Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wishing you joy and peace during this lovely season and may the New Year bring you compassion, love, and mercy.

Marjorie and John

ps. here's a link to holiday music that will make you smile

Thursday, December 17, 2015

More Snow

Fairchild, the Siamese, sits and watches the snow from a safe, warm place. None of the three cats want to go outside. It is snowing and blowing and has been since before dawn. We were going to saddle up and ride into town this morning.  John took the sled dogs out for a test run and not even they could get through the snow on Palomino Lane. (Just kidding about the dogs.)  So we will try for tomorrow when John has to go to town to drive for Meals on Wheels and I am going to work at Gallery 15 since I couldn't get in today to work.  Hope you are all getting ready for the holiday wherever you may be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. We are thankful for our friends and family.  We have snow on the ground here and single digits at night for the next week.  But climate forecasters assure us that this winter will be warmer and drier because of a strong El Nino.  We shall see. Many blessings to  you all. Love, Marjorie and John

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Ursula Le Guin spends "about a week a year being out here, and fifty-one weeks dreaming about it".  (from Out Here by Ursula Le Guin and Roger Dorband, Raven Studios, p. 10.) This year I had the extreme good fortune to meet up with her while she was "out here" where I happen to live and spent a delightful hour in conversation with her over dinner. I have long admired her writing and writing career. It was a real honor to get to meet her.  I was happy the whole time.  Last November she made a great speech when she accepted the National Book Foundation's medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.  It's worth listening to at  She writes science fiction and fantasy, novels, short stories and poems and other stuff. Her web site at is a wealth of information. She also sketches, and the sketches are my favorite part of Out Here.  In September she's coming out with a revised edition of her book on writing, Steering the Craft, A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story. It's on my list to read. She blogs about writing on the web site Book View Cafe at It's worth checking out, especially if you are a serious writer. Thank you, Ursula, for everything. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smoke Plume

No, those are not clouds but the smoke plume from the Canyon Creek Complex fire to the North of us. The fire is south of John Day, Oregon but has not reached Seneca yet. The wind has shifted and the smoke has cleared from around Burns, gracias a Dios.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fire in the Northwest

Smoke cloud comes in from north. View from our east pasture.

 Smoke cloud rolls in behind neighbor's house
Sunrise through smoke
The Northwest is plagued by fire.

We in Harney County are affected by smoke. This smoke cloud came in from the Canyon Creek Complex fire which is about an hour north of us in the mountains in Grant County. Fuel is Ponderosa pine. Since the cloud rolled in on Monday, smoke has been with us every since and air quality is code orange.

Canyon City is just south of John Day, if you look at an Oregon map. Seneca is south of that and they are under a level 1 evacuation order which means they may be evacuated.  The wind keeps shifting which is why the fire is now headed south. Wind to shift on the weekend to east.

The John Day Newspaper is the Blue Mountain Eagle and in Bend is the nearest TV station that posts info on the fires. Warm Springs fire is about 3 hours west of us.

They report the Canyon Creek complex is the highest fire priority in the nation.  Resources are stretched thin and Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon has called in 125 National Guard to be trained in firefighting in a week. Say a few prayers for all of us.

Here is a link to the fire maps:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Online Interview

Fiona McVie, an online blogger in the UK, has a site where she posts daily interviews with authors. I was the featured author on Sunday, August 2nd.  The interview is in an question and answer format. She asked some interesting questions, like what do you want on your headstone?

For the curious, here is the link to my interview with Fiona:

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Reading

I hope your summer reading is going well.  I've been immersed in the Roosevelts.  First I saw the Ken Burns series on PBS for the second time and got interested in two of the authors who have done biographies on the Roosevelts. One author on the series was Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote "No Ordinary Time -- Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II".   She's a terrific writer of history (also wrote Team of Rivals). I just finished that one. Terrific book.  

The other writer is Blanche Wiesen Cook who wrote a two volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. I read the first volume from 1884 to 1933. I have the second volume on my reading table stack. That one is 1933 to 1938.  Her writing isn't as good as Goodwin's but her books are more detailed and provide interesting insight into ER's life.  What a life!  What a dysfunctional family! I just got from our local library a biography her son Elliot wrote called "Mother R".  Yet another glimpse of a truly great woman from another perspective. So I'm still reading about the Roosevelts.

What is enlightening for me is reading about about the people who have shaped our world, about World War II, and about the era between the wars.  Most startling was how blatant racism was, how one anti-Semitic official in the State Dept was able to block Jewish emigration to the US during the Nazi era, how women broke out of the mold when they went into industry during WWII.  But in reading history, one realizes how nothing much changes in regard to the bitter struggle that always goes on between interest groups when money and power are involved.  And somehow we all think we're right.

Also on my reading table this summer is The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, a sci fi written in 1957 recommended to me by my friend, Tegin, from Oakland, CA.  Another is A History of God by Karen Armstrong which I've been reading in small doses for months.  Well-researched book but it takes time to think about.  Another is Dreams of Earth and Sky, a collection of reviews from the NYT by Freeman Dyson, "one of the world's most original minds". 

The temperatures here are up close to 100 again so afternoons I'll stay indoors and attend to my reading.  What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Books in Print

For those of you who have broken Kindles and/or still like the feel of that paper book between your hands, be it known that five of my books are now available in print.  If you happen to be in Burns, Oregon they are available at Gallery 15 at 76 Washington Street.  If not, they are also available on and  Included in print are the Deovolante Space Opera series -- A Far Out Galaxy, Hoodoo Canyon, The Next Universe Over.  The Fiona Marlowe mystery series is also in print -- Designer Detective and High Desert Detective. Sometime in the fall I may bring out the other two mysteries in print -- The Forty Column Castle, and The Hieroglyphic Staircase.  Currently, I'm working on the third Fiona book but can't figure out how to end it. John and my mystery neighbor have read it so far and like it.  First hurdle surmounted.  And I've started the fourth book in the space opera series -- Earth Rising -- where I will solve all the problems of our troubled world.  Ha! Right.

Monday, July 27, 2015

John's Latest Fire Truck

 John poses beside his newest fire truck that he keeps parked in our yard. It is a 6 x 6, 5 ton, with a Cummins Diesel engine. It has power steering which he really likes since his old one did not have it.  The old one was a 1962 Studebaker 6 x 6.  The "new" truck also has a good seat and covered top. These are old military vehicles from the US Forest Service. USFS fosters the rangeland fire protection associations around the state. These volunteer organizations are the first responders to local fires.  John's been out on two small ones so far this year. He's installed emergency vehicle flashing lights and is working on installing a switch in the cab so he can turn on the water pump from the cab. He has a 1,000 gallon water tank on this one. He wants a two thousand gallon tank.  The volunteers have to paint the trucks white. They can't have military colors. They also have to maintain the trucks. And now each truck has a big unique number on the sides and top so they can be more easily identified.  (I tried to upload one photo but all seven uploaded.  Someday I'll learn how to use IPhoto.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Birthday Quote

Today is my birthday and my dear husband John gave me a card that had a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:  Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is not path and leave a trail. Inside it read:  Happy Birthday to an adventurous spirit. I think he understands me. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sunday Liturgies at St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco

Hope to visit St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco this weekend. I'll be reading from A Far Out Galaxy Thursday evening at a Cafe, organized by Synchronized Chaos.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone good and beautiful moments in a year filled with compassion and kindness.

Sunflower from our garden last summer. Seeds supplied by sunny friend, Terry Keim. They finally grew up to be big sunflowers to renew the cycle of flower, seeds, regeneration.