Friday, August 29, 2008

Alaska Women Speak and Alaska Women Write

Roberta brought the proofs for the summer issue of Alaska Women Speak magazine to the Alaska Women Write meeting. I share the centerfold section with Asta who wrote a poem and Dianne’s picture of the eagle. The magazine also has a review of my new RV book, More RV Chuckles and Chuckholes-More Confessions of Happy Campers.

Pictures are of Kay on the left, Lizzie in the center and Arlene on the right. I have made good friends this summer meeting some members for lunch, a dinner meeting, the birthday tea, reading manuscripts and critiquing them.

At the last meeting, we critiqued a chapter of Arlene’s memoirs and wrote a piece on the topic of fall.

The magenta flowers of the fireweed are blooming at the top of their stems and rumors of termination dust on the mountain tops tell us that if we want to take our time to travel south ahead of winter snows, we better be moving.

We plan to go to Denali National Park on Sept 2 then on to Fairbanks. We will go to Delta Junction, Reka's Roadhouse, Tok and down to Whitehorse. We hope to see the bears at Fish Creek and the reenactment at Barkerville in British Columbia. Before we travel southeast to see family in Iowa, we’ll go to Yellowstone National Park.

Don't worry if you don't get emails or blogs from us from September 2 until sometime in October since Terry doesn’t set up the satellite dish when we only stay a day or two at one location. We will be having fun- RVing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eagle River Apartment and Upper Fire Lake

Terry has moved a lot of dirt in preparation for the new house that Raymond and Teresita plan to build. The work on the apartment has been slow this year. Although Raymond has helped Terry three days a week, he and Teresita work twelve or more hours a day. Last winter it was too cold in the building to do much work. Because they have the plumbing, wiring, insulation, and sheetrock in, Raymond and Teresita will be able to finish it this winter. Terry likes the little gas stove in the living room that warms the apartment during cool days. The windows in this room face Upper Fire Lake. You can watch the bush pilots take off and land their little floatplanes or you can just watch the loons. Of course you can also have a picnic in the gazebo or ride a boat around the lake.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arlene and Dianne’s Birthday Tea

Arlene and Dianne’s Birthday Tea was held on Thursday prior to the Alaska Women Writer’s group meeting. The party, attended by members of AWW and members of Dianne’s church, was held in Dianne’s lovely mountain home above the skyline of downtown Anchorage with views of the Cook Inlet. I asked Dianne about the oil portrait, which she said was of her in her prom dress. Dee and Jeanmarie look over the beautiful table with china teacups, cloth napkins, candles and real flowers. Jeanmarie served the high tea at this table, which included fancy sandwiches, scones, cookies, fruit and nuts. Arlene and Dianne, who are of “an uncertain age,” cut the cake after the candles have been removed.
The guests were “encouraged to wear hats.” I noticed that I was the only “red hatter” in the group. All pictures can be made larger by clicking on them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book signing at Borders Bookstore

Saturday was an awesome day. I met with the writers group at Borders where authors critique each other’s writing. I enjoyed their well-written work and my article about writing & marketing was well received. When I arrived downstairs at 12:45pm, signs were on the door and a table was set up for me with two boxes of cookies for my book signing. After the book signing I went to Costco and dinner. At 7:30, I went to the Alaska University Bookstore for a meeting with Sue Henry who was meeting with a group called “ RVing Women.” Sue spoke for an hour about her 15 books and her middle-aged RV heroine, Maxie. Afterward, I bought her book, Dead North, and had it autographed. I gave her a copy of my new RV book, More RV Chuckles and Chuckholes – More Confessions of Happy Campers. I was delighted when Sue responded that she owned my first RV book, which was given to her as a gift. Just think, an award-winning author who has been on the New York Times list, owns my little books!

Book signing and Other Fun

Since I wasn’t going on the Yukon trip, I decided to plan fun activities while Terry was gone. I had lunch at a Greek restaurant with Michele. At the mailbox, I met the neighbors, Skip and Darlene, and was invited to tour their new home and eat tacos with them. I met Jeanmarie and Dee at a Thai restaurant where I had an interesting dish with shrimp, rice and bean sprouts and wonderful tea. I bought some of Dees's original jewelry to go with my four new outfits. This picture is of my new outfit at my book signing.

I only had one book signing this year in Alaska so I contacted Publication Consultants to see if they would help with my marketing. The owner, Evan Swensen, ordered six cases of books and said that his publicist, Dawn, would set up book signings for me. This resulted in six book signings for August. Some are in places I never imagined, such as Fred Meyer stores and the BX at the Elmendorf Air Force Base Military Exchange Mall. Since Publication Consultants are my distributors, I can now sell my new RV book at national franchised stores. I had a signing in Borders last Saturday and have a committed signing planned for Barnes and Noble Bookstores on August 23.

Here are two new web sites where you can read about me and

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yukon River Trip

Terry and our son Raymond, drove the truck with the slide-in camper and towed a trailer with two aluminum boats to Circle, Alaska. Using lots of fuel in the two motors, they traveled southeast on the Yukon River to Eagle, Alaska. The town in the picture is Eagle. The return trip to Circle was easier because the current flows northwest to the Beaufort Sea. Along the way they saw three moose, a black bear and a mountain sheep in the far off distance. Terry liked the strange rock formations on the banks of the Yukon. Only one night was spent in tents. I thought that Terry would be terribly tired but they spent more time in cabins, waiting for the rain to quit, than they did on the Yukon River. Some of these cabins are used by the mushers on the Yukon Quest when they make their dog team trips in the winter race from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alaska Animals, We Love You

LaVon Bridges and Alice Wright wrote “We hope you enjoy reading, listening, chanting and singing about Alaska animals” in their book, Alaska Animals, We Love You, which was autographed for my grandchildren. A CD is included with the book. At another store, I found a harp seal, musk ox, dolphin, moose and bear to cuddle. Except for the bear, where but in Alaska can you find these animals?

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Yes, musk ox still live in the wild in the Brooks range. We saw some in the far distance when we went to Prudhoe Bay some years ago. This musk ox is living at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The non-profit Center, created for the rehabilitation of wild animals that are orphaned or injured by accidents and fires, is located on 200 acres south of Anchorage. You can either drive your car on the road between the fences or get out and hike the road to see eagles, a fox, bears, caribou, musk ox, buffalo and moose. People laughed when Terry saw this moose and said, “This is the first moose that I met that actually looks like Bullwinkle.”