Puppy Love

 Puppy Love ~

What is it about these innocent, cuddly creatures that stimulates the enzymes and produces heart throbs in us as caregivers? Their total absorption in you as a being? Their dependence on your care for their very existence?  Their unconditional love and acceptance of you regardless of your faults? All of these and more.  When I meet her nose to nose, we are surprised at how much we think alike.

Gretchen, the Golden Retriever, brings it all back home. Having had three children, I can feel those tender feelings keep bubbling back up through spending quality time with these remarkable beings.  Had I not had children, I would still feel the heart-expanding devotion to these lovely personalities.  Gretchen, the newest addition to our pack of three, only 12 weeks old as of this writing, knits the pack together and brings the other two older Golden boys to their knees in adoration. They protect her, mollycoddle her, groom her, and take turns putting her in her place as needed.

I will be recording a few adventures we have had and share Gretchen’s forays into our lives. She nudges us into feeling again. With busy lives, we forget to stop and breathe. She forces us to focus on her life and ours, so close to the ground, so close to what crawls and squeaks and burrows beneath the surface.  She demands that we pay attention to the world around us. Yesterday, she brought us a present–a nice poison oak branch. I itch to tell you more.  Last week, we discovered she enjoys eating foxtails from her “brother’s” back legs to help groom him.  This is not a good thing, and we’re breaking her of it. But I can understand her compassion.

When I put my head down and rub against her cheek and floppy ears, like her mama would, pretending to wash her, but keeping my tongue inside my mouth, thank you very much, she responds in little cooey grunts and stretches her neck for more. You can feel the love electric bound across the skin and through us, communicating in ways that humans should practice. Innocent touch. Softness beyond conscious comprehension. Psychologically, soothing and stimulating. But there’s more to it than that. It’s a very primal kind of communication. Thank goodness we don’t speak. It would break the moment.

More adventures with Gretchen to come! Stay tuned!

August 11, 2012 ~ Remember the fox tail grooming habit I told you about earlier? A visit to the vet for foxtail removal from Gretchen’s ear and from her little nose cavity resulted. How did we detect it? She couldn’t stop sneezing. She had to be sedated, poor baby.

We can’t vacuum the universe, but it helped to hose down the entire area and cement patio as well as the decks.  Next year, we are going to eliminate them from a 100-ft radius, at least, planting a sturdy grass so that the scourge can be eliminated.  It’s a California native plant, the foxtail is…I’m not proud to claim it. The other scourge is the burr.

Gretchen has grown by leaps and bounds to about 30 pounds. She lopes with her ears flapping, and has learned how to sit for treats. She steals our shoes from the closet and any socks that might be available. When you ask her for it, she gives it back, unlike the boys who look at you as if you’re crazy when you ask for their toy back. What, me? Give up my favorite object covered in dog slime?

More later!



eBook publishing workshop was a success!

Lou Gonzalez led a wonderful workshop on formatting the eBook using Word last Saturday in San Andreas. The writers that participated are moving ahead with their writing projects and we’ll be reading their books on the Kindle or Nook or ipad some time soon!  You wouldn’t think that in such a small, rural atmosphere, we’d have this virtual neo-Renaissance of literary writing—but there it is and there we are.





How to Avoid Writer Procrastination

Every writer does this–makes excuses about not having time to write, whether it’s the pressure at work, pressing family needs taking precedence, or— fill in the blank for an excuse: 1)______________2)_____________3)____________________4)________________etc.  Does this ring a bell? Yank your chain?

Usually this kind of procrastination can hold a writer back from completing a writing project–it can prevent that novel from getting written, delay the book of poems from seeing daylight, or hinder the query letter from being finished. This is not productive!

 I have found that the best method to solve writer’s block and procrastination in writing your novel is to write in rebellion.

Yes, you heard right. Rebel against another activity that is distasteful.

Go ahead and procrastinate! I give you permission, even. But…..Procrastinate with something else!

 Find an activity that you should be doing, and to avoid doing that activity, sit down and write instead.This works out pretty well for me. Here’s a handy list of things you can choose  NOT TO DO so that you can make time to write. This is a healthy counterbalance to feeling guilty about not writing. It’s good for about 2,000 words of a rough draft of a short story, about 3,000 words of a novel chapter, or several poems.

