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Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   Looks like the Mayans were wrong!  The world didn't end on Dec. 21, 2012 as they predicted.  It also didn't end in all the predictions of the past, including those of Martin Luther, who declared 1600 was "the end."  The Jehovah Witnesses predicted 3 different "ends" from 1941 to 2000.  Psychic Jean Dixon also predicted the end in 1962.  (Perhaps this was merely a vision of the near-Nuclear War provoked by the Cuban Missile Crisis??)  She has revised her end date to a vague period sometime between 2020 and 2037.  Phew!  I have time to see The Calling Stone published--Hopefully in 2013!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Excerpts Posted from TCS

By popular request, I posted several excerpts from my novel, which has 8 parts and at least two subheads under each!  Hope you like the choices; it was hard to pick favorites!  Just click on "Excerpts..." in the column on the right side of the page.

I also posted short bios of Mitch and Jess, the starcrossed protagonists of the saga.  There are at least a dozen real "characters" who lived and interacted with them from 1855 to 1876, with longer bios not posted. 

Comments welcomed!  cjf

Friday, December 7, 2012

Minnesota War of 1862?

     Attended Post Bulletin Dialogs Wed. night (Dec. 5th) at Library on their sequicentennial series about the 1862 Sioux Uprising.  Besides Editor Jay Furst, there were 6 speakers, including two Sioux women on an informal panel, all well-educated on the 6-week "war."   About 200 people or more were crowded into the room, many standing or sitting on the floor.
      I went, of course, because my fictional heroine survives the massace in the 2nd section of my book.  The Indian women cautioned us to look at the "Indian point of view" as written by one of their scholars.  One of them said mysteriously that there was a lot that has not yet been revealed about this huge event in Minnesota history.  While talking to her later, she told me there was still a lot of prejudice they faced.  Both women had ancestors who were affected by the war. (After the uprising, Indians were exiled from Minnesota and "transplanted" in poor reservations outside of any state territory in the U.S.  Many died during and after the move, in what they interpreted as a blatant attempt at land-grabbing and genocide.) 
     We exchanged email addresses at my suggestion.  As the hero of my book is half Sioux, I have a lot of Sioux words in my book and would love to get a very clear and more precise meaning for some phraseology.
     A Rochester high school class was also in attendance and during the question and answer period, one of these students admitted she had never heard of this conflict before.  One of the panel members was a former teacher who challenged that; said every 6th grader should have had that in history!?  I thoroughly agreed with the Indian woman who said we should ALL be more informed more about our state history, even our own personal histories, not just U.S. history. 
     Thought provoking, enlightening, good questions from audience.  Someone said 25 years ago there was little known or written about this event and very little interest in it.  (I do have some books in my bibliography that are older than 25 years, however.)  It's probably understandable that this very dark and dramatic tragedy in our history is something that both Sioux and Minnesotans would just as soon skip over, but skipping never leads to reconciliation.  Atrocities on all sides in the 19th century rush for manifest destiny in the U.S. is the underlying theme of THE CALLING STONE.  Read and WRITE what you love, I'm told.  Weaving fictional characters through a web of fascinating, sometimes ironic, funny, romantic and brutal history is what this girl loves!!  Isn't it always more interesting to read something based on truth--a compelling story acted out by compelling, unforgettable characters? 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My New Book Cover

                                                                                              Proposed Calling Stone book cover
           My business card shown below:

                           (text on the back of the card:)
   Separated by time and culture, two children --a green-eyed half breed, and a feisty red-haired farm girl-- each survive historic massacres in mid-nineteenth century America. Hardened by personal tragedy and racial hatred, they meet as adults and clash in a 21-year race toward manifest destiny, until love softens attitudes, exposes hypocrisy, and tests them in a final battle that will forever change their history, and enlighten ours in...THE CALLING STONE.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Writer's Conference in Albuquerque, 2012

