Five months into starting this little blogging effort, I decided to show my books! Although I have mentioned them occasionally, somehow it seemed rude to actually, you know, advertise them. But haven’t I read that authors should have a platform, should be on all manner of social media (where do they find the time?) And one blog I follow has the beautiful cover of the author’s romance at the end of of every blog. So here they are, the first two of six book-length works, four still awaiting evaluation and possible resurrection, or alternatively, incineration.

I’ve been aware of Amazon’s Kindle publishing program for some time but I had to convince myself that I was capable, technologically ignorant and inept as I am. I started with Amigos for several reasons. First because it’s a novella. Second because my dear sister-in-law who drew the illustrations was recently widowed, and third, because it has waited so long to come to come out of the shadows.



Over forty years ago I was sitting in a plaza in Guanajuato, Mexico, when I observed a very old man shuffling around and around the perimeter of the jardin. He was bent at the waist, clutching a wooden box in both hands. Lacking a camera or artistic skills, I jotted a few words in my ever-present notebook. Later I tried to put him in a poem.

“Lady, you’re no poet,” the old Mexican told me. So I gave him a lonely boy to befriend in a short story. Still he haunted me until I imagined a longer story. About thirty-five years ago Diane read the story and drew three illustrations.  Still the story gathered dust, neglected and unloved, a dwarf among my other also-neglected manuscripts.

Within the last ten years I made it a frame story, “as told to” an aspiring writer. Finally it seemed as finished as it would ever be.

Bringing it to print is another story, involving language too coarse for genteel ears.

The Amigos Story

A failing writer with a failing marriage is lifted from his self-inflicted problems when he hears and transcribes the story of David Winslow, who as a lonely boy was befriended by an old Mexican woodcarver.

“Let me tell you,” David says, “how I came to know the old carver, how I tried to save his life and how he finally saved mine.”

This is a story of loss and grief, death and guilt, and ultimately, the healing power of love.



In Pursuit of Dreams is an engaging memoir of a woman’s life not focused on the mistakes and the lows but on the dreams and on the lifetime of overcoming the challenges that stood in the way. From compelling, sensitive stories about dogs, cats, horses and other animals that have enriched her life to tales from working in a mental hospital, living in Mexico, teaching, building a house, and shooting a bear in self-defense, author Joan Zumwalt provides a window into her journey of life and love in all its intertwining complexity.”

Jacket copy, Archway Publishing.

Books available from and Barnes and


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