The following is a handy dandy list of procrastination ideas to get you started:

 1.  Rebel against cleaning – Pretend you’re a Bohemian writer living in Soho or Greenwich Village in the 1960s or early 1970s. No one visiting you in this imaginary Bohemian artistic world would mind if there were earthy leaves lining the bathroom floor, brought in with the wind,  or a little fashionable clutter on your table, or even unmade beds. Being slightly slovenly was fashionable then–and also fashionable today.  Artists and writers used to sleep on their pin-striped mattresses without sheets and leave dirty dishes in the sink, sport unemptied ashtrays proudly displayed on coffee tables, and treat guests to a trail of clothing casually draped over furniture.  Ah, the good old days when non-materialism prevailed in the midst of wealth. Artists and writers coveted their preoccupation with their craft and their avoidance of material worldly clutter. Since you’re creative, you have no time for such mundane things as making a sink shine. You have more important things to do, like write your novel and make a splash in this world. You have important things to say.


2. Yard work — ignore it. Let the weeds take over. Don’t fuss over pulling a few errant plants or trimming off some of the dead stuff and fussing over detritus.These wild entities are perfectly natural in a garden. Why fight nature? You are an eco-naturalist and environmental protective agent. Get your journal out and go sit on your deck or yard and write while a gentle breeze and the warm sun massages your skin. Don’t look at your scruffy plants. The weeds will just get a little higher and become natural sculptures in your garden. Unwanted greenery even adds nutrients, in some cases.


3.  Call in sick one day to your daily job.  You could be sick if you continue like you are going–ignoring your creative side. Take a mental health day. Write in rebellion. Don’t answer any calls from work since you’re in bed writing.


4.  Rebel against checking your calendar and list of to-do items.  Un-check the check marks on your list by turning them into little O’s, then, leave your Franklin planner by its lonesome and take off on a journey–a day trip. Get in your car and go somewhere — without a plan. Have your laptop with you or your spiral writing notebook and a collection of favorite pens. Stop in a cafe for lunch or coffee and deliberately sit near people, and write down people’s conversations near you. Write this into your book-in-progress. You’ll never see these people again. Or park near a natural landscape that inspires you. You could do this on the day you call in sick and take care of two things on this list at once.


5.  Rebel against random shopping. Instead of going to the local drugstore or grocery store and buying things you actually need, but could well do without, put off the trip. Sit down and write instead. You can use that little box of baking soda sitting in your refrigerator to brush your teeth for a couple of days. Economy and thrift help writers to succeed in finishing their projects. Think how much money you will save!


6. Add your own activity that you can avoid right here: ___________________________.

Think of all the things you can procrastinate in doing–distasteful things and those chores you just can’t bear: finishing a project at home; washing your car or cleaning up the garage; doing extra things at home for your job; cleaning out the closets and sorting through memorabilia deciding what to give away to goodwill or what you can keep; or whatever you dread doing. Whatever. Make your list here so that you can choose one at any time to avoid when you need to write.


So–what are you waiting for? Quit procrastinating about writing and procrastinate with some other activity instead! Write in rebellion. Get to your keyboard or writing journal and fire away, while you neglect something else. Your guilt in ignoring the things you are supposed to be doing will be assuaged by the pleasure in writing. The underlying guilt will also give you an edge and a sense of urgency. If you do this at least once a week, picking one task or item a week, you should have a chapter a week finished and your novel completed in 24 weeks!

The other things, well, they will pile up. So what?  Your book will be read by others and may even become art valued by millions of readers some day in a few hundred years.  Who will care if you didn’t weed your garden or whether that little dust bunny grew into a monstrous rabbit that popped out of Lennie’s head in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck’s little novel that the dog almost finished off? Or the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland.  Or Peter Rabbit running from Mr. MacGregor. But I digress, good thing. Instead of doing what I should be doing. Cleaning my toilet. Yes,  I digress. Blissfully so.



