Friday, July 31, 2009

After the rum, comes the reality

Melanie is still working on that parental move, as in she's the kid, her parents are moving. She is our famous critique group member. She is a finalist in the mainstream category of the PNWA Literary contest for her historical fiction involving the antics of a teenage (non-mutant) girl disguised as boy on a British brigantine, when the British were not quite our friends, but not quite our enemies, 1800's or so.

Melanie, on the other hand, is totally everyone's friend, and the critique group is concerned about her dive into long distance moving and what affect that may have on her ability to write, especially after we heard that big crash.

She's on the East Coast, by the way, we're on the West.

Thursday 2:53 pm
~from Melanie~

The truck came for the 1930 Buick, but they have the main road closed due to the sidewalk collapse on the next street. We had to go pick up the woman truck driver in town. She parked the huge car carrier next to the Westborough Fire Station and rode back with us.

We had to change the tire and then we put a rope around the bumper and pulled it out of the garage. Very scary because we didn't know if the brakes still worked and it is a slight incline. But they held.

Then we had to back it down the very long, very steep driveway and stop traffic on route 135 while my brother moved the van in front of the car. We had to keep traffic stopped until we could hook the car to the van, using a rope with about eight feet of clearance. Then Lori, the truck driver and my Uncle Jim jumped into the Buick and my brother and I jumped into the van and towed the car at 15mph down Route 135 to Church Street and out onto West Main where we had to negotiate the manic rotary where no one stops.


And each time we had to apply brakes, with only eight feet between us, my heart rate accelerated to 175 beats per minute.

We pulled in to the fire station and all the firemen came out and told us to move the car up just a little so they could get out if they got a call. Then they stood around and talked and examined the car while the Lori rearranged the Ferrari she already had in the car carrier and made room for the Buick. Because the Buick wasn't running, she had to use a come-along and the firemen and my brother and uncle and I all pushed the car up onto the rear gate of the truck and then up onto the carrier until she could reach it with the come-along.

The whole thing took about 2.5 hours, and then we left and came back in time to run three more loads to the dump.


I'm so tired I might go to be at 7pm.

Oh wait, the neighbor just came over with a blender and tequila.


I say: Hide the rum. Bottoms up on the margaritas!

But other questions remain...

  • Who, actually in their right mind, goes to the liquor store only for boxes? [See yesterday's post].

  • Who pushes a Buick out of garage without prior knowledge of the state of its brakes, pushes said Buick next to a Ferrari, and talks to ALL those firemen without ONCE mentioning if they were cute?

Melanie is insane.

I hope she wins a prize. But not for that.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

MOM! If the alarm is going off, it is hooked up

Remember Melanie, winner of the book from Pearl of Carol and finalist in the mainstream category, PNWA literary contest? Well, she is either getting fodder for her next manuscript—I'm thinking non-fiction, it will be all about how not to help your parents move from the East Coast straight into your own backyard—or she's getting a reminder from God on why you should have appreciated the last few parental free decades.

Here are her reports:

Tuesday, 1:04 pm

The fire department is here, checking the alarms before the house can be sold. They asked my mother if she should call ADP first, but she said it wasn't hooked up.


So, the fireman set off the alarms and ADT called and she can't remember the password. We told them the fire department was here, but now it is too late. ADT already called the fire department, but ADT will not give Mom the code to stop the alarms. There are several alarms going off in every room.

It has been 20 minutes. The fireman just shut off power to the alarm system.

It is difficult to write.


Wednesday 1:32 pm
I've had no time to write, what with the alarms, the fire department, the three trips to the dump each day, the early morning trips to scavenge boxes, the trip to the liquor store to buy a small bottle of rum just so we could ask for boxes, etc.


[Sure, Melanie, just needed that box from the liquor store. Good thing it came with a full case of rum...]


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Advice I should not follow: my brother's

There's lots of hub-bub about social media these days. I read most of it on Twitter. I read some of it on Facebook. I re-read a Facebook warning from Little_Brother.

It is worth noting I listened to my brother.

It is worth noting I followed his directions.

This may be a momentous day.

Okay, it wasn't.

First, Little_Brother advised everyone to update their Facebook privacy settings to keep their personal pictures out of the hands of ruthless third party advertisers. Second, I followed his advice and updated privacy settings (Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes). Third, I checked it out.

Facebook's reply to me, "Worried about privacy? Your photos are safe. There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook using your photos in ads. Don't believe them. These rumors were related to third-party applications, and not ads shown by Facebook. Get the whole story at the Facebook Blog, or check out the Help Center."

