Monday, July 21, 2014

Bainbridge, Biking & Bellingham

Many thanks to Victoria Irwin and all the wonderful folks at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island for their warm welcome and interesting conversation. 
Maybe I should've biked from Seattle to Bainbridge, the ferry by bike is always fun. But then who wants to come to a reading to see a sweaty author in padded bike shorts?

Here's what I mean. I did my first century (that's 100 miles in bike talk) the day before the Eagle Harbor Books event. Lots of biking uphill and just enough downhill to keep me going. Not exactly what you'd expect to see when you go to a bookstore reading, right?
Next Saturday I'll be in Bellingham and Fairhaven sans bike.If you're in the area, I'd love to see you.

4099 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA 98226
Saturday, July 26, 2014
12:00 - 3:00 p.m. 

1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Saturday, July 26, 2014
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Friday, July 18, 2014

There's More to the Story

I believe it's important to understand the degree of terror perpetrated by the Mexican government against its people, institutionalized violence not limited to our immediate neighbor to the south,  which could explain in part the influx of 50,000 children crossing the border into the United States.
I would suggest that when a government mobilizes an armed force of 3,500 against 300 civilians, when of 106 arrests 47 are women, 16 children, 2 human rights observers, 3 independent news people, and 5 foreigners*, when there is no due process and violence and rape are accepted forms of control and intimidation, when state-controlled media perpetrates state-sanctioned violence, then perhaps we can better understand the flood of undocumented immigrants across our southern border as well as the possible consequences of deportation.   
While the events documented in the attached YouTube video occurred in May 2006, the video wasn't released in 2012. A brief Internet search reveals continued unrest over land and water rights in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, Mexico.

*The 2006 report from the National Human Rights Commission in 2012 puts this numbers higher.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two Bits of News

News Bit #1
Are you on Bainbridge Island? 
If so, please stop by Eagle Harbor Books next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. I'd love to see you!

157 Winslow Way East
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110
Saturday, July 20 @ 3 p.m.

News Bit #2
Have you had a chance to pick up a copy of RUNNING SECRETS? If not, now's your chance!

Right now, for only $0.99 you can pick up a Kindle copy!

RUNNING SECRETS is the first book in the Alki Trilogy and it tells the story of a unlikely friendship between a suicidal young woman and her Ethiopian home healthcare nurse which leads both on a journey of self-discovery.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What a Ride!

My head still floats in a cloud of disbelief. For this Seattle writer, there was nothing quite like reading at Elliott Bay Book Company. To stand at the podium shared by the likes of Tom Rachman and Lisa See, Luanne Rice and Celeste Ng - and that's just June and July - was a breathtaking experience, a bit like cycling downhill as the odometer climbs to 30 mph hoping I'll make it to the bottom in one piece.
And what a ride it was! The BIKING UPHILL launch party yesterday was a joy. Booktrope CEO Ken Shear honored me with a generous introduction and the audience rewarded me with interesting questions and comments. 
I am extremely grateful to Karen Maeda Allman for scheduling the event and to Greg Berry for hosting.

Thank you!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

You're Invited!

This Sunday we celebrate the publication of BIKING UPHILL, a timely novel that invites the reader into a world of undocumented immigration, where parents are deported, and a young girl is abandoned to face life on her own.
I doubt Gemi would approve of bottled iced tea, but I know she'd love the goodies from the Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant in West Seattle. 
If you're in Seattle and want to get out of the heat, zip over for some cool refreshments. And soccer fans, it's okay to slip in a bit late!

1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle WA 98122 
Sunday, July 13 @ 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Burn

Summer has arrived in Seattle: my time to write and ride as much as possible. In an odd way, these two passions are similar. When I cycle, I plan the route, distance and time in the saddle. I set goals and sometimes I meet up with other cyclists. I set writing goals as well: a scene to be written, time in the chair, pages to key into a draft manuscript. And sometimes I join other writers.
I was recently asked what I think about when I cycle. Do I think about the novel I'm working on, plot scenes, visualize settings, imagine dialogues? Nope. Maybe some speck of my subconscious is there, deep with my characters, but then I wouldn't know, would I?

I've never been asked what I think about when I put pen to paper, and yet the response would vary little because once begun these activities retain certain similarities. In both cases, I fall into a deep, almost meditative state, and let the route or the pen lead the way.

And yet, there are times, like on my 50-mile solo ride last Monday, when I notice the world around me. I rode East Lake Sammamish from Issaquah to Marymoor Park. Then I followed the Sammamish River Trail north to Bothell. If you're in the Seattle area, you may know the route.
An eagle soared. The lake and river, bridges and farmlands glowed. Mount Rainier reigned. The immense natural beauty took my breath away. And then the extremes of wealth and poverty slapped me in the face.
Who needs a private helicopter? I mean really. And though a rundown trailer court is not poverty by any international, or even national definition, it stood in stark contrast to the lake front properties less than twenty miles away.
Sometimes observation interrupts meditation, whether in writing or riding. If I stop to think about word choice or sentence structure, the story flows on without me. And if I stop to secret a few photos when I cycle, I become aware of more than the burn in my quads.