Five Elements Anthology Supports Children’s Literacy

Children have a natural love of books. I remember reading to my daughter as an infant and toddler. Her first words weren’t mama and dada. In her little, raspy, Yoda voice, she uttered, “Reeead booook.”

We cuddled as we read the same books over and over and over and over and over again until we’d both memorized the words. We made weekly trips to the library and carted armfuls of books back and forth to our little home. She still loves to read.


The Overlord, age 1

Now I’m repeating history with the overlord, already book-obsessed at the age of two. Here he is reading one of my books. He just got to the good part!


WWLogo-1in300When my writers group and I pulled together a little sci-fi/fantasy anthology, not one of us volunteered to take the role of accountant. To make things easy, we elected to donate 100% of the profits to support a literacy program for children run by Willamette Writers, the largest writers organization in the Pacific Northwest.

BooksForKids2The program, Books for Kids, collects and distributes books to underprivileged youth in over 75 agencies and organizations. These new and used books land in the hands of children and teens that might not otherwise have them.

For $.99 you can download a kindle copy of the Five Elements Anthology and get seven short stories, knowing that all the profit (about $0.30 per book) will benefit Books for Kids. If interested, here’s the Amazon link: Five Elements Anthology

Five Elements Cover From May 7 – May 11, Five Elements Anthology will be Free on Kindle. In order to preserve our commitment to children’s literacy, I will make a direct donation of $0.30 to benefit Books for Kids for every free download up to $100.00 (and will post the receipt).

Of course, direct tax-deductible donations to Books from Kids are more than welcome and can be made on their website. The link is here: Books for Kids

Thank you for everything you do in your own way to support future readers.

October (again)

Backyard1.dianapeach.jpgThis sapling grows out of an old concrete pipe in my backyard and every year it offers a glorious reminder of the revolving seasons. Living in a place where seasons mark the wilderness leaves me sensitive to the passage of time. I wonder if in climes where changes are more subtle, the inhabitants feel suspended, timeless, the days stretching onward without end.

I love blankets of blue, moonlit snow, the contrast of newly unfurled leaves against the black, rain-soaked bark of Oregon. And I’m always ravenous for the summer’s return of the sun. But autumn, in the northern states where I’ve always lived, is a time of great beauty, a time for road trips for the sole purpose of watching the leaves die.

I don’t mean to sound morbid – after all spring’s rebirth is the promise dormant in autumn’s retreat. But there’s something poignant about these revolutions, a reminder to me that my time is indeed limited and not to be wasted.

A couple years ago, I dreamed this poem. I offer it up again, word for word, as it came to me in my sleep.



If I drive off the road
Know that I was distracted by the wilderness
Gazing for a moment at gilded leaves
Arched against jagged evergreen
Vine maple blazing in random rays of sun
The woods wet, black branches of the forest bending
Silhouetted by canopies of countless green
Perhaps I beheld a quilted river of fallen crimson and vermilion
Winding along the roadside
Or gazed into the weave and texture of leaves
Layers interlaced, sharp and dense against the sky
I glimpsed fields of weed, browning blade and drying seed
Blending into a tapestry of quiet color before me
If I soar off the road of my life
And fail to rise
Know that my eyes brimmed with beauty.