I clicked through to the blog. Basically, they said a rumor had begun spreading, the rumor was false, someone did misuse Facebook profile photos in ads—which violated their policies, those ads were removed. They also wanted it noted that the removal occurred, then the rumor started. I say, someone smelled cover-up, disgruntled employee, jealous competitor. Take your pick.

Let's just be clear. Before re-posting anything, vet it, investigate it, research it.

And please, hesitate before forwarding any email blast. Scope it, snope it (Snopes), and after you confirm it is TRUE, consider if it's really necessary. Don't be a lemming, don't follow the crowd, don't jump off the cliff.

Be original.

Start your own rumor.

And never, NEVER forward me what I call the-wisdom-of-the-internet-email with a gazillion people's emails included. Just don't do it. I will value you and your correspondence far greater if you email or post a comment: just-thinking-about-you-wanted-to-say-hi.


So, now what to do with all those rumors... I know you're itching to post them somewhere. Okay, permission granted. Send them to Big_Brother. He likes 'em.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Beta read it, betta smile

Sometimes you can make people who love books happy. Sometimes without even giving them a real book.

You may have met this beautiful young women, The Star, via her mother's blog Cherry Bombastic. You may have also stumbled upon the post Bad Hair Day, the one where her brother (he liked my daughter for about 5 minutes in fifth grade) thought it a good idea to ask sis to cut his hair.

She agreed.

It wasn't a good idea.

That day ended in a buzz cut.

Today had a better ending. In fact, it had an awesome beginning.

Previously, The Star traveled with the Washington contingent (her mom and me) to the Write to Publish seminar at Portland State University. The Star doesn't mind skipping school for a day, in fact, she reveled in it, consumed the writing feast with rapt attention, and totally embraced fiction by dropping hints she was a freshman, not in high-school exactly, more like college. The former is true.

Just to be clear, a day spent in proximity of me means 'manuscript mania.' (Me maniac). Instead of being annoyed she was intrigued. I like that kid. In fact, I like that kid enough to be friends with her, not only in real life, in virtual life. Facebook life. It was in that altered FB state she mentioned she was interested in reading the manuscript.

Any good mom-type would not just hand over whatever a kid wanted, right? I aim to be a good mom-mentor. I held the manuscript hostage. I said, "First, find me five new facebook fans." Then I thought, that's a lot of 'F's for one sentence. Oh, and yes, I have a fan page, I don't promote it here, it's more for people who know me, building a strong local platform is my first PR initiative. I work in advertising, I've got the whole plan mapped out. Watch out world.

Kids these days, even if they go to the arts school, don't necessarily want to be associated with anyone's artsy MOM. Mom weirdness can rub off, make you odd. So, you have to give The Star credit for hanging out and believing the fan request had merit.

She delivered...not only five FB fans, but six! She has persuasive power. She may have a career in sales.

A good mom-mentor also delivers on promises.

When I saw four new fans pop up I started printing. At five I whooped and called her a 'dude,' as in "dude, you are awesome!" (I had a guy call me dude on Twitter, so I figured that was the current fad lingo).

I delivered Part One of A Single Pearl. . .

How bad would I be if I made her come up with five more fans to get part two?

I'm kidding I would never do that...

I think.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Celebrities who've met ME! Hello, Dale Chumbley

Dale Chumbley, Realtor® in Clark County, Washington and winner of Pearl of Carol contest and Ooligan Press book.
He can say, he knew me when...

Many moons ago, when we were both cute young things, Dale and I worked together at a media company, a behemoth news giant in all of Southwest Washington. I thought I was important and gave him orders. He thought I knew what I was doing and followed them exactly. To accommodate my many pick-up and delivery demands, he tootled around the county in a little white car. Occasionally, he took a break from my sweet requests and drove the boss' Jaguar, but that was only for very specific and important company business: a swish through the car wash.

At the time, enamored by his smile, I scoured my then fading memory banks to decipher why—when I gazed into his bright blue eyes they made me warm and fuzzy, made me want to give him a big sister squeeze, but they also left me hungry. For food. Peanut butter and jelly to be exact.

The mystery erupted in startling fashion—Sunny Jim bounced out of obscurity. He smiled from his position as the heavily promoted advertising icon of a now defunct, Seattle peanut butter empire that made its first entrance at Pike Place Market.

My dad grew up on that stuff. It was pumping through my veins when I was born. Until he entered kindergarten that is ALL my real-little-brother ate, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
[Sunny Jim Photo Credit. Thanks, Molly!]

