A young woman. A calculated act. The close knit bond of extraordinary women leading ordinary lives. True is a stunning tale, which beautifully weaves these dynamic characters and their pristine wild environment, their families and the animals they love, into what undoubtedly becomes a story one will never forget. “A lesson in healing, strength and courage, and above all, the magnificence of true friendship."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Great Braid of our Being...One Writer's Lament on the Unraveling of the Natural World

October 2015

As a human being I have lived in the rural mountainous wilderness of far far northern California for 45 years. As a writer of stories that take place herein, living in the midst of this tragic decline observing and feeling its impact daily has become a difficult practice of juggling fear and hope. For one who has always been drawn to, taken solace in and deeply respected the elements in their bewitching, elegant systematic and magical perfection, this unraveling of the interwoven connection between humans and nature hits home, literally.

Whether it be Terra Forming,  Solar Radiation Management, GeoEngineering, Fracking or Weather Modification, the natural rhythms and cycles of planet earth have been forever changed. Since the Industrial Revolution, humankind has progressively reached a level of technology that allows for the manipulation and mindless destruction of nature as we have known it. All in the name of greed.

 We have ravished the earth, raped and gouged its surface, or dug into her to mine or extract the black blood that oils the machinations of modern societies. We can microwave deep into her belly to create fissures and earthquakes or shoot these beams into the sky causing hurricanes typhoons, floods and other destructive weather patterns. The seeds of her bounty are genetically modified breaking the ancient chain of abundance that mirrors the cycles of birth, life death and rebirth.

The fires of intentionally engineered droughts wreck havoc, incinerating trees, animals, people and their homes. That first flame that rose and bloomed between two flinted stones now ignites endless wars. These plumes pouring forth from weapons, bombs, rockets, nuclear explosions and airborne chemicals are executed for one reason only, to kill. Our blessed sun no longer an ally, shines forth without its protective layers, burning, blistering, scorching. The fire in our bellies have been squelched with pharmaceutical drugs made to tamp down passion, creativity and curiosity.

The waters on our earthship have either been diminished by man-made drought or poisoned by chemical spills or nuclear contamination. The giant pines and cedars that tower above my little writing cabin are dying from a drought like no other in the last 2000 years. My body of water aches for the oceans, the sea creatures that have disappeared from my beloved beach that was once prolific and rich with scarlet starfish, chartreuse anemones and swaying seaweeds. The dead bodies of seabirds and seals and whales litter a swath of coastline from Canada to Mexico. Fukushima. The terrible unutterable word that is all but absent from our vocabulary or media.

No longer can I write a poem about a robin's egg blue sky complete with wind currents that call in the miracle of cumulus or cirrus clouds. My skies are now criss crossed by unmarked planes spewing skeins of poison. What or whom has given permission to these few people who play God, with this, our necessary air, our health, our very breath? These aerosol sprays happen worldwide without our knowledge, approval, or any testing on flora, fauna or humans. This dance of destruction and its choreography of insanity is spinning the earth into extinction.

Still, the Autumn afternoon light leaks through the leaves in amber, persimmon, rose. A tribute to the occasional beauty of death. Slender threads of spider webs float on currents of warm air. Pale green rosettes of mullein cluster underfoot, their spear shaped petals furred with down. A grey squirrel traverses the limbs of a cedar, his tail a feathered prayer flag. Birdsong although diminished, still rings with life's wild force. I take it all in...in sadness and remembered joy, grateful for my time in this place on this earth, that is sacred, mysterious and irreplaceable...

                                                               ~Melinda

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring 2015 ~ WITHOUT READERS, WE WRITERS DON'T EXIST

     We are having an early spring in the mountains of far far northern California. Time to tidy up and plan for the garden. As I sit upstairs in my writing room looking out across the greening fields, I ponder what strange creatures we writers are. We literally lock ourselves away to make up stories from our overactive imaginations. We give up life to do this! We dive to the depths of our own personal being, dredging up our emotional insecurities, unhealed issues, bravely, but often with great fear. We create these characters that "are us" and "are not us". They become so real that these creations wake us up at night, have meetings without us and rebel if they don't like the way we present them. We labor away in spite of the fact that we will meet, maybe only ten percent of our readers. Words, smoke and mirrors, rampant imaginations, invisible readers, made up stories, and entertaining lies are the tools of this trade. We do so care what readers think and feel about our work and we are so curious about the many different ways one story can be perceived. 

     Reviews are a way to tap into the minds of the people who read our work. If we can stay open and chain down our egos, momentarily, these impressions become a valuable tool to help us be better storytellers. And yes we also learn from the bad reviews. Those crazy-making ones where we are sure the person reviewing our work could not have possibly really read it! And we wonder why other people take the time to write five paragraphs after declaring the book is bad. So... here are my two latest five star Amazon reviews. I wish I could sit and have tea with these two ladies but I am grateful to read their words, thoughts, and feelings. Without readers, we writers don't exist. 

                                                               ~Melinda

Melinda Field weaves a wonderful connection between a group of women...
"After becoming familiar with each character in the novel, Melinda Field weaves a wonderful connection between a group of women that embody the spirit of friendship and all the complexities we experience in human relationships. You begin to identify the commonalities of human frailties, the joy of communion with friends, the fears, courage, prejudices, and love that we find in the people we as readers know and love. I came to feel I knew each of these characters and began to long to be a part of such close relationships. There are twists and turns that surprise and move the reader, that draw the reader into the story. Make no mistake. There are dramatic moments that take the reader by surprise and make this book a worthy read; an emotional read. I loved it." ~Linda Bishop


These women form Bedrock together: that which cannot be moved, destroyed, lost, or stolen.

"You're at least 40% through this book before she uses the word 'true', and its sudden appearance rings like a bell, leaving your nerve ends tingling, leaving you savoring how that one word rose like a bubble from the deep, to become the title of this story.

A group of women has formed long before the story begins, and one suspects, long before they were born, one by one, into the highly engaging world of this book. What is fragile and rigorous in their personalities runs side by side. Somehow they keep up with each other in ways we all long for, wishing we had as strong a bond, as deep a knowing of themselves and each other, as they do.

No matter what sudden storms rage in their lives, in their families and communities, and across the land, these women form Bedrock together: that which cannot be moved, destroyed, lost, or stolen.

My favorite part of the book is the deep connection with animals, nature, the landscape, the seasons. As the horses surge across valleys and up mountain trails, these women surge through their lives, creating havoc and splendor, love and tears, facing the trials and seasons of life and land.

Before you start to read, be sure to look at the author's photograph. It's the best I've ever seen. Before you read one word, you can tell this woman has really lived, and really has something to say. Thanks, Melinda Field, I love this book." ~Denise Schultz