10 Great Writers Resolutions for 2012

Ten Great 2012 Resolutions and Other Writerly Activities to Stimulate Your Writing Life

1. Find more creative ways to counteract procrastination including physical pain, if necessary. German method: Slap yourself…but not too hard or you won’t be able to read what you just wrote down.

2. Reward ourselves for writing well.   Get a massage, a glass of wine or other libation, and a loving lick from the dog or cat. WE earned it! 

3. Write in rebellion to generate surprise writing. Type anything in a hurry not worrying about spelling, thought, ideas, or even coherence. Then,  just print it out. Circle the words that form or almost form and use them for something. Voila. Should be good for something. Second thought – get the cat to do it. Furry good words.

4. Put sticky notes with wise words, reminders, inspiring phrases from literary greats, all over the computer screen edge and in other places of the house, including the fridge door and coffeemaker. They will all fall off but the simple act of putting them there draws us closer to the act of writing. Bending over and picking up the drifting sticky notes is great exercise, too! On second thought… Get the cat to do it.

5. Find great lines out of books from favorite, ancient, and/or dead writers and type them up, print them out, and post them on the wall. When feeling inadequate, throw darts at the darn thing. Better yet, copy the lines and change them a lot. A lot, a lot. They’re yours, now, heh-heh-heh.

6. WE will finish our novel this year and get it out to an agent before 2013 arrives. So…how will WE do this?

Typing really works. That thing we do with our fingers. We shouldn’t worry about thinking. Just sit down and type and let  automatic conversation just pour out into the document. Or let’s try the Sony Dragon program and talk the entire novel into the microphone of the computer. It will type it up for us. WE are going to finish our novels this year. Plus, it would help if you would call or email me and nag, dare, or order me around. Let’s get bossy with each other. What else are writer friends for?

7. Back up all writers’ files so we don’t lose anything. Also back up emails and save  attachments.

Charles Herndon recommends the downloadable, free for awhile, viceversa program, which will back files up to an external drive and after that is done, will recognize new files, and back them up, for a very short process!

8. Find a way to make the writing space inviting. Get a massager for the chair, or get your cat and get her to stay there with you, purring away at your feet or in your lap. Better yet, get the cat to write for you while you pet him/her. Dogs won’t do that but they’ll keep your feet warm while you fire away at the keyboard.

9. Write rave reviews about your book even though it isn’t out yet. Put them somewhere in a drawer and sneak a peak at them. Everyone needs a cheering section!

10. LEARN WORD thoroughly. Write something coherent in your blog. Update Facebook regularly with something cool to read about. Update your NING page and blog. Make your web page look cool. Direct traffic over to it this year by putting up articles and information that people love to read about.




Gift-giving: Write a poem!

Dear Writers,

In shopping for the perfect gift comes a bit of stress in contemplating what to buy that special someone, or that distant relative, long lines at super stores and gift shops,  wrapping gifts once you get home, and then waiting to mail packages at the post office or mail store.  Avoid all the hassle and try this activity on for size: Write a custom poem, type it up and add it to a power point presentation slide or two, put it on a decorative background using publisher or some other program, add some photos to the slide show that you have personally taken, to share, put the entire power point in a digital photo frame, and then send it off to relatives and friends.

What a delightful gift that will sit on a counter or on top of the piano, or mounted to the wall, and remind them of you!

You can have the powerpoint transfered to a flash drive and send that little gift in a padded envelope. Add some original music or taped/transfered favorite music to the mix, and you can have them play this on their laptop or computer at will.  What a thoughtful gift.

If you need feedback on your poem, contact me.




Art Reception – Hard-Edge Design and Writing Workshop on Ekphrasis – Writing About Art –

Gary Rose, artist, and Monika Rose, poet, had a reception on Friday, October 14, from 2-7 PM, for an art show, ekphrasis workshop, and poetry reading/signing at the open house reception at Mountain Ranch Community Center in the darling community of Mountain Ranch! Art show and reception occurred 2:00 P.M. through 7 PM – with artist Gary Rose, featuring his large, geometric hard-edge design wall sculptures and join a chat with the artist about minimalism, design, and modern art. His work will be visible from October through November at the center.