Dale wasn't interested in spreading peanut butter stories through our department and tried to convince me he fell far short of wholesome, in fact, he claimed to have been a goth teen.

He swore he left for high-school looking like a regular guy, changed clothes along the way, and showed up looking more like this... -->
[Photo provided by Dale Chumbley].

Ever since that revelation, I have avoided Dale's mum, Tracy Chumbley also a Realtor®. I'm such a tattle-tale, I feared I would disclose Dale's sordid past and ruin her pristine image of such a fine-upstanding son, because surely she was as worried as the rest of us about that other son, Darin, who did not delight in college but ran away to sing and dance in New York. It turned out okay, Darin danced his way into the heart of a beautiful girl and they now live within a block of Times Square, which offers plenty of fodder for his photography career.

"Hey Tracy, maybe now that I'm a mom, you can give me some ADVICE: my kid has a wild streak. Blond. Right down the middle of her pitch black hair. HALP."

So, in keeping with the Celebrity Spirit, its all about ME, I just wanted to have the final say, and announce, "Dale, I enjoy reading your blog, Clark County Real Estate Guide, it reminds me of home. I feel very grateful you allowed me to treat you to coffee the other day and deliver your copy of the RETHINKING PAPER & INK. I ought to have more contests, I meet up with the best people!"


"Finally, it will NOT be ten years before we meet up again, okay? (And yes I'm lying about how long it's really been). Because, soon, very soon, we will be celebrating Bridget Chumbley and the publication of her first young adult novel. That's a promise!"


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Any Minute

My friends at Hachette Group suggested a book I might enjoy. It was due to arrive ANY MINUTE, appeared and I finished it this week.

Currently, my book reading has been infrequent, sporadic at best. I invest all spare time into writing, editing, writing, editing, oh, and there's a few re-writes in there, too.

When I'm not knee deep in my own stuff, I like to 'relax' with the heavy weights, Anna Karenina, I like the thought provokers, Jodi Picoult. I like anything that makes me cry. Surprising to me, I have discovered YA (thank you Anne & May) and a pinch of Chick Lit lifts the spirit.

When I'm bone weary of the real world, I pick up a 'bath-tub' book (that's the kind that if they fall in no one's upset, it's usually a...let me whisper it...a Harlequin).

It was a pleasure to pick up a brand new hard bound, crack it open, peek inside and bury myself in someone else's story. I have to say, some of this hit a little too close to home: working mom, invests a lot for the job, some things at home slide. So, while it wasn't a heavy weight, and didn't make me cry, it did present some thoughts to wrestle with.

Review: I cared about the characters and what happened to them, and although not all elements of the story worked for me (the mother’s back story made more sense had it happened in the grandmother’s generation) those were small issues in the overall delivery of a story of self-discovery. We are left with hope that life can be better—even if not always by our own power—and what matters most are the relationships we nurture within our family.

ISBN: 9780446582537
Author: Meyer, Joyce
Publisher: Faithwords
Author: Bedford, Deborah
Subject: Religious - General
Subject: Christian - General
Publication Date: June 2009
Binding: Hardcover
Language: English
Pages: 304


Monday, July 20, 2009

Celebrities who've met ME! Author Geronimo Tagatac

Last summer, intent on wooing Ooligan Press into my orbit, I surfed into the library and put all of Ooligan's published works on hold. After waiting months, the library shot back an email alerting The Weight of the Sun stood ready.

From the first paragraph I was hooked. A year later I was haunted. The short stories of Geronimo Tagatac hid deep in the recesses of thoughts and whispered, ‘Embrace this language, touch these stories...’ When the apparitions appeared I would hunt online for Tagatac, and would come up empty handed.

Last week everything changed. I stumbled on a connection, secured an email and shot out a quick request. Crazy guy that he is, Tagatac agreed to a meeting. Coffee. Friday. 10 AM.

At first blush it might seem inevitable that Geronimo Tagatac would meet me. Sure, let’s run with that. He was born on the East Coast. I was born in the Wild West. He grew up in California. I did not. He wrote a book, I wrote a manuscript. He entertained as a folk singer, I as classical pianist. He did graduate work in Asia, undergraduate study for me in Europe. He taught in Hong Kong for a year. I spent one sleepless night under Hong Kong's heaven. He has one daughter (closing in here), I have one daughter! His daughter studies journalism. I work with journalists!

So much *cough* in common. Completely foreseeable our paths should cross.

