Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Stalwart Life

On September 13, 2015, I helped celebrate the Stalwart Life of Eliza Spalding Warren. I wrote and read a poem at the Brownsville, OR cemetery where the DAR paid tribute to commemorate her life. Here's the poem I wrote for her. It could be a poem for many of the women I've come to know in history...and in my life. Maybe even you!

Stalwart Life
Eliza Spalding Warren

By Jane Kirkpatrick
On the Occasion of the Linn Chapter DAR Commemoration of 1938 Plaque
September 13, 2015  Brownsville, OR

Stalwart child                                                  Stalwart wife
Language-linked                                             Who listened
to English, Nez Perce                                     chose and lived
Cayuse; love                                                   with strains
                                                                        clear that love
                                                                        and duty wedded
Stalwart child                                                  on the Warren Ranch
who told stories
Kept them folded                                            Stalwart mother
in her memory,                                               takes her daughters
tears spilling                                                    back to Waiilatpu,
into sorrow                                                      back to Lapwai,
softening raged edges                                    transforms history.
                                                                        She weaves stories
Stalwart daughter                                            with new endings.
holding mother-memories
warm and strong                                             Brave Eliza
sorting father's                                                letting go of sorrow
changes and demands                                     giving words to
weaving reconciliation                                    grief
into family threads.                                         Her heart so large

Stalwart sister                                                 She reminds us -
urging safety                                                   if we allow her --
cautious laughter                                             to chose a faithful
praying for a future                                         stalwart life
putting pain to rest

The other thing that happened on that day was a gathering of 200 or more who laughed and listened and celebrated her life. Afterwards we did what every pioneer gathering did...we ate! And here is a recipe requested by many for the butterscotch brownies made and served by my good friend Carol Tedder.  Enjoy!

                   Made for The Memory Weaver  launch September 13, 2015

Melt 1/4 cup butter in medium size saucepan on low heat.
Add 1 cup brown sugar and stir until blended. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add 1 egg and stir thoroughly.

Mix 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt in small bowl. Add to mixture in sauce pan.
Stir well.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Spread in well-greased and floured square 8x8 pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. (Don't overbake!) Cut in squares while warm.

Excellent served warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup!

(Carol says: Jane, I haven't tried using rice flour in this recipe but it probably would need a couple of tablespoons more than 3/4 cup to make it gluten-free.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Making it Offical: The Memory Weaver & other fun happenings!

This fine article by Jennifer Moody says so much about how I hoped a reader would be affected by The Memory Weaver. Her words are a great opening for the launch of my latest. Enjoy!

Written by JENNIFER MOODY, at Albany Democrat-Herald

Here's the thing about memory: It doesn't stay nicely tucked inside just one person's mind. Even unspoken, it can affect entire families, sometimes for generations.

At its heart, that's the lesson of "The Memory Weaver," the newest historical novel by central Oregon author Jane Kirkpatrick. Set in Brownsville in the 1850s, the novel explores the stories of Eliza Hart Spalding and her daughter, Eliza Spalding Warren, and the memories that affected their lives.

The book's official release date is Sept. 1. Kirkpatrick will be part of a launch on Sunday, Sept. 13, that starts with a Daughters of the American Revolution dedication ceremony for Eliza Spalding Warren at 11:15 a.m. at the Brownsville Pioneer Cemetery.

A no-host lunch is planned at Kirks Ferry, where a period ledger records items purchased by Andrew Warren and Henry Hart Spalding.

Kirkpatrick and Linda McCormick of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce will be on hand from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Atavista Event Center in Brownsville, 35580 Highway 228, to discuss the book, the Spalding family and the area's history.

McCormick will show slides related to her own historic work on the Spaldings, light refreshments will be served and a quilt will be raffled to help support Brownsville's library.

Admission is free. All events are open to the public.

Kirkpatrick plans several other Willamette Valley appearances this fall to promote the book. She will be at the main branch of the Albany Public Library at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 and will visit Stayton's public library at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and The Book Bin in Salem on Sept. 10.