EkphrasisWorkshop  (writing about art) with Monika Rose   3-4 PM Writers and public art lovers enjoyed this art form, which is writing about visual art, dramatic art, presentation art, and more.  River by the Glass, a 212-page collection of poems spanning two decades, was signed by the author.



Recent Writerly Activities

Book signing at the Arts Bash this coming Saturday, Oct. 12! Will post some pics soon.


Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival and Workshops: August 17-18, 2013

Another trek up to Tuolumne Meadows for the Poetry Festival, in August, right before the Rim Fire ignited and took its toll up in Yosemite country.  This time, David Mas Masumoto charmed everyone with his luscious peach samples and peachy wisdom in words, and Mark Doty brought tears of laughter and heartfelt sadness to our eyes…sometimes at the exact same moment. Jane Hirshfield gave us all the gift of her poems. Then, Jay Deming with his poetry workshops and exercises walked the walk as his poems moved metaphors around like rollicking boulders. Kira Shammen mesmerized us all with her violin/fiddle/wood-stringed-thing that turned into a magical being. And then there was Margaret who knits it all together, host and organizer, self-effacing and shy, but what a powerhouse under that lithe demeanor!

As we left the park and headed back down to the foothills, we saw the Rim Fire to our right on Hwy 120. I said to Roberta, we didn’t see that coming up, did we? It looked unattended burning in a canyon not too far from Cherry Road, no planes, no fire tenders, no men in yellow suits doing battle…nada. I wondered, where are the planes? Even a spotter? Nothing. It was about 4:30. Still early enough to send out the tankers. Sadly, it was the “let it burn” mentality governed by some US Forest Service official who got the thumbs up to let the monster go. I know all the arguments. I am still in favor of sensible management — a combo of small fires and managed conservation with logging and timber personnel allowed in to excavate safely and extract needed fuel for biofuels, for lumber, and other forest products.

What about the red-legged or yellow-legged frogs, huh? Just two weeks before a Calaveras Enterprise front page touted the dangers of the extinction of these little guys up in Yosemite land. The fires took care of them. No need to fight the ranchers and developers and timber concerns about the little critters anymore as they were pulverized by infernos. Maybe the spotted owls could get out, or the woodpecker, the bears and the deer that everyone worried about — they can outfly or outrun the flames. But not those little frogs. No one is talking about that now. It’s very quiet out there when it comes to the frogs.

Never mind that cattle were lost, burned, and otherwise traumatized by the event. These animals keep the brush down naturally.

Sure, in about two hundred years some of the trees will come back to that height. But in the meantime, no. Gone from view.Ditto the habitat that went with it, providing a home for many animals, insects and plants in the ecosystem, including humans.

That beauty could have remained and the undergrowth could been cleared and utilized for much-needed wood products and biofuel, with people put to work to boot with some management plans in place. And don’t blame the sequester cuts. Puh-lease.


Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival 2012

A few of us die-hard poets and nature lovers trekked up to Parsons Meadow Lodge festivities, arising early, packing the car, and meeting at 6 AM for the drive up the mountain.  We arrived just in time for some of Camille Dungy’s workshop exercises by the Tuolumne River, with the rushing sound of the water behind us helping with the flow. Then a brief lunch, with shared items from Gail’s lunch and our own snacks added in, and then a commune with the river and quiet time to write, walk, take photos, and simply enjoy the environs. The Unicorn mountain behind us, and the back side of Cathedral Peak in another direction, we were in good company.

The featured writers–Mike Burwell, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Margaret Eissler(organizer), and Camille Dungy–filled the lodge with good words,  from 1:00-2:30, and set the rest of the day ticking – good poems to feed on– and Shira Kammen’s music once again sublime.  The afternoon included a walk, a supper near the trail directly in the meadow, with a view of blue ponds formed from river rivulets and tributaries, and four poetesses speaking music amid the unwrapping of the shared dishes for the feast.

The evening approached, with the open mic luring the campers and poets back in to the lodge, its stone walls holding us in an embrace.  With hot coffee and camaraderie, humor, poetry, storytelling, and music, it was the perfect campfire without the pit. We were the community of humanity, sharing voice and sound that reverberated long after the event ended. 

