad that poorly written Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular and fine books like yours are unrecognized.

Karen near Seattle


Hi Karen,


Thanks so much for your kind words about Where the Lake. What a quest--to read all the books you've bought! Hmmm..might take me a while to do that. True that the novel didn't get much exposure--it came out in the very month (October '08) when the economy crashed, had almost no publicity (its tiny, brave, boutique publisher had scant funds to begin with, and has since shut down)--so maybe the book did well to get the four Amazon comments and a nice mention in Publishers Weekly...do feel free to add another Amazon review if you are so moved! Nontheless, the cool thing is that despite all odds, a quirky little book can find its way to unexpected places around the globe, and I'm glad that it's found its way to Bothell and onto your "To Read" shelf. (I've been to Bothell, having lived in Seattle for 20 years--still have my gills to prove it, and never do bother with an umbrella.)


As to Kindle, I'd love to do a Kindle edition, and hope to get the electronic rights back, which is the necessary first step to that end. Thanks for your tip re Len Edgerly's website--I took a look at his Kindle Chronicles, and enjoyed it. As to good books not finding a wide audience (so many tales, from Melville to Dr. Seuss to Margaret Mitchell "No one cares about the Civil War anymore, Miss Mitchell!" "This stuff is too weird for children, Mr. Geisel!")all a writer can do is make your best effort to draw your story from the Dreamspace and wrestle it onto the page...and potter with the text for whatever maddening length of time it takes to jell, and send the finished manuscript tottering off into the world to find its readers, however many or few.


Happily, I am finishing a second quirky romantic metaphysical novel (working title PIPER-- not the final name, which for now will remain unmentioned, since mentioning "steals thunder," as the Navajo say...) and about to send it out to some small publishers, hoping that it will also find its way into the Great Unknown and bring joy or consternation or laughter or alarm or a bit of peace or at any rate, some small entertainment, to its readers, however many that may be, or however inclined they might or might not be to post a comment in any venue about their experience with the book. So I guess the faith is in trusting that the story will find its way to that other receptive mind who's hoping to be transported into another world for a while, and luxuriate there as if before a glowing campfire or cozy hearth with some newly met friends who've just offered her a lovely cup of hand-warming tea and welcomed her to their adventures.


All zee best, and thanks again!--Kate

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I’ve always loved the Judy Collins version of Jimmy Webb's song, “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress” –“See her how she flies, golden sails across the sky,” etc., and those lovely, haunting lyrics have been running through my head lately, but with slightly different lyrics. Last time on my blog I talked cheerily about how I was enjoying taking a break from writing,  Read More 
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Camped Out in the Fallow Fields

I'm not writing a word of fiction these days, and it feels just fine. From ancient times, farmers have rotated crops, planted one but let another lie fallow for a season so the depleted soil can rest and replenish. For years I worked on WHERE THE LAKE BECOMES THE RIVER, my first novel, and  Read More 

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In Fiction is the Preservation of the World

When I was a kid spending summers at my dad's childhood home in the deep woods not far from Oxford, Ms., our favorite destination was a place a mile or two up the road from Mamaw and Papaw's place, called the Sand Cave. Mamaw's family owned it; she'd grown up on that property; her  Read More 
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That's Russian for "hello," or "greetings!" Recently someone from Ryazan, Russia, visited my website, sparking my curiosity about the town. I investigated (Wikipedia), and found that Ryazan was situated on the Oka River southeast of Moscow, was, sadly, the first Russian city to be sacked by the Mongol horde of Batu Khan in 1237, and, has a lovely belltower. There were photos of the belltower, including one from the  Read More 
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I set out to write a novel about one soul's quest to understand "The Truth About Life After Death" (a TV Guide-sized descript could read: "Girl wrestles with Death--and wins.") I had no idea I was going to write a romance while I was at it, but the Muse knew. Why? The Muse is  Read More 
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A writer would rather write than do much of anything else. Writing is her gift to the world, a legacy and memorial.

There's a story about the king of an ancient kingdom in Asia--Japan or China, I don't remember which. This king is a poet, and he wants to leave a legacy of his  Read More 
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My second novel is finished. I mean, well, "finished" meaning the entire story is down on the page, the final sentences are written and doing exactly what they ought'er do, every character has grown, and changed, and reached a certain point in his/her tale, poised to follow the road to new adventures. Now  Read More 
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A few days ago I was noodling on Amazon, and noticed a new review on WHERE THE LAKE BECOMES THE RIVER's page. It was a generous and kindly bit of feedback, by a woman named Carol, out in Oregon. I lived in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle) for a couple of decades before moving back  Read More 
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TV, Part Two: In the Cyclop's Cave

On the set of North Carolina Bookwatch, the sound man, discreet as a fine tailor, mikes you by placing a transciever the size of a cell phone just below your waistband at the back, and a tiny mike on your lapel.

The room is cavernous and dark beyond the hyper-brightly lit stage set of  Read More 
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