The senior Eliza Spalding worked with her husband, Henry, as a missionary to Northwest Nez Perce tribes in the Lapwai Valley of Idaho. They are credited with creating a written version of the Nez Perce language and using it to translate the gospel of Matthew.

At age 10, little Eliza, studying at the Whitman mission about 100 miles away, barely escaped with her life after Cayuse Indians murdered 12 people there in 1847.

In Kirkpatrick's novel, the massacre is the memory that haunts the family, even after they moved to Brownsville, and especially after the senior Eliza died when the younger was just 13. Henry Spalding, ever driven, becomes even more radical as he grieves the death of his wife and the loss of his missionary work. His oldest daughter, buried in her own grieving and trauma, finds a kind of solace in attention from Andrew Warren, but discovers that carries a price of its own.

“I really wanted to tell the story of how a tragic event affects not just the person in the middle of it but the people around it, the people who just stand and wait," Kirkpatrick said.

Faint of heart readers need not fear: Kirkpatrick doesn't dwell on the gory details of the murders. The struggle to understand is more important to her characters and to her story.

While Kirkpatrick stays true to whatever history is known of her characters, she is clear that her works are fiction.

But even with the art of imagination on her side, this novel was harder to write, Kirkpatrick said, because she was working with so many elements: the younger Eliza's current story, her memories, the flashbacks to her mother's life, and the attempt to balance Henry Spalding's outward actions with his inward struggle.

“It was a lot more threads that I hoped I had pulled together, to make a fiber people could hold onto and say, oh, that’s what that carpet is, that's what that quilt is, that's what that weaving is.”

It was hard to say goodbye to the Spaldings when she wrapped up her work, Kirkpatrick said. So, in a way, she hasn't.

Her next work centers on Tabitha Moffatt Brown, the pioneer who helped found what would become Pacific University. She is in Forest Grove when the missionaries show up, post-massacre, and both Eliza Spaldings make a brief cameo appearance.

“I liked this family," Kirkpatrick said. "They were kind of dysfunctional in their way, but they also truly embodied the pioneer spirit of compassion for your neighbors, being resilient, no blaming the rest of the world for the plight that you have, and being willing to say if I spend too much time blaming other people for my life, it will take me away from the commitments that I have.”

If you might have missed the many events happening between now and the end of September, visit my website here to see all the opportunities for our paths to cross.  If you are on facebook, you can see them here as well.

I'm so thrilled to celebrate with my readers and launch of The Memory Weaver, I've decided to do a nice little giveaway.  There is a little bit of me sprinkled throughout all the prizes.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do giving them.   Please share with your friends!

Jane Kirkpatrick Memory Weaver

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Simple Gift of Comfort- HALF OFF SALE!

A little bit about the book:
When my older sister was very ill and later passed away she said when going through a hard time you can't concentrate long enough to read an entire book.  Hence these short pieces meant to bring nurture.

Completed during a difficult time of personal loss and transition, the words in this book are meant to comfort anyone experiencing change and to support them through word pictures of natural images such as flowers and rivers, woven baskets and sand.  Many of the photos are taken by my husband, Jerry; the others by a good friend, Nancy Lloyd.  This is a very personal book for those who simply don't know what to say when a loved one is suffering.

The prose pieces are drawn from reaching out to friends and acquaintances, neighbors and relatives in the course of everyday life. Sometimes I may not know what turmoil troubles a friend, colleague or neighbor; I only know I wish to share their burden. I can do it best by telling them that someone has noticed their distress and offer to walk beside them for as long as they'll allow.

In order to take advantage of this special pricing, visit here to purchase on Amazon.  I prefer to sell them directly from my website but these are at Amazon.  My loss, but your gain!  Limited quantity is available while supplies last, so hurry and purchase your copy now.
Feel free to share with others!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heather Flower: Legend, Lore or Literal? {Guest Post Rebecca DeMarino & Giveaway!}

Like Rebecca, I love discovering the story within the story. Researching Native American history is especially challenging. I hope you enjoy my friend Rebecca's words about her latest novel. A great read for history buffs!

