May 22, 2013
I first met Wendy Hinman at the Seattle7 Novel Live! Event, where a number of us wrote a group novel, The Hotel Angeline, as a fundraiser for literacy. We each got up and flailed away at an unfamiliar computer on a stage with a camera pointed at us. The result is still pulling in (more…)
May 1, 2013
You can climb a wire fence if you must.
These are things I learned in high school that might be handy in downtown Seattle, whether participating, or just passing through. In the past, we were able to stand in solidarity with undocumented workers who support our economy, but this has changed. On May 1, be dressed for anything.
1. Wear shoes you can run in, or climb a wire fence. (more…)
April 22, 2013
The philosophy behind a food forest is that of abundance, rather than scarcity.
Last week, I took a sunny day to walk land designated for a Food Forest on Bainbridge Island. What is a food forest? It is land on which edible plants will grow using the fewest artificial resources, while attracting and supporting insects, animals, and people to enhance its well-being.
I first heard of the idea from (more…)
April 3, 2013
The 38 foot Ocean
The power was out when I interviewed Paul Svornich, a third-generation fisherman on Bainbridge Island. By the light of a flashlight and a lantern, his wife Lorraine Svornich carefully pasted labels on cans of tuna caught by Paul from his sailboat 50 miles off the Oregon coast.
No one goes tuna fishing in a sailboat,except Paul Svornich.
March 3, 2013
Meatballs and furniture? What were you thinking? It’s true, there is no evidence that horsemeat got into the meatballs in the United States, but only because there is a system in place. Queasy factor aside, horses are given high amounts of drugs that are not good for people. Most cattle are, too, unless (more…)
February 3, 2013
Around the island.
We were about fifteen feet above the water, too high to see what canoe people see. A group of Bainbridge Islanders circumnavigated the island last summer in the Virginia V, an old ferry that has been restored and now serves as a tour boat. Our guide was Dennis Lewarch, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (more…)
January 16, 2013
My winter dreams
I’m pretty sure my broccoli plants are dead now. After two mild winters, I thought I would plant some late in the season to see if I could get it to overwinter and provide an early spring crop. We are now in our second week of freezing temperatures. We managed to eat a (more…)
December 3, 2012
Oyster beds on Bainbridge Island in foreground, Olympic Mountains behind.
Winter has settled upon us, and we are into the long rains of the northwest. Mornings tend to be the driest times, with moisture piling up to break loose in the afternoon.
I sloshed out to Cooper Creek one day to look for returning salmon, to no avail. Bainbridge has just a few streams, (more…)
October 21, 2012
Día de los Muertos
The season has changed from an extended dry spell to the first rains of winter. It is time for the Day of the Dead. We are saddened by the departure of several relatives this year, from the last of our parent’s generation, to a much beloved in-law in Denver.
Falling as it does in the harvest season, el día de los muertos is a reminder that we have our seasons, that we are organic as well, dependent on the lives of plants and animals in order to continue our journey. (more…)
September 20, 2012
First ripe tomatoes
It is September, and I spent much of the summer growing two tomato plants that are the size of small trees. At last, I picked three, ripe, yellow tomatoes yesterday. There are many more on the vine. Until I pick them, these first three are worth about $10 apiece in the cost of the plants, (more…)
From the early literature of the Americas to the late 20th Century
Essays on Family and Writing
“The Desert Remembers My Name
makes an important contribution to discussions of ethnicity, identity, and the literature of place.”
"...a mesmerizing tale... the author explores the fascinating confusions and contradictions plaguing a culture precariously poised between tradition and modernization."
"She never forgot the power of storytelling as testimony."
–The Utne Reader
"Kathleen Alcalá's Spirits of the Ordinary
is an enthralling book..."
–Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books
"This book entered my dreams."
–The New York Times Book Review
"By turns touching, entertaining, and surprising, and uniquely her own."