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

Jo Dereske's Autumn 2010 Newsletter

September 10, 2010


Autumn has come around the bend again – surely it’s so gorgeous to compensate for what’s creeping in behind it! I was fortunate to spend a good portion of the late summer in northern British Columbia, Canada, where the salmon were spawning, the Saskatoon berries were ripe, and the bears were plentiful. I met a woman who told me she stepped out her door that morning to hop on her bike and came face to face with four bears, so she drove to work instead. This time of year, she said, her children have flappers on their bicycle spokes, and bear bells on their belts. “The bears get out of your way if they hear or see you; it’s when you surprise them that they’re dangerous.” For me, the first time I stepped in bear scat along the river, I took up loud singing and confined my walks to the open trails!
As the days shorten and the weather changes, it’s the perfect time to pull out an old book you loved and rediscover a steadfast friend – comfort food, so to speak. Stop in at your local library’s book sale and browse for those forgotten tales you loved in the past. Thank you again for subscribing to my newsletter and have a brisk and happy autumn! jo

Okay, so the summer was so grand that I’m behind myself in finishing the twelfth Miss Zukas. I’m now back on schedule and will have better news in the next newsletter, I promise. A hint: the chief pops THE question.

I received a generous and hilarious note from Leslie McLean of Sonoma, California – she’s had a bumper sticker created which reads, “What Would Miss Helma Do?” With her permission, I quote: “I am thinking it will help guide me and right my world!” I love the image of Miss Zukas out there in the world as a guiding force!

A reader asked if the text-to-speech voice on the Amazon Kindle ebook reader is pronouncing the word “Zukas” correctly. It is. The pronunciation of “Dereske” is a tad off, but then, it often is in reality, too! Reminder: All the Miss Zukas mysteries, as well as the three Ruby Crane mysteries are available in the Kindle store.

This season’s Writing subject is creating anticipation in your writing. Check it out on my website, jodereske.com. Again, I’m sorry this newsletter format doesn’t allow me to make live links or fancy doodads. Soon, I hope.

A few words about the passing of Ethel Stockton: a dynamite lady who owned a decorating/paint store in Bellingham, WA, wrote and self published several books, and moved to Mexico – ALONE – when she was in her late 80s - into a small Mexican neighborhood, not a condo. She was tough, irascible, opinionated, loving, and always, always upbeat. She died in September at the age of 94 and was an example to many women, a thorn in the side of those she felt were unfair, and a force to be reckoned with. Two brief memories to give you a taste of Ethel: I once saw what I believed to be a young woman walking down the street in backless HIGH heels, stylish dress, and sleek silver hair: Ethel in her late 70s. Over coffee I mentioned feeling guilty about a minor transgression. She gave me THAT look and said, “Guilt is not a word in my vocabulary.” A photo of Ethel on her 94th birthday is on my Newsletter page.

Helma, feeling a desire for a "bad weather" read, rediscovered THE ENCHANTED APRIL, by Elizabeth von Arnim. Yes, the book the lovely movie was based on. Ruth dipped into Tana French's tense Irish mystery, FAITHFUL PLACE, and is now tossing around Irishisms, with a special fondness for "feckin'".

Q. Do you wear those little "leashes" on your glasses?
A. I have never worn glasses. But I do believe leashes are best suited to beings that wear collars.

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