We had forgotten flashlights, so the journey back would have resulted in some injuries down those rocky trails had not a poetry couple given us that hat headlamp to light our way back to the vehicle.  We survived. Next time, we vowed, we would rent a tent cabin at Wolf or somewhere nearby, or at least a campsite, and sleep there, catching the next morning’s workshop as well and staying there, luxuriating in all that greenery and river water. And next time, we would all bring a flashlight.

Poems are coming out of that adventure.







My recent poetry reading from River by the Glass at Black Sheep Winery was an intimate, lovely setting. It was quiet, moisturey cool under the trees despite the 98-degree day, and with good friends in the audience, as well as new friends made, it was a delightful afternoon that flew by in the pleasure of fine wine and word-tasting.  We had the Chardonnay and the award-winning Zinfandel, and we had the pleasure of a good discussion about the nuances of words and the insights behind poetry. I read the first poem, “Drowning at the Kern” and a few other river poems to celebrate water and moisture, that parching day.  A few light-hearted poems contrasted to the sadness of that first poem – and I think we were all satiated by the end of the afternoon. It was a delight to have all these wonderful people there, talking about poems, about life, about relationships, and about what really matters in the hubbub of our days.







Ironstone Reading August 13 was a wonderful gathering of some of the finest poets in our region!

Joy Roberts, MWP business manager, who keeps the press connected and well-oiled and ready for business! She’s also one of the hottest editors in our region. If  you need your book edited, manuscript prepared for publication, she is the one who will set you straight.  Also, she’s a good friend and has a good shoulder for crying on, if needed. Every poet needs a good shoulder and good friends.  Here she is at the Ironstone Vineyards reading.



Ironstone Vineyards ~ Moonstruck with Manzanita Aug. 13, 2012 was a wonderful gathering! Many talented poets read to the rhythms of bassist David Sackman throbbing in the background.  It was warm that day — but the Heritage Room was so lovely and cool — the day was delightful!  Jeannette Clough (Island, Red Hen Press) came all the way from LA to be with us–outstanding poet, along with others who traveled a distance — Sande Trizise, Brigit Truex, Zoe Keithley, from Sacramento, Kevin Arnold (from San Jose Poetry Center, President), Mr. Clewett from Elk Grove, and more from several counties came out to enjoy the poets and their fine words.

Brigit Truex reads from her chapbook at Ironstone

This is Linda Field, Manzanita Voices radio show designer and host.  She is also a very good friend!  Linda has a novel she is writing, working its way through to the surface, one chapter at a time.  Be watching for it!  Her New York roots meet Mother Lode sister land and conjoin in this novel.  Can’t wait to see it in print at Barnes and Noble!  writers@kvgcradio.com

Kathy Isaac-Luke reads from Chrysalides 





Two writers, Goldpanning at Roaring Camp

Bret Harte should have written about these two gold diggers. Little did they know that their dreams for riches, trickled down to mere flakes and flashes in the pans.  Not referring to the ladies, mind you, but the laden pans. Next morning, they might just as well be  frying up a couple of golden trout in the other kinds of pans.

Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone After Musings and After Glow

Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone Vineyards was lovely August 13!

Manzanita Writers Press editors want to thank everyone for their great poetry and prose read at Ironstone yesterday for the Moonstruck with Manzanita literary festival. Also, we’d like to thank the public and lovers of literature for coming up and enjoying the event. We had a wonderful time sharing poetry and prose and music with visitors, the public, and other writers up at Ironstone Vineyards yesterday – Sat. Aug. 13.   David Sackman played rhythmic bass loops that throbbed behind the fabric of the spoken word. Jim Lanier  played some great tunes and sang our favorites, and then read a short story from his ebook collection.

The newspapers did a wonderful job of promoting the event and despite getting off to a slow start (writers aren’t usually morning persons, are they?), and waiting a long time to get a bite to eat due to the high numbers of people packed into the lunchroom between noon and one, we had a nice time. 

