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No really, I mean it. CHRISTMAS IN JULY. The ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) for Lakeshore Christmas are out. Yay!

They sent me exactly three copies. One each for my friends Carol and Pam, and one for posterity.

Read any good ARCs lately? Post in Comments!

We never go anywhere in the summer. Not because we’re lame (though we might be) but  because there is nowhere–repeat–nowhere nicer than the Pacific Northwest in summer.

Particularly right here–I have a beach outside my door, parties and barbecues to attend, books to read, friends to see, boating to be done. Summer is here at last.

Post a comment! Where do you love to spend the summer?

Gorgeous weather, good foods, fabulous gifts, and the best of friends!

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more about "another bridal shower", posted with vodpod

Wedding hair 010

Elizabeth, my one and only daughter.

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more about "early morning action on the water", posted with vodpod

Count that among the questions a writer least wants to hear. Even my computer hates this book.

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well-written recipes

well-written recipes

As if my roundup of romance wasn’t enough, here’s something else to tempt you:

Local, national authors dish up their favorite recipes

By Mary Ann Gwinn

Seattle Times book editor

At my book club, things always go better with food. Amateur critics may disagree; politics has been known to trump the chosen title as the matter under discussion. But a good dinner or a sublime dessert grounds the clash of ideas in the comfort of animal appetites.

A new local cookbook combines the world of food and books: “Literary Feast: The Famous Authors Cookbook” has just been issued by the King County Library System Foundation. Compiled and edited by Terry J. LaBrue, with a foreword by local chef/author Greg Atkinson, this compendium may ease your way as you contemplate what to serve for your next literary gathering.

Though the book largely focuses on Northwest authors, it includes some A-list national writers and their recipes: Arthur Agatston, M.D. (Mr. South Beach Diet); the mystery-writing spousal unit Faye and Jonathan Kellerman. Jacquelyn Mitchard! Alice Waters! Alexander McCall Smith’s recipe for Mma Potokwani’s Fruit Cake!

Contributions by area authors seem to fall into two categories: complicated and simple. This feeds my theory that authors, like other creative types, either throw themselves into cooking (if they love it) or consider it time wasted (if they don’t).

In the “complicated” category falls science-fiction author Greg Bear’s recipe for Chicken Mole Poblano, which actually appears to be his wife Astrid Bear’s creation. Bear describes this dish as “mouthwatering” and says he and his spouse serve it each year at their home to celebrate the annual Clarion West workshop for budding science-fiction writers.

Also complicated is Seattle author Garth Stein’s recipe for Clams with Sausage, Beans and Pasta, which makes sense, since Stein managed to craft a best-seller with a dog as a narrator (“The Art of Racing in the Rain”).

“This recipe evolved from a simple cannellini bean and garlic side dish I used to make for my wife when we were first married,” he writes. “Later, I added more stock, Parmesan and some escarole, and it became a soup. And finally, I got to this form after I saw someone cook clams and sausages together on TV — I didn’t know that was possible!” Stein appears to be what my long-ago psychology professor called a “divergent thinker.”

But the most useful recipes may be the simplest, the ones in which writers create fuel to keep on writing. Kit Bakke, author of “Miss Alcott’s E-Mail,” contributes Real Graham Crackers, because Louisa May Alcott’s family probably ate them. Children’s author Brenda Z. Guiberson’s recipe for “Writer’s Almost Nonstop Soup” is what it says — a nourishing soup, always on the stove, so you can keep on writing.

And my favorite: Portland author Chelsea Cain’s recipe for Pizza à la Chelsea Cain:

1 healthy cup laziness

The telephone number of your local fine pizza establishment

Approximately $25, with tip

Salt and pepper (to taste).

You know where this is going.

“Literary Feast: The Famous Authors Cookbook” can be ordered at; you can find it at bookstores later this summer. Proceeds go to local literacy and lifelong-learning programs.

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Mary Ann Gwinn appears on Classical KING-FM’s Arts Channel at http://www.king.orpages/4216533.php

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company. Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo, other than personal use, must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or with your request.

My contribution–inexplicably not mentioned in the otherwise-terrific review–originated right here on this blogRosemary Olive Oil Cake. I’m thinking it falls in the “simple” category. It’s fabulous. I just had a note from my friend Stephanie, who adapted it for Weight Watchers.

What about you? Do you like to cook “simple” or “complicated”? Post links to your fave recipes below!

I got to be a judge at WagFest this year. How fun is that?

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more about “Wagfest! Everyone’s a winner!“, posted with vodpod

I have the best dad. I know you do, too, but really. I have the best.

often wrong, never in doubt

often wrong, never in doubt

a man for all seasons

a man for all seasons

patron of the arts

patron of the arts

my heart belongs to...

my heart belongs to...

my father-in-law is not so bad, either :-)

my father-in-law is not so bad, either 🙂


What’s a WagFest?
WagFest is a fun way to help raise money for special PAWS programs, specifically two new initiatives — PAWS Dog Adoption Days and the PAWS Visiting Therapy Dog program. WagFest is also a celebration of all things dog and great fun for families and their pets!

It is also a shining moment of wish-fulfillment for yrs truly. Why? Because I get to be a celebrity judge at the costume contest. My fellow judges are Rep. Sherry Appleton and famous pet painter, Cynthia Dice. I kid you not. I intend to take my duties very seriously. Barkis is counting on me. I need your advice. What does a celebrity judge wear???

In addition to a 1.5-mile fundraising walk, this benefit event will feature all sorts of doggie demonstrations, activities, vendors, and contests — watch this space for schedules and descriptions as the event draws nearer.

What Will I Do There?

Kid’s Activities
K9 Freestyle Dancing
Microchip Clinic
Flyball Demo
1.5 Mile Dog Walk
Rally Obedience Demo
Costume Contest
Canine Good Citizen Test
Educational Demos
Photo/Costume Booth
Talent Contest

To join in, see below. To donate to save the animals, go here.

The Microchip clinic will be from 10am – 1pm. $20.00 fee. Why Microchip your pet? Over 127,000 lost pets have been reunited with their owners thanks to microchipping. No method is perfect, but more identification dramatically increases the odds of finding a lost companion.

Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program
The CGC is a certification program designed to reward dogs that have good manners at home and in the community.  All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.  If your dog can pass the CGC test, you are only 4 exercises away from having a certified Therapy Dog! Read more….

A Canine Good Citizen test will be held at WagFest at 11:00.  If you are interested in participating in the test, please contact Judith Bell of BeauJes Dog Training at 360-797-7979 or We only have room to test 20 dogs at the WagFest so sign up now!

Driving Directions and Parking
Directions –
From Highway 305, turn west onto Koura Road, then south (left) on Miller Road. Turn west (right) onto Tolo Road and then turn north (right) on Battle Point Drive. The park will be on your right.
View a Google map of Battle Point Park (11299 Arrow Point Dr NE, Bainbridge Island, WA)
Parking – Please enter Battle Point Park from the west along Battle Point Road. Follow the road to the eastern side of the park, near the community garden. Parking attendants will indicate where to park.

Flyball Demo

The Cascade Comets will perform at
WagFest at 1 p.m.
K9 Freestyle Dancing

See the Emerald City K9 Freestyle Dancers at WagFest.

See more of the Cascade Comets on YouTube.

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June 2009