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Momentous Issue #2

Thank you Bridge Eight for publishing a most beloved story of mine "Blackberry Winter" in the latest issue.

Friend and Fish Obits guest blogger Kara Lindstrom also has a story in this issue -- "Tee Shirts for the Revolution." CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS BECAUSE KARA IS A GENIUS.

Please support this wonderful new lit mag that is finding and publishing emerging as well as established writers.

Order it HERE.  Read More 
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In this long awaited Post from guest blogger, John McLean (retired doctor, ceramic artist and mid-western fashion leader) with internal commentary by Cindy McLean with some prodding by daughter Kim McLean exploring issues of Taking Action, Female Under-garments, Tensile Strength, Discomfort, Boredom, Isolation, Experience as well as The Power of Black and White.

JM: It all started because your mother had these motley bras. She didn't comment on it, the condition of the bras. I said, "That is a motley," and she said, "It's the only one I've got," and I said. "We need to so something about it."

It was early in the morning and it looked like the bra had no tensile strength at all and looked floppy, the whole thing. The straps were ok, but the whole other thing, the cups. They were really motley. Clean. I'm not saying they were not clean. And old. But it was, it was, it was.

CM: Dad has not seen too many bras.  Read More 
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Oh Emily, you drop out.

Hey Mount Holyoke College,

Thanks especially to Emily Harrison Weir who did a a fantastic job writing this profile on my changeful career-life -- all culminating (so far) in Reptile House . She caught me on I 70 in Missouri and struggled through an interview with a faulty phone line.


It will be on the MHC website for all eternity, I'm told.

It was so cool to meet MHC women in Concord, NH, Hartford, CT, Philadelphia, PA, Dallas TX, Austin TX, San Antonio, TX, Boulder CO, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Palmer, Alaska.

Thanks for supporting the book and me! It was humbling and thrilling and inspiring.

Emily Dickinson, I'm gunning for you now.


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After the Storm

Photo by Kim McLean

Newfound Lake, New Hampshire.

Raining today but this is behind the clouds.

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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #18.0: LAST STOP: A BIG CARBON FOOTPRINT

Lots of Stops

Chicago: just a hop. Three hours / nothing.

Cooled down in nearly men's only coffee shop by Wrigley Field until reading in a nearly woman's only bookshop (thanks WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE) -- got a t-shirt. Hello Mad, Wendy, Paul from U of I, Lois and Tamara from Italy, the Windy City MHC gang, and Sarah from the WCF book club who I just bet but who HAD READ THE BOOK ALREADY, WOW.

5am is peaceful in the Windy City: Pink on the lake, boats bobbing like they own it. Tall gold buildings getting gold. A shimmering stadium, a silver Bean, a zoo with a new baby sloth.

Indiana yawning. Ohio just over there. Read More 
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Manda in Lawrence

HELLO Manda at DUSTY BOOKSHELF in Lawrence, Kansas where it was rumored -- by reliable local informants -- that there was a lone (but pristine) copy of Reptile House among ALL THOSE STACKS OF BOOKS!!!

The tour detoured, paid a toll, sidewinded over to Laurence after breakfast. The copy was found and signed on the title page.

A Dusty Bookshelf T-shirt with the cat on it was acquired to added to the growing bookstore t-shirt collection...and it was all Missouri after that.

Next stop: Tonight, August 5th, WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE
-- best bookstore in the Windy City -- 7:30 pm. Read More 
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1022 miles

2 days, 2 gallons of water, 2 phone calls to parents, 1 college roommate, 1 Alaskan co-conspirator, 2 sisters, 1 anarchist and PhD candidate, numerous novelists and several poets.

Crossed the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri. Mark Twain.

Arrived Land of Lincoln and angled north on some "short cuts".

Chicago Tonight, Aug 5th, WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE -- 7:30 pm. Read More 
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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #17.5: NEXT EXIT -- KANSAS

Paul Bunyon with Scythe


"Rent Your Combine! -- Next Exit"

"Prairie Dog town! -- Next Exit"

"Got Monsters? -- Next Exit"

"The World's Largest Czech Egg! -- Next Exit"

"Garden of Eden! -- Next Exit"

"Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum -- Next Exit"

"Free Land! -- Next Exit" Read More 
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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #17: BEARTOOTH, WYOMING, and OUT of MIND

words are useless. just go

From a favored campground the Custer Nat. Forest, take the gravel to 78, right to Red Lodge -- seems benign enough. Construction is heavy for such a tiny road. Writers should get a job like that. Stand in the sun, wave at cars, wonder at lives passing.

Beartooth Pass. It is south on 212, just a snaking red line in the atlas, nothing to fear -- such lines. Hurry. You don't have time for 11,000 ft passes.


This is the second time, but the first from north to south, which is different, less knee-shaking, or maybe age brings courage for dizzy cliffs. Read More 
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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #16.5: LOST HORSE in SANDPOINT, IDAHO


It is said (in my Atlas) that Sandpoint, Idaho is the prettiest town in America. If it's not #1, it's right up there. The train across the lake, just as Marilyn Robinson says.
ANYWAY, I had fun there thanks to my pal Christine Holbert of LOST HORSE PRESS -- who I met while teaching at U of Montana Western a few years back -- who is a literary bad-ass -- who is responsible or at least has her hands in all things cultural in Sandpoint, as well as many others literary fancy things in Idaho proper, as well as over in Spokane and Montana -- for inviting me to the Sandpoint Library to read with the fantastic poet and lake swimmer DEVIN BECKER winner of BOA's A. Poulin Jr Poetry Prize -- who drove up from Moscow -- and for summoning such a robust and interesting crowd despite the fact that all the bars  Read More 
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