My fans come in all sizes and ages. What does that say about me as an author? I think it says everything! Thanks to the parent of this engaging young girl and to the young reader herself for making the day for both me and artist Maggie Winston.

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It is so exciting to see the first of my stories about Alaska’s great nurses appear in the Alaska Board of Nursing quarterly newsletter, which should be available soon by signing up on this link:

The first story features Lorraine Phillips, who among other things was the first nurse in Alaska to work on a fireline and also one of the first nurse educators in Alaska.
I hope that in reading her story and the stories of other Alaska nurses, others will learn about the true dedication it takes to be a nurse.

I want to thank the Alaska Board of Nursing for their faith in my ability to tell these stories in a way that inspires others. In doing so, they have inspired me to keep writing.

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At the foot of the bench a tiny violet peeked through the grass, showing one dark purple bloom. Sylvia plucked it and held it to her nose. The fragrance was the same as she remembered—strong, pure and enticing; not at all like today’s violets that lacked any fragrance at all.
For a moment she was a young girl again, frolicking in the gentle meadows strewn with the plentiful field stones, which many in the pre-depression era of the early 1900s had used to build their homes.
The old greenhouse had fieldstone walls that stood about four feet tall and were topped with wooden frames, likely manufactured in one of the old mills, which still held most of the original panes of the wavy antique glass produced during those times.
Just as the violet houses had been a haven for her as a child, her nearness to this one enveloped her with momentary peace. Once back inside the cottage, she slid the mahogany box inside a pillowcase before tucking it under her clothing in the corner of her suitcase.
~Feather for Hoonah Joe by Marianne Schlegelmilch

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About 10 years ago I began writing a series of stories about Alaska nurses. I wanted to show the person who is the nurse. Those stories ran in a column for a couple of years and then things kind of stopped and they have been sitting in my computer ever since. Recently I called the Board of Nursing to see how I could re-initiate my license to help with coronavirus. Although that process ended up being too long and tedious, what did come of that call is that the nursing board was looking for stories just like mine. The series will begin with the August 2020 newsletter from the Board of Nursing and will feature the story of Fairbanks Nurse, Lorraine Phillips, who sadly died only four days ago at the age of 89. But before she left this earth, Lorraine wrote a few words to update her story and they will appear along with my own in this first installment of Heart of the Alaska Nurse.Although this newsletter will go only to Alaska nurses, I hope to find a way to share at least that portion of each newsletter with my peeps. Stay tuned.

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The weather is perfect as we approach this 4th of July weekend. If only our country felt as pristine.Let me take a moment to share the news that we have added a page of my original art to this website and although I use the term art loosely, you may find that each piece tells its own little story. And on a more serious note, let me shed a public tear about the censoring of my favorite book of fiction, the American classic,” Gone with the Wind”.I can only make room for more tears to fall as I say with complete conviction that I deplore and decry censorship of such a marvelous piece of historical fiction—marvelous because it so perfectly depicted the era in which the storyline occurs and perhaps even parallels our current national strife. So after reading my books, pick up a copy of “Gone with the Wind” and know you are reading a classic example of fine American literature and please do so without fear and without shame, for what we were then has led us to where we are now, and there is nothing wrong with understanding the history of our nation and why every 4th of July we say, “Let Freedom Ring.”

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It’s been a while since I posted here. I needed to re-discover my path. It’s not like I’ve stopped writing. My satire was very entertaining to the small, select group I shared it with privately. And I have toyed with the start of a few novels, but nothing moves me in these tumultuous times, so I have taken to drawing as my current form of expression and am excited to announce that some of those drawings are now posted under artwork on this very webpage. I hope to continue this foray into the world of digital art, as I use that term loosely, while still mindful of the fact that artful expression can take many forms from drawing, to writing, to music, to photography and on and on. It seems appropriate to thank my web guru, John Poll for his help with my art display. His idea for a slideshow is just perfect for my page. I’m going to continue drawing and linking my work to writing for now. Meanwhile, a series of interviews with Alaska nurses young and old, will begin appearing in the August newsletter from the Alaska Board of Nursing. I hope the stories are well received, for they were written to reflect the heart of the Alaska nurse and hopefully they do. I know the nurses I have interviewed are excited about seeing their stories come to life. In this time when we are all experiencing a dullness in creativity due to coronavirus and social unrest, I hope my small projects will serve to lift the spirits of those who engage with my webpage and my author fb page as well as the BON newsletter coming to Alaska nurses soon.

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So, yesterday one of the three Janies in my life sent me an email with a picture of a fabulous new jacket that she noted , “Had to have been made for you!” She was right. It is the perfect jacket for me and I stand before you in wonderment as I say that it was surely kizmit that allowed my Bill to find the email from the unidentified Janie in our spam filter and me to track the jacket down online from the unknown seller and place my order today.

The good news is that the jacket is available. The bad news is that it’s on backorder and won’t be here for my three book signings in mid-September, but the sales representative is now a fan of the “feather series” and says she will spread the word to all her friends, so I guess that was sort of like having a private book signing—or something like that—sort of like wearing the jacket in a virtual reality kind of way.

Anyway, here is the jacket. Let me know what you think and I will let you know when it gets here and if it is as tres fabulous in person as I am hoping it will be.

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I’m sitting in our RV on a very rainy day in Anchorage, Alaska after a fun and enjoyable book signing at Mosquito Books at our own international airport on Friday. After passing through security, including bomb-sniffing dogs, I found my way to my table, where I spent the afternoon in the cozy warmth of one of the nicest bookstores in Alaska. There I met travelers from around the world, as well as a pretty good smattering of Alaskans–many of whom were biologists returning from summer assignments.

Now, back at the campground, I sit here with the rain pounding the roof of our RV in a way that makes me wish we had one of those high end models that come with a fireplace. But that’s okay, because we have propane heat and that is just about as comforting. Too bad we have appointments all day, because it’s the perfect day to read a good book–like my latest, Lavender White Arctic Blue–or to just do nothing, something I seldom have time to do. Meanwhile, just about everyone in here is from somewhere else and that makes  our stay interesting in many ways.

Yesterday Chauncey met a pitbull named Athena and another unknown  breed who wanted to share her ball. There are lots of Quebecians here snd many Europeans, as well as a smattering of Asians. Tomorrow we head home. Uh oh, internet speed has screeched to a crawl. another ddos attack on our server like Saturday’s? These are interesting and perilous times. Maybe that is another reason to read some of my books. Lose yourself in fiction, I say, because it’s just a more entertaining version of reality.

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It’s cold outside. Last week it was summer. This week requires a jacket. Yes, I know it is Alaska, but still . . .

I’m waiting for some review on Lavender White Arctic Blue.Of course, I think it’s good and early feedback confirms that, but no one has written anything on Amazon yet. Perhaps soon?

Still waiting for the audio on FFAS, so meanwhile, I weeded the garden and plucked a ginormous rhubarb leaf just for fun. It was big. Big enough to curl up in and read my books. Now isn’t that just how a fiction writer thinks? Try it and get back to me . . .

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