Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Newly-Repurposed Book And Other News

I took the long, scenic, and rocky route to publishing my books.  "Ordinary Days" was self-published way back in 2003 when print on demand was a new thing.  Then it was picked up and re-published by Good Books, who went on to also publish Upstairs the Peasants are Revolting and Downstairs the Queen is Knitting.

Good Books decided not to pick up the fourth book, so I self-published the next two.

Then Goods went bankrupt and fell off the face of the Earth for a year before they were bought out by Skyhorse Publishing in New York City.

Recently Skyhorse decided to re-publish my first three titles under one cover.  I think that is an awful lot of Mrs. Smucker's Attempts At Squeezing Profound Meaning From Daily Life to read and digest at one go, but it isn't my decision to make.

And who am I to fuss if they want to get more mileage out of those titles?

So Sunlight Through Dusty Windows should be out this fall. Special thanks to my sister Rebecca who came up with the name.

If you have one or two of the first three titles and want to complete your set, I am in possession of the only remaining copies of them, and when they're gone, they're gone.

You can email me at for particulars.

I'm also hoping to publish a sixth collection of newspaper columns this year and have many ideas for other new books but no promises or commitments.

Yesterday when I spoke to the Women In Touch at the First Baptist Church in Eugene, one woman told me I really should write a cookbook featuring all the food I write about.  That made me laugh, because me writing a cookbook is kind of like me writing a book on parenting, which I never thought I would do until recently when my young friend Esta suggested it and also about 5 people in a month's time asked me for parenting advice, which always made me want to whirl around to see if they were actually talking to someone behind me.

If those ideas get off the ground, they could both be titled The Cheap Easy Way to Cook/Parent When You Have No Clue What You're Doing And All The Other Cooks/Parents Intimidate You To Death So You Pretend A Lot.

I also keep dropping ideas in my Novel Notes file, but this novel is yet to be written because I am stuck in a Fixed Mindset.  Over on Jenny's blog you can read about that concept.  But I hope to have a Growth Mindset on the novel-writing subject someday, especially since I keep running into these amazing tidbits, like my friend SC who, it turns out, once had a date with an Amish guy and went to the singing in his buggy which involved details that I won't disclose here (watch for them in my novel of course!). And then on our sisters' WhatsApp discussion today there was mention of a squished piece of bread falling out of someone's Bible after communion, which carried Lots of Deeper Implications.

So as you can see there is no lack for morsels to include in that novel when I finally overcome my terror and just write it.

Which brings us to the Sparrow Nest, my writing cabin, which is slowly taking shape but didn't make much progress during the coldest part of the winter because Paul kept finding warmer things to do, and which seems like it will have just the right magic to make a novel come to pass.

So on we march, with giant scoops of gratitude for everyone who has encouraged me and actually read my writings over the last 16 years.

Quote of the Day:
I'll quote myself this time, because I felt so clever.
One night Jenny had fried fish and cooked macaroni & cheese for supper, and being of various schedules, we ate as we showed up in the kitchen.
Paul showed up last, looked around, and said, "Is there anybody left to eat besides me?"
I said, "I didn't realize we were under siege."


  1. What a beautiful book cover! I really like the idea of a three-in-one, the perfect treasury to savor or wrap as a gift.

    If you don't have a whole book's worth to say, could you at least write a Register-Guard article on The Cheap Easy Way... When You Have No Clue What You're Doing... and Are Intimidated to Death? It begs to be written.

  2. Beautiful cover of the new book! How fun that those three books will get some new life and more people to read your heartwarming and funny writing!

  3. Oh, that quote of the day! Thanks for the laugh!