Friday, November 20, 2009

Sites and Stories; a nice recognition

Kathleen Ernst, a writer friend and quilter, too, has posted an interview with me on her blog She lives in Wisconsin and writes fabulous young adult and children's books that have won awards but more, touched the lives of young readers in powerful ways. She brings history alive for kids which isn't easy to do. Check out the interview.
As for my own writing life: today I'm working on finding a map of a railroad route in 1896 and trying not to get distracted from all the interesting historical pieces there are on the web. And I finished my final edits for An Absence so Great. Here's another photo of my grandmother, one we are not using in the sequel to A Flickering Light. That book, btw, was named to Library Journal's Best Books of 2009. Hurrah!
As part of ranch life, we're applying for an easement to put our irrigation pump lines into the river next year. We've been doing it for 25 years (we have water rights) but because the river we live on has been designated a "navigable river" , with the state owning the beds and banks to the high water mark, all owners along the river are now "using" public property when we have irrigation lines going into the river. So an easement (and a fee) is necessary. It's an indication of how things change. I actually think it's good that Oregon has this policy that people can't own the access to such rivers or the ocean beaches so we are all able to walk along the shore lines and appreciate the glorious creation we are blessed to live close to.
What we do hope is that with the increased public land (and our property went from 160 acres to 134 acres with that pen stroke) that there'll also be increased policing as people have a habit sometimes of leaving trash, camping where they aren't supposed to, having camp fires they neglect or just not paying attention to the beauty they drive so far to see and then leave evidence of their disregard behind. So it's the little details of every day life that I'm dealing with today.
Tomorrow it's off to the "valley" what we refer to as the population corridor of Oregon. I'll be making a presentation in Forest Grove home of Pacific University for a PEO fundraiser (they provide scholarships to women returning to school). On Sunday afternoon it's the Audubon wild Arts Festival at Montgomery Park in Portland. Come see artists and craftsmen and me! Signing books along with lots of other authors. Happy traveling if you are! Warmly, Jane

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Emma's replica quilt

This past month we gave away the replica of Emma Giesy's quilt (from the Change and Cherish Series) to a woman from the Northwest. Ramona Hugulet of Portland, OR was the lucky recipient. Her name was drawn by the publisher from several thousand entires from around the world. The Aurora colony quilters stitched the work on it! Pendelton Woolen Mills (100 years old this year!) donated the wool. In the photo, I'm on the left, Ramona is in the middle and Kathy Monaghan is on the right. Kathy is the project manager for Pendleton Woollen Mills. Emma's original quilt is on the right too; and the replica of Emma's Running Squares quilt, hangs to the left. The Aurora colony celebrated their 36th annual quilt show and the presentation of Emma's quilt was a part of that event.
We aren't certain when Emma's quilt was made. The plaid is found in quilts at both Bethel, Missouri and at Aurora so it may have been begun before Emma came west in 1853 as the only female scout with nine men sent to find a new site for their colony. The Auorora Colony, 20 miles south of Portland, OR, survived in the west for 20 years, the only utopian society to be successful for that long west of the Mississippi River.
If you're intrigued about utopian Change and Cherish series might satisfy some of your interest. Even better is Dr. Jim Kopp's new book Eden within Eden which features the more than 300 utopian groups attracted to Oregon over the past 200 years. Great reading!Jane