Manzanita writers

We read, with breaks, from 11:30 until 5 PM. There were fantastic writers from Sacramento, Stockton, Sonora, Yosemite, and Elk Grove – as well as our talented local poets and writers from Amador and Calaveras. One of the Manzanita featured poets came from Santa Monica, trekking all this way to enjoy our beautiful area – Jeannette Clough!  Dan Williams came up from Wawona to read from his upcoming collection of work that reflected his experience as a Yosemite park ranger, and then had to leave to get back and help support fighting the fires up at Yosemite. Anne Molin had to stay up there for support, so we missed her poetry, but Dan read one of her poems, so that helped.  We also missed hearing Ron Pickup, GlenHill Publications, publisher of Monika Rose’s River by the Glass as he was ill and couldn’t make it. We are looking forward to seeing his great river photos that grace the covers and the interior pages of the book, at a future event!  Thanks Red Fox Underground poets represented by Brigit Truex, all the way from Placerville…loved your poetry once again. Can’t get enough. Linda Field, Manzanita Writers Press editor and radio host,  read a poem about the Stock Market, called Dead Cat Bounce. You had to be there, is all I can say. And when Linda read the poem Unwrapped, written by another  anonymous writer in our midst who was too shy to reveal that she was the originator of that lovely, sensuous poem about chocolate and love, it was just luscious.  Again, you had to be there.

Monika Rose and Kathy Boyd Fellure - Manzanita editors

Thanks to more of the poets and writers who shared their work, like our own Manzanita distribution editor Kathy Boyd Fellure, Pam Mundale, Kathie Isaac-Luke, from Sonora, as well as Kevin Arnold, president of the San Jose Poetry Center — who drove hours to get there! and our own Dave Self, Mitz Sackman, Zoe Keithley from Sacramento, John Clewett,  Scott Anderson (our wonderful Lode Star Columnist representing the Lode Star team of writers, editors, and columnists), Donald Anderson and Nikki Quizmondo from Stockton, our own Sande Tresize from Sacramento,  our own Ted Laskin, Jeannette Clough all the way from Santa Monica–love her poetry!, Nan Mahon from Sacramento, Durlyn Anema from Stockton, and more…

The writers had their books displayed beautifully and were there to sign books at breaks.

The lunch was wonderful, once we were able to get it, and Ironstone prepares some great luncheon specials. The wine going with it –? perfect. I had a chardonnay. It went with my Caesar salad with turkey perfectly! I couldn’t eat it all — the portions are huge! 

Dinner at Murphys Hotel

Some of us kept the party going at Murphys Hotel afterwards. If you  want some great prime rib, go up there on Saturday night and enjoy!  A few ordered medium rare and the hotel prepares it on the red side, so when the writers were a bit dismayed at the rarity, Brian quickly remedied their trepidation and whisked the plates back to the kitchen for a further searing, and the laden trays returned like magic, PERFECT! Anyway, they aim to please over there.  Not to mention, dashing service and chivalry.

Monika ordered an appetizer of grilled gator and passed the plate around after cutting it into bite-sized chomps and bits. Surprisingly, most of the pieces clung to the plate when it came back around to her. She and Joy dug in … undeterred by the apparent trepidation. More for them to enjoy!

As Monika was diligently sawing away, a conversation erupted when someone brought up Monika’s poem, Chester and the Bluebird. You know, the one that starts out with Chester near the barbecue, and then his ending up on the barbecue. Anyway, Linda was nonplussed. It’s not her favorite poem and she cringes when it’s read. Monika was not to be put off, giving a few more details from the poem.  Cutting up the alligator, and commenting that it must have had a lot of space to run around (remarking on its texture), reminded Monika about Chester’s propensity to wander off and how tough he was.  She remarked, as she was cutting the gator, that she remembered something her son had said as he was cutting up Chester on the plate.  He had reminisced about chasing that bull calf many an acre after breaking out of fences,  and he addressed the steak, as he hacked  away, “You’re not getting away this time!” 

