I have been going to retirement villages out on the Olympic Peninsula and within a day’s drive of Tacoma to read from Strong Heart and Adrift, or once to discuss the research I did before writing the tales. Without fail, I get more out of these events than the audience, because after the reading and questions and book sales and signings I get to hear their stories, and some of those stories are astounding. I am surprised, though I should not be, at how many in the audience have Native American ancestors, how many are fourth or fifth generation descendants of the first pioneers, how many are writers themselves, and especially how many have ornery and complex daughters, cousins, nieces, or grandchildren so like Sarah Cooley, the main protagonist in my tales. I don’t know where Sarah came from, she just appeared when I started the book, but she seems real to me. Is real. Apparently so with audience members, too.
Many of my listeners cannot hear very well, so I talk loudly or use a microphone, and many others ask about an audio version, as they cannot see that well for reading. I am in the process of producing an audio version of Strong Heart with a company which will produce both MP3 files for phones and pads and CDs as well. If this works I hope to to the same with Adrift, using the same great narrator, Laurel Anne White, and when my third book appears, probably next September, tentatively titled Found, that one, too. It’s fun to go to these places, knowing these tales will be in the hands of children and grandchildren (after being read first, of course) in time for the holiday season.
I also have prepared this talk, about 20 minutes long, describing all the research that went into Strong Heart – human origins, human migrations, glacial epochs, DNA evidence, fossil evidence, sea level changes, climate shifts, where the ice was and where not, glacial refuges, how people may have traveled ages ago, when they may have first reached the Americas, and whether the ancient legends among First Peoples that they have always been here might be true. The discussion after such a talk with these groups of elders, some of great age, experience, and knowledge, is fascinating.
Strong Heart will be Book of the Day at the OnLineBookClub tomorrow, November 20th, and available from Kindle for $ 1.99 instead of $ 4.99, so grab the book that day and use your savings to get some coffee and read…..Think about grabbing Adrift, too….
Check this out – these people stood straighter than we modern humans, and had bigger lungs….every new discovery finds them more “modern,” closer to us culturally, and physically superior (?)….
In my tales Strong Heart and Adrift I offer that the ancient legends of First Peoples might be true – that they have always been here, always, since humans first became “modern” ages ago, despite the ice. Check out this article in Digital Journal:
Here is an article about a structure in New Zealand which may upend much theory about New Zealand’s settlement and human origins in general….
I saw a story in the press today about a shipload of soybeans, which loaded in Seattle June 5th or so, probably at the grain terminal up by Pier 91, which is now circling in the Yellow Sea, doing doughnuts as they say. During its voyage across the Pacific, China and the US started placing retaliatory tariffs on trade items, among them soybeans, so the ship chose not to unload and pay the higher rates. Instead it is circling offshore while the owners decide what to do. There is even a picture in the attached article of the track the ship has been taking, around and around. Not a word, though, about the people aboard that ship, the sailors, the deck officers, the engineers, the cook. I have been on a ship doing doughnuts, circling, only we did it for four days, not over 30, and we had an end in sight. Thee poor souls do not. They are in motion, at work, food and stores running low, milk going bad, supplies disappearing, fuel perhaps running low, unable to guess what will happen – will they choose to unload? Will they head somewhere else? I imagine tempers are growing short. Perhaps they are out of toilet paper, or laundry soap, or fresh water. Now tempers are really short.
But still they circle, around and around.
This article from Hakai Magazine talks about ancient footprints found around the world, including (at the end of the article) a site in British Columbia along the coast.