Blog

Tasman Event and Contact Reminder 0

Tasman Event and Contact Reminder

I’m beginning my local book events for Tasman this month. Here’s my list so far: ** Edmonds Bookshop, Thursday, March 15 from drop-in between 5-8 PM http://www.edmondsbookshop.com ** Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Thursday, May 10 from 7-8 PM ** University Book Store in Towne Center, Friday, May 18 from 6-7 Also: If you have a book club or organization that would like me to speak, please do not hesitate to contact me (425-420-5161). I enjoy talking about writing, my books, and my upcoming projects. I can meet with local groups in person and with others via Skype....

Tasman Background – Life in the Penal Colony 0

Tasman Background – Life in the Penal Colony

Port Arthur’s convicts lived in barracks and were sent out to work various jobs: quarrying stone to build roads, working for settlers, digging coal, and harvesting trees for further development and for export. Many worked in centipede gangs carrying immense logs while wearing leg irons. A few earned privileges and worked for the commander and the military as scribes. The military managed the island. Soldiers maintained tight control and punishments were often severe: 10 lashes for stealing a potato, 50 lashes for taking a shovel, 100 lashes or execution for attempting an escape. After all, how can a prisoner truly...

Tasman Background – Port Arthur 0

Tasman Background – Port Arthur

The trek to Port Arthur took many months under the best conditions. The voyage crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, sailed beyond the Indian Ocean, and ended up at the southern tip of Tasmania. The quaint-looking village was actually a penal colony where the British sent convicts to work as slaves to help The Crown produce saleable products (timber, coal). It also kept control of the southern most trade route between the Spice Islands and Europe, a location of world importance in the 1850s. Settlers as well as released convicts were encouraged to remain on the island to establish  British control...

Tasman Background – On the Ship 0

Tasman Background – On the Ship

  Work on board a ship was unending. Since sailing required 24-hour attention, the crew worked long shifts. Bells signaled each hour and their shifts. Workers who didn’t perform their duties were often punished by being beaten and/or having their rations cut. Off-shift sailors took to different ways to use their time. Many played cards and brawled. Others created scrimshaw items to sell. They used knives and carved animal-shapes or intricate designs into bones. Once in a harbor, they sold them to earn money for drinking in grog shops or to buy products while ashore. In addition to manning the...

Tasman Background – Sailing From England 0

Tasman Background – Sailing From England

In the 1850s sailing ships plied the earth carrying cargoes as varied as the ports they visited. Live animals, local crops, mined ore, lumber, government notices and soldiers as well as letters and humans; convicts were among its paid cargo. The trip to Port Arthur, Tasmania meant stops along the way: Tenerife, Rio, Cape Town. Ships used the trade winds to advantage as they distributed or exchanged both sanctioned and secret cargoes. Most honored Neptune, the god of the sea, when if they crossed the equator. That meant raucous celebrations or silly antics while wearing outlandish outfits consisting of buckets...

Valentine’s Day is Coming! 0

Valentine’s Day is Coming!

Looking for something to give that someone special in your life? Consider purchasing my books from my website now through February 21st*.               ALL will include free shipping within the U.S. My ballet trilogy is perfect for that someone who loves the arts. If you purchase the three book set, I’ll personalize the books and send along the wrappings and a ballet-themed ornament as well as a set of ballet note cards. All you’ll need to do is buy a card!  (Individual books are also available.) For the adventure-minded sweetie in your life, consider Tasman. I’ll personalize the book as...

Tasman Updates 0

Tasman Updates

I’m certainly enjoying the chance to share Tasman- An Innocent Convict’s Struggle for Freedom. The story began so many years ago and now I’m able to revive those early days of writing and researching as well as hearing feedback about Ean’s story. I’ve created several handouts (with the help of my creative publisher) and will gladly mail you information if you are interested or considering using my book for a book club or group event. I will gladly speak with you and your friends via Skype or attend your book events around the northwest. If I’m traveling to your area,...

A Day in a Writer’s Life 0

A Day in a Writer’s Life

People often ask what my day of writing looks like. That depends on whether I am involved a project or between projects. When I am writing or editing I start writing early before the sun or rain appears at my window. By noon I’ve often spent 5 -7 hours working so I move on to other interests: volunteering in classrooms, working on crafts or reading my next book club offering. During the times I’m between projects I spend my mornings on personal writings, write my blogs and create math games for elementary classroom use. I also dedicate more time to...

Tasman Excerpt: On the Ship 0

Tasman Excerpt: On the Ship

Backstory: Ean has been falsely accused of stealing from his sweetheart’s employer, Lord and Lady Colridge. After several days in London’s Newgate Gaol, he’s removed by a constable. He thinks he’s to be freed. We walked along narrow, twisting streets. The smell of wood and tar mingled with that of stale beer and rotting vegetables. A sea of barefoot men dressed in rough jackets and canvas breeches steered past, hauling boxes and crates on their rickety carts. The constable yanked my tether and used the loose end of the rope to whip my back and head. He smiled as the...

Is it Winter or Summer?? 0

Is it Winter or Summer??

Us northern hemisphere residents forget that southern hemisphere residents have weather that is opposite to ours. When I wrote Tasman—An Innocent Convict’s Struggle for Freedom the differences were a constant concern because in Tasmania, June was winter  and December was summer. Talk about needing to be consistent! Tasmania is comparable to the Pacific Northwest if you reverse the seasons. The island lies between 40° and 45° degrees while the Pacific Northwest lies between 45° and 50° degrees. Antarctica and the Indian Ocean influence Tasmania’s weather; the Arctic and the Japanese Current in the North Pacific influence ours. Both locations have...