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Personal Skirmishes

Personal Skirmishes: "Personal Skirmishes: 21 Heartwarming Misadventures, Miracles, and Minor Atrocities" by Barry Lawler, published by Dancing Moon Press
21 Heartwarming Misadventures, Miracles,
and Minor Atrocities

Short stories (and one novella) by Barry Lawler
280 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-945587-12-2

Welcome to Personal Skirmishes . . . and special thanks for stopping here. I like to think some of the stories will meet your expectations. And I’ll be ah-shucks amazed if you love them all. Either way, though, as the saying goes, ‘There’s no accounting for taste–yours or mine. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

You will find a healthy range of plots, places, questionable humor, and even the occasionally relevant topic. After all, the 21 stories cover better than 50 years of my 70+, and though I can’t claim in real life to have led a headline- stopping exotic existence, I have maintained an active imagination limited by few serious filters.

There’s no common denominator to the stories beyond the alphabet and a predisposition toward whimsy rather than serious explorations of the “human condition” featuring characters dramatizing the harsh and heartfelt realities of modern life, or conversely finding themselves endowed with super powers and/or ample explosives to resolve even the most improbable plot conflicts.

The earliest stories date from the late 1960s, though every decade since then (up to, and including, last Tuesday) is represented. The struggle in my early years was resisting the urging of my fiction writing prof & mentor, John Hermann, to live up to his expectations for me as a student of “serious fiction.” Not that I doubted I could have, simply that my predisposition for non-sequitur and humor refused to cooperate. Still, I did give serious stuff the “old college try” in one handful of stories, though you will find they are strategically counterbalanced by another handful that is anything but.

After reading a novel by Jack Kerouac, Truman’s Capote’s response to his contemporary was, “That’s not writing, only typing.”

Because I have been a lousy typist for 50 of my more than 70 years, but have managed to put thousands of words on paper, I like to imagine I’m a writer by default. If not, I’ve just been wasting a lot of time and stationery. Still, it’s kept me entertained. And playing God on paper has convinced me of the range of interactions and situational ironies humans are capable of putting themselves in.

For the most part, though, when writing (or typing fiction), “exploring the human condition” is seldom a priority, as I’m pretty sure it can muddle along just fine without my intervention. Mostly, I’m just out for a good time. And if mine makes your better, too, we’ve both won.

Personal Skirmishes, is available direct from the author:

Mark Beckwith, author of “Unwoven Tapestries”

First and foremost, my book, Unwoven Tapestries, would not have been completed without the Mark Beckwith, author of "Unwoven Tapestries"help of Dancing Moon Press. From start to finish, Carla was very clear on how she could help me and what to expect, how the entire process worked and exactly what the costs would be. No Surprises! She followed through and shepherded me along the entire procedure, making sure I was informed and what my next steps were. This was a marvelous experience! —Mark Beckwith

Don Parker, author of “Roustabout, Navy Captain, Academic Dean: The Unexpected Adventure of Hard Work and Dumb Luck”

When my husband Don started writing a memoir, his goal was to leave a family history for our Donald F. Parker, author of "Roustabout, Navy Captain, Academic Dean: The Unexpected Adventure of Hard Work and Dumb Luck," published by Dancing Moon Presschildren and grandchildren so they would understand their background and the values of the family to which they had been born. It was a huge project because Don had a lot to say, so we soon discovered that we needed help. The lucky day was our meeting with Carla Perry without whom this project would have failed. From her, Don learned to find his voice and write so that his chapters flowed, and he managed to complete the first draft before he died. Then it became my project to finish; a task that would have been impossible had it not been for Carla. She gently guided me as I learned to edit, scan photographs, organize, update, and to find my own voice. Finally, she designed and suggested the best possible way to make Don’s two-volume memoir, Roustabout, Navy Captain, Academic Dean, a treasured addition to our family libraries. No detail was too small or insignificant for her expert eye. The project was truly a joint effort, and the finished product is a work of art. I am truly grateful to have worked with Carla every step of the way. Friends are beginning to call in as they receive their books in the mail. All are overwhelming in their praise of how beautiful it is and how they can hear Don’s voice as they read. Emily’s word is “marvelous.” —Jo Ellen Parker

