Category Archives: Uncategorized

WASHINGTON MUDSLIDE UPDATE BY AYA WALKSFAR, a member of the small town.

UPDATE: DARRINGTON-OSO MUDSLIDE

WHAT ABOUT DARRINGTON? FIRST HAND UPDATE ON MUDSLIDE

The small town of Darrington, Washington struggles with the impact of the Oso Mudslide.

The mudslide that occurred on March 22 crossed the major artery, Highway 530, that connected the small town of Darrington with “down below”, as the natives call it—Arlington and all points from there. The tidal wave of mud and debris swept from the north side of the Stillaguamish River, scooped up the river then slammed into the south side of the narrow valley. It rushed up through a small valley between two hills then swept back north, carrying everything in its path to total destruction. That mudslide continues to play havoc with the small community of Darrington.

Highway 530 is currently buried under thirty feet of mud and debris and completely closed. What that means for the small town of Darrington is isolation and potential economic ruin, especially with summer looming close. The Bluegrass Festival, the largest of several festivals hosted on the Darrington Bluegrass Grounds, normally brings tourists and dollars to the economically challenged town. With Highway 530 blocked the festivals may face an impossible obstacle. Such festivals are important to this small community’s financial health.

The small businesses in our town, as in most small towns, have a very slender margin of profit. With the increased cost of transportation of goods, that margin of profit may become non-existent. The Hampton mill that employs three hundred of our Darrington community members—a large employer for our area–faces greatly inflated costs for transportation of goods which negatively impacts the company.

For other citizens of the Darrington area, what this highway closure means on a daily basis is that a short thirty minute trip to Arlington’s Haggen’s or Arlington’s Safeway stores has become a trip of over an hour and a half to a Safeway or Haggen’s in Burlington to the north and west of our town. The one hour round trip to the grocery store is a minimum three hour round trip on a dark, windy road.

In addition to the pain and grief of lost loved ones, the Darrington-Oso Mudslide means that Mom and/or Dad must now be away from home an ADDITIONAL four to six hours due to the added commuting distance and the nature of the scenic route which they must traverse twice every day. The increased cost of fuel thins already-stretched budgets and adds to the tremendous stress being experienced.

So when you send prayers for Oso…please, don’t forget Darrington. Call us by name both in your prayers and in your donations. Don’t forget us. We’re the survivors on the EAST side of the Darrington-Oso Mudslide.

Darrington Proud. Darrington Strong. Darrington Doers! We Git ‘Er Done!

Never Ever Boast

Many people wish to be noticed. I do not exclude myself… until now. Fueled by an argument I did not intend to happen, I had to find the silence within myself and allow my anger to dissipate.

It started out as a simple text to a relative. We, my husband and I, could not attend any holiday functions this year due to our oldest dog who is diabetic, and too fragile to take places. We cannot leave her alone either. Somehow my words were misinterpreted, and I felt the pain of rejection.

I came close to responding in a very wrong manner. We had helped this person many times over in their younger years when their life did not turn out with positive results. My feelings on the edge, I wanted to remind him of all the times we were there for him, of the times he lived with us, of the money we gave him, and that he never once paid us back.

I am grateful I did not. It would have only further damaged what relationship we still have, which right now seems to be very ragged. Had I boasted and forced him to endure my ranting because of my hurt feelings, I would have only made things worse. Much worse. To use this as fire would have not just made the split wider, but would have also damaged myself in ways that would last a life time. The past is the past and needed to stay there no matter my feeling of rejection.

I remember someone doing this to me once. I needed desperately to get away from them, and this person reminded ME of all the things THEY did for me. Guilt overwhelmed me, but it also angered me. I argued back about all the things I had done for them. This solved nothing and we parted, both of us walking on shards of emotions shattered.

A person who boasts of what they have done for someone, or boasts about what great deeds they performed is nothing but a person who seeks self gratification. I know this now and will never, ever, think of using that to make another feel small, or guilty, or to hurt them because I feel the sting of another’s words or actions. A good deed done in silence is the only true good deed.

Why Do People Leave Reviews And Not Explain Themselves?

There are always going to be people you cannot please. When my first reviews of Circles came in on Amazon, I felt good. People liked my writing. All it took was one poor review to deflate me. I worried in spite of all the good reviews that I blew it. I did not write for a couple weeks.

This happened three times.

“You can’t please everyone.” Finally, this started to soak in. My last bad review, which prompted me to write this, was today. I can tell the person never read my book because he said so! So why did he give me a poor rating? I have no idea. He never stated WHY it was boring.

This is what he said: ” I didn’t read it all because it was boring, I don/t know what else to say except it was to me very boring.”

Huh? Please explain how a book never read can be anything?

I began looking at the other reviews let by the three who did not like my book. They did not give glowing reviews about others either. So, if you get a poor rating, stop and take look at their other reviews.

I now ask myself, what makes some people give poor ratings? Do they find fault with the writing or themselves? Or, maybe they can’t stand to see someone get good ratings? Is the book that bad? I do wish they would at least tell me why they left a poor rating. Good and bad reviews are helpful if they are detailed, at least more than one or two lines.

I am very thankful for those of you who have left reviews. Without them I would not know if anyone enjoyed my writing, and yes, why you may not have.

Nice Review for Circles from Non-Historical Reader

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Story, May 27, 2013
By
Heather C. Cox
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Circles (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m NOT into historical books at all. I saw some rave reviews for this and thought “hmmm….let me at least give it a whirl”. I certainly didn’t expect to get sucked in. I had to continuously remind myself that it was FICTION. It read so real. Such a sweet and peaceful story. I loved the names used in the book and also the concept of Circle of Life. This book made me want to be a part of the Fish Peoples. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is overrated……Thanks to Ruby Standing Deer, I now live by ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s genre!’

Interview with Aya Walksfar about her new novela

Interview with Aya Walksfar http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Men-Cats-ebook/dp/B00CQ5C8KW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370269761&sr=1-1&keywords=aya+walksfar

Ruby: I read your novella, Dead Men and Cats, recently. I loved the suspense and the way you kept the reader guessing until the end. You have a real style, a special way of writing that keeps the reader wanting more. I found it hard to put it down and read it until I finished it.

Here are some inspiring blurbs on the reviews!

Review by: Beth Garcia on May 13, 2013 :
I enjoyed this well-written story. The characters are believable, and you get a feel for them right away. I am in awe of how the author developed such a good mystery in so few words. That is a sign of a very talented writer. I will be anxiously awaiting the next one!

Review by: K R Morrison on May 10, 2013 :
Shadow Island is such a peaceful place to live. Not on the regular tourist routes, it is a safe, quiet place for its denizens to live and love as they wish.
Until the hate crimes start.

” This is a brilliantly-written story. I loved the characters; they were so very real. Their relationships, cast in such warm, caring light by the author, was such a wonderful counterbalance to the terrible crimes that were committed.”
~~~~~~

So, tell us about yourself. Who is Aya Walksfar, and where did she come from?

Aya: Well, Ruby, I grew up on the rougher side of a big city, and as soon as I was able to hold a pencil in my hand, I began creating alternate realities. Sometimes it beat the reality outside of my home, and at other times it helped me to make sense of the outside world. I spent a lot of time in the Carnegie Library. Wonderful place. After I left home, I lived on the road for a number of years and worked non-traditional jobs. With that background, I feel that I have a unique perspective on life.

Currently, I live on a 12-acre wildlife habitat with my wife of 25 years, Deva, our four German Shepherds, three Papillons and two horses. Everyone lives in the house, except for the horses. They complain that we keep it too warm.

Ruby: Do you have any upcoming books?

Aya: Yes, I do. In July, Mountain Springs House will be releasing the second edition of Good Intentions.

Ruby: Can you tell us a little about Good Intentions?

Aya: It’s a different kind of coming-of-age story. The young protagonist, Bev Ransom, is grief stricken when her older friend and employer, Rene Lawson, suddenly dies. Unable to let go, Bev is determined to learn more about Rene’s life. Along the way, Bev discovers a secret that changes her life forever.

Ruby: That sounds interesting. Do you have any other upcoming books?

Aya: (Smile) Yes, and I am really excited. Sketch of a Murder is Book One of the Special Crimes Team series, featuring Sergeant Nita Slowater.

Ruby: What can you share with us about Sketch of a Murder?

Aya: The gruesome murders of wealthy, prominent men forces the governor to create the Special Crimes Teams. It is a unit composed of misfits and loners, all good cops who have pissed somebody off and consequently, have been exiled to the Siberia of law enforcement. That would be bad enough, except the unit was formed exclusively to take the heat for the murders.

Sergeant Nita Slowater wound up assigned to the team when she knocked a reporter on his skinny, white ass. Now, she has to find a way to work with her superior, Lieutenant Michael Williams who, in her opinion, is in permanent PMS.

The only thing that makes it bearable is when Nita befriends a homeless, black artist, Molly the Pack Lady. When Molly dies, she wills all of her belongings to Nita. What Nita doesn’t realize is the key to the killer’s identity lies within Molly’s artwork.

Ruby: That sounds very intriguing. When is it due out?

Aya: In August.

Ruby: With so many characters to choose from, which character is your favorite, and why?

Aya: I have to admit I have a special affinity with Sergeant Nita Slowater in Sketch of a Murder. She’s a woman with attitude, but willing to learn and to change.

Ruby: Nita Slowater, that name is quite different. How do you name your characters?

Aya: Each character’s name is meant to reflect some part of their personality, some part of who they are. I use several different naming books, and, of course, go online to do research once I have a general feeling for my character. I have been known to realize halfway through a story that one of the characters is improperly named, and then I have to go back through the book and change it. (Smile)

Ruby: Are your characters’ experiences taken from your life, or the life of someone you know?

Aya: No, not exactly. What I mean is that everyone I’ve met, everyone I know, has given me insights that I use to develop my characters.

Ruby: Was there a special person who influenced you to become a writer?

Aya: My mother and my grandmother. Both of them were oral storytellers, and they encouraged me from a very young age to read, and to write poems, stories, whatever. Then they’d listen to me read them. Poor Mom and Grandma! LOL!

Ruby: What do you like to do when you aren’t busy writing?

Aya: I manage and design our wildlife habitat, train our dogs, ride the horses, hike and listen to music and read—A LOT! (Big Smile)

Ruby: Where can your readers find you?

Aya: I have a blog at http://www.ayawalksfar.com And I love facebook, it is such an interactive media. http://www.facebook.com/ayawalksfar is my profile, but they can also find me on my author’s page at http://www.facebook.com/AyaWalksfarAuthor or tweet to me on twitter.

Ruby: Thank you for being with us today, Aya. I’ll look forward to reading more of your exciting work! You have a real talent and I hope to see much more.

Aya: Thank you for inviting me, Ruby.

Wonderful Wriitng Group To Join!

“Have you been considering an online writing course, but can’t afford the hundreds of bucks most of them cost? Then, look no further! F2K, sponsored by Writers Village University (WVU) is coming June 5! For only $10, you’ll enjoy a six week session where you can stretch your writing muscles and get feedback. Plus, you’ll get a 60 day free trial to WVU and a copy of Donna Sundblad’s “Pumping Your Muse”. What more can you ask for? Sign up at the link below:”
Writers’ Village University – Writing Courses
Online creative writing classes, fiction, non-fiction and poetry workshops. Over 300 writing courses and workshops are free to members. Active, supportive online community since 1995.
www.writersvillage.com

How DID It Get So Dark?

Are we relics?

I woke to read in a REAL newspaper that people over 40 are becoming more of a bother now. Our ‘old ways’ mean little. I used to work for the number one Newspaper in Colorado. Used to. Greed killed it, that and a man filled with jealously because his newspaper was not as popular. He got his dirty mangled claws into it and ripped it to shreds sending hundreds of people, mostly the over 40 crowd into the gutter.

Apparently, if you were of our generation who stood tall, demanded our rights, and were willing to work labor jobs and actually sweat on the job, we now mean nothing and simply melt into oblivion because no one cares. Our lives now meaningless and our talents now in death throes, we are supposed to step aside and politely die off.

Our knowledge is no longer needed. Our wisdom, what life taught us no longer matters. My elders were respected, yes even revered for their knowledge and what they could pass onto the next generation. Advice, it appears is not necessary. You see, we are old and our wisdom is antiquated and belongs in some dusty hall in a museum no one walks through anymore. Much like a library.

We followed our parents and grandparents advice and made our lives better for it—once we got past the hormone stage, and grew up enough to listen. Each generation goes through this, yes, but we all grew up and LISTENED to our elders. Respected them. Loved them. We will not be around in 50 years to see if any of what we tried to teach the next group will remain.

Everything falls by the way—such as newspapers where real people went out on the street and found real news to report.

Pressmen, late at night, shoved rolls of newsprint in presses so you could have you paper and donuts too.

Farmers earned the right to come home after a day of sweat from working on the farm, (food, by the way does come from farms, not grocery stores with magic wands)

While you sleep, someone is out there working on roads. Waiting on tables getting crap for pay.

Making bread.

Someone is taking the endless trash that we all put out at the curb. Human Hands DO all these things.

Taking the night shift at so many jobs you never head of and may never know ever existed as they are eliminated, and sent to China so some big business can offer their CEO’s their 30th luxury car to park in a huge dark garage and collect dust.

It will not be long before they will not know what to do with all the old useless people who have some ignored right to hold a job because somewhere it says age discrimination is illegal.

SO many are homeless. WHO cares? Ignore them and they do not exist. Ignore the elders too. After all, what do we have to contribute? Wisdom is a thing of the past. Who need it anyway?

Guess what? The Dark Ages arrived years ago while we slept, and it is getting darker…and darker….

Queen For A Day

Great Thought For The Week, Your Whole Life

I GET these once a WEEK and they really make me think…
FRIDAY FOCUS: Do you create space for what you want in your life? What needs to be cleared away?

Spring cleaning brings to mind uncluttering closets, cleaning the mess from under the bed and getting rid of “stuff.” It calls for more than simply dusting off the surface and addressing appearances. We need to get to the underbelly to clear away what is not aligned with what we want and where we are headed.

Are there relationships holding you back, with trade-offs damaging to your soul? Does the accumulation of things in your surroundings create distraction or bring you joy? We can get lost in the clutter of our thoughts by way of judgments, patterns and limiting beliefs. Possessions can control our lives as we seek the best or latest or newest.

It can be scary to let go, to open doors and allow the light. Light needs space to radiate.

Letting go is the first step. Clear the way. Relish the deliciousness of empty space. You don’t need to fill it. Space allows for something to emerge from within. Where can you let go, creating that opening?

Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you through the weekend. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.

On Monday you may want to share something from this process. Sharing can be an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It can lead you to deeper insight. It can stimulate action. Feel free to use this arena to share whatever moves you. Conversations are happening on the website Friday Focus question from the Baca Journey and on The Baca Journey Facebook Page.

Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you through the weekend. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.

Writers Villiage University

Writer’s Village University
WVU Trial Memberships are back!
Try WVU for 60 Days – $25
Use PayPal Coupon Code: B6C58
Writers’ Village University – Writing Courses
www.writersvillage.com
Online creative writing classes, fiction, non-fiction and poetry workshops. Over 300 writing courses and workshops are free to members. Active, supportive online community since 1995.
I love this writing group. Check it out!