Category: Ashland news


Join us for Penguins & Patagonia in October 2018!

By Midge Raymond,

Save the dates: October 29 to November 6, 2018!

Join us and Adventures by the Book on a journey through the majestic land of Patagonia and immerse yourself in the setting that helped inspire My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail.


When John and I volunteered at the Punta Tombo penguin colony in Argentina, helping with a penguin census of the largest Magellanic colony in the world, our experiences with the land, penguins, and dedicated scientists inspired our novels, The Tourist Trail and My Last Continent. Now you can join us for a chance to see this spectacular colony firsthand, learn about its incredible history, and find out how to help conservation efforts in this extraordinary part of the world.


You’ll also have the opportunity to see and experience wildlife in ways you never imagined as we travel from Buenos Aires to Punta Tombo to the UNESCO World Heritage site Peninsula Valdes, where penguins, rheas, guanacos, foxes, sea lions, elephant seals, orcas, and many more stunning creatures reside. We’ll have a uniquely intimate experience with nature based at the private estancia Rincon Chico, accompanied all the way by a team of experienced local guides. (Note: While we’ll experience a lot of wildlife, we won’t be “roughing it” — the activity level will be light to moderate, and the accommodations will be lovely!)

And if you’re up for a further adventure into the icy places of My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail, there is an optional add-on excursion to Antarctica!

This literary & wildlife adventure includes…

  • Welcome dinner & tour in arrival city Buenos Aires
  • Penguin & wildlife excursions, including whale watching, with local guides
  • Signed copies of My Last Continent and The Tourist Trail 
  • …and so, so, so much more!

Reserve your spot before January 31, 2018, for a $300 discount — reservations are limited as this will be an intimate, exclusive tour. Learn more here, and feel free to contact us or Susan McBeth (susan@adventuresbythebook.com) with any questions you have.

Sanctuary One wildfire evacuees are up for adoption!

By Midge Raymond,

It’s been a fiery, smoky summer in Southern Oregon, and last week Sanctuary One evacuated its 60 animals — including pigs, goats, sheep, alpacas, horses, duck, geese, dogs, cats, and rabbits — as nearby wildfires got closer. It was a tremendous community effort, which you can read about here on the sanctuary blog, and here in the Mail Tribune.

Brian, Operations Manager, watering down Sanctuary One’s 100-year-old barn

 

John and I went out to the farm on Thursday to pick up three of the sanctuary’s feline evacuees: Thor, Bear, and Harlan. We want to share a little bit about these cats because, like all of Sanctuary One’s animals, they are still up for adoption even while they are in temporary foster homes.

The first thing you should know about these three cats is that they are awesome. The second thing you should know is that all three kitties have Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). This means that Thor, Bear, and Harlan must be indoors-only and should live as only cats, or with other cats who also have FIV to prevent spreading the virus to non-FIV cats (the virus is mainly spread through bites). FIV-positive cats are otherwise very much like any other house cat; they can live long, healthy lives and don’t need any special medication. (Also, FIV cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals.) Learn more about FIV here.

Now, more about the cats! Let’s begin with Thor & Bear, a bonded pair who are best buddies and are looking for a home together.

Thor is a gorgeous tabby who’s had a tough life…he was found on the streets after a mighty battle, and he is not only FIV-positive but he’s missing one of his back legs. Yet this hasn’t slowed him down one bit … this tiny five-year-old can be shy and skittish as he learns to trust you, but he’s the feisty one of these three for sure and can definitely hold his own. (Just watch Bear try to take a bite of his food.) Most of all, he is a total lovebug; he loves chin scritches, sitting on your lap, and he can snuggle forever. He’s got an amazing purr and is insanely soft.

Thor’s best buddy, Bear, is a gentle giant at 14 pounds. (He’s not fat, just big-boned.)

Bear is also a snuggler — he loves laps (he and Thor have both climbed into my lap at once for snuggles) and he is incredibly mellow and sweet. He and Thor often head-butt and snuggle with each other, and they are a beautiful pair. It’s hilarious to watch Bear eye Thor’s food … if he gets too close, Thor will sometimes give him a little swat, but usually it takes no more than a stern look, and Bear will back away and wait patiently until Thor is finished, then go lick the bowl. Bear is 10 years old but incredibly playful, chasing toys around like a cat half his age. He’s also an Olympic-class napper and loves thick blankets and warm sunny spots.

And finally, there’s Harlan.

Those of you who know our late, beloved General Manager know that we have a soft spot for orange and white cats, and of course Harlan is no exception. Like so many orange cats, he’s got a big personality and is tons of fun. Harlan is five years old and as playful as a kitten; he loves playing with wand toys but often just finds random things to chase and attack. He is also extremely curious and has explored places we didn’t even know a cat could get to.

Somehow he does it all with so much grace, getting in and out of odd places without any harm to himself or the house.

Harlan does very well with his two roommates and is a very easygoing, mellow kitty — but he’s also independent and entertains himself. He loves people and will stretch out next to you; he also loves being held if he’s in the mood. We suspect one day he will be a lap cat … he’s 100% not there yet, but he’s very affectionate and adores attention.

We really can’t say enough about how much we love our temporary new housemates. We were thrilled to be in a position to take them in, and it’s a privilege to share our lives with them as they await their permanent homes.

If you are looking for a cat, or two, or all three — please visit the Sanctuary One website for more info on each of these kitties, and to get started, fill out the sanctuary adoption form here. You are also welcome to contact us if you have any questions about them before or during the adoption process. Please also feel free to share this with anyone in the Rogue Valley who may be looking for a feline companion (or two, or three).

And if you aren’t able to adopt one of these charming boys, a gift to Sanctuary One will help them care for these three and many more!

Our 2017 Siskiyou Prize judge is Jonathan Balcombe

By Midge Raymond,

We are thrilled to announce that our 2017 Siskiyou Prize judge is Jonathan Balcombe.

Jonathan’s most recent book is the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of our Underwater Cousins, an extraordinary journey underwater that reveals the vast capabilities of fishes. He is also the author of the books The Exultant Ark, Second Nature, Pleasurable Kingdom, and The Use of Animals in Higher Education.

Jonathan has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee, and has published more than 50 scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection. Formerly department chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University and senior research scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Jonathan is currently Director of Animal Sentience with the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy in Washington, DC. Learn more at jonathan-balcombe.com.

This year marks our fourth annual Siskiyou Prize, and we are delighted to be offering a $1,000 prize and a four-week writing residency thanks to the generosity of our amazing prize partner PLAYA. All manuscripts submitted for the prize will be considered for publication by Ashland Creek Press.

Please visit the Siskiyou Prize website for complete details about the prize — submissions open September 1, 2017. We look forward to reading your work!

Announcing the winner of the 2016 Siskiyou Prize!

By Midge Raymond,

We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature: Katy Yocom, for her novel THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR.

Judge JoeAnn Hart writes, “THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR begins with a focused lens on the endangered Bengal tiger then expands its reach with every page to reveal the interconnectedness of the natural world and fragility of all life. Weaving together the worn threads of ecological balance, this ambitious and moving novel addresses scarcity, climate change, family dynamics, cultural conflict, human accountability, women’s economic autonomy, and most of all, love, in all its wondrous forms. This is a story not just about saving the tigers, but ourselves.”

Katy Yocom was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where she has lived ever since. Her fiction, poetry, essays, and journalism have appeared in Salon.com, The Louisville Review, decomP magazinE, StyleSubstanceSoul, and Louisville Magazine, among other publications.

In conducting research for her novel, THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR, she traveled to India, funded by a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She has also been awarded grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Council and has served as writer-in-residence at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Crosshatch Hill House, and Hopscotch House. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poetry has been translated into Bulgarian. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University.

She lives with her husband in Louisville, Kentucky, where she helps direct Spalding’s low-residency MFA in Writing program. Learn more about Katy on her website and via Facebook.

As the Siskiyou Prize winner, Katy will receive a four-week residency at PLAYA and a $1,000 cash prize.

It was a very competitive contest this year, and we would also like to congratulate the finalists and semifinalists:

 

FINALISTS

Small Small Redemption: Essays by Sangamithra Iyer

The Heart of the Sound: A memoir by Marybeth Holleman (published by Bison Books)

Song of the Ghost Dog: A YA novel by Sharon Piuser

SEMIFINALISTS

Karstland: A novel by Caroline Manring

Rumors of Wolves: A novel by C.K. Adams

The Harp-Maker of Exmoor: A novel by Hazel Prior

 

Thanks to everyone who submitted and to everyone who writes with the goal of making this world a better place. And please stay tuned for announcements for the next Siskiyou Prize!

 

Art & poetry at Ashland’s Enoteca

By Midge Raymond,

For all of you in Southern Oregon (or visiting!), be sure to stop by the wine tasting room Enoteca this month to see the wonderful collaboration of artists Dana Feagin and Kat von Cupcake.

img_5239

This exhibit, “Animal Ruminations: A Collaboration in Poetry and Paint,” a show of Dana’a paintings paired with Kat’s poetry, will be at Enoteca until November 30. The opening reception will be on First Friday, November 4, from 5 to 8 p.m, featuring music, wine, and appetizers.

img_5230

Original art, cards, and prints of Dana’s fantastic animal paintings and Kat’s delicious baked goodies will be available for purchase during the reception. This two-month show is a fundaiser for Sanctuary One. All proceeds benefit the Sanctuary.

img_5227

Here is a glimpse of the art/poetry pairings you’ll find … and when you visit you’ll see (and read about) animals from cats and dogs to pigs, ducks, and roosters.

img_5233

img_5234

 

Enoteca is located in the Plaza in downtown Ashland; click here for hours and other details.