Yosemite High Camp

half dome

Photo courtesy  of the Yosemite Association

Mike Russell and I have managed to spend some interesting nights out over the past forty years – under the stars if we were lucky. Our latest nocturnal duel with frisky mountain weather occurred last October in the Sierra high country. I crafted my loose impressions into a poem and The Ekphrastic Review published it. Here’s the link:  http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/yosemite-high-camp-by-robert-walton

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El Niño’s Tears

mission days

Photo by Ed Haskell

Friend Ed Haskell’s gift and craft is to find and capture transcendent images. I try to kindle images in others’ minds by relating what I see in words. It’s a gratifying surprise when it turns out that he and I perceive the same thing. I think this happened at Mission Days last month. You be the judge:



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My Darling Clementine

Bob & Phoebe

Phoebe Cheney and I before the 4th graders arrived – Photo by Joan Ungs

San Lorenzo County Park near King City is an underappreciated (at least by many) treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The museum took a really big hit on May15th, literally so. A hundred year old, seven feet in diameter eucalyptus tree tried to take the roof off the barn at about six in the evening. It failed – by a little – and nobody was around to be hurt. The folks at MCARLM had scheduled a big, three-day historical event for local kids beginning on the 16th. Everyone pulled up their bootstraps and we went ahead with the presentations. Local 4th graders put their hands (tongues, ears, stomachs, feet and everything else!) on the history of our gold rush. I got to be a 49er and introduce them to Clementine’s boyfriend. You know the guy: “How I missed her! Until I kissed her little sister!”

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Filed under Author Visits, Front Page, Western Tales

Kill the Coffeeboilers!


Third Flatiron has just published Hyperpowers – Anthology Book 16 (Kindle Edition) and I’ve got a story in it.  I encourage all of my Civil War friends to guess which CW battle I’ve transplanted into my space opera. I hope you’ll have fun with this bit of light satire!   Here’s the Amazon link:


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Filed under Front Page, published story

Plague Strikes Birmingham!


John Miller’s new Minecraft unit set in Medieval England opens that time and that culture to his 7th grade students – amazingly so! They took the knowledge they acquired and rebuilt 14th Century Birmingham in Minecraft.  They then used story-starters that I supplied to create detailed and coherent narratives about the most terrible problem people of that time faced:  the Black Death. John’s work is beyond cutting edge. Please take a look at the unit here:  http://minecraft.edtecworks.com/2016/05/08/recreating-medieval-birmingham-in-minecraft/

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Tanka Journal #3 – just published! – included one of mine

tanka 3

Friend and Colleague John Miller recruited me to contribute to his teaching unit on Medieval Japan a couple of years ago. Some of the tanka I wrote turned out pretty well and one just got published in the Tanka Journal # 3. Here’s a link to the online journal:


and here’s one to the book:


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Mission Days 2016

mission me

Photo by Phyllis Walton

“Mission Days” at San Antonio de Padua both celebrates the early history of Central California and raises funds for restoration of the Mission buildings. This year’s event took place on April 2nd and was a great success. Gold-panning, brick-making, black-smithing, cowboy-singing, acorn-grinding, candle-making, wildflower-hiking were – among many others – activities one could engage in. All was topped off by Rosa Pacheco’s BBQ and a concert by the New World Baroque Orchestra. I squeezed in some story-telling – Ask me how the kangaroo rat got its paint brush of a tail! – and some book signing.


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