Saturday, February 25, 2012

News from Lake Woebegon

It’s been a busy week in Lake Woebegon. Norwegian bachelor zombies stormed the feed store in an attempt to get at the baby chicks, but store clerk, Gudbrand Stornes thwarted the plan by releasing all the birds, which the zombies were unable to corral. Stornes, unfortunately, they were able to corral. He hasn’t been found.

Besides that and a drizzle of rain, I had a piece in a recent Sunday Oregonian. It’s separated into two separate articles should you want to visit them. The lead story (front page Travel section) is "Secrets of the Graves,” and the sidebar is "Five Secret Cemeteries." It got a nice response and bumped up sales of Mad as the Mist and Snow. I got a call from a Métis friend today who said: A) he was glad to see the Métis get a plug, B) he didn’t think I’d had it in me, and C) he almost understood where my craziness comes from. I didn’t tell him that the secret of writing romantic sentences is to conjure up appropriate similes, analogies, allegories, and metaphors. Drop them in where they look good. Bingo! Literature. The craziness? Yeah, I knew I had it in me.

A pending project is a piece lifted out of the guide to Lone Fir Cemetery I’m working on. It’s aimed towards a forthcoming biannual publication of the Willamette Heritage Center, Willamette Valley Voices. My luck at sending in pieces is almost zero, so I’d rather you didn’t wish me luck. In any event, entitled “The Celestial Garden,” it covers the history of the Chinese involvement with Lone Fir from its beginnings in the 1850s to the current day, where a memorial garden is planned for the former Chinese burial ground (also commemorating anonymous burials from a former psychiatric asylum nearby).

My most important writing project, though, is a series I’ve begun of letters to my grandchildren. For one thing, it’s really great to know your audience, know to whom you’re writing. I now have two teenage granddaughters with three boys working their way up to teenagerhood. I also send copies of the letters to my childless, so far, son, just in case. I don’t want that/those kid/kids screaming how come I/we didn’t get mine/ours? Huh?

My publisher thinks I should devote my time to this blog. Uh-huh. It’s true, I make a killing off this bog—It’s the advertising. God, I’m foolish. Why do I diddle with trivia and letters to my children?

Well, I want you to know I’m thinking of you all the time. And the next story is in the mail.

What I’m really thinking is that spring can’t be far behind and I’m ready to hit the road again.

Ha det,

Johan

3 comments:

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

You make money off your blog? Do tell.

Dead Man Talking said...

I was hoping "all that advertising" would be noticeable. I guess they do a good job of making it subliminal. Maybe that's why I haven't been getting my royalty checks. Darn!

As we say in the trade, "Make money?"

"Over my dead body!"

Pernicious Panda said...

Good suggestions for road trips the next time I'm back home. Here are a couple of my favorite hidden cemeteries: Chemawa Indian Cemetery, Keizer. The great majority of the burials are of children whose families could not afford to have them shipped home (a large bunch died in the flu of 1918). And there's a tiny cemetery on the grounds of the Polk County fairgrounds in Rickreall (can't remember it's name, if it ever had one.

Good stuff! Thanks again.

Kristy
www.auburnpioneercemetery.net