Arts & Entertainment

This Just In!
Arts & Entertainment
Business & Labor
Energy & Environment
Food & Shopping
Historical Stuff
Home & Garden
Law & Order
Military Affairs
On the Media
Rural Living
Science & Technology
Recreation & Sports
State & Local Government
Willapa Country
On Writing

Painting Image by Lietta Ruger

Historical Fiction

Come to Bethel, Missouri and travel to Willapa Bay, Washington with Emma and Christopher. You will be glad you did!!

A Clearing in the Wild

Jane Kirkpatrick’s historical novels have a distinct and beautiful way of drawing you back to another time. A Clearing In The Wild begins the Change and Cherish trilogy, and it take you into the Keil Colony formed in Bethel, Missouri, 1851. It is there, on Christmas morning, that we meet Emma Wagner – a distinctive character whose story will grow and expand in ways only Jane Kirkpatrick can share. This Colony of believers sounds similar to the Amish in many ways, and they practice communal living set apart from the “outside” world. However, at age eighteen, Emma has become a woman who knows her own mind, and she begins to question this blind submission to a man who hold women in such low regard. It is this independent spirit that takes Emma on a rather treacherous journey into womanhood.


Finally out of my mind and in print

My First Novel is published

After 21 years, having found the technology and means to do so, I was persuaded by Lietta to publish that novel that first sat untouched for almost fifteen years after its first writing, then later on a floppy disc and most recently a CD.

After Cheri's Christmas visit and hopefully the last editing we will do, the First Edition is now available online. The novel is printed and bound on a demand basis which means that we do not get a volume rate nor do we get any free copies ourselves that would have allowed us to gift the book to friends and family for Christmas. If you'd like to purchase a copy online you should received it in about a week's time. If you want a copy but do not want to buy it online contact us and we'll arrange the way for you to do that.


Click on Image to go to our Online Book Store


"Rose Blake and her family in England are trapped in circumstances and events that are destroying their lives.
Jacob Hannah is a violent man called to a preaching ministry by Brigham Young in an effort to save his soul.
Based on an actual historical event, And Should We Die is human nature at it's best and worst, a struggle to survive against an unforgiving mother nature. And Should We Die is ultimately a love story from out of the history of the American West."

Back Cover
The following is the novel's introduction that was written in 1999-2000:


And Should We Die was drafted and written as my first attempt at a novel. The writing was finished over a period of time from October, 1986 to early 1987. As a novel the writing was submitted and returned by two literary agents as not-marketable as written.

I made several attempts at a re-write but each time came very quickly to an inability to change anything with any kind of enthusiastic creativity; a circumstance I attributed to mental burn out with the novel itself.

Now I view it differently. The writing is a novel but more than that a reflection of what has been inside the writer. The final drafts and an assortment of redrafted parts are in my possession. The original first draft, after subsequent drafts were written, was relegated to use by myself and family as scratch paper.

In retrospect, that original writing may very well contain the purity of expression before editing and perhaps a bit more of the essence of what was in my mind. However, the original process of editing was merely a polishing of the rough draft in the first place and a case could be made that such polishing further refined and made accurate the precise messages coming from within.

This is the value of And Should We Die. It is my equivalent of "survivor art", if you will, where someone in a therapeutic context attempts to portray in pictures what exists and is felt inside. This is very personal writing from within. It expresses feelings, beliefs, attitudes and other emotions that were no longer willing to be bottled up and which, as a result, pushed out into a written expression in 1986.

However, for a long time there was no one to read and comprehend. As the source of the writing, I myself saw it only as an attempt to write marketable historical fiction; an attempt that accomplished nothing more than to reveal to me an aptitude for writing. However, I had only a superficial understanding that what came out on paper was very revealing of personal inner thinking. Although I was very proud of and devoted to the writing, I saw it only as an attempt that had failed.

Although I attempted once or twice to read it to the family, I myself did not sustain that effort. There seemed to be no one else who could or would take the time to read it and the drafts lay in boxes in my home for 12 years. On two occasions in the past five years I’ve attempted to read parts to my wife, Lietta, and each time I was brought to tears by what I read.

I did not understand at those times why such would be the case except for the fact that the writing represented a time when I worked like hell to give birth, if you will, to something restless within me. People use the phrase of “having a novel in here that needs to be written,” and this for me was a blood-sweat-and-tears effort that defined part of a writer's task.

However, recently, while on vacation, my wife invited me to read the novel to her from the start. I no sooner started to read than found myself again in tears. But this time I saw something quite disturbingly clear. This writing was created for my eyes in particular and it contained images that suddenly sprang into view much like commercial pictures that contain