Monday, December 17, 2012

The Mayan Long Calendar ~ End of days?

Many of you know (if you haven’t been living in a cave somewhere over the last century) that the 21st of December, 2012 is the last day of The Mayan Long Calendar, which was created some 3114 years before Christ, and was designed to last 13 b’ak’tuns, between 3114 BCE and 2012 AD. 

Now while many end of days theories abound, whether it be an astroid or a planet colliding with the earth, a massive earthquake causing cataclysmic destruction, the earth being sucked into a black hole, or a monster sun flare torching our beloved terra, it turns out, as luck would have it...there is good news.

The Mayan Elder tribal council disabuses any and all end of world speculations by simply explaining that the panels found in El Tortuguero, (an archeological site in southern Tabasco, Mexico) with their complex Mayan glyphs and astrological numbers, do in fact represent an extended timeline, or a calendar of cycles or eras, and when this calendar ends, it will signify the beginning of a new era, much like the odometer turning over in a car. In other words a new cycle will occur, not the destruction of our planet. 

The Maya call it ‘the great change of Suns’. The coming out of a dark period of their current fourth world, into a new world. The calling forth of a transformation of world cultures, both by humane and spiritual means.
Certainly a spiritual rebirth is a far cry from the catastrophic dooms day prophesied by so many over the years, and I must admit, is a huge relief. After all I’ve got things to do, family to tend to, books to write:)

All kidding aside, and in light of recent events, I tend to embrace a spiritual renewal of our world, and all who reside therein. So whether you will celebrate the Winter Solstice, the birth of Christ, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or choose not to celebrate any deity or sacred day at all, I at least wish you all~ either a subtle, not so subtle, or perhaps even epic, spiritual transformation this coming December 21st! 

Now of course if you are still not convinced the world isn’t coming to end next Friday, then you might be interested in the ‘Apocalypse kit’ they are selling in the Russian city of Tomsk. The kit not only contains food and medicine, but has a bottle of vodka ~ or tequila, your choice:)

And finally...

Interestingly enough while writing my 3rd novel, The Jaguar Sun, I discovered another sacred date in the Mayan calendar ~ December 23rd. According to The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel (Chilam Balam: Spokesman of the Jaguar), Cheen or December 23rd is listed as a sacred day. So what with the cessation of the Mayan calendar occurring in December 2012, it was only natural to align the climatic ending of The Jaguar Sun, around this day of all days...

To celebrate the release of my e-book, The Jaguar Sun, Wild Magick Series, Book Two, this coming Wednesday, December 19th, and the happy fact that the world is not coming to an end, I am running a contest on my blog starting today, Monday, December 17th, to run through midnight of Sunday December 23rd. 

*Simply leave a comment about what the new (Mayan) era means to you. 

**Post your comment either here, or on my Facebook page   by midnight December 23rd, 2012 (with your name and email where I can find you) for a chance to win the choice of a $50.00 Barnes and Noble gift card, or a $50.00 Amazon Gift card, and off course a gift certificate to Muse It Up publishing!

Let the celebration begin!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Interview with Heather Haven, Mystery Author

How lucky I am to have coaxed Heather Haven, author of the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series and two time finalist for EPIC's best e-book mystery of the year, over to RTF for an interview!

Sara, this is MY pleasure. I’ve been a long-time fan of yours and know from spending time with you in person at the Muse Retreat in 2011, you’re a caring and fun person. So is your darling daughter, Michelle, if I may add that. The time spent with both of you was terrific.

Oh the feeling is mutual Heather. Both Michelle and I agree, getting to know you and your cousin, YA author, Grace DeLuca was one of the absolute best highlights of our trip to Montreal!

Now let us jump in...