Rebecca is launching her second book in the Southold Chronicle Series, To Capture Her Heart.  Be sure to participate in her generous giveaway, it's at the very end of the post.

Here's Rebecca!

As a historical fiction author, I love when my research turns up a gold nugget of information like Heather Flower - was she legend, lore or did she literally exist? She may be all three. Without a doubt her existence is controversial.

I first discovered the story of Heather Flower while researching A Place in His Heart, my debut novel about my English ancestors, the Hortons. My first book covers a time period between 1630 - 1640, so when I read an account that Englishman Lion Gardiner paid a ransom for the daughter of Montauk's Grand Sachem Wyandanch I was intrigued, and looked at all different angles to include the story, but the time frame did not fit.

I did have my heroine, however, for book two of The Southold Chronicles! Further research revealed there are three or four theories regarding Heather Flower. I chose to blend those theories in my work of fiction.

Four theories that surround Heather Flower:
  • She was Quashawam, the daughter of Grand Sachem Wyandanch and Heather Flower was her nickname. Historically, records exist showing Quashawam became Grand Sachem of the Montauk when her parents and brother died.
  • She was Cantoneras, a Long Island native from Eaton's Neck who married the Dutchman Cornelius Van Texel or Tassle, whose granddaughter, Katrina, is of Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow fame.
  • Wyandanch had two daughters, Quashawam and Heather Flower.
  • Heather Flower is a fabrication, as well as the story of the kidnapping of Wyandanch's daughter. Although Lion Gardiner's personal papers include an account of paying a ransom to the Narragansetts for the release of Wyandanch's daughter, the lack of a Montaukett written history clouds the matter. Some have alleged Gardiner may have written the story only to support the colonial's political motives.

As I read of the controversies and theories, I read too, about the beautiful and proud Montaukett people. Their legacy is one of loss and perseverance. Though many died from diseases not known to them before the white man came, there were others who survived, like my fictional character Abbey, and I believe live on through their descendants today.

To me, Heather Flower is truly a legend and a fascinating heroine! Leg·end: lejÉ™nd/ noun 1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

What do you think? Legend? Lore? Real?

To Capture Her Heart Book Launch

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Persistence of Memory

A book trailer is a snippet of a book the way movie snippets greet us in darkened theaters hoping we’ll pay attention to upcoming attractions while settling ourselves into the seats without spilling our popcorn. One of the nice things about a book trailer (compared to a movie trailer) is that you can watch it over and over just to listen to the music if nothing more….oh, I guess now with YouTube and the internet, you can watch movie trailers more than once too. But not in the theater.

This trailer for The Memory Weaver was provided by my publisher, Revell, who allowed me to write the short script and approve the production. The background opening title is taken of the ledger sheet, an iphone shot I made while visiting Kirk’s Ferry in Brownsville, OR where much of this story takes place. The ledger is from the 1850s and I found entries by both Henry Spalding, my protagonist’s father (and early missionary to the Nez Perce) and Eliza Spalding Warren’s husband. It was a special twist of history seeing those pages.

I loved this production at first view! Especially the music, and the horses…who cannot be moved by the flow of horses across a western landscape. I made one slight change to the fine work by this Oregon production company. The original had a quote by Salvador Dali that I include in the front matter of the book. It reads: “The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.” It’s an appropriate quote for this story of a young woman who as a child endured a great tragedy. In the West, it’s known as the Whitman Massacre of 1847. She was also held hostage along with several others for 47 days that winter. Eliza Spalding was ten years old and the only one who knew the language of the Indians who had taken them. So she had to interpret between the hostage takers and those huddled in fear.

