Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon


Sunday Love

The Winter Loon is a novel about the healing power of love that occurs when we have the sense of being connected and whole, a love of self and others. Sometimes easier said than done and for most of us a life-long goal.

Sometimes it’s as easy as having your paw on your favorite frisbee.


Sometimes we fall and have to get back on the bike.


But whatever we do and wherever we are today and everyday:

Let us always meet each other with a smile,

for the smile is the beginning of love.

~~Mother Teresa



Thanks for stopping by.




Cover Crush: The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen

This blog pays tribute to beautiful covers and I am honored that The Winter Loon was featured in August. It is a tribute to Chris Mole’ at http://www.booksavvystudio.com who created the cover based on my vision. I was amazed that the first proof took only a couple of tweaks to get to the final version.

Layered Pages

Cover Crush bannerI am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

The Winter LoonThe Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen

Published May 16th 2017 by Cougar Creek Books

Amazon Kindle Price $1.99

In the shadow of the Great Depression, long before historical changes leading toward LGBTQ advocacy and equality, unpretentious eighteen-year-old Ruth Thompson defies expectations to marry her sweetheart, Duke. Impulsively deciding to join a rodeo circuit with her cousin in order to earn money for college, Ruth comes of age in the rough and tumble male-dominated culture of rodeo competition.

Ruth returns home to Minnesota a prize-winning competitor and resumes her familiar relationship with Duke. Once at college she grows increasingly restless in her role as a sorority girl with Duke as her escort for all…

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Greetings to my new subscribers and to all my loyal followers



I’ve been up to my eyeballs editing with Deborah Mokma. We’re working on the final edit and proofreading of The Winter Loon. Some writers hate this phase, but not me. I love to dig in and examine every word and phrase. The drawback is that this process is soaking up all my time and energy, and I’ve been neglecting my blog.

I’m excited to have an accomplished and artistic team helping me to self-publish my novel, The Winter Loon: Deborah Mokma, editor; Chris Mole’, cover designer, and Maggie McLaughlin, book designer. I’ll write more on these talented women and the self-publishing process as it unfolds.

In the The Winter Loon, the protagonist, Ruth Thompson, struggles with committing to the woman she loves. She faces this challenge in the 1930s before advocacy, before the terror of the McCarthy era and before the historical change in America that has led to gay rights and equality. I want to get it right because even though so much has changed over the years, there is still a long way to go. Young people still wrestle with feeling different and confiding in family and friends. Bullying hasn’t stopped and in some areas of the United States, the simple joy of choosing the flavor of a wedding cake is threatened.

I’ve been a bit depressed lately, carrying around a sense of dread with all that is going on in the world and here in the U.S. One thing lifts me up when I get down and that is music. I’ve been listening to Bob Marley songs, full volume. Who can help but move their body to the Reggae beat and his voice? He has a legacy all over the world for his music and philosophy. In Serbia there is a statue of him with the inscription that reads:

Bob Marley Fighter for Freedom Armed with a Guitar

Turn up the volume and dance to one of my Bob Marley favorites:




One more to share:

Israel ‘IZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole


new rainbow

What songs lift you up when you’re feeling down?

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In This House We do Love

I just learned about this movement/organization and want to share it.

RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adopting to meet the needs of the 400,000 children in the foster care system. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. For information about how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, please visit www.RaiseAChild.US.

 As you know, if you read this blog, I spent most of my childhood in foster care because my lesbian mother died estranged from her family ties. I was blown away when I read the story of Adam Reisman and his husband, Ryan:


and then learned that it is part of a series being written by the Huffington Post that highlights LGBT families.

I knew I had to share their story when I read that Adam and Ryan along with their two children live by these rules in their home:


RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adoption to meet the needs of the 415,000 children in the foster care system of the United States. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. Take the Next Step to Parenthood at http://www.RaiseAChild.US or call us at (323) 417-1440.




A-to-Z Reflection [2016].jpg


Apologies for my computer glitches this morning. Some of you have now received this three times.😱



I can’t remember how I learned about the A-Z Challenge. Wish I could remember so I could give that blogger a great big thank you. I’d been wanting to start a blog, but didn’t like the idea of writing without anyone knowing I was there. The Challenge offered me the perfect place to start.

I strapped on my hiking boots and set off to climb the mountain. Like Cheryl Strayed in Wild, I wasn’t quite prepared for the journey. First I had to learn how to add a bog to my website. No problem, I called on Maggie McLaughlin


who advises me on all things technical. By the end of March my image was of Maggie as Sisyphus at the bottom of the hill endlessly pushing me, the boulder, up the hill only to have me roll back. We both persevered and got the blog up and running.

I signed up as number 508, Thoughts While Walking the Dog, with the theme of Women in the 1930s.

 With April looming on the horizon, I planned to have all my posts done and still be able to take my already paid-for vacation at the end of the month. Life has a way of wiggling itself onto the trail, and I had to take a detour from my plan. No worries. I’d just write two posts every day and be finished by mid-April. And that’s sort of how it worked out. Determined not to drop out or miss a post, I devoted myself each day, even Sundays, to write for the Challenge. But near the end I was scrambling.

Would I do it again? Yes. It was lots of work, but so much fun too. Next year I hope I’ll be able to stick to my plan and do more blog hopping and commenting.

One precious thing I take away is that I no longer fear “being out there.” Well, I do still have some fear, but now that I’ve done it, I know I can swim with the big kids. As a writer, I’m an introvert. But I do want people to read my writing.

My regrets are that I didn’t find or take the time to figure out the #AtoZChats on Thursdays, didn’t post on Facebook and only tweeted about the Challenge once, which might have something to do with being visible and a lot to do with my technical savvy. I also wish I had more skill in arranging and using photos and videos. There is time to develop that for next year.

I’ve connected with people around the world that I would not have found in a million years. Here’s a list in random order of some of the sites I’ve enjoyed reading.















There are many, many more at:


My thanks to the organizers of the Challenge. See you next year.



All right then. Let’s throw a couple.


Things My Mother Taught Me

My mother died when I was nine, so I had to learn her lessons quickly. She was estranged from her family, full of secrets and in relationship with a woman. Together we navigated life in the early 1950s on the Mojave Desert, far from telephones or any kind of public transportation. Before my mother’s death, I learned about unconditional love. Her stories, told through the adventures of a magical dapple-gray horse, wrapped me in the security of the kind of love that sets a foundation for life. Love of self and others.

We lived in a canyon remote and desolate as the surface of the moon. Our cabin overlooked a ravine, home to amazing, adaptable creatures. The trapdoor spider, the tarantula and horned toad are only a few of our seldom-seen neighbors. She wove tales of danger and respect and the need for protection from the living, breathing desert. One day I found her dissecting a rattlesnake on the kitchen counter. Afraid I might step on the rattler, she had killed it out by the back step. She later fried the meat for dinner.

My mother shared her love of books and literature with me and taught me to read before I entered school. At night we’d sit by our kerosene stove with our books. I loved to pretend to read out loud, turning the pages of her books full of words I didn’t understand. She listened and encouraged me while I amused her with childish made-up stories.

She fought her cancer with food from an early health-food guru, Adele Davis, and left me a life-long legacy of healthy eating. To this day I still make bone soup and note it’s recent rise from the ashes as the new cure-all for what ails us.

After her death, too old for adoption and with no known family, I ended up in foster homes. For me as a child the ever-present threat of moving took a certain level of detachment. I learned this survival method from my mother, a woman who never mentioned the father of her child. She had me. We had each other. That was enough.

The Mojave conceals an inner life. Caves hide underground springs where watercress and other edible plants can be found. Wildflower seeds wait under the sand, sometimes for years, for the exact amount of raindrops needed to sprout.

My mother had to know her time to walk with me on this earth would be short. She and her partner mimicked the mystery of the land where they chose to live. It is with sadness that I imagine how difficult her choices must have been. It is with gratitude that I acknowledge I inherited the tenacity of a wildflower from my mother and overcame early adversity to thrive.

On this Mother’s Day I savor my mother’s memory and her lessons taught from the Mojave Desert.









University Life


During the Depression years, a college major was expected to be practical. Grants and scholarships were available, especially for higher degrees. Women more than likely still needed to work to supplement any financial assistance.

According to Margaret Nash writing in Citizenship for the College Girl, The basic assumption in the 1930s was that women should marry. There was also the perception that college educated women were less likely to marry, either because they “waited too long” or because the college experience which broadened their minds deluded them into believing “marriage should be between equals.”

The demeaning cultural attitudes didn’t hold determined woman back from attending. College. Activism came alive at the University of Washington in 1934 when Professor of Psychology, William Wilson, spoke to an assembly of female students.

He urged them to challenge the stereotypes and take advantage of their higher education. His speech argued that “young women have earned membership in this underclass scholastic honorary through [their] docile attitude and diligence in doing what [they] are told on assignments. But now is [the] chance to forget that and really get an education by looking beyond the daily assignment.”

Quote from: Women at the UW – University of Washington

No one has been able to seal that can of worms.

Heading to Class

Unknown-2.jpeg                                    1930 Chicago


Campus Protest.jpeg

Campus Protest 1935

Political rally.jpeg

Political Rally 1930







U of M hockey

1930s Women’s hockey


1930s Brown U archers                  


1930s Harvard Tennis







During the 1930s, Women made great gains in politics and government. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal represented a time of questioning and economic readjustment.

As New Deal Programs were implemented, women were appointed to high administrative positions. These women appointees worked on behalf of less fortunate women hurt by the Depression. Many positions were firsts for women: Cabinet member, Director of the Mint, Ambassador, and Judge to the Court of Appeals. These appointments reflected favorably on women active in public life.

Three women, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, and Molly Dewson, a politician and social reformer, were the main instigators of progress for women in politics during the era of the New Deal.




Frances Perkins

Molly Dewson was a well educated feminist politician who worked hard at social reform for women. Before coming to work for the New Deal, she promoted The Women’s Suffrage Movement, minimum wage reform and limited work hours. She was a confidant of Mrs. Roosevelt and an advisor to Frances Perkins and friend of both. She developed the Reporter Plan, an effort to involve women in understanding the New Deal.

Due to heart problems, she retired in 1936. She lived out her years until her death in 1962 on a dairy farm with her life partner, Mary G. Porter.

A novel, Beyond The Pale by Elana Dykewomon, set in the early 20th century is about the immigrant experience and the New York suffrage movement so dear to Molly Dewson.  It is a story of the courage of two young women born in a Russian-Jewish settlement who end up working in the New York garment factories. It is a story of love and devotion.  I recommend it not only as a powerful story, but also an education on the issues faced by women that moved the politically-minded women of the 1930s to work hard for social change. It’s available on Amazon.




Gertrude Stein


Gertrude Stein ~ an icon of the 1930s

Gertrude Stein and her life partner, Alice B. Toklas, met and lived abroad. They toured the U.S. for 191 days during 1934 and 1935, while Ms. Stein gave a series of lectures. Out west the two were accepted as a couple. The Chicago Press referred to Alice as the wife or mate who protected Gertrude.

During her lectures, limited to only five hundred people, Gertrude Stein sat alone on the bare stage next to a table with a white cloth and a glass of water. She exuded a commanding presence. To some, her lectures sounded baffling. How could something that seemed so lacking of ideas be considered literary? But if one listened carefully to the rhythm of her speech, she could delight an audience as an innovative artist explaining English literature, using the relationship of one word to the next as her medium.

“Twenty-five years rolls around so quickly, but one hundred years do not roll around at all. They end, the century ends. What makes narrative difficult is a century begins and ends, but no part of it begins, and no part ends.” A Stein mind twister for sure.

According to the San Jose Mercury News in 2011, Wanda Corn, author of Seeing Gertrude Stein finds the focus on Gertrude Stein’s long-term domestic partnership with lover Alice B. Toklas timely, in light of the gay marriage issue today. “Here was a couple who really personified a long, monogamous relationship,” Corn says.

For more go to: www.gayheroes.com/gertrude.htm


Gertrude Stein

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