Heather, as you know, I am particularly interested in the research that goes into a story. In Murder Is a Family Business, you, with your clever mind, have not only created quirky, fascinating characters, but you've managed to invent an interesting investigative agency as well, where your heroine, Lee Alvarez, works as a private investigator. NOT your everyday private investigation firm, Discretionary Inquiries, investigates something far less tangible: Corporate Software Theft. And I have to admit that before I read this first installment of your popular mystery series, I wasn’t savvy to the fact that corporate/computer theft was a reality.

Please tell us a little more about this type of investigation. How you came to choose it as the Alvarez’ family livelihood, and maybe any inspiring moments that lightening bolted the idea into your writing mind?

I live and work in Silicon Valley. Thievery of computer software, hardware, and intellectual property runs rampant around here. Well, maybe not rampant, but it’s a lot more common than people who don’t live in the Bay Area or aren’t in the game realize. There can be big bucks in trafficking stolen goods, games, and ideas. Nearly everyone I know is into the computer biz one way or another, whether they work in IT, graphics design, computer research, program design, etc. Either that or we use the ruddy stuff so often and so long in a given day, our eyes nearly fall out of our heads. In any event, it’s a rare meeting or get-together where you don’t discuss something like “I just read an article in the paper” or “I’ve got an idea for…” In my latest book, Death Runs in the Family, I wrote about 3-D software, thinking I’d come up with the idea, only to find out a program was being developed (now out) by one of the Big Guys in computing programming.

RTF: What preparation did you do to get yourself in Lee’ Alvarez’s head? You know: Study how to use surveillance equipment, go fashion shopping, buy high heels, etc.:)

I have but to open the newspaper or watch Entertainment Tonight and wham! There you are. Fashion is everywhere. Also, I did get through college on a costume scholarship and when I went to New York to pursue acting, discovered I really like playing around with clothes more. I wound up working backstage on Broadway for 10-years doing costumes for a lot of Broadway plays. It was fun.

RTF: Any other research you’ve done for the series that you’d like to share?

Our next Alvarez adventure takes place in New Orleans. Yes, that fabulous town with history galore, jazz, voodoo, and, of course, murder! In all my Alvarez books, I like to start out in the home town, Palo Alto, then visit at least one more place. In Murder is a Family Business, we went from Palo Alto to San Francisco and Princeton-by-the-Bay. In A Wedding to Die For, we went from PA to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In the 3rd novel of the series, Death Runs in the Family, we went from PA to Las Vegas and on to Ipanema. All great places to visit. Murder is everywhere.

RTF: Your quick wit and humor are what make your stories unique, have you always had a tendency toward being a funny girl, or did you have to work at it?

I began my writing career in conjunction with working in costumes in Manhattan. One job during the day (writing), the other at night. I worked for No Soap Radio, where we wrote humorous commercials for radio and TV. The business didn’t last long, but it was a revelation for me, this humorous writing stuff. After that, I started writing nightclub acts for singers and dancers. I loved it. I loved seeing my words coming out of someone else’s mouth and making an audience laugh! Then I wrote a couple of plays; one done at Playwright’s Horizon in NYC and the other off-off. I have a history of comedy in my work.

RTF: What draws you to a story to make you want to either: stay there and read it, or drive you on to write it?

Good writing. Either the joy of reading or the joy (and frustration) of trying to create it. There is no substitute for good writing.

RTF: What was your first ever job?

I wrote a weekly column for the Miami Beach Sun on the doings of the residents living in a large complex in South Miami Beach. Who got married, who returned from Europe, who had their debut, who had a baby, you know, light-weight tabloid stuff like that. I was 17.

RTF:  I love music, so I’m always interested in an author’s taste in music, do you have any favorites, artists, bands?