He arrived late and appeared stressed he’d mixed up the meeting place, but relaxed into our conversation, opened up and shared a world that encompassed writing, travel, the Vietnam war, study of Asia, teaching, coaching body builders, folk music--an array of topics that left me spellbound.

As a dirt poor college student he hung out with others of the same ilk, as well as some dropouts, and they taught each other what they really loved: music. “We jammed together playing late into the night and lived for that. We played folk music in coffee houses for half the cover charge and all the coffee we could drink.” He worked the circuit with Peter Grant who later became a television studio musician and Jorma Kaukonen who formed San Francisco’s Jefferson Airplane. Tagatac grinned as he listed where he’d performed: Cotangent, Brass Knocker in Saratoga, The Shelter and The Offstage Theatre in Sante Fe, the Other Side in Fort Bragg, The Crows Toe in Washington D.C, stops in Myrtle Beach, Greensboro. Some of those gigs depended on hitchhiking and upon arrival supplied free drinks, and not always coffee.

The next delivery exacted a higher price. “Crazy. Got my draft notice and volunteered, otherwise they placed Filipinos as cooks, mess boys, or stewards.” He landed in special forces for the Navy.

I asked if he experienced prejudice. “I did,” he said. “When I was younger. People make assumptions based on your looks how well educated you are, how well off you are, what kind of a job you have. I found California was really, really diverse. I worked for Willie Brown, the first African-American Speaker [of the California Assembly], the second most powerful person in office. There you’re accustomed to people of color. When I first came to Oregon, I worked for an agency as a budget analyst for one budget session. People in those days, early 90's, weren't really used to seeing a person of color, in a professional setting.” Perhaps a polite way of saying the unspoken he noted, “Had some pretty funny incidents.”

Education wove itself through all seasons of Tagatac's life and propelled him to work towards a doctorate. “When I was in Vietnam, there was so much Chinese influence. I promised myself I would learn it more, and maybe even go and visit China. In those days it was a really revolutionary society.” He did visit and his study encompassed many Chinese themes, Chinese Communist revolution, Chinese foreign policy, Mandarin, he immersed himself in research and even taught in Taiwan.

I wondered what pushed him towards his writing career. “I didn’t really start writing until very late. It was always a direction. After the war, at Sante Fe State, I was a pretty restless guy, a ski bum, wrote letters to friends, descriptions of what was going on. I hitchhiked to Boulder, Colorado to climb and write to friends just anything that was on my mind.”

He married, lived in the Bay Area and in the late 1980’s started taking writing seriously. “I took classes in creative writing. Then in 1989, came to Salem and took classes at Chemeketa from Dwayne Atkinson and from Portland State University-Salem Extension studying with Martha Gies. Gies really got me serious about writing.”

His first acceptance for publication came from Writers Forum a literary journal published out of Colorado. “After that I started getting more acceptances to different places, and I just kept writing stories and sending them out, writing, and writing. I applied for and got a fellowship from Oregon Literary Arts, received a fellowship at Fish Trap, and the next year got invited to back to Fish Trap to teach.”

His book lay on the table between us, my talisman for him to find me. I fingered the bright sun-kissed cover and asked how it came to be. “Luck.” I had him repeat that. “Luck. Someone from Confluence Press asked if I had a manuscript, he took it and wanted to publish it, but Confluence was tied to Idaho College, they had budget cuts and the contract was cancelled.”

The gentleman forwarded the manuscript to Dennis Stovall at Ooligan Press in Portland, Oregon and months later Tagatac received an email asking for permission to publish it. “Interesting way to go, never had an agent, never been able to find an agent,” Tagatac noted with a wry smile. Who does your marketing I mused. He confessed, “That’s the thing I’m really terrible at. I’ve done readings, but I don’t have a web-site. I’m so focused on the writing, I want to write and I know I should be doing this other stuff, and more than willing, but marketing is probably the thing I’m weakest at.”

His writing felt very personal to me and I inquired how much it reflected his life. “There is a piece of me in every story, probably in the first book a lot of me in the stories.” Some of his stories were assignments he gave himself, making a bland office cubicle interesting, or challenges with themes. “I’d never found a story that dealt with a body builder, and I’d always wanted a scene in the weight room that would work. I’d been weight training, running, was a personal coach and doing all this stuff. ‘Gosh you really know this world, know how body builders think, how they work out. There’s a story in there.’” There’s also a whole technical language that accompanies that world. “I had to make it authentic without drowning people with technicalities. I wound up being able to put a love story together, demonstrating class differences, racial differences, and just put them all into one, and it worked.”

