Comings and Goings

Coming Soon …

SFR blog hop1… the SFR Brigade 2nd annual midsummer blog hop.

Lots of great and near-great authors of science fiction romance, including Mr. Valentine, are busy creating out-of-this-world posts–because the theme of this  year’s blog hop is Out of this World.  The hop will feature prizes including:

  • 1st Prize – $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice) and an ebook bundle (currently Alien Adoration, Demetional, Wytchfire, Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral, Games of Command, Keir and Terms & Conditions Apply)
  • 2nd Prize – $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice)
  • 3rd Prizes – two $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards (given to separate winners and their choice)

Check back anytime between June 21 and June 25 to hop and win.

Going Soon …

… Mr. Valentine.

I’ll be escaping the Arizona heat for a visit with my son, a geographic information specialist at the University of British Columbia. I love BC’s totem poles, and  UBC has a great collection.  I’ll have Internet access, so if you want to contact me, feel free.

Speaking of totem poles, I’ll never forget the time I discovered one.  Fresh out of university, I taught at a one-room school on a wilderness island along the Inland Passage section of the B.C. coast. The only way in or out was by four-seater bush planes that landed on the chuck (local slang for the ocean). The kids came to school on a school boat, because the island had no streets or cars.  Not TV or radio, either.

Totem

One weekend, following game trails (what else was there to do?), I stumbled upon a small, white beach. I knew that the Kwakiutl First Nations people ate a lot of clams, and old, pulverized clamshells turned the beaches near their settlements white.  Realizing this was the site of an ancient village, I looked through the dense underbrush at the beach’s edge.

Sure enough, a rotting tree stump wasn’t a stump at all, but the barely recognizable remnant of a carved pole.  Beaver, I think the totem was, though it was so far gone it was hard to tell.  It smelled fresh and earthy, like the rain forest after a rain. Vivid green moss grew over chunks of the grey, weathered cedar. Where the top of the pole had snapped off, a sapling grew in the rotted red wood.

Rotten or not, I’ll never forget finding that pole.

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