I do. Put at the top of my list my husband, Norman Meister. He is an incredible singer (I don’t say that because I’m married to him. It’s merely one of the perks). He also plays the guitar, drums, and keyboard. He’s the ‘Clive’ part of ‘Nigel and Clive and the British Invasion’ performing here in the Bay Area. They do this spoof, and have for seven years, where they pretend they wrote all the hits coming out of Great Britain during the mid-sixties. Further, they claim their work was stolen by the Beatles, Kinks, Yardbirds, Dave Clark 5, etc. They have very funny skits that intersperse in between the big hits from that era. Not only is the group great in their musicianship, they’re fine actors, as well. Everyone loves their act! If you want to see more about them, zip on over to their website, It’s a hoot!
After that, I just discovered Catherine Russell. What a songstress! If you like Ella Fitzgerald, you’ll love Catherine Russell. Then I’m really into opera. Going to see Tosca next week and can’t wait!!

RTF: Wow Heather, I think coming down to see Norman Meister, in the Nigel and Clive show, has just risen to the top of my traveling list! Thank you so much for coming over to my little blog and enlightening us on your research, and giving us a glimpse into your life experiences, which no doubt have shaped the fascinating and talented person you are!

About the author:
After studying drama at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, Heather went to Manhattan to pursue a career. There she wrote short stories, novels, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and two one-act plays, which were produced at Playwrights Horizon and well-received. Once she even ghostwrote a book on how to run an employment agency. She was unemployed at the time.
One of her first paying jobs was writing a love story for a book published by Bantam called Moments of Love. She had a deadline of one week but promptly came down with the flu. Heather wrote "The Sands of Time" with a raging temperature, and delivered some pretty hot stuff because of it. Her stint at New York City’s No Soap Radio - where she wrote comedic ad copy – helped develop her long-time love affair with comedy.

Her first novel of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, Murder is a Family Business, is winner of the Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award 2011, and the second, A Wedding to Die For, received the 2012 finalist nods from both Global and EPIC’s Best eBook Mystery of the Year. The third of the series, Death Runs in the Family, recently debuted, has already received rave reviews and is a finalist in the EPIC Best eBook Mystery of 2013. All three books are published out of a Canadian publishing house, MuseItUp.

Heather’s most recent endeavor is a 1940s holiday vintage mystery series starring a five-foot eleven, full-figured gal named Persephone Cole. ‘Percy’ Cole has the same hard-boiled, take-no-prisoners attitude as Sam Spade, Lew Archer, and Phillip Marlow, but tops it off with a wicked sense of humor. The first of the series, Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse, takes place on New York City’s Broadway stage during World War II, three thousand miles and sixty-odd years away from the California Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series.

Heather Haven, writer
San Jose, California 95135   
Amazon Buy Page for all Heather’s books:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cover Reveal~The Jaguar Sun

Once again I am thanking my lucky stars that Muse It Up has garnered the talent of so many wonderful cover artists!

Drum Roll please....

Marion Sipe did an outstanding job capturing all the main elements in The Jaguar Sun. Simply beautiful and I love it!
Thank you Marion!

To see all the other 'truly inspired' artists works from Muse It Up Publishing's Cover Art Team go here:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing Bloghop

The Next Big Thing~

Hello everyone, and thanks for stopping by! I was tagged by talented editor, writer, and blogger: Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Though the bloggers on this hop are thinning exponentially:) I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about my novel being released in December of this year, The Jaguar Sun, and perhaps offer a short excerpt~ 

So here goes, these are my ten questions:

1: What is the working title of your book? 

The Jaguar Sun

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Jaguar Sun is a spin-off from my first book in the series, The Lycan Moon (about a cursed werewolf, and the witch who wants to help him.)    

3. What genre does your book fall under? 

Paranormal Romance, with strong suspense elements.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Ahh I have never been able to put an actor’s face to one of my character’s. I like to leave it up to the reader’s imagination to create their own personal image. I guess I’ll just have to leave it up to the casting professionals if the book ever gets that far-LOL

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When his mentor is murdered, and a desirable suspect drives his latent magick toward flashpoint, Aiden Pierce is forced to confront his mysterious past.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The Jaguar Sun is being published by Muse It Up Publishing, Currently I do not have an agent.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft of The Jaguar Sun, took me almost a year to complete, due to work and family life, and the time it took to do edits for one of my other novels, The Powers.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That is a good question. I think my books are a little different in that, though many of my characters have supernatural abilities, they still live within the natural world and have to adapt accordingly. For instance my main character, Aiden Pierce is a senior assistant prosecuting attorney for King County in Seattle, Washington. He at first tries to shun and ignore his burgeoning abilities, but eventually he realizes he has no other choice but to discover more about his past and his powers. 

