Category Archives: News

General news posts that aren’t categorized

Feb. 13th / ’17

A good picture of my cousin Susan on Doc, from last October. The sacred light of holy Ozark Mountain horse spirits shining down on her. I don’t know what she’s doing — talking on a phone? Where’s the phone?

And here is Happy Hour at St. Joes’ the best trailer food in the country, run by June’s son Chris Chism. That’s June and Peggy Ramsay, in the background June’s sister Jeannie and April Baxter.

It was a BYOB evening, warm south Texas winter while storms and snow are hitting the north-east. Sorry guys.

And these are Peggy Ramsay’s new boots and no, I do not have any idea why this photo was so skewed.






Feb 9/2017

Had been hearing a dog barking to the north of the house, down in the woods, along Billy Moore’s fence line, But every time I went down there — silence. Girl Dog went with me but didn’t alert on anything. Finally the third day I searched and searched and found a young black lab, female, caught in a snare. It had cut deeply into her paw. She must have been there three days without food or water.


So she is with me now and going to the vet tomorrow to check the paw. It is cut to the bone. Now I have to find a home for her. Girl Dog never paid her the slightest bit of attention, even when I carried her home in the golf cart — Girl Dog’s own golf cart!

And so I have figured out how to avoid TSA’s groping — I will wear a hijab. I am not kidding.


February 2/17 TSA GROPING


That’s not me, of course, but I have been subjected to TSA invasive pat-downs now three times on my book tour travels, even though I have Pre-Check.

Is Pre-check just a scam? It is no good, doesn’t help you.

I have decided I can’t take it any more and I will refuse absolutely the next time they tell me to step aside for major groping. It is horrible, humiliating, and they always loudly announce everything so the passengers and security all around will look over as they stick their hands into everything.

‘Now I am going to touch your genital area! Now I am going to press my hand against your breasts!”

Which guarantees you no privacy, no way to avoid the horrified stares of passengers — men and women — all around. This has happened to me now THREE TIMES.

The next time I will refuse, they will escort me from the airport, and I will never fly again, quite happily. What a joyous day that will be. Never again creeping unhappily through security thinking  ‘Maybe I can slip through, maybe this time they won’t make me stand and be groped!’

This last time I went through the body – scan and then also the groping. Why? Who knows?

The first time was last spring, St. Louis trip, to read at St. Louis Public Library. Forced to go through the scanner for no known reason, had my hands wiped, and then the horrible groping.

Next time: Asheville NC, in October. The girl at the entry said my ticket name Paulette Jiles, didn’t match my ID name, Texas driver’s license says my married name, Paulette Jiles-Johnson. This meant a really horrible groping by a big woman in a nearly-empty airport who said loudly ‘Now I am going to touch your genital area! Now I am going to press my hand against your breasts!’ I just stared off into the distance.

She said in a loud voice ‘Are you listening to me!!?’ You figure that out.

This last time was going to San Francisco, last weekend. I was ordered to go through the body scanner when I had six minutes to catch my plane. I was late. So naturally they had to subject me to AGAIN the body scanner and then I had to take off my shoes, and then my sweater, and get groped by a TSA woman. I kept saying why? Why? I’ve already been through the scanner! ‘Now I am going to touch your genital area! Now I am going to press my hand against your breasts! And they stick their hand down into your waistband and you have to stand there with your feet apart and your hands out to the side like a dirty low criminal.

And so one of them said, ‘It was probably your wrist brace’. This is from when I broke my arm. So I took it off and threw it in their wastebasket.  The I just ran for my plane to Dallas/Frisco.

I was just about in a state of terror returning. That ticket also just said Paulette Jiles (instead of like my driver’s license which say s Paulette Jiles-Johnson) and I thought Oh my God no! Not again! But the TSA woman just looked at the two and said ‘Go on’. Totally arbitrary, totally up to their whims.

But it’s not going to happen any more. I don’t think they can handcuff you and force you to endure a groping if you refuse, you just get thrown out of the airport, which to me would be a very very happy day. No more flying for me! Yay! I would be delighted if I never had to get on a plane again.

So no matter where I am, San Francisco or anyplace else, I will refuse to let these people humiliate me in front of everybody in a public place. I will get home by train or whatever, any way I can. I am telling my publicity agent at Harper Collins that I am going to refuse to get groped, scanned and felt up again.

And so here are some pictures from San Francisco, the wonderful bookstore called Book Passage in Sausalito. . I did not feel happy after having gone through TSA abuse and humiliation but I did my best to speak, sign books and be charming.

Here were the flowers in the lobby of the hotel — they were really very calming and beautiful and I just stood and looked at them for a long time.


Fantasylandia; Friday Jan 27th/17

Beautiful photo, seems from a fantasy novel. Taken by Sylvie Collier, somewhere outside of Sapa, Vietnam. These are old bamboo water wheels, with the Tien Sa waterfalls on left.  Found this in a photography magazine which I was reading while sitting at the clinic waiting for my allergy shot.

Traveling for book signings. San Francisco this weekend, then Feb. 6th to Jacksonville MS and then Savannah Georgia, and it doesn’t end there. Message from Michael Ondaatje, will see him and Linda in San Francisco, at the Book Passage signing, hooray! It’s been forever.

‘Angels and Demons In the Ozarks’ will come out in Harvard Review 50th anniversary edition, not sure when. I wrote it quickly, short piece.

100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution/ Jan 25th ’17


I ran into this author and his (I think) self-published book and meant to order it and read it but never got around to it. Anyway, he was handing out this postcard; Greetings from Stanland’. It’s an amalgam of the Soviet propaganda images of all the small Stans included in the Soviet Union which are now free of the old Soviet Union and can be as corrupt ands tribal as they like, along with grandiose Stalinesque architecture. I don’t know if that thing with the ball on top is real or not, it could be photoshop, this whole post card could be parody.

I am a fan of Soviet parody images. I love them. I am aware that during its existence nothing about the USSR was at all funny.

There is an excellent and often overlooked book of a man and his family’s escape from a Soviet work camp. I thought nobody every escaped. But they did.

I Speak For The Silent Prisoners of the Soviets, by V. Tchernavin. Written soon after their escape to Finland in the ’30’s. Very cheap on Kindle.  He is really good on why the economics never worked. Interesting. He was in charge of a fishing operation in the White Sea and describes how the NKVD/GPU was a nation within a nation.

And so comrades, read and be informed. The future lies before us, as it cannot well lie anywhere else.




The Pulpwood Queens! Jan 19/17

Was invited to the Pulpwood Queens Literary Festival in Nacogdoches, over near the Louisiana border. April Baxter volunteered to go with me, since her son lives there, then we said ‘Why don’t we take the horses and ride in the Davy Crockett National Forest?’ And so we did.

I read and gave a short talk and signed books, they were great. Women wearing glitzy bling and cool sparkly crowns. Much fun. That was Saturday. Then April and I hauled the horses to the National Forest on Sunday and rode. It was wet. Wet. Wet. The whole time we were texting June and sending her pictures to show her how wet and rainy it was.

April’s son Ryan and girlfriend Lilly had a house and we put the horses in their chicken coop. They were content. Made a mess. Wish I had a picture of Ryan and Lilly but I forgot. Ryan was in the Marine Corps, a mechanic, so he fixed my defective trailer lights in about 15 minutes.

And just for the record here is my great-nephew Ben Jiles and his fiancée Natasha, they will be married tomorrow! In Utah. Happy and blessed everything you guys.





should have put this up a long time ago, such a great dinner, such a good time at Katy Flato’s superbly arranged reading and talk at Hotel Emma. Afterwards dinner with dear friends, Mike and Nancy Monroe, Rick and Christine Casey, June Chism, Nancy Rinn. People I love being with. So good to see Rick and Christine again.

And now….next week it’s back to the Irish Tin Whistle, new tunes to learn from CD my cousin sent me (Songs of the Hills, fiddle music from the Ozarks) and the bluegrass band is back in business after a long rest.


December 27/’16 — more various stuff

Yesterday was the feast of St. Stephen and also somehow connected, in ancient pre-Christian tradition, with horses somehow; there were in olden times horse races on that day and the blessing of oats and hay.


(Cowboy, Whiskey and Doc)

The blessing of oats and hay was probably a prayer that one would have enough to get one’s animals through the winter, through the ‘gap time’ when the feed is almost gone and it is still too early for the grass to grow.

Therefore a time to reflect on animals and all they give us, or all we take from them. This would include things like the capsules for medicines and supplements, made from collagen extracted from hides and hooves. Shoe leather, more collagen for rapidly disappearing photo film, all leather. Of course eggs milk and meat. Feathers for pillows and duvets and fish oil and on and on.

This of course includes cat comfort, dog joy, bird flight.


Various stuff, December 23 2016


And the wreath I made for the gate out of barbed wire;



When I read in Saint Louis in October I was delighted to run into Perry Jones, one of the McLeod sisters, whose father ‘Doc’ mcLeod, was the person who delivered me in Salem Missouri lo these many years ago.


actually my mother beat him to it as I was in the world five minutes before Doc McLeod got there. I was born at home. I got Perry by the arm and led her over to meet the wonderful gentleman named Robin Smith, book sales person for HarperCollins, and said, ‘this woman’s father was the doctor who delivered me into the world’ and Robin was gratifyingly startled and amazed.

