At Long Last

After two years of writing and I don’t know how many months of searching for an agent, choosing a publisher, countless rounds of edits, fact checking, design revisions–all of which elicited much handwringing on my part–the actual, real, hardcover book arrived today. Wow. I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling, other than to say it’s hard to believe. And I’m stoked.

I can’t speak for the writing, but the physical design is beautiful. At least to me. Nikki McClure’s cover and internal paper-cut illustrations look fantastic. Mostly, it just feels great to have it in my hands. The book should be available pretty much everywhere in the next few weeks. I hope you like how it looks as much as I do.

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Sunday Afternoon

With school, soccer, swimming and ballet all rolling now, plus book work and farm, it’s been tough to find time to fish the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, everything lined up, so the kids and I put the boat in the water and headed across the Sound to chase silvers. It started as a lazy and relaxed fishing day, lots of puttering around and eating sandwiches. About halfway into the flood tide, it turned into an epic session. We even had a double, which resulted in one fish boated and a near nervous breakdown for me. Total chaos. But tons of fun, a box full of tasty silvers, and memories to savor.

Skyla drove the boat with gear in the water for the first time, and honed her new skill as net man for our crew. Weston helped fight five fish to the boat. And nobody wanted to quit at dinner time.

Tonight, we had the first fish from this batch for dinner. I salted the fillets in the morning, then marinated them in olive oil and crushed garlic this afternoon. As soon as Weston and I got home from soccer practice, I sprinkled a little dill and cracked pepper on the fish, and pan seared it until crisp on the outside. We ate it with wild rice and sauteed zucchini from the garden. And I think we all felt grateful for this abundance.


Friend Or Foe?

This is the enemy. He will wait until you hook a fish then grab it and run. Every year, they get bolder, and the stories of fish yanked out of anglers’ hands or nets get more common. Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the population of seals and sea lions has grown in our waters, and they’re getting craftier, too. They watch us fish, and if someone jumps up and starts reeling with excitement, they know we have a fish on and come running. Or swimming, as it were.

So I do everything in my power to avoid fishing near pinnipeds.

Unless the kids are in the boat. Then it’s a different story. We spotted this one on a shipping-lane nav buoy in 750 feet of water while fishing for silvers a couple weeks ago. After 100 or so requests, I caved in and we approached the enemy. Got almost close enough to touch him. Skyla snapped this shot as we went by, and even though we had fish in the box, it was a high point of the day. Amazing how priorities change.


More Tour Dates

In my continuing efforts to avoid empty rooms, I interrupt again with another commercial message. Which is to say, we have more bookstore events to announce. I will be talking about and reading from Closer To The Ground at the following:

Bainbridge Island, WA:  Eagle Harbor Book Co…………7:30pm, Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Seattle, WA:  Elliott Bay Books…………………………….2:00pm, Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Corvallis, OR: Grass Roots Books………………………..7:00pm, Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Portland, OR:  Powell’s City of Books……………………7:30pm, Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Bellingham, WA:  Village Books……………………………7:00pm, Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Olympia, WA:  Orca Books…………………………………3:00pm, Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Davis, CA:  Avid Reader Books……………………………7:30pm, Friday, November 9th, 2012

San Francisco, CA:  Green Apple Books………………..4:00pm, Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Oakland, CA:  Diesel………………………………………..3:00pm, Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Sante Fe, NM:  Collected Works………………………….6:00pm, Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Salt Lake City, UT:  The Kings English…………………..7:00pm, Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Park City, UT:  Dolly’s Bookstore…………………………TBD, Friday, November 16th, 2012

Many thanks to Tricia for setting it up and to all the bookstores for having me. While speaking to a room full of chairs would certainly add to the humor here, actual people would be better. Way better. So…if you live nearby and can find the time, please come out to an event. And if you don’t live near any of these locations, we’ll be adding more dates in other parts of the country, so please check back. I look forward to meeting you. Thanks!


Pie Time

In the immortal words of Agent Cooper, “This must be where pies go when they die.” Saturday we hosted a fund raiser at the farm for Skyla and Weston’s school PTO. Some of the dad’s played 60’s surf music, kids careened around the farm dancing and running, and everyone ate too much good food. Some highlights: Steve’s famous pork dumplings, Neal and Sara’s smoked salmon, Jill’s crispy chicken wings, Stacy’s larb-style lettuce wraps…the list goes on and on.

And Tiffani, The Pie Maker, went all out with an unbelievable key lime pie with blueberry topping–tart, sweet, creamy, crunchy graham cracker crust–as well as a delicious, traditional, flaky-crust blueberry pie. And just to show she could bake without our blueberries, she made a mind-blowing chocolate-pecan pie. I had a piece of all three. You know,  just to make sure they were okay to serve to our guests. Someone had to do it. Sadly, all that remains of these glorious pies is this photo I snapped before diving in.