Lois Leveen


August 17, 2015


I am a heavy user . . . of the Multnomah County Library.

Every day, as I'm researching my current writing project, I use books I've checked out of the library. And I use online sources like the Oxford English Dictionary or JSTOR (an ultra geeky research database that allows me to find articles in languages I don't even read, which I then try to translate), which I access through the library's website. The Interlibrary Loan service has gotten me books from all over the country when I need them.

And maybe most important of all, I look out my window every day and watch families walking to and from the library. Which is about the best inspiration a writer can have.

So what does a heavy user and long-time lover do to say thanks? Volunteers to spend the next 4-8 years making the library better for everyone in Multnomah County.


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August 11, 2015

Meet the Bees

Look closely at her legs -- can you see what she's gathered to bring back to the hive?
This is what it looks like when you pop the top off a Langstroth hive
It is very difficult to take a good selfie in a beekeeping suit.
Each "box" of a standard Langstroth hive has 10 frames. Here's what a frame looks like.
Sometimes I watch bees at work in my yard. Thanks for keeping the plants looking good, girls!
When I walk through the neighborhood and see bees in plants in other people's yards, I wonder whether they are my girls out foraging.
If you've never tasted local honey, you should. Like wine or cheese or chocolate, it's a wonderful thing to savor. Each year I organize a honey tasting of over 20 local beekeepers. The range of tastes is amazing, and most of the beekeepers can't recognize their own bees' honey in a blind taste test.

I get a lot of questions from readers about the honey bees in Juliet's Nurse, so I thought I'd take the time to introduce them.

Here's a video in which I talk about the bees right under their noses. And their wings. And all the other bits of them.

(My agent once said, "You are like a crazy cat lady, but with insects." So true)

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July 23, 2015

Ashland, Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon: historically known for covered wagons, giant timber, and awesome Shakespeare.

Yes, Shakespeare.

Ashland, Oregon, is home of one of the oldest and most well-respected Shakespeare Festivals in the country. Which means when you do a chat on local NPR about your Shakespeare-themed novel, you better know your stuff. Or rather, his stuff. Give a listen and see what you think.

And if you happen to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, stop into the Tudor Guild bookshop, they have some very sweet items, made here in the Pacific Northwest.

Tudor Guild Bookstore

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July 13, 2015

Civil War Weekend

It's not that we're still fighting the Civil War.

It's that we're still fighting about how to remember the Civil War.

So pleased to be headed to Josephine Community Library to tackle this important topic.

Civl War Weekend poster

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June 15, 2015

Naughty Author Talk

I'm a really a goody-two-shoes. Preferably flats, comfortable for walking, though stylish with a vintage dress.

And so last week to celebrate the paperback publication of Juliet's Nurse, I put on such a pair, and a frock, and hoofed it over to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus (I was staying a few blocks away in Brooklyn), and gave a talk with the rather ribald title, "Capulet Gynecologist, Montague Onanist: Medieval Sex, Renaissance Death, and Romeo and Juliet."

It was a little raunchy.

But in a totally edifying way.

So if raunchily edifying or edifyingly raunchy is your thing, ignore my goody-two-shoes warning, and click here for the first part of the talk . . .

If that hasn't frightened you off, here's the second part:

And the more-or-less conclusion (the last few minutes of Q&A got cut off):

I suspect some of that wasn't on the final when you read the play in high school. Unless you went to a rather unusual high school.
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