~~~~~The Newsletter~~~~~

Jo Dereske's Summer 2010 Newsletter

June 18, 2010

If you live in the Northwest, you know it was a miserable, cold, and wet spring. After a while, bad weather becomes a badge of pride. If itís going to be bad, letís make it a record bad, right? The coldest, the wettest, the grayest. But I readily admit itís easier to accept relentless gloomy weather than what other regions of the country are dealing with this year.
A delicious surprise: a Miss Zukas reader and former high school classmate sent to my P.O. box a package of Lithuanian cheese from the Andrulis Cheese Factory in Fountain, Michigan. (Thanks, Tim!) We all have beloved food staples from our past - I had a friend who used to go misty-eyed over something called Devil Dogs Ė and Iím assured there really is a candy bar from Idaho called the Idaho Spud. Those old flavors are as potent as faded photos.
Ah, but Lithuanian cheeseÖ It's a white farmers' style cheese - I love it with salt, or slathered with honey or gulp, butter. My grandmother used to make it and cure it between rock-laden boards under the willow tree, a crate over it so the chickens couldnít get at it. The Andrulis family donated cheese from their factory to the hot lunch program at the Lithuanian-based elementary school I attended. I was a fanatic for it, sneaking back for more, wheedling and trading my friends for their slices. One day the cooks plotted a cure for my gluttony. Mrs. Johnston and Mrs. Beadle sat me down in the school kitchen with a huge slab of cheese and told me to eat it all. I happily dug in. I was in heaven, but they finally halted the experiment, afraid I was making myself sick. I donít recall a twinge of a stomachache and Iíve never recovered from my lust for the cheese.
So have a lovely summer. Grab what you love with both hands Ė go find your Devil Dogs or Idaho Spuds or Teaberry gum and enjoy - a little gluttony and a little stomachache is a small price to pay for feeding the soul. Jo

I truly AM working on a new Miss Zukas. And I thank you for the encouraging emails and letters advising me to get off the stick and wrap up all hose pesky loose ends. I hope to have it finished by the end of summer and will announce progress or publishing plans in the Autumn newsletter. For certain, it will be available in the Amazon Kindle store, as are all the Miss Zukas and Ruby Crane mysteries.

This will be the second entry on the new Writing Page on my website. Itís fun to wrestle my writing process into words Ė itís always been a matter of ďdoingĒ it rather than thinking about ďhowĒ I do it, so itís a challenge, but enlightening. This time Iím tackling the creation of characters, and Iíve also added agent-related writing websites in the sidebar. Take a look!

(A brief reminder: this email newsletter doesn't allow me to include internal links or flourishes - yet. Sorry!)

I gotta mention the YouTube ďLibrarians do GagaĒ video from the University of Washington School of Librarianship. Very, very funny Ė somebody deserves an A. Go to Youtube.com and type in "Librarians do Gaga."

All eleven Miss Zukas mysteries...All three Ruby Crane mysteries,.. And GLOM GLOOM, a young peoples' fantasy and my first published book. All available from the Amazon Kindle store.

Helma has just finished TALLGRASS, Sandra Dallasís novel of a Japanese internment camp in Colorado during World War II, and like many avid readers who discover an author who's new to them, Helma has gone on to read all of Sandra Dallasís wonderfully evocative novels of the West. Ruth, trying to prove to Helma that she really WOULD read a book that even has a walk-on role for a librarian, is giggling her way through Connie Willisís 1996 smart and hilarious BELLWETHER.


Q. You're still single. Don't you believe in marriage?

A. Of course I do. I understand that many people have found it a real experience.

~Next newsletter: September 21, 2010~ Thank you for subscribing! jo

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