Is there a book in the wings?

“I’m in the middle of a novel right now, and just completed another collection of seventeen short stories of people trying to live two lives at the same time.” He gave an overview. “Way of the Snake is about a man with a very bureaucratic job dreaming he’s a rattle snake. Then the two worlds collide. Streak is the story of a guy working as a hair dresser. He’s lived all over the world, can’t stay away from trouble. He comes to a very quiet job in Oregon to live a very ordinary life.” Little is ordinary in Tagatac’s fictional worlds, and the thump-thump of heartbeats echoed across the table when he spoke of Who’s Counting, the barista obsessed with the number of heart beats after his transplant. I want to read that, I asserted. Tagatac grinned, “As soon it’s published.”

I asked how his writing style had changed. “I don’t know that my style has changed that much, I learned about character and about point of view and tense. You have to be consistent, who’s point of view is it in, otherwise you come up with clinkers. Clinkers break the forward motion of your story and force your reader to go back to figure it out. It stops everything.”

So willing to meet, so willing to share, it was easy to sense the teacher in his spirit. I inquired what he liked about teaching. He thought about that for a moment, and answered, “Figuring out ways to get people’s interest in anything from history, politics or fiction writing. For writing: breaking creative writing down to its basics, how to work with those basics, how to work with settings, how you create a character, how you work with plot, where you use dialogue, when to use dialogue, when to use narrative, and how to turn the story. You’re just exposing people to those things,” he noted, and fumbled his hat. “I remember before I started writing it was a mystery, something other people did.”

My burning question came towards the end—where do the words come from? “I don’t know, I always felt that they were floating around. I was writing as though I were speaking, and they were just there, and it was a really great discovery.”

I began to shut the lap top off and ventured in the last subject: Vietnam. “When you’re 22-years-old it’s exciting to be sent overseas, but it’s only when you’re over there you realize you could get killed." He faced death twice, knew within ten minutes he would be dead, then the balance of life altered. “The hardest thing in the war: you can do everything right and still die. Survival becomes a matter of luck, doesn't have anything to do with how strong you are, or how brave.”

Two weeks before he was to return home he volunteered for a mission. I couldn’t imagine why. “I think survivors guilt,” he explained.

The images he shared appeared with such clarity I could touch the broken pieces, see the man who returned self-contained, one who chose writing to survive, saved fragments of paper and then when he moved on threw them all away, time and time again, discarding the baggage of recovery. I glanced at his book, knowing I would ask him to autograph it, but unwilling to have something ordinary from this extraordinary man. I wanted to know which was his favorite story.

“My favorite story…whew…” He blew air out of his cheeks, “Hm…I’d have to say, it’s The Orchard, a coming of age story, and it’s really a story based on my relationship with my father. It’s about the kid who has always hated having to work in the field and suddenly realizes that this one last autumn in the orchard is the last time he’s really going to be part of the father. The story doesn’t really romanticize the father much; he’s a man with a sharp temper, but their lives are about to diverge and it only comes to the son at the very end of the story where we see him wearing the clothes that he bought from his earnings. He understands he’s never going to have the same relationship with his father that he did.”

Tagatac and I were at the end of our hour and I wondered if our paths would cross again, or if with a simple hand shake everything concluded. As I gathered up my things and stuffed away, I asked if he would consider an invitation to one of my local book store haunts for an author event. “Absolutely. I’ve gone all over the place, love going to different places. With small presses you really have to do a lot of the work yourself. You have to sell your book.”

On the way home, I reached into the back of the car, grabbed the book out of my bag, and read what he wrote. A simple extraordinary wish.

Thank you, Mr. Tagatac, for sharing your journey. I’m so glad you became part of mine.

Additional information: The Asian Reporter, V16, #22 (May 30, 2006), page 13.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Follow Friday? Follow me out the door

Upon arrival at work, I encountered this sign at the back entrance. I considered whether I should take it as a sign (Am I punny, or what?!)

I drove around to the front of the building and the office was buried behind road construction crap. I plucked out a parking spot and picked my way through the concrete maze.

I placed all hope on my key and slid it carefully in the lock. It turned... Darn.

This sign greeted me at my completely (dis)organized desk. A second sign? Sure. I'll run with that.

See you all Monday! And maybe with a celebrity who's met me.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Shiraz. Hurrah. Critique group celebration

Pictured left to right: the group. Photographer: The First Carol

Congratulations to critique group member, Melanie, 2009 finalist in the mainstream category, Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. While the group would like to take credit for dragging her into a clever literary style and offering all that great developmental editing—that she would otherwise had to have paid thousands for—we must concede, “You are the master and have added greatly to our growth. Thank you and congratulations!”

