Book Review: This Darkness Mine

This Darkness Mine.  A novel by Mindy McGinnis.
Price: $17.99
Set for release October 10, 2017.

A blind date gone bad . . .

This Darkness Mine is the story of Sasha Stone, a highly disturbed over-achieving teen.  Mental illness and medical malady turns Sasha’s well organized life into chaos as she tumbles from grace.  She manipulates her parents, makes friends and enemies while waiting for a heart transplant, and manages to cost a social worker her job.  Absolutely no character growth occurs in the novel, so that in the end, Sasha is just as twisted as she was at the beginning of the book.

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Book Review: A Culinary Journey through Time

A Culinary Journey through Time: A Cookery Book with Recipes from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages,
by Sabine Karg, Regula Steinhauser-Zimmermann, and Irmgard Bauer.
Price: 20 euros

A Culinary Journey through Time is a must have for adventurous cooks, European history enthusiast, and period writers.  The recipes in the book are based on actual archeological finds and analysis of food remains found in cook pots and the charred food remains found near hearths during archaeological excavations.  All recipes are marked by period: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Times, Viking Age, and Middle Ages.  Also, recipes are color coded by season according to when ingredients are naturally available.

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A Flair for Solar Cooking

My article, A Flair for Solar Cooking, And Sparks over the “Hippy” Method is featured in the August 2017 edition of IDAHO Magazine.

Sharon Cousins, was kind enough to share her experience with me during a solar cooking lesson at her residence in Viola, Idaho.  The story includes a recipe for her famous vanilla cake which, I can assure you, is delicious.  While waiting for the cake to bake, she regaled me with tales of solar cooking adventures from around the world.

Photo: Sharon proudly displays her golden vanilla cake, which miraculously came out of the pan in one piece!  Photo Credit: Joshua Yeidel

Locals can read a copy of IDAHO Magazine at either the Moscow or Potlatch libraries.  Or if you would like your own copy, they are generally available at BookPeople of Moscow.  Also, a copy of this issue can be purchased directly from IDAHO Magazine by clicking here: http://www.idahomagazine.com/shop/2017-8-august-2017-sugar-city/

 


Lughnasad 2017

Being Pagan is difficult.  Sure there’s discrimination, nasty comments, and the like, but you also have to figure out when to celebrate your holidays.  Christians have it easy; the calendar is designed around their holy days, church happens every Sunday.  But for Pagans it’s a bit more difficult.  Astronomers have been kind enough to track the solstices and equinoxes for us and make those dates readily available, but when it comes to the cross-quarter days, we’re on our own.

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Guilt-free Writing

I recently had a conversation with Moscow Poet Laureate, Tiffany Midge, about cultural appropriation in writing.  While she, a Native American, decried the act when white authors wrote Native American point-of-view characters, she claimed it was acceptable for her to plagiarize the work of Luna Leigh, a white woman living in England.  Then she went on to berate Terese Mailhot, a Tecumseh Postdoc Fellow at Purdue University, who brought the plagiarism to light.  It seems that theft of language, culture, and ideas is only a bad thing when it happens to you, and not when you do it to others.

What Ms. Midge refused to understand is cultural appropriation goes both ways and has been occurring since man first learned to walk upright.  Evidence of it is everywhere.  It’s human nature, and it’s not going to change.

I stumbled across a blatant example of cultural appropriation at Saint Gertrude’s Monastery in Cottonwood, Idaho.  The nuns host a workshop on understanding Sacred Celtic Landscapes.  I could point out that the sacred Celtic landscapes they reference predate the coming of Christianity by hundreds, if not thousands of years, that Celtic religious life originates from the Indo-European religious traditions, not the Judeo-Christian tradition, and that by appropriating those landscapes they have deprived a people of their heritage.  Instead, I decided that the post-Christian Celtic narrative is just as important as the pre-Christian narrative.

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Feral Cat Solutions

This morning I met with the Latah County Commissioners.  I have included my PowerPoint presentation here:

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Because I gave more detail in the presentation than is contained in the PowerPoint slides, I have attached a PDF of my notes: Feral Cat Fact Sheet.

And you can see the letter I wrote to the County Commissioners which resulted in my being granted an audience here: May 18-Cats


Since submitting the SNAP application on May 15, 2017 I have managed to capture 3 kittens.  It’s been a month and SNAP has yet to contact me regarding my application, so their statement that it may take up to a month to receive a decision is false.  It clearly takes OVER a month.  And in case you’re curious, that mama cat, who had the first litter last year, and another litter this year, is pregnant again.  Obviously, taking prompt action to reduce the number of stray and feral animals isn’t much of a concern for them.

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SFCC Creative Writing Club Creations, June 2017

It’s been a busy quarter at the Spokane Falls Community College Pullman Center.  I’m the advisor of the Creative Writing Club, which undertook a joint venture with Film Club this year.  The Creative Writing Club produced a screenplay, which the Film Club then produced.  The final product was released at an end-of-quarter showing on June 8th.

When the script was complete, the club decided that they wanted to try their hand at comic strips and came up with a couple of fun ones.  Those were displayed on the big screen in the foyer, enabling them to share their creativity with the rest of the student body.  I received permission from some of the students to display their work here.

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