Words to Raise Children By

For Father’s Day, from David Owen’s The First National Bank of Dad:

Children who are read to regularly from early ages develop lifelong skills that can’t be acquired from a VCR or the Disney Channel. They become better listeners and find it easier to pay attention in school. Their vocabularies grow rapidly, and grammar seems less mysterious to them. They don’t immediately lose interest in any idea that is harder to grasp than a television commercial. They develop the patience to follow a complex problem to its solution. They become better writers all by themselves, through their ample powers of imitation.

…Good readers do better in school, score higher on standardized tests…attend better colleges, hold more interesting jobs, write more persuasive legal briefs, make better conversation, and become less and less likely to gripe about being bored…

Most of all, children who grow up immersed in books develop the ability to answer their own questions….Gradually, they acquire a skill shared by the greatest scholars in the world: the ability to educate themselves…

Words to raise children by.


LOTR Hockey Teams

Which is your team? the Lothlorien Elves?

the Moria Balrogs?

or how about Saruman’s finest, the Isengard Uruk-Hai?

From Steve Thomas.

Need one for Eowyn’s Enforcers. Taking down the Nazgul Annihilators the last year of every Third Age.

Early morning message from Scott Gere down at GDP…

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 6.45.36 AM
Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 6.45.54 AM

Or you could just click on the cover below. She whispered enticingly.

The Land Beyond cover art

What keeps you going.

What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive.

–Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


The History of Kate Shugak in 20 Objects – 8

WARNING: Spoilers spoken here.

Killing Grounds cover

I so wanted it to be the halibut heart because of Megan’s wonderful comment, but the fish wheel came on strong in the end and wiped out the competition. I found lots of video showing fish wheels in action on YouTube.

Fish wheels are common on Alaskan rivers. The fish caught are a primary food source, they’re dog food, they’re sold for the fuel necessary to keep Bush Alaskans warm through the winter. They are subject to wear and tear from the force of the water, chunks of ice during breakup, and deadheads, uprooted trees being pushed downriver, moving fast and hitting hard. (There is also enemy action, as some of you may remember from the Kate Shugak short story, “Cherchez la Femme.”)

The aunties’ problems with the fish hawk are loosely based on the real-life problems of Katie John of Mentasta.

Photo by Erik Hill, Alaska Dispatch News

Photo by Erik Hill, Alaska Dispatch News

The toughest broad in a state of tough broads, Katie John single-handedly wrestled both state and federal governments to the ground in the matter of Alaska Natives fishing on their historic fishing grounds. Man, just writing those words brings a grin to my face. Read her obituary here.

Hunter's Moon GDP cover art

Next month, an object from Hunter’s Moon, heaven help me, the ninth Kate Shugak mystery. Please put your suggestions for said object in the comments below, and thanks!