The survivors of Carolyn Rose's Novel Writing Boot Camp I & II, pictured above, enjoyed ice cream bon-bon’s provided by Lisa and sipped Shiraz provided by The First Carol. Not heavy drinkers, The First Carol brought the bottle home. She’s still sipping the ruby-colored liquid all in a vain attempt to avoid re-writes of part one of her manuscript.

Put the bottle down and get to work, girl!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gift delivery, winner of Ooligan book

Melanie joined me bright and early at Starbucks. She carefully timed the meeting to coincide precisely prior to my daughter's saxophone lesson. You know, The First Carol would be on deadline and would not be able to go on-and-on, per usual.

Melanie is worthy of a Monday post, "Celebrities who've met ME!" She is a finalist in a literary contest which drew entries from around the globe. More on that later. First, my agenda: book delivery.

"Take it!" said The First Carol.

"No, I told you I didn't want it. Keep it," replied Melanie.

"No, you dork, take the coffee."

"I paid for my coffee, I paid for YOUR coffee. Keep your re-write. I'm sick of reading your stuff."

"The book, Melanie, we're meeting so I can give you the book."

"Oh, oh, right. Okay, thank you."

"You're welcome. See you Thursday."

FULL DISCLOSURE: I made all that up, (except for the picture, that's real). Melanie is a very congenial woman, great writer and excellent critique group member. She is the one who identifies when we 'tell' instead of 'show.' In addition, there are passages in my manuscript which greatly improved through her concise counsel, subtle suggestions, and tough questions.

I could claim the results of her advice were all my ideas, because she quickly forgets her best input, but I'd never take credit for that. <-- quite possibly a lie, but we'll pretend it's true.

If you'd like to visit Melanie's blog, surf over to Melanie's Meanderings. I convinced her to start blogging. She keeps asking me why. I say, just do it, but I say it in a really nice voice.

Looking forward to meeting up with our other two winners!


Friday, July 3, 2009

And the winner of the Ooligan book is...

Ooligan Book Thank you Dale Chumbley, Melanie, helen and Anita for your comments on the Ooligan three-part series regarding the state of the publishing industry. For the three of you who requested, you were entered in the drawing for the mini-book, RETHINKING PAPER & INK, The Sustainable Publishing Revolution, published by Ooligan Press, Portland State University.

Due to the high credibility of this blog and desire to sustain that enviable status, the drawing was held at a neutral place (my place of employment), in a neutral spot (the lunchroom), was conducted by a neutral party (credit assistant), was witnessed by people who didn't care, and has been authenticated as COMPLETELY LEGIT. Signed affadavits will be provided upon request.

Cue drum roll:

Thank you, Barbara, for drawing the winners and stopping to get that perfect manicure just in time for the picture shoot.






(enthusiastic applause!!!)

Why three? I know, confusing when I only promised two. Well, I prefer everyone to win, and while I only announced two books, I had one in my back pocket (literally, they're small). It is my pleasure to award all three volumes, as I have enjoyed each of your blogs, and bounded estactic through the room at each of your comments. Furthermore, I am looking forward to sharing more of your wit, thoughtful commentary, and any blather you'd like to post. You may consider your book in every way a bribe. Oh, and its way okay to invite your friends on over to the Pearl of Carol.

To receive your copy, please email me: pearlofcarol (at) gmail (dot) com, and since you are all within a tank of gas, I'd be happy to deliver in person and buy you a cup of coffee. I'll also talk your head off as you sip politely and glance furtively at your watch wondering, how long can this woman talk? To be honest, as long as the audience's patience endures.

In conclusion, I'll let Dennis Stovall have the last word and respond to Helen's curiosity about where the name Ooligan originated:

"The name Ooligan is adopted from a Native American word for a smelt otherwise known as the candlefish. The ooligan was an abundant natural resource in Pacific Northwest rivers. It may well be the word from which the name Oregon was derived. During the trade of the valuable fish oil to tribes east of the Rockies, the L in Ooligan was replaced with an R, giving us the sound Ooregon. Gradually, this usage became the name of a place and assumed its current spelling of Oregon in the course of history. The anthropology on this was in the Oregon Historical Society Quarterly in 2001. ds"

Thanks for participating!

(You didn't really think I'd let someone else really have the last word, did you?)


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