Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
Exciting news!! My memoir, Bamboo Secrets: One Woman’s Quest through the Shadows of Japan—the one you’ve been hearing about for so long—is finally being published this month, by Illuminated Owl Press, my own independent publishing company.
Please come celebrate with me at my Bay Area Book Launch at Book Passage bookstore (www.bookpassage.com) in Corte Madera on Saturday, June 11 at 7 pm. Special feature: I will play a brief piece on my shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) for you.
Please bring a friend! And forward this message to anyone you think might be interested.
My memoir will be available to buy at the reading on receive a signed copy, order directly from me at . It’s also now available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and other online retailers; available at your local bookstores via Ingram distributors; and available as an e-book on May 20. Or if you’d like to IlluminatedOwlPress@oro.net.
Please see below for a synopsis of the memoir, my bio, and a list of other upcoming book release events.
I hope to see you on !
Pat (Patricia Dove Miller)
Other upcoming book release events:
Nevada County Book Launch Reading:, , in Grass Valley,
sponsored by the Nevada County Arts Council
Seattle Book Launch Reading:afternoon, , sponsored by the
Northwest Center for Creative Aging (time and place tba)
San Diego Book Launch:evening, , a Memoir Panel Reading
and Discussion, sponsored by San Diego Writers, Ink (time and place tba)
I’m also scheduled to visit several private Book Club meetings in both Nevada County and the SF Bay Area. If you’d like me to visit your Book Club, please contact me at IlluminatedOwlPress@oro.net
Synopsis of Bamboo Secrets:
While living in Japan in 1993, Patricia Dove Miller’s dream of a year of exploration and personal growth is shattered when her husband is detained on drug charges. Miller struggles with a sense of betrayal upon learning her husband’s secrets and yet she stands by him, fighting to save both him and their marriage in the face of the terrifying uncertainties now confronting them. To save herself, she seeks refuge in two Japanese traditional arts—ikebana and shakuhachi (bamboo flute)—which not only nourish and strengthen her, but also lead her to finally discover, at age fifty-two, her life’s passion: to become a writer. Bamboo Secrets:One Woman’s Quest through the Shadows of Japan weaves together four strands: a mature woman in search of herself, a marriage in trouble, the dark side of Japan, and the beauty of Japanese art and culture.
Patricia Dove Miller is a third-generation Californian, born and raised in the Berkeley hills. She has lived in the mountains outside of Cali, Colombia, in a tiny rice-farming village in North Thailand, and also at the edge of the northeastern hills in Kyoto, Japan. She attended Stanford University, and much later, at the age of sixty-six, completed her MFA in creative writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She now lives with her husband in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, where she teaches creative writing and practices ikebana, shakuhachi, and Zen meditation.
Patricia Dove Miller
Join the Central Valley Haiku Club on Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Gekkeikan Sake Factory, 1136 Sibley St., Folsom, CA 95630, for their annual haiku reading. The reading will begin at and end at Open mic will follow the reading for anyone who would like to share their poetry with the audience.
Sake tasting will be available in the tasting room after the reading for all those 21 years and older.
LAURIE WACHTEL STOELTING
July 16, 1943 to March 9, 2014
Laurie Stoelting, our dear friend and outstanding haiku poet, was born in Atlantic City, NJ, on July 16, 1943. As an infant she managed to appear on the cover of Life Magazine, with her mother, representing the long-distance family life of WWII. She grew up in suburban Philadelphia, attending Cheltenham High School, and remained close to many of her high school friends throughout her life. Her undergraduate years were spent at the University of Wisconsin where she met her husband Eric. Majoring in Psychology, she attended graduate school at the University of Michigan pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work.
After graduation, Laurie and Eric moved to San Francisco where she worked briefly as a social worker but soon directed her attention to having a family. While pregnant, needing exercise, she started swimming, which became a major interest in her life thereafter. She swam with the Tam Masters for many years and served as pool director and swim instructor at the Homestead Valley Community Center in Mill Valley, California.
When the children left home, Laurie began investigating the world of travel writing. Finding that was no panacea, she took a course in haiku (taught by Carolyn Talmadge at the College of Marin). She thought of it as a means to tighten her writing style but, instead, became absorbed in the form itself and continued to write haiku and other poetry for the rest of her life. She was active in the Haiku Poets of Northern California as well as a number of other poetry organizations, and her work was published in a variety of journals, garnering a number of awards. An avid hiker, she roamed nearby Mt. Tamalpais, often alone, sketching out potential haiku as she went. Some of the resulting poems she compiled into a well-received small book, Light on the Mountain.
Noticing odd neurologic symptoms for some time, Laurie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1997 at age 54. In spite of that, life was good for the next 10 years and she eventually co-led the Marin Parkinson’s Support Group, becoming quite an authority on the disease. Typically, she approached it as a challenge and learned everything she could to monitor and manage her own progression and to help others with the disease. She lived to see her grandchildren grow to be entertaining bundles of endless activity. Eventually, Parkinson’s overwhelmed her and she died, hopefully at peace, on March 9, 2014 at age 70. She is survived by her, husband Eric, son Andy (Sarah), daughter Ricka, grandchildren Jacob and Lyla, many nieces and nephews and good friends.
The family requests those wishing to make donations in Laurie’s name consider The Haiku Poets of Northern California and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
A memorial for Laurie will be held at the Homestead Valley Community Center in Mill Valley on Sunday, April 6. More details will follow this announcement.
From Light on the Mountain (Field Trips, 2000)
the mountain’s slow
to the mountain’s face
it took the moonlight
to show me
the night stars
the hummingbird’s red throat
in my shadow each stone
takes a darker shade
the single rivulet
how slowly a pond
to a chorus of crickets
gives up its light
picking soap flowers at twilight
fill with stars
the stored koa seeds—
sometimes we let go of dreams
yanking out dandelions—
when I was young
we blew their heads off
sometimes I am the creek
holding nothing back
she brings up stuff
from the cellar
the phoebe’s erratic flight
this canoe trip
won’t settle anything
1st Place 2003 SF Int’l Haiku Contest
your politics . . .
has all of my patience
you and I without a word
as long as it lasts
I didn’t expect
the next dose . . .
of my life
light reflects from the eyes
of a wild thing
Wait . . .
the death of anything
resting at the pass
A haibun, by Eric Stoelting
What a damn thing to get in the way of a death.
The caregivers need their 1099s but the love of my life,
my wonderful wife lies dying.
How do you write an obituary?
How do you capture a rich life honestly in just a few meaningful words?
How do you communicate the love we had without making it sound banal?
The frustrations, the fights, the pleasures, the sex, the children?
How do you capture the childhood traumas that formed her and ordered her life?
And …mostly willingly …mine.
The hospice nurse says she weights eighty-two.
Down a telling six pounds in two weeks,
and that from an athletic 107.
Looking at photos—
one culled from a picture ten years ago, used in a poetry bio.
I mistakenly printed an 8x10 and couldn’t throw it away—
the strong face, radiant smile, the sparkling dark eyes
that captured me.
Eight years ago—
lost in our words, we stride down the beach toward our son’s August wedding.
She, still capable and strong, but the cracks were beginning to show.
Dosing her Parkinson’s was becoming confusing,
soon to swallow our lives.
Dialing 911 over and over, learning the EMT’s names.
She bakes a pie to thank them.
To the ER, seems like a hundred times, with very little resolved.
A couple of futile hospital stays. Abdominal pain
with no discernible cause and no apparent solution.
Out the door, running down the street—
says her caregiver’s trying to kill her.
The sheriff pays a visit more than once.
Age seventy but looking older.
Five years ago “they” began
assuming she was my mother.
at first, still dancing to rock & roll, pushing the walker
up a challenging hill to get a view of the Bay.
Occasional good days with clarity and calm.
Becoming less and less.
July birthday, surrounded by family—
she can’t recall.
A caregiver’s photo from late October—
overwhelmed but smiling,
reading letters I sent that summer
fifty years ago.
one last good time with our California family?
Christmas didn’t work out.
At the nursing station two weeks back—
A nurse snaps the picture—she’s gaunt.
Others also have noticed.
Sleeping more, hardly eating at all,
flailing at people around her.
Medications a mess, as she spits them out.
Breath gurgling as she lies there.
a cashmere sweater
she was given last Christmas
already a hole
Mist and Sitka Spruce is a new collection of over 150 haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun and short poems, 100+ pages w/ color photography. The book is $15.00 (includes postage/shipping),
checks payable to the author. Address: 724 Walnut St. Edmonds, WA 98033.
If you would like to have more information, please e-mail the author (scottgalasso AT comcast.net) (please change "AT" to "@" when you e-mail him).
Fay Aoyagi introduces a daily translation of a contemporary Japanese haiku poet's work at her blog. Please visit http://fayaoyagi.wordpress.com.