Thursday, December 20, 2007

WILD WASHINGTON WOMEN'S BOOK CLUB - The Sisterhood of Skagit County

Last Thursday I was at my sister's home in Mount Vernon, Washington to discuss WOMANKIND with her book club. What an AWESOME group of women! And, if they don't know how to do a book club up right...well, then no one does.

The perfect hostess, Pam greeted us with fresh-frozen margaritas to get everyone into the mood of "world-travel" and set the stage for the amazing plablano chili dinner she had prepared. In honor of Cecelia's story we had a tortilla making contest with Lara taking the prize for the smallest, and the most perfect. If you don't understand, then you haven't read the book yet, in which case you won't understand why the candied 'peaches' for desert either.

As the evening progressed I listened to the women discuss the women of WOMANKIND and even more important - their own lives. I felt a familiar "hug around my shoulders like a warm huipile" - that sense of commradie only women, and goddess, can understand.It was obvious to me that my sister's book club is far more than just of group of readers who gather every other month to talk about a book. They are members of a Sisterhood who respect,love, and support each other through all their good times and the gawd-awful ones too.

"Life can stretch your spirit, they read in WOMANKIND'S last story,"Choices," or tear your soul. You choose."

It was apparent to me these strong, beautiful women already had - long before they read my book.

A BIG THANKS to the Wild Washington Women's Book Club for choosing WOMANKIND for their December read. I look forward to returning in April. Hmmmm....I wonder what we will, I mean, read?

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I'm off to Davenport, Iowa this afternoon to take part in the Midwest Writing Center's Holiday Bazaar. There will be writers and artists from all over the Midwest there. Please join us if you're in the area and are interested in promoting 'local talent.' It should be a grand event! The Center is located at 225 Second Street in Davenport. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 3, 2007

DES MOINES REGISTER - Wever Nurse's Journeys to Other Nations Build Respectful Connections -

Here's exerpts from the Des Moines Register Staff Writer, Mike Kilen's article in the Thanksgiving Day issue of The Des Moines Register -

Nancy Leigh Harless wears a necklace with a turtle medallion."It reminds me that only when you stick your neck out do you move forward. That's my motto," Harless said.She stuck her neck out in 1997. Living in a tiny southeast Iowa town of Wever, the nurse joined a group sponsored by the Rotary International that performed service work in Belize.

"That month in Belize changed my life," she said.It sparked several years of international travel to Mexico, the Kingdom of Tonga and the Balkans. Her experiences became her debut book, "Womankind: Connection & Wisdom Around the World" Courageous women are the focus.

."Women are pretty amazing creatures. They have the ability to stay positive, even when there is nothing to be positive about," she said. Harless saw it often in women from every country she visited while volunteering to help with women's health issues in poor countries. The pride and nurturing of a Mayan woman who could make the perfect corn tortilla for her family. The determination of a nurse in Mexico facing long odds trying to help poverty-stricken women and their children. The mental toughness and grace of a Guatemalan woman with a philandering husband.

"If it sounds a little like the popular "Chicken Soup" series of inspirational books, it is. Harless has stories published in those collections, although not focused exclusively on women."Women are considered the weaker sex, but I continually saw strong women who did what needed to be done," she said. "That is worldwide. We are going to do what is necessary to take care of our children, like a mama bear."

The trips awakened her to the world beyond rural southeast Iowa, which she hopes to continue someday in Africa.The book was formed from journals.."It helps clarify. When I'm traveling the world and seeing so many things that are shocking and appalling, it's a way of processing it," she said. "Without the journal in Kosovo I might have had a breakdown." It also helped her clarify the bond of women everywhere."There is this connection that women have," Harless said. "We 'get' each other."

River Lights 2nd Edition

River Lights 2nd Edition


Norm's Masterpiece