Thursday, May 31, 2012

Free on Kindle for a short time

Duffy Barkley, The protagonist of Duffy Barkley Is Not a Dog, has returned in the sequel, Duffy Barkley: Seek Well.  Now 11 years old, he cannot remember the events that happened the first time that he was in Uhrlin, or a time when his Cerebral palsy was cured, or when he flew.  But those memories are breaking through and Uhrlin remembers him and is calling him back.  He can't remember why he is fascinated by Guatemala, or anything about a giant, bald, orca colored mer-woman with the voice of an angel.  But he has to seek her.

For 5 days this book is free on kindle

and the first book in my series is only 99 cents on kindle at

Remember being with a group of friends where you felt safer and more included than you had ever felt at home, friends you had always wanted, who made you look around with a lump in your throat, wishing you could stop time? They were a lot like the groups in all the popular stories. They were the reason people love MASH, Harry Potter, Narnia, Friends, The Lord of the Rings etc. They were a group of imperfect, overwhelmed and harassed people who became winners because they didn't have to face the overwhelming odds, alone. Even in the face of dark wizards, popular girls, bad hair days or War, they had each other's back. When one of them had a weakness, another had a strength to balance it out. When one was a jerk, someone else saved the day, and forgave them eventually. Now times are turning more difficult again. The world needs that kind of support. We need a source of encouragement so that we can find a way to be that kind of support when we are needed. As times are dark, people look for a reason to laugh, love and hope again. Duffy Barkley is not a dog, a middle grade fantasy, gives you those friends, that escape, that voice of hope in the darkness. Duffy is alone, handicapped, desperate. He is picked-on, lost, & yet, never defeated. In the most alien of places he finds friends. In the most dire of emergencies he finds courage. In the most evil of villains he finds compassion and a solution. In giving away what he most needs, he gains everything. Duffy, a 9 year old boy with cerebral palsy, survives tragedy in the form of a school shooting in which his younger sister is seriously injured. Falling into a new world, he regains his health but finds himself the focus of historic prophecy. While trying to deny his place in their prophecies he discovers his own abilities & changes his life & that of others in both worlds. He enjoys being physically strong but must give it up to save the villain, and find his way back to save his sister, Izzy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 20th, Annular eclipse as seen From Crescent City, CA May 20, 2012

 When we read that there would be a great view of the annular eclipse from our home, we were excited.  I had seen an eclipse twice before.  Once in Beijing in 1987, we used a pinhole viewer to project the image, and once here we used a welder's mask during a summer school class I was teaching.  This time there were advertised viewing glasses to be sold at Redwood State Park headquarters.  We went to buy them and they sold out, and we went back several times only to end up standing in a long line at 4:30 on the day of, waiting for a delivery of another 100.  We were allowed to buy one and headed to the beach, but soon realized it was foggier there and the view would be better from our yard.
The first time we noticed a bit of difference in the sun was at 5:15 PM

 We were surprised how thick the lenses were.  We could look through them at a naked electric bulb and not see even a glimmer of light.  But we remembered how quickly a sunbeam focused through a magnifying lens can create a fire and realized we have one of those lenses in our eyes.  I tend to love being able to see, so we used the lens even for the camera.

Taken without using the Viewing lens

This is just to show how light it remained outdoors even at the eclipse 

 It never really got anywhere close to dark, but the light did take on a strange quality, shadows were darker and the bright sides were brighter

 This looks like a U of Oregon Emblem

 The moon slid across the sun and the "ring of Fire" appeared.  We knew this was because the moon was at its furthest from earth and so cast a smaller shadow, unlike what would have happened just a short time ago with the super moon being at its closest point.

this one had a tiny shadow show up from the transit of venus but that was the best I got

And now we got to use our viewer again to see the "Transit of Venus" across the face of the sun on the evening of June 5th.  But the tiny shadow that was visible as a perfect sphere to my eyes was not enough to overcome the brightness in my camera