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: