Archive for July, 2011

Cabrillo’s Flagship San Salvador

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Construction of the tall ship San Salvador

San Diego’s Maritime Museum is constructing a replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship, San Salvador, the one he sailed up the coast of Alta California in 1542.  I’m calling it art–it is definitely an artistic endeavor, from the wooden structure to the sails which will move it through the water.  It is to be a seaworthy sailing ship, not a model.

You can watch the construction at the site at Spanish Landing near the San Diego airport. Along with the shipbuilders, there is a blacksmith, a sail maker, a native American village (sort of), and a gift shop with excellent books detailing the voyages of early circumnavigators, early maps with east at the top and Jerusalem at the center, maps which were sure to lead the sailors off the edge of the world, and the ubiquitous tee shirts.  All for a good cause–the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Little is know of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.  Interestingly, San Diego’s National Monument to Cabrillo on Point Loma is second in visitors of all the National Monuments. But, the primary records from the San Salvador are lost. It is surmised that his ship was a three masted galleon, so that is what is being constructed. Right now, the skeleton is going up and worth a visit to the site.  It’s startling to see it from the highway even though it is on the bay and we are used to seeing boats and ships.  Better to park and get out and walk up close and talk to the artisans.

And buy a tee-shirt.




Book Review: Linda Schroeder’s Artists&Thieves

Monday, July 11th, 2011

WINNER, San Diego Book Awards, 2011

Terry Ambrose, writing for, reviews my book, Artists&Thieves which recently won the San Diego Book Awards in the Action/Suspense category.  Here is his review.  You can also read it at

“Linda Schroeder’s Artists and Thieves introduces us to Mai Ling, a fun and resourceful protagonist who recovers stolen arat for Interpol–but presents herself to the world as an artist.  Mai Ling’s world is filled with deception.  It’s a world where every donor is a potential thieft and every friend may have a secret agenda.

When her grandfather asks Mai to help him fulfill an ancient family promise, she’s torn between honoring that centuries old promise and her responsibility to Interpol. As Mai is drawn further from her role as an Interpol agent and closer to her role as a thief, she’s faced with temptations that will ultimately test her moral fabric.  Mai steals the vase from an antiquities smuggler.  But in this small world where all the players know the others, she quickly becomes a suspect, which also makes her a target.

As the art smugglers close in on Mai Ling, she becomes attached to the vase and begins to learn its secrets. And when the smugglers steal back the vase and nearly kill her grandfather, she vows to do anything to fulfill her promise. In the final moments, Mai is faced with one of the most basic questions of all–will she kill to get what she wants or not?

Readers interested in the art world will enjoy Schroeder’s characters, who seem to have just enough larceny in them to be unable to refuse an opportunity to make a big score.  And, for those who are tired of novels dominated by weak plots that only succeed due to an overabundance of senseless violence and sex, Artists and Thieves is a good alternative.  The violence isn’t excessive, but well placed.  The plot slows a bit as the vase changes hands a few times, but overall, this well-written mystery will have readers cheering for Mai Ling to fulfill her promise, but not lose sight of who she is.”

Salida, Colorado, Art Walk

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Salida, Colorado, is a small (2.2 square miles, 5500 population), high mountain town (elevation 7100) known for its art galleries, rafting/kayaking on the Arkansas river, and cycling. We didn’t have to sit long at a filling station turned sidewalk coffee house to get an idea who wanders around town on a sunny summer morning. Nine bicyclists took up the outside tables, three were inside patching the bleeding elbow of another one, a tan couple wearing hiking boots, tees, and shorts stood in line in front of us, and two other very tan young women were using laptop computers.

sheep at green cat gallery

Next to the coffee house was the Green Cat gallery.  We talked to Steph Brady who owns the gallery.  She has worked as a glass artist since 1976 and has beautiful fused glass pieces in the gallery. She also works in oils, acrylics, pastels, and does bead jewelry. She has a great web page where you can see her art and the wood and stone sculptures of her husband, Joe. Check it out at

Victorian building

In addition to the many art galleries, there are restored Victorian era building worth seeing. Salida was founded in 1880 as a railroad town, about the time that Cripple Creek and Silver Cliffe were booming mining towns. There are also a lot of other buildings trying to remain standing–not so enchanting but reminders of history.

Salida will be a staging point for the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, August 22-28, 100 miles a day for six days.  The altitude is part of that challenge.  Summer seems to be a time for cyclists in these mountains.

Several gallery owners told us they had been very busy on Saturday, June 25, one of three days of the Art Walk. There were not many of us walking around at ten on Sunday the morning, but then, compared to California, there are not many people anywhere in Colorado. Part of the charm.  We had been through San Francisco’s Chinatown earlier in the month and Salida is about as opposite as you can get.


San Francisco's Chinatown

Kindle Author: Linda Schroeder

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

David Wisehart has posted an interview with me on his Kindle author blog. My Art Mystery,  Artists&Thieves,  won the San Diego Book Awards in the Action/Suspense category.  To read the interview, go to David’s blog,

I’m traveling but will have a post on the Salida, Colorado, Art Walk soon.