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  • Writer's pictureCarol Anne Shaw


Finally, book #2 of The Garcia Island Chronicles is in the works!

The Tao of Talking to Turkeys picks up where The Peculiar Language of Llamas left off. Here's the back cover book blurb:

From the shoreline, Garcia Island is a picture-perfect paradise-a haven for artists, writers, introverts, and retirees. But in reality, the ferry service is unreliable, the WiFi is sketchy, and the people are ... well, they're a little different.


Fifteen-year-old Myles Cook, now a seasoned local, has come to love his new home. Along with his dad, he has grown to embrace the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the island. But when a rogue band of wild turkeys start raising havoc on Garcia, they stir up more than just a few feathers.


Soon, the fate of the marauding band of poultry sparks a feud between the pragmatic (some would say "redneck") locals and a bunch of newly transplanted (some would say "woke") mainlanders. In no time at all, Garcia Island turns into a war zone.


But Myles isn't going to stand by and do nothing. After all, he's already proven he has a way with llamas; all he has to do now is discover the Tao of talking to turkeys ... especially turkeys of the human variety.


WELL, the summer holidays began two days ago, and so far, the only news worth reporting is that someone bought the old Dalloway farm up on the ridge. Actually, a whole bunch of someones. Dad and I saw them unloading a whack of stuff from the back of a cube van yesterday when we drove back from the store. There were eight people in all—guys with man buns and women in flowy skirts and Birkenstocks. Well, not all the men had buns and not all the women had Birks on, but it was that kind of a vibe.

Anyway, I digress, back to the cube van. The reason I bring it up is that no one was unloading chairs or bookshelves or cardboard boxes full of bric-a-brac, the sort of stuff people usually haul in and out of vans when they move. Instead, I saw three pigs come out of that van, and there was a yurt—a collapsible one made from this strange space-agey-looking material that reminded me of the shiny silver jumpsuit Captain Kirk wore in a few old Star Trek episodes. They were setting it up in the field.

Dad said the new owners are from the mainland and have big plans to turn the old Dalloway farm into a wellness retreat. I asked him how he knew all this stuff, and he looked at me like I was an imbecile and said, "Duh, Myles. We live on a small island. Everybody knows everything here." I guess he has a point, but unlike my father, I try to mind my own business and lead a quiet sort of existence.

Later, I asked Ivy what a wellness retreat is, and she told me it's a place where you go to eat a lot of kale and wrap your body in mud and seaweed. And no, that isn't a reference to sushi; it's when your body actually gets wrapped in bona fide seaweed and steamed or something. At least that's what Ivy says. I also asked her why the new owners of Dalloway farm have a space-age yurt, and she said that's probably where people will go to do ayahuasca therapy. That's when you pay a lot of money to drink a tea made from some South American vine to heal your messed-up childhood. Ivy said this very matter-of-factly, like she has personal experience, but I think all this is a bit much for Garcia Island. I mean, we may have a coven of (mostly inept) witches here, as well as a dude who carves erotic demon garden sculptures out of wood, but the really "out there" stuff happens over on Lopez Island. For example, on Lopez, women like to hang out at The Red Tent—a place that's famous (in these parts, anyway) for its yoni-steaming services. And no, I will NOT explain what that is. Google it.

Anyway, I guess it's only natural to be curious about newcomers to the island. There aren't that many full-timers living here on Garcia, so the arrival of new faces is always a hot topic of conversation.

I am curious about those pigs, though. I like pigs. They're very affectionate. And smart. Perhaps the yurt is for them? I think I'll get out my bike tomorrow and ride over to the farm to see if anyone is around. I can introduce myself. People were pretty friendly to Dad and me when we moved here seven months ago, so it's the least I can do.

Maybe I'll bring cookies.


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