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Piecework  Newsletter


Read the newsletters from Sandra Dallas for news about upcoming books, stories, Sandra's Picks and reviews:

Five Books

Volume XVIII, Issue Two | June 2020

Someplace to Call Home by Sandra Dallas

My Five Books


Someplace to Call Home Honored

Western Writers of America announced in March that Someplace to Call Home is the winner of its 2020 Spur Award for juvenile fiction. The book, my fourth midgrade novel, is set in Kansas during the Dust Bowl and tells the story of three orphans who are searching for a place to settle. The Spur awards were scheduled to be presented at WWW’s annual convention in Rapid City in June, but due to coronavirus, the date has been postponed to Labor Day. Three of my previous novels, The Chili Queen, Tallgrass, and The Last Midwife, won Spurs in the best historical novel category.

Someplace to Call Home

Idle Hands

Much to my surprise, I’ve learned during the stay-at-home weeks that you can’t read all the time. So I did a thorough house-cleaning, one room a day—moving furniture, oiling and waxing tables and chairs, polishing silver, cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen cupboards and bookshelves, getting rid of dust that’s accumulated ever since we moved in. I’ve given myself a pedicure; it looks like when I first tried to apply nail polish when I was 10 years old. I cut Bob’s hair, I made a skirt out of a pair of jeans, and I’ve baked.

Like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and pasta, flour was not to be found at the beginning of the pandemic. The only flour I could find was a 50-pound bag on Amazon, so I ordered it, and because I couldn’t lift it, I sat on the sidewalk scooping it into a collection of containers. I’ve always baked bread, but now I’ve started making loaves with cornmeal in them, whole wheat bread, buttermilk bread, everything in the Williams-Sonoma bread book. And I’m baking cookies, including chocolate chunk cookies with chili pepper in them. I finally tackled biscochitos, the anise-flavored Mexican sugar cookies, with a recipe from the Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe. (The secret is lard.)

The baking has had some unexpected results. We’ve been attending church services every Sunday on Zoom. Last week we celebrated communion with cranberry juice and brioche.

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