   Just returned from our Albuquerque Adventure in New Mexico Tuesday evening, Oct. 23.   The Women Writing the West (WWW) Writer's Conference was held in a huge hotel Oct. 19 to 21.   Because there were several conferences going on in tandem at this hotel, we had a room down the street in the Rio Grande Best Western.  Both were within walking distance of "Old Town," the origin of Albuquerque 200 years ago.
(Population today is half a million.)  On two different days we roamed the streets of Old Town, contributing to the economy of this historic real estate.  I think the highlight here was an outdoor cafe with a daily special of homemade apple dumplings and ice cream.  We enjoyed the sunshine (70's every day) and the company of a pigeon which bobbed and tootled around the tables like he was on a mission. 
   The last WC I attended was about 30 yrs. ago in Rochester with such "promising" author/speakers as Jon Hassler, and Judith Guest.  My 2012 WWW Conference was brightened by the location, the smart women, the friendly connections and the information I gleaned in pursuit of publication.  Electronics, economics and ebooks are definitely driving the Industry today.  One publisher wants me to send her my novel, but I have reservations after "vetting" her requirements which tend toward shorter, G-rated books. 
  The Calling Stone has some graphic history and a love story that would rattle any G rating. Not erotica, but maybe a few pulse-pounders that could be compared to some of my current favorite author's fictional love scenes.  If you love historicals-which I learned were "on the rise"-- you might like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books. SHE writes very dense, very long books--1000 pages average.  I was told my book was too long-- maybe 2 books--though I am not at 1000 pages.  Lots to consider!?  Glad to be home again in a cooler, wetter climate that gives me no regrets for staying inside to read and write! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The End of an Era!

What a wonderful, yet bittersweet day we had yesterday!  For the last 15 years we've given riding lessons, and for the last 11 years we've had a big Family Fun Show at the end of the summer to show off what the kids learned and loved to do on the horses.  We had a BIG crowd gathered around our arena yesterday in glorious sunshine and the only "rain" was the emotions that poured from grateful students and their instructors, and the audience in our FINAL show.  We featured a tribute to our retired 22 year old ailing pony, and a medley of Grease music choreographed by students, as well as a final musical number on horseback to "God Bless the USA."   The horses and I will miss the wonderful kids and their parents, but my focus now will be devoted to "The Calling Stone."  How wonderful to see my lifelong dreams come true!
Horses, a good man to adore me, and a historical fiction novel!  I feel so blessed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

50 shades of RED!

Went to a publishing workshop on Sat. AND caught the tail end of a horse show after!  Learned a lot at the workshop from a MN. small press publisher.  What's hot in publishing world today?  20 million copies sold of "50 Shades of Grey!"   Erotica is turning pages!  I borrowed a copy (just to read the competition) and am turning 50 shades of RED just reading it.  No plot or story, just sex!  Wow!  Can't wait to read 2nd in the series!  Does this make me a dirty old woman?
Saturday, July 14, 2012 , 1:30 p.m.    FINISHED NOVEL!   
   Last sentence, "In her pocket, she fingered the calling stone."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day 2012

Independence Day 2012--  Passed up the record heat and humidity today, sitting in nothing but my blue terry beach dress which is older than dirt!  Morning coffee and last chocolate donut got me going at 7:30 a.m. Love the AC, Under the fan, on command center with laptop, finishing the last pages of The Calling Stone.  Hardly budged all day, words are flying off the keys, up to page 21 in last section now!   Took little breaks to play Casino Solitaire on Facebook, water tomato plants on deck, fetch nutter butter bites from fridge, work on Riding Lesson stuff for barn, email funny responses to teasing friend!  Heard fireworks but can't see them for the trees!  Oh well!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hot and Sticky

What a beautiful day: Mid 80's and lots of humidity.  Another good "Jamma Day" for me! (In jammies, working hard on novel, the girl is almost finished and bubbling with excitement about getting the word out to agents and publishers.)  She can be had!!  

Memory needs a Nudge on June 30!

My daughter came over yesterday and made a BLT brunch for us.  We totally forgot that we had booked a birthday
Party on Horseback >for some church people... we were really surprised when a bunch of cars drove up and unloaded their kids. My grandsons and their friends helped out, and we were able to coral and saddle the horses quickly and do our thing.