Now his love interest, has not a whit of supernatural power, which makes for a very interesting relationship. Unlike some paranormal romances, where the author creates the fictional world or city in which his or her characters operate in, I like the idea of using real locations and settings.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Well as I drew near the completion of The Lycan Moon, I found myself very interested in Aiden as a character, and I wanted to know more about where he came from, what magick he really possesses, and what his challenges would be, so it was only a natural progression to start his story after The Lycan Moon was finished.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Oh my goodness, there is murder, magick, a really nasty villain you are going to love to hate, (and want to see him very dead), political corruption, and a torrid love story so hot it’s going to burn through you long after it’s over~how’s that for an answer?

Excerpt: The Jaguar Sun (Book 2 in the Wild Magick Series)

Now that Tom had gotten the little matter of his lack of alibi out of the way, Aiden rallied his thoughts. “Listen Reid, I probably don’t need to tell you to check every recent parole of any perp John put away. Also all emails, phone records, including cell phones, mail, all deliveries made to his office, his home. Need to know his dry cleaning place, his favorite take out, his...”  Aiden paused when Gary Baldwin walked into the foyer.
  Gary approached them and sighed heavily. “Jesus, Aiden, this is a mess. There must be at least fifty reporters clamoring at the gates.” He shook his head again. “I got hold of the attorney general, and he’s authorized anything we need to get this closed quickly.”
He nodded to Reid. “Our office is compiling a list of every case John was personally involved in.” He looked over toward the office and blew out a breath. “How the hell could this happen?”
Tom Reid and Aiden nodded in agreement. It was unspoken. They needed to find who murdered Fogel and quickly.
  Gary wandered away toward the scene of death, no doubt to in some way say his last goodbye to the man who’d mentored so many in his career.
Reid spoke up. “Aiden, you should know, I only asked the question of your whereabouts because it’s procedure.”
Aiden nodded absently and dragged a hand through his hair.

        The detective continued in a hushed tone. “The fact is, we know from Mrs. Jeffries over there, who the last person with John Fogel was last evening.”
      Aiden looked up at the detective and raised his eyebrows in question.
“A woman, the housekeeper said, John met with some regularity when Patricia was out of town. A Ms. Sonja Walker of Trimeca Place, in Queen Ann.”
Aiden didn’t flinch, wince, or twitch. With amazing calm, he merely looked at Reid and nodded.

~Hope this little teaser has you coming out in December for more.

Now here’s the list of my tagged blog hop authors for next week. (I know there is only one, remember I said the list of bloggers was wearing thin:) Check out her blog next Wednesday, October 31st to read about her WIPs and New Releases: 

(note I also linked back to Penny’s blog as well because she always has such interesting posts!)

Marysue Hobika ~ author of the YA Romance novel: Nowhere

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Monday, October 22, 2012

Surrey International Writers' Conference

While the good ole' Portland gray drizzle soaks the autumn leaves outside on my deck, I find my head is still swimming from the incredible weekend I've left behind me in Surrey, BC. This is the first time I've attended a 'live' writer's conference, and many would argue it is one of the best, if not the best, conference for writers of any caliber (beginning to advanced).

The master workshops are a writer's dream. To just sit there and soak in the information, advice, and teachings of seasoned bestselling authors and agents, was akin to writer's heaven. Or at least it was for me. 