Susan (my cousin) was there too, and her granddaughter Michelle, the lovely and gracious shelly, below; susan on the far left. they drove up from Poplar Bluff. Shelly looking very serious. I appear to be shrinking as the years go by.


I had an amazingly good time at that reading.


Then later flew back to go on our Ozark ride. Susan sent me these pictures. I had many Ozark pictures on my phone, then lost my phone in NY so had it shut down, bought another (Liz and I walking up and down Amsterdam looking for phone store, another great NY walk) and then after that I FOUND it again. I now have two phones, one of them dead with all my Ozark ride pictures on it and have yet to get this all straightened out because every time I go into the AT&T store in Uvalde there is about an hour’s wait.  At any rate voila some Ozark ride pictures anyway.


Me on dear Whiskey, star of Enemy Women, handsome and lively even though he is now 27. I asked Susan if that was his age and she said, ‘I don’t even want to think about it’. God preserve him forever. That’s Susan in the yellow vest on Doc.



Here are Megan and Russell Harris — both work for the Forestry Service. Megan is a wildlife biologist and has a great horse named Sundance and knows every birdsong, every track. She is great to ride with. Russell is a firefighter on the national team and gets flown around to fires all over the country. He’s from North Carolina with a strong accent. Actually just like people from the Ozarks but stronger. He came out to camp to have breakfast with us.




We met up with Barb Johnson on that ride and Connie I Forget Her Last Name. Connie finally has a good horse. He is very handsome. Barb rides the black (or, really, seal) Q-horses she has had and bred for years.

Barb Johnson:


Susan is a dedicated camp cook and makes complex dishes in her Dutch ovens;


Fall foliage and maidenhair fern at Liberty Springs;


So these are all my Missouri people.

And as for the cantata …scan0003

We did great! We did it perfectly. All through rehearsals I kept messing up on one or another problem and as soon as I got one right I would mess up a pause, a three-quarter rest somewhere else. I had scribbles in three colors all over my score. The altos were me and Connie Lanphier, Kim Bowman and Auriel Robertson. For the final measure it was a note held 8 beats and the director said ‘make sure you have enough air and then throw it out the window’. At any rate, with Kim on one side (she always had it perfect) the night of the performance I made it through without a hitch. Go Tell It On The Mountain was a joy to sing. Was texting back and forth with another co9usin Pam Miles who also sang in a cantata in Poplar Bluff, she’s a soprano.


Tonight for Christmas eve service the bluegrass group is singing, we are doing Cohen’s Halleluliah and some others and I am reading the lesson. So I have to get it together by five or so and get down there for rehearsal.







The great Halloween cattle drive — late story, but interesting. December 17th/16



If I get this wrong Diane will correct me.


And so Diane and I were driving up angling Creek Road, just north of Utopia, just north of where it joins the Sabinal River, looking for the place where the last Comanche captive was taken here in this area. this is going to be brief since I am still typing with one hand.


so as we were driving along toward the Stormont place, where the remains of the old log cabin still exist, she said:

when I was little, my dad (Billy Fisher, above) was always moving his cattle from one place to another looking for grass. this was during the drought of the ‘Fifties. So he had only us daughters to help him and we were driving cattle up this very road, to another place way on ahead, where the grass was still good. Us girls were all prepared to go to this Halloween party and we had our costumes made, we were so proud of them, and Dad wants us to help him move cattle! We figured we could get them moved and ride home in time to get on our costumes and go to the party. This was me and Joan. Betty was too little.

(In between the segments of this story, driving along Anglin Creek road, we would end up talking about something else — music, songs for our bluegrass group, and I would remember we were in the middle of a story and I would say, ‘Are we still driving cattle?’ And she’d say, ‘Yes, we’re still driving cattle’ and so on with the story)

And right here (another road came in) — Dad used to like to work with half-broke horses and he was on this two-year old that was half crazy, and so right here it cut up and threw him, threw him into the rocks and he broke his arm. And so here are two girls and a herd of cattle and Dad with a broken arm and that two-year old horse running off. Finally some neighbors saw the horse and came in a car and got Dad to a doctor. I don’t even remember if we finally got to go to the Halloween party or not.

(I think Diane was probably fourteen? Joan would have been 12. I need not comment on the fortitude and maturity required of children at that time. the examples are legion.)

Billy will be having his 95th (?) birthday at the nursing home this coming Wednesday and we are going to go sing and play for them.

Here is me and Kim and Diane playing something….I forget what. I cherish friends like these.


And now I have to go down to the corral and put up a windbreak mesh around the loafing shed rails. Big blow coming in tonight and I must get Billy and Buck up to shelter. Supposed to reach 80F today and down to 28F tonight, wind at 30 mph.