Before the world ended, before Father Keith and his home-grown militia, before Alex whispered words I couldn’t understand – we were used to being swept along. Laurel Summer, our mother, was pushed from place to place, man to man. And we were in the undertow with her. From Alaska to Oregon, to California, to Ohio, and then back to Oregon.

Before the world ended, we were overwhelmed once more. Carried forward by an industrial-sized, bristles-as-hard-as-nails broom. We were as adrift as dust. As light as grit tracked in on shoes.

We were easy to sweep.


Lou Keats, a girl with a knack for solving problems, taking photographs, and building forts, dreams of escaping the confines of Fireweed Crossing and her father’s alcohol-fueled sadness. But first she has to figure out who has been trespassing in her forest, who has attacked her dog, and what has happened to her missing friend, Mindy.

A presidential assassination and a 9.2 earthquake define the months between November 1963 and March 27, 1964. But Lou is more concerned by those partially obscured tracks in the snow and her sense that something is out there. Watching. Waiting. (more…)

Latest Project

The Writer Elkhound’s next selection. We’ve left the Shire and The Lonely Mountain. Onward!

The light of August seeps into paper, weaves into the forest as vibrant as ignited confetti.

Sun confetti.

A crow perches on a high cedar and calls into the air, half- song, half-scathing commentary.

Crow in a Birch Tree – working detail from Nutshell Regatta, Jonna Laster

In the still heat of summer, memory simmers and shines: an oasis created out of worn books, crumpled letters, and tree forts swaying under the blue canopy of sky.

A small door into summer.

A new story emerges, takes shape, stirs me from a long slumber.

The Writer Elkhound takes a break from the sun and waits to hear a new chapter.