But the master classes were merely the beginning. The next day when the conference really rocks into full swing, the energy, the camaraderie, the genuine friendliness of everyone, from the hotel staff, volunteers, coordinators, presenters and attendees lends to the main theme: you are here to learn, but you better have fun while doing it!

Now of course, I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Nancy Bell, my editor from Muse It Up publishing, and we were able to engage in interesting conversations ranging from the publishing world today, to complicated research that goes into novels and stories. 

Oh, and did I mention the total 'fan girl' moment when Nancy Marie Bell was called to stand each morning in the ballroom, to be introduced as a senior editor from Muse It Up Publishing, in the very same company as: Laura Bradford, Agent; April Eberhardt, Literary Agent; Claire Eddy, senior editor at Tor/Forge books; Donald Maass, Literary Agent; Nephele Tempest, agent; and the list goes on and on... 

To be the only small publishing editor at such an event is momentous to say the least. (Musers be very proud). Nancy represented Muse well with her quiet grace and charm, and I understand she was inundated with pitches to boot:) 

Yes there were many highlights, such as Shock Radio Theater wherein Michael Slade lends a rousing narration of a horror/thriller story, with the acting help of authors: Jack Whyte, Anne Perry, Diana Gabaldon, KC Dryer, and Sam Sykes.

Other highlights included talking with Mary Balogh, who has written well over a hundred novels, Sheila Roberts, bestselling author of witty woman's/romance novels, and...sitting next to Anne Perry at lunch and talking to her about the six children's books she wrote for dyslexic children, and what inspired a few of her novels. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, two other authors from Muse It Up: Lynne Murray (V. L. Murray) author of A Hallowe'en Tale, and Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.

Did I say my head is still swimming? Well I could go on, but I think that you will just have to sign up, and go to next year's conference to experience this amazing weekend for yourself! 

A few pictures...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary Muse It Up!

Today, MuseItUp Publishing celebrates its second year anniversary!!!  I'm proud to be a part of this stellar group of authors, editors and cover artists. And to Lea and Litsa~ congratulations on turning your dream into reality, and a huge thank you for being the highly motivated and personable gals you are.

Muse It Up Rocks! 

We're celebrating all day and invite everyone to join us at:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Muse Online Writers Conference

Hi Lea,   

I’m so glad you were able to take time out of your mega busy schedule to come over to Rockin the Fodder and tell us more about this year’s upcoming Muse Online Writers Conference

The Muse Online Writers Conference has been going strong for 4 years now, and while many folks know you are the brilliant mind behind this amazing offering to writers, there are still many who have not been enlightened as to what The Muse Online Writers Conference is, nor do they have any idea what they have been missing out on all these years.

The Muse Online Writers Conference runs for one week, from October 8th - 14th and is FREE to all wishing to participate. If I counted right, you have at least ten small press publishers that are sponsors of the conference, and each of these publishers not only offer daily and week long workshops, they host pitch sessions for writers, unpublished and published, as well! 

I personally have benefited from the valuable information gleaned from many of the workshops over the last couple of years, including but not limited to, an in-depth week long workshop on research, a workshop about thriller writing and espionage, workshops on historical writing and horror writing, and everyone’s favorite: How to market your work.

Lea could you tell us a little about the inception of The Muse Online Writers Conference, and what hurdles you had to clear to get the Conference where it is today?

LEA: It’s great to be here, Sara. The conference came about when authors were asked if they had ever attended a writers’ conference. There were three distinct answers coming in:
  1. No…can’t afford it
  2. No…too expensive to travel
  3. No…have a disability and can’t attend

I thought how sad to see so many writers missing an opportunity to mingle and network with professionals and fellow peers…and began formulating a plan along with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, to set up an online conference, offering workshops for FREE.

The only hurdles I’ve ever encountered was my time limit to organize it. I’ve been very lucky these past few years where a team of moderators, and the conference website tech gal, have all volunteered their time to make this yearly conference a reality.

RTF: The conference has won several awards from writing websites such as Predators and Editors. Not to mention this stellar recognition: Top 101 sites by Writers Digest!

Tell us about the presenters and what varied backgrounds and experience they bring to the conference year after year. 

LEA: Each of the presenters are experts in their field or fields. From award-winning authors, editors, publishers, etc…they each bring in their know-how to help educate and further enhance writers’ knowledge in so many different workshop topics.

RTF: Tell us about the pitch sessions. They sound stressful to any new writer wanting to get published. Can you give writers, hoping to get published some day, any tips on what the publishers/agents are looking for?

LEA: Yes, a pitch can be nerve-wracking for sure. Lol! But the beauty of it all is that it’s not a face-to-face pitch so the publishers/agents don’t see the sweat pouring down. Hehe

During a pitch they are looking for that ‘different’ manuscript that has turned the everyday story we may have read a thousand times into something unique and their own, not a copycat. There is one Twilight…we don’t need more of the same. 

They are also watching for authors who know how to play the ‘branding’ game, meaning authors who truly understand this business, and don’t wait for a contract to begin promoting themselves as writers. They begin building a following from the start. 

They want to know that the author knows their stories inside out, watching the answers to their questions to see a hesitation. When there is one, then it’s likely that the book was not thoroughly outlined. For example, I asked a writer once: why her character, from all the ones in her story, was the one best suited to tell this story? The response was, “Because I chose her and like her.” Now, obviously writers connect with their characters but that wasn’t a sufficient answer. She could have answered: because her past history directly coincides with the villain’s path, only my heroine can have the intuition of what’s happening around her, and this dilemma will allow her the opportunity to grow and get stronger by the end. 

That answer would have shown me that thought into developing the character was thoroughly sketched. This is just off the top of my head, but hopefully my example explains what I mean.

RTF: I’ve gotten a peak at this year's workshops and I’m stoked to sign up and learn more about writing from these folks who have been in the business for many years. 

Can you give us a brief run down of this year's workshops, and any tips on deciding which workshops a writer should focus on. (There are so many great workshops offered, but only superwoman or superman could participate in them all.) That’s why I have to keep coming back every year!

LEA: There are so many more workshops I need to add into the website…so little time, which brings me back to that first response about my hurdles being, time not on my side.  

Writers should focus on their weak areas, workshops that will help them better understand and allow them to grow. They are more than free to attend all of the workshops, but I highly advise them to focus on a few and give it their all. Attending all of the workshops in their spare time will help them evaluate whether or not a particular workshop is of interest to them.  Every year there are a few attendees who didn’t think this or that workshop would interest them, but they popped in to check out that forum workshop, and were pleasantly surprised to be pulled into that subject.

RTF: I understand the deadline to register for this year’s conference is September 25th. Can you briefly explain the registration process for those new to The Muse Online Writers Conference?

LEA: Actually, the registration will be open until the end of September only because of my lack of time to fully update the website. The registration is quite easy and details are listed here:

*Once they’ve set up their forum account, and it's very important to jot down their username and password to avoid any hassles during the conference to enter. They will need to enter the forum and locate the REGISTRATION FOR 2012 forum room and answer the poll. This is vital because ONLY those who answer the poll will have access to our private forum in October.

**To know whether or not the process was done correctly, they should log in, go to that registration forum and locate the poll. If there is no linkable poll to take, then it means you were successful. However, if you are able to link to the poll and respond to it, then please do.

RTF: Thank you Lea! And there you have it, The Muse Online Writers Conference is right around the corner, so if you haven't already, and have a desire to enhance your writing skills (no matter what your writing level) you will want to get over to the registration link above. 

Maybe we'll see you there!

*note this year's dates are October 8th-14th

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blueberries of Summer

It's nearing the end of August and the last of the blueberry pickings are upon us. We had 36 bushes this year and picked, so far, approx 75 pounds of the little gems.

Here is a little trivia about this amazing fruit...

~Botanists say the blueberry has been around for at least 13,000 years!

~The Blueberry is indigenous to North America.

~The Blueberry and it’s European cousin, the Bilberry, both were used not only for nutrition but for medicinal purposes as well.

~The Native American Elders legend goes like this: The Great Spirit sent ‘star berries’ (the calyx of the blueberry reveals a perfect star) for the children, to tide them over during times of famine.

~Blueberries are natural antioxidants, which neutralize unstable free radicals, precursors to several well known diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s. 

~Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, Manganese, and dietary fiber.

~Blueberries are low in fat, only 80 calories per cup and they are good just as a lone snack or added to salads, yogurt, cottage cheese, cereal and the list goes on!

For more information on the awesome blueberry...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Winners of The Lupatia Blog

Here are the winners of The Lupatia Blog~contest:

$20.00 Muse It Up Bookstore Gift certificate ~ Jacki C.  
An e-copy of The Lycan Moon ~ J.Q. Rose
Another e-copy of The Lycan Moon ~ Conda Douglas 

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my debut post of Rockin' The Fodder!

Happy reading!

Cheers, Sara

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Lupatia

Crossing The Bar~

Sunset and evening star,
     And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,
     When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
     Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out 
the boundless deep
     Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
     And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,
     When I embark;   

For though from out our bourne 
of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face
     When I have crossed the bar.

~Alford Lord Tennyson

Though the above poem may have been referring to Alford Lord Tennyson’s mortality and his own ‘final’ crossing, the poetic stanzas speak to practical roots as well.

I'm acquainted with many fisherman, family, and friends alike, who have more than a healthy respect for the Columbia River Bar. This, with good reason, for the infamous bar is nicknamed 'The Graveyard of the Pacific', and since 1792, approximately 2,000 ships have met with disaster near or on the bar itself, leaving 700 souls lost to its silvery gray waters.

In Captain Robert Gray’s time, the mighty Columbia River, 1,214 miles long and swift, didn't meet the Pacific Ocean quietly. Instead the fast flowing river collided with the sea's steep cresting tide like a mini nova. Thus, the fallout of sand and silt created the bar, and over time the Pacific's offshore currents formed tricky shifts within the bar's landscape.

While the advent of electronic equipment, buoys, dredging of channels, and the building of jetties, has improved navigation of the Columbia River Bar over the twentieth, and into the twenty first century, lives are still lost each year in and around the bar.  

The Lupatia, a British Bark, met such a demise on January 2nd, 1881. According to accounts from the construction crew of The Tillamook Head Lighthouse, otherwise known as 'Terrible Tilly' (which was just short of completion when the Lupatia clashed with the unforgiving rocks) the lighthouse crew lit lanterns and large fires in hopes of guiding the struggling ship in her passage, but alas their twelfth hour efforts were in vain.

Unfortunately for the Lupatia, a bitter southeasterly tempest had it's way with the ill fated ship and she crashed into the reef, claiming all aboard, save for, a one year old Australian Shepherd. 

A British Bark not unlike the Lupatia... 

Twelve men's bodies were recovered from the treacherous waters of the Pacific in the days following the shipwreck of the Lupatia. Carried inland, each of the Lupatia's crew were given a proper burial.

It is the four crew members of the Lupatia, never accounted for, who in part, inspired my story, The Lycan Moon. Did the fickle ocean carry these souls out to the infinite sea, or could another more interesting explanation be in order...

***Giveaway*** Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Leave a comment with your email addy, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a $20.00 Muse It Up Bookstore Gift Certificate, or to win an e-copy of The Lycan Moon!

*Note: If you have tried, and are unable to figure out how
to leave a comment on blogger (believe me I've been there) simply drop me an email at: s.durham49 at gmail dot com, with your comment and email address, and I will add you to the potential winner's list.

A drawing from the names will be held on Wednesday, August 1st and posted by Midnight.