The change I made was removing that Dali quote as the final words you can read at the end of the trailer. They are still in the book. I did a little mind-mumbling about doing that. I mean, why remove such an appropriate and beautiful quote from a painter of such renown who even titled one of his masterpieces “The Persistence of Memory”? Especially when I thought to replace them with my own words.

So I asked my friends whether they thought that was wise.

Leah, my media person from Impact Author thought I should change it. “It’s a short opportunity to put your words before the viewer.” And there are lots of people who haven’t read my words and they might if my words were included. My prayer group all concurred and so did the head of marketing for the publisher. So with a cadre of people of good will and professional savvy, I replaced Salvador Dali’s words with mine. (Gulp)

That’s why I ended it as I did, with these words that I so truly believe in my heart and hope Eliza Spalding Warren, that massacre survivor, did too.

“…the healing of old wounds comes not from pushing tragic memories away but from remembering them, filtering them through love, to transform their distinctive kind of pain.” 

I hope you’ll look for the book in September. Warmly, Jane


Sunday, April 12, 2015

See You in Sisters

For some reason this year, I'm teaching at a number of conferences and workshops. I began writing after reading tons of books about writing. Some of it must have seeped into my fingers as I began writing stories that got critical acclaim despite not knowing what I was doing. Somehow the stories flowed and readers found them. Not long after the second and third books, I got asked to teach. I resisted but eventually, shaking in my boots, really, I offered workshops on silencing negative voices (relying on my mental health training) and then branched into subjects like writing about Native Americans when you aren't one and still later, how to do research. These were safe subjects I thought I could describe and offer helpful encouragement to others.  A surprise occurred: I began delighting in listening to students and learning from them.

Then like a spring seeping in the desert I realized I understood why I did certain things. That was followed by realizing I could tell others why I broke up the dialogue as I did or why the first paragraph was so important. (Shakespeare told the meaning of a story within the first paragraph, by the way. Often in the first sentence.  Remember Romeo and Juliet?  That begins with "Two houses." Brilliant). What I'd been doing and reading and writing could be conveyed to others. My appreciation for teachers soared as I discovered that they did that sort of thing all the time!

I also attended writing workshops and still do.  I'm signed up for one in October during Women Writing the West. In August when I keynote and teach at Oregon Christian Writer's Conference, I'll sit in on other workshops about writing. At the Southwest Washington Writer's conference in September, I plan to slip into other workshops when I'm not teaching three of my own! I always learn something.

In April, I agreed to teach a memoir class in beautiful Burns, Oregon. I've always enjoyed reading memoir and I wrote one, my first book, Homestead, so you'd think I'd know how. But despite reading many and writing my own and creating a devotional as a memoir as well, I find myself feeling a little anxious.  But preparing has also forced me think about how I did what I did in Homestead and Promises of Hope for Difficult Times and how that structure can ground a memoir that someone else might decide to write. So I'm hopeful I'll have something to offer.

For seven years now I've also been teaching writing with Bob Welch through Beachside Writers. I obsess the week before, worry that I'll have nothing to convey. But then the days come and I see those eager faces and we begin and I'm once again in awe of the power of words to move me, inspire me, help me see the world through a wider lens and I happily do my best to pass on what works for me to others.

In June Bob and I will teach again a new format, a 1.5 day workshop with an evening read aloud opportunities. (June 4-5).  It's in Sisters, OR, home of one of the greatest quilt shows in the country where I'll be signing in July. Paulina Springs Bookstore serves the citizenry there and there are many readers in that community.  Many would be writers live there as well. It's a weekend when people might be celebrating graduations or attending weddings. But I'm hopeful there'll be some stalwart souls ready to take their next steps in telling the stories that won't let them go. I'm preparing some great writing prompts and plan to offer insights that writers can evaluate and incorporate to make their own. Bob always delivers unique and inspirational sessions. It could be a great Father's Day gift to give that guy in your life - and since it's after Mother's Day,  you could gift the moms in your world a couple of days away in Central Oregon discovering how to tell her story.  It could be the gift that starts them on their next career as a story-teller.