Groans were heard around the Murphys Hotel restaurant table.  Linda was ready to pick up her knife and hack away at Monika’s arm, next to hers in close proximity–most likely, in retaliation. You have to understand, though. Linda loves animals and abhors abuse or mistreatment of animals.  Monika totally understood the origin of her friend’s distaste for that poem.  She couldn’t stop herself, though. She tried to redeem herself by noting the spirituality in that poem. The bluebird lands on the hand just as she laid that Chester steak down on the grill. The bird takes a look at the meat, sizzling on the grill, looks at her, then takes off. That was the softest sensation she ever felt. Put her at ease.  Monika hoped that part of the story would smooth LInda’s ruffled feathers a bit. She’s still talking to Monika, anyway, so it’s a good sign. Next time a calving is happening, Monika promises to call Linda so she can come on over and watch. Life coming in is far more exciting than the leavings.

On a lighter note, many of us tried the Hatcher Cabernet and had a second glass, it was so good. One fine wine, that. Monika said it was “chasmic,” so go figure–a poet describing red wine should be on call by the winery ad writers. Jeannette said it rolled around the tongue and you could feel the bite all around on all sides. Excellent! You know writers and their literary layering of descriptors.

Anyway, it was a wonderful evening. So much fun to be had with a fun table of writers…Getty had to hold his own with all the women. Not difficult as he is our charming gentleman writer friend. Zoe, Sande, and Shirley trekked from Sacramento and stayed longer to enjoy the meal.  Then Monika was off to the celebration of the full moon with Gary and friends as it rose over the hills, so lovely and elegant. First, cosmic and low, in its largesse, then as it rose higher, put into perspective!  Like a mirror held at arm’s length. Sensible and safe.  Go to it, Moon.

Thanks to everyone for reading to the end.

Signing off!


Red Room comment

Author Comment:

River by the Glass is an eclectic 212-page collection of poems that explores life and the living of it. River by the Glass is a collection of poems spanning two decades. The poems, says publisher of River by the Glass, Ron Pickup of GlenHill Publications, contain a whimsical wit and metaphysical humor ~ poems such as “Carp” or “Eye” ~ and such poems as “A Poet” or “Yellow the Dead Canary.” With biting humor and haunting verse, found in “Chester and the Bluebird” and “On the Fence,” the poems reflect visual puzzles and conundrums of life, thus the viewing of the River ~ by Glass ~ through lenses, windows, screens, mirrors, and drinking vessels. Rose recalls a time in her childhood when her barefoot ways met the barbarism in the human defacement of nature ~ broken beer bottles with ugly shards of brown glass marring the lovely boulders, sand, and water purity of her favorite river haunt, the Kern River. She could never understand how people could deface the lovely places in our lives ~ the only kind of refuge from the asphalt and concrete world that levels our aspirations and deadens our nerves and senses. Yet, in a strange kaleidoscopic way, those shards of glass that derived from sand and water, seemed to glitter and demand meaning for being what they were ~ products and reality. They existed and they were there, clashing with the ideal of what she envisioned. This collection is her way of cleansing some of the unpure places in the human heart and exploring the mysteries in human behavior as well as the natural movements in nature. It is a celebration of life in the natural and unnatural worlds that collide within, and without us. Yet, it’s not a collection of judgment and critical pointing of fingers. It’s also a glimpse into the quirky behaviors of man as well. The leaving of loved ones and the world of dementia ~ the meeting with a deer that connects the aspects of wild and tame ~ parthenogenesis, gold panning, gardening, skipping stones, finding a harmonica in the river sand ~ making coffee in the morning ~ the dying of friends ~ the haunting by a black dog when even holy water couldn’t protect enough ~ contemplating the breaking of a bull pine limb while a couple sleeps ~ the celebration of a woman’s cycle of birthing coming to an end with the flow of the “Tuolumne River” ~ and poems that whimsically explore love through visions and images of the particular, spilling into the universal. All of these and more… Take a sip of River by the Glass and quench your thirst. You may find yourself drinking harder than you thought.


Books and anthologies with editing work by Monika Rose

River by the Glass River by the Glass front cover small, A Collection of Poems by Monika Rose

Released, April 2011- 212 pages, 85 poems, photography by Tuolumne County talent Ron Pickup

River photography includes Tuolumne River, Clavey River, Stanislaus River, and more….

