As visitors, the Blackmans have watched the Oregon Country Fair evolve from a small, quaint, hippy festival that started in 1969, into a top-notch, heavily-attended, costume celebration that takes place in the forested wetlands of Veneta, Oregon every August. The Country Fair: Oregon’s Alternative Celebration contains 100 pages of full-color photographs taken by Scott Blackman and others, with commentary by Sandy Blackman.
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.
Excerpt from “Atlantis: The Isle of Horses” — My name in that life was Al-Ya. I was born on the Isle of Horses, the only island in Atlantis that afforded the freedom to have an unconventional and pleasurable childhood, given who I was, and the body I inhabited. I was many times blessed in that life, though few would have thought so. Born a woman, then as now not the dominant gender, but a good thing for me none-the-less. Born a man, I would have been expected to take my father’s place on the Council, a position that would have put me under too much scrutiny given my appearance.
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.
From City Lights To Majestic View is a true story about a couple who wanted the type of life that many only dream about. This dream 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 things did get tough. After all the years, tears, and laughter, they are one hundred percent country dwellers and wouldn’t have it any other way!
The Shaman Tree: A Tale of the Tillamook 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. 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.
Over the last four years since Bailey’s passing, I have pondered the depth and degree of my love for her. Is it because I was never a mother and therefore had an inordinate amount of love to devote to a dog? Or was it simply two souls connecting on an undefined level? Can a human being and an animal be “soul mates”? Some say that animals don’t have souls, and that they don’t go to heaven. That simply cannot be true. In my world, dogs — more than many humans — deserve a place in heaven. When you look into the eyes of a beloved pet, you can see their soul. Doesn’t a dog’s unconditional love and devotion feel like pure heaven itself? If dogs don’t go to heaven, then heaven is no place for me!
“CellToons visually depicts the journey of cancer from diagnosis to survival and is absolutely brilliant. It takes a special person to encourage and bless others with one of life’s greatest struggles. Teresa’s love and creativity are vividly displayed in this encouraging illustrated collection of cartoons. She is trailblazing a path of hope for others to follow. A gift of hope is precious indeed! What a brilliant way to defeat the shadows of despair! Simple, to the point, direct, honest and most importantly—encouraging. Truly, a blessing for so many others.” —Nathan Angelo, founder of TruEssential skin care products & Master Distiller
“The little girl inside of Javelin Hardy has matured into a beautiful, powerful woman capable of healing others using her personal experience and training in her therapeutic profession. And what more of a blessing it will be as this collection of poems, The Girl Inside Me, goes further out into the world and touches the lives of so many more.” —Kimberly Robinson Green,