Anne Jobbe Hall, author of “Atlantis: The Isle of Horses”

Working with Carla Perry and Dancing Moon Press Anne Jobbe Hall, author of "Atlantis: The Isle of Horses," published by Dancing Moon Press
was a pleasurable learning experience that I didn’t expect. I had been worried about my lack of experience publishing a book for the first time. However, after meeting with Carla, I was immediately impressed with her knowledge and professionalism. She laid out the editing and publishing process clearly and simply and eliminated my concerns. Her customer service from that point forward was extraordinary. I have never experienced such attention to detail, especially when explaining manuscript edits and the publishing process. Her responses to my questions were immediate and well thought out. She explained all the options, then left it to me to choose whatever I thought best. Carla’s encouragement and support were extremely valuable throughout, but the editing was exceptionally valuable and improved the book more than I thought possible. I cannot recommend her and Dancing Moon Press highly enough. —Anne Jobbe Hall

Atlantis: The Isle of Horses

Atlantis: The Isle of Horses"Atlantis: The Isle of Horses" by Anne Jobbe Hall, published by Dancing Moon Press
Book One of a Five-Book Series
by Anne Jobbe Hall
216 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-945587-13-9
                Price: $15.55 & shipping
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-945587-14-6    Price: $6.99

I can tell you everything I remember, and I remember most of it. But even if you understand events, you may not be able to understand why we failed ourselves and our planet. This is a cycle that has repeated countless times on Earth, always ending in cataclysm and what appears to be tragedy. Yet, there’s always a new beginning with hope for something far better, something within our grasp, if we choose it.

It began in Atlantean land, now beneath the sea, at a time when only island remnants of the once vast continent remained. But what magnificent islands they were! Imagine five islands, laid upon the great ocean like a necklace of jewels, each unique in character, terrain, and industry. For unaccounted time, Atlantis was known as the Islands of the Blessed. Fruits, flowers, vegetables, and the sweet and potent juice of the grape were abundant. Through wise governance and industry, the land was filled with every good thing, both useful and beautiful. Atlanteans built magnificent cities, Temples, palaces, schools, and gardens. Appreciation for the beauty of form, combined with observation and creativity, made their art exquisite. The People of Atlantis were a race of surpassing intelligence and physical perfection such as the world would never see again. Tall and perfectly proportioned in every way, they possessed bodies and brains larger than modern humans.

For centuries, the People of Atlantis lived in concord, in harmony, in happiness, remembering their noble origin, following the Tenets of Law, never harming one another. While purity and the principle of One reigned in their hearts, and prudence and moderation directed their conduct, Atlantis was paradise, a model civilization, never rivaled. Then came a time when the minds of many were changed. At first, subtle differences developed in understanding the spiritual principle of the One. While some held that conscious union with the One, including putting the good of all beings before personal gain, was the highest purpose of a soul, others held that each human should seek their individual good and be responsible for their own wellbeing…

So begins Atlantis: Isle of Horses, the first book in a series of 5.

ANNE JOBBE HALL is a retired librarian and museum director who lives on the Central Oregon Coast. A desire to understand human life led her to Edgar Cayce, Platonic Philosophy, Ancient Mathematics, and Metaphysics.

Atlantis: The Isle of Horses is available as a paperback and eBook through Amazon.

deb darr, author of “From City Lights To Majestic View”

I was more than pleased with Dancing Moon Press owner, Carla Perry. She was ever so helpful deb darr, author of "From City Lights To Majestic View" -- a memoir of country lifewith all my questions, and her editing help has been invaluable. She didn’t pressure me, and respected all my choices to make my book, From City Lights to Majestic View, something I will be proud to pass on to my family. The entire the staff was great!! —deb darr

Unwoven Tapestries

Unwoven TapestriesUnwoven Tapestries: poetry and prose by Mark Beckwith
poetry and prose by Mark Beckwith
Includes 15 black & white photos by the author
176 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-945587-16-0
                Price: $20 & shipping

Life is made up of threads. Threads of memory, threads of hope. Of thoughts, friends, and energy. And how each of us is taught. Everything we are, everything we think, everything we aspire to become… is a thread, not only in our lives, but connected and part of everyone and everything else. And taken into a bigger context, we are actually just patterns in an even greater weaving. Each facet of our life is woven into this world we call our reality. The sad part is, as we build this mosaic, we see only the patterns woven there. Life becomes small and self-repeating. We react the same way to whatever happens to us. We treat the people around us in a manner based on our perspective of those patterns. And just as sadly, we treat ourselves that way as well.

Thus the title of this book, Unwoven Tapestries. To look at my life completely naked. No protection from the woven patterns. An attempt to visualize reality as it actually is or as it might be, based on no patterns at all. To see the self as the universe it actually is… an attempt to be aware, without patterns. My quest is to find the simplicity on the far side of complexity. That single space where we exist, where everything exists without space and time. Enjoy!

Make a habit of
Making beautiful music in your head.
Because the last thing you hear
Before you die
Is your own thoughts.

MARK BECKWITH grew up in Oregon. His father worked for road construction companies at a time when the state’s road infrastructure was being developed, which meant his family frequently moved to new job sites. By the time he was fourteen, Mark had lived in fourteen Oregon cities. After his parents divorced, Mark moved to Kansas with his mother so she could care for her parents. He attended high school in Kansas, and then enrolled at Fort Hays State University, majoring in elementary education. But just before graduating, he dropped out when he realized he did not have to become a teacher. Mark moved back to Oregon, attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, and completed a degree in journalism.

For sixteen years, Mark operated a foster home in Corvallis for teens and young adults who were autistic and behaviorally challenged. He also spent those years raising his daughter. Along his journey, he earned an MBA from Willamette University and a certificate in the practice of kiatsu. Mark is now a therapeutic musician and plays a variety of wooden Native American flutes and low Irish Whistles at the bedsides of hospice patients, and in local hospitals and cancer centers. Now a resident along the Oregon Coast, he currently lives aboard his sailboat awaiting the next adventures the universe will be sending his way. And perhaps he’ll write something about them one day.

Unwoven Tapestries is available direct from the author:

From City Lights To Majestic View

From City Lights To Majestic View"From City Lights To Majestic View" by deb darr, a memoir of country living
by deb darr
Includes five pages  of color  photos & illustrations
126 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-945587-15-3
                Price: $20 & shipping

Where shall I begin this story? Most books start out with a catchy little phrase, but this is a true story about a couple who wanted something more from life. They wanted the type of life that many only dream about. I know right away you might be thinking they wanted more in a material sense. That was NOT the case with this couple. They wanted to dream of things THEY could accomplish. This dream of theirs would mean sacrifice. Going without many every day things most people are accustom to having. It meant they would not have anyone to run to when things were tough, and believe me, things did get tough.

From City Lights To Majestic View is about a step out in faith. Not just a belief in God, although he was definitely walking very close, but a step in faith in themselves and each other.

I am very happy to share this story with you. I hope as you read it you will smile and maybe even laugh out loud at times. Perhaps you might cry, too. We have grown so very much since we first stepped into our rural world, yet as I look back I cannot think of how our life could ever have been any different.


deb darr  has worn many hats. Retail Comp Operator, Retail Garden Staff Member, Emergency Room Tech, Librarian, Columnist, Writer, 4-H Leader, Small Animal Judge, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Volunteer.

deb and her husband, Greg, always hoped to own land on which they could have a nice garden and some livestock so they could be less dependent on grocery stores, and more dependent on themselves. The couple lived in the Bay Area and didn’t know squat about rural living. Yet deb had visions of happy, dirty-faced children, and open spaces. She held tight to her dream and finally it became a reality.

The Greg Darrs entered into the world of rural living with both sets of eyes shut, and once they realized what lay before them, culture shock hit number ten! Many, many times the big jump was overwhelming—with old friends and family jeering them all the way with comments such as, “You’ll be back. Lots of luck, you’re gonna need it”!

The going was slow, but the education was steady. Each day presented a new situation that needed to be addressed, yet they were not alone. Many people helped answer their questions with genuine information based on experience and those people became the anchors of the new life deb and Greg kept returning to until they were able to get it together and see the light at the end of the ever-changing tunnel. After all the years, tears, and laughter, they are one hundred percent country dwellers and wouldn’t have it any other way!


From City Lights To Majestic View  is available direct from the author:

The Shaman Tree: A Tale of the Tillamook

The Shaman Tree: A Tale of the Tillamook
by Jane Sansregret
226 pages; 6 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-945587-07-8
                Price: $15 & shipping

The Shaman Tree is the story of the Tillamook people seen through the eyes of Tuckwoca, a young Indian woman. The novel begins in 1788 with Tuckwoca’s spirit search and her marriage to Swohas, and ends with her death seventy years later. The portrayal of this one life shows the tribe’s intimate relationship with nature, taking only what they needed and nourishing the earth with what they didn’t use. The story reveals the culture and traditions of these native peoples who had no written language, and how the coming of the explorers changed their lives forever. As the medicine woman during those turbulent times, Tuckwoca seeks to heal her people physically as well as emotionally.

This imagined tale was written to enliven the relics and research of Tillamook history and customs. Hopefully, the next time you see a hummingbird you will pause and think of Tuckwoca and her people.

The Shaman Tree still grows on the headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean more than two hundred years after Tuckwoca searched for her guiding spirit. The woodland celebrity is living testimony to Sitka Spruce’s usual longevity of over five hundred years. Heavy stands grow in the narrow band of coastal forests that extend between Kodiak Island, Alaska, and Northern California. Now limbs of the misshapen tree sprawl haphazardly as much as twenty to thirty feet from the base. The diameter measures more than ten feet, and each of the six main branches is a foot or more thick. However, the name has been changed to the Octopus Tree in reference to the tentacle-like branches.

The land surrounding the aged tree is now an Oregon state park and the old spruce is protected by a rambling rail fence. The park and the cliff are named to honor John Mears, a British explorer and geographer who sailed the northwest Pacific Ocean in the late l700s. Cape Mears State Park is located about ten miles south of Tillamook on a well-marked paved road and is open all year. Cape Mears Lighthouse is within the park. On the headland where Tuckwoca had her vision, the federal government built a tower in l890 to guide ships at sea. The area is a favorite viewing place for bird watchers. Cape Mears National Wildlife Refuge protects the cliffs where many kinds of ocean birds nest. Just offshore, Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge is the site of Oregon’s largest seabird colonies.

The Tillamook name is well remembered because it identifies many features in northwestern Oregon, but the people and their culture are all but forgotten.

The author, JANE SANSREGRET, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and later moved to Champaign, Illinois, where she graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Floriculture. She moved to the Pacific Northwest after World War II and developed a deep interest in the beginnings of the Oregon Territory and its native inhabitants.

Jane was a garden writer for the Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon, in the 1970s and 80s. In later years, and after much research, including working on an archeological dig, the idea for the book, The Shaman Tree, was born. A lifelong lover of words, Jane worked on her book until her death in 2011. With the help of Carla Perry from Dancing Moon Press, family members pursued publication, making Jane’s dream a reality. We hope you enjoy the book.

The Shaman Tree: A Tale of the Tillamook is available from the author’s family. Send an email to: