It is here! (And almost where you are.) The official publication date is June 30, and there will be a big Zoom event then, and you will be invited. But Monday, June 15, 5pm Alaska time there is a sneak preview Of Bears and Ballots, and an interview with Kyle Clayton, the editor of the Chilkat Valley News, so that should be fun. For details, the meeting ID and such please go to  http://fineartalaska.org

The way this works for you familiar with Zoom (and those not) is that a few minutes before the meeting you log in to Zoom and use the ID to get in. I will be in my house, Kyle at his Main Street office above The Bookstore, and Amy Kane, The Bookstore owner will be down in her store, and we will all be on the screen together. You will be..wherever.

The very cool thing, well, there are two actually– is that yes, you can buy the books directly from The Bookstore and use her site or the chat feature on Zoom to let Amy and me know how you’d like to personalize the book (to you, your best friend,  an  uncle in Iowa.. happy birthday…) and after they come in, I will do that and Amy will mail you yours, or if you are in Haines, you may pick them up. (All of my books in the Haines store are signed by me, and I can personalize any or all of them for you.)

The second cool thing is that it you may give a donation to Hospice of Haines, an organization dear to me ( I am on the board and a volunteer.) HOH has not been able to hold its major annual fundraiser , a rummage sale, this spring due to Covid-19, and since the Southeast Alaska State Fair has been canceled, won’t be able to have the home made dessert booth fundraiser either, and combined they bring about 20,000 dollars which is the lion’s share of the budget. Maybe you will help? Hospice of Haines assists residents (and their friends and families) in their last weeks at home, and the forty or so volunteers also provide companionship and care to elders , taking clients for walks, or to the Post Office, or a drive to the lake, or sometimes just watching TV, playing cards, or  reading them the Chilkat Valley News. Hospice of Haines also loans and sets up hospital beds and other assistive equipment and offers grief counseling. The Hospice services are all free.

A donation is not required to attend my event, which is also free, but there will be an opportunity and I hope you give a little bit (or a lot.)

One more thing– a new on-line organization, Fine Art Alaska has formed to promote local artists and shops in Haines and Klukwan that will be missing out on the tourist trade this summer and they will be hosting this event, and  this is the trial run, so we hope it works.

The official publication date is June 30, and there will be a fun Zoom party at 5pm Alaska time that day,  and the books will all be here by then, I will read from it and talk about it some more. There will be a lot of opportunities to see or hear me, and I suppose that is one good thing about these times. You won’t have to be in San Francisco or Atlanta to come to my book talk there. (But this is neat– at each location, the “buy” button will go to the local store.) There is a growing list of Zoom events on the Bears and Ballots section of this site, and I will keep you updated here, when they are close.

As always, I encourage you to shop locally, now more than ever, that is something you can do to help your neighbors, friends, and the small business community.

It is odd and conflicting to be launching a book right now, when there is so much pain socially and such unrest and illness. I hope the discussion around my time in local office encourages others to run, because social justice and public health are impacted in big ways by the seemingly little decisions that councils and assemblies make every meeting.

Stay safe, be good to each other, and it’s not a cliche to be the change you want to see in the world —