Publisher, GlenHill Productions, Soulsbyville

Purchase on this site.  $21.95, add shipping and tax: $28.50





Wild Edges: volume 6 of Manzanita – Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra

Editor: Monika Rose – Published Aug. 2010 – pub. Manzanita Writers Press – 216 pages featuring over 100 poets and fiction writers from California and the U.S. Over 30 photographers and artists featuring their work – a 16-page full color glossy spread by talented artists and photographers of the Mother Lode and Sierra – Purchase from Manzanita Writers Press for $15.00.  2,000 printed – 1,000 remaining        Wild Edges - volume 6 Manzanita anthology front coveradd tax and shipping

 Some of the writers featured: J.P. Dancing Bear, Mara Feeney, Taylor Graham, Ted Laskin, Linda Field, Jim Lanier, Ron Pickup, Helene Pilibosian, Jackie Richmond, Monika Rose, Andy Shupala, Allegra Silberstein, Laura Snyder, Norine Radaikin, Jackie Rogers, William Keener, Bill Gainer, Michael Lee Johnson, Brad Buchanan, Zoe Keithley, Shelley Muniz, Joseph Milosch, Kathy Isaac-Luke, Kevin Arnold, Moira Magneson, Barbara Leon, W.F. Lantry, Carol Ann Lindsay, James Jacobs, Jodi Hottel, Gail Entrekin, Johm Fitch, Maureen Flannery, Lara Gularte, Dianna Henning, Lisa Gelfand, Connie Corcoran, Sandy Crepps, Chrissy Davis, Donald Anderson, Dawn Bonker, David Anderson, Marta Brady, Barbara Bass, Tim Bellows, Gary Cooke, Alan Cohen, Leslie Bailey, Marcia Adams, Glenn Wasson, Dorothy Wake, Andrena Zawinski, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Daniel Williams, Paul Willis, Brigit Truex, David Sullivan, Michael Spinetta, Robert Walton, Anne Wilson, Paula Sheil, Dave Self, Michele Rugo, Dave Seter, Scott Siegel, Anne Privateer, Mark Redfearn, Marie Ross, Nick Samaras, Zara Raab, and many more…

Cover photo by Paul Neal


Manzanita Volume 5 – released Sept. 2008 – 1,500 copies published – 400 remaining

Over 100 writers and artists featured – still in print Manzanita volume 5 Front cover – cover photo by John Doane

Editor: Monika Rose

Published by Writers Unlimited, sells for 15.00 plus tax, shipping

 Back cover volume 5 – photo by Ron Pickup

Poem by Jackie Richmond

Manzanita volume 5 back cover - photo by Ron Pickup - poem by Jackie Richmond









Manzanita – volume 4  – over 100 writers and artists featuredManzanita volume 4 Front cover

Editor, Monika Rose – published by Writers Unlimited, 2006

Now, Manzanita Writers Press

published 2006 – 1,200 copies printed – 50 remain – sells for 15.00

Cover photo by Ron Pickup of Soulsbyville – lovely Manzanita blossoms frosted by a surprise snowstorm in the late spring




Ted Laskin’s collection of Short Stories and Essays

George A. Custer, Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone

Available from the author and Manzanita Writers Press

17.95 plus shipping and handling – 8.25 % tax – total: 23.00

George A. Custer, Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone - by Ted LaskinEditing work: Monika Rose  – Ed. Manzanita Writers Press, 2010

Joy Roberts – chief editor  on the project







Glenn Wasson’s collection of poetry, essays, and flash fiction

Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved to Steal – revised edition

Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved to Steal - revised edition - by Glenn WassonEditing work, Monika Rose, Joy Roberts: 2008 and 2010 (2 volumes)

Winner of the Readers Choice Humor Award

Available for 21.95   plus shipping, and 8.25 % CA tax

Total 28.50. 

Publisher: Manzanita Writers Press

Contact author via press







Getty Ambau’s Young Adult Novel

Desta and King Solomon’s Coin of MagicDesta and King Solomon's Coin

Monika Edited: 2009 and 2010  (not exclusively)

Manuscript also reviewed by Lodi High students