Bob, an award-winning author, is fond of saying that to be a writer means you believe you have something to say and you're humble enough to let others help you say it better. That's what Beachside Sisters is all about. I hope you'll give it a try. I need more writers to teach me!

For more information and registration go here.  See you in  Sisters!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Burundi Update (from First Presbeterian Bend}

Readers, this is an update from the church which I traveled to Burundi with.  A personal update will be in March's Story Sparks.  Hopefully you are a subscriber!  If not, you can go here to be added to the list.

First Presbyterian Bend
Burundi Update
Embodying Spacious Christianity

Burundi News Update

First Presbyterian Burundi team has returned! (This photo is the hut that was built for First Presbyterian as a sign of our friendship with this village of Ndava.)
We have returned from an amazing journey to Burundi. When we left, our goal was to build relationships and see for ourselves what is happening with the Batwa people in Burundi. This indigenous group is marginalized in Burundian society. They lack basic rights and are invisible to most of their society.
We went to listen to their stories, to see their lives and to bring back what we heard and saw. 
Our expectations were surpassed by visiting six Batwa villages – some had preschools, some had a health clinic, some housing and some almost no resources at all. In one village, a woman told of a baby whose mother had died. She and other women were taking the baby from hut to hut to see if other nursing moms were able to share some of their milk. The lack of basic needs was staggering and sobering. We shed tears even as we responded to the Batwa invitation to dance with joy. Along the way, we came to a refined understanding of the various levels of poverty that exist for this minority group and the power that small changes can have for them.
We were guided by Batwa leader, Evariste Ndikumana, who is one of only four Batwa in Burundi to have completed university. Evariste has been appointed to represent his people in the Burundi Parliament. And he does much more than that. He has established an organization to advocate for basic rights, provide education and help support sustainable change. Evariste traveled with us and introduced us to all six Batwa communities. He became a wonderful friend who we trust to direct us in this project. It was inspiring to see this young man lead his people with compassion, integrity and laughter. We are privileged to call him a friend and partner.
We have many, many stories to share; we’d like to invite you to join us Sunday, March 8 from 3:30-4:30 in Heritage Hall for pictures, stories and a little show and tell.
Maggie Hanson, Jane Kirkpatrick and Jenny Warner

Can You Help?
As many of you know, our church, First Presbyterian Bend, has raised more than $7000 to purchase national identification cards for Batwa who do not have them. This money covers a village that is about 2 hours outside of the capital city, Bujumbura. When we were there, we discovered there are two other villages close by who also need ID cards. It will be most cost effective to give ID cards to all three villages at once since officials will be coming from Bujumbura and their expenses are significantly more because of the travel.  We need an additional $10,000 to complete all 611 people in all three villages.
We discovered the need was more urgent than we realized. National elections are coming in the summer and the deadline for voter registration is April 1. Having a say in this important election would mean so much to these communities. We promised to come home and tell their story and see if there were others that were able to give to provide for this need.
If you would like to give, bring checks made out to First Presbyterian Church with a designation for  “Burundi” or give directly to African Road at with a special instruction for Batwa ID cards in the payment window by this Thursday, February 26.

Sharing Burundi Stories
We have many, many stories to share, we’d like to invite you to join us Sunday, March 8 from 3:30-4:30pm in Heritage Hall for pictures, stories and a little show and tell. Here are just a couple pictures . . . 

Village of Gahombo

This picture was taken in the village of Gahombo with our new Batwa friends. This village was the most impoverished we visited. People living on the top of a hill with no land and no access to basic resources.

Evariste Ndikumana

Evariste Ndikumana, is one of only four Batwa in Burundi to have completed university. Evariste has been appointed to represent his people in the Burundi Parliament and has established an organization to advocate for basic rights, provide education and help support sustainable change. Evariste traveled with us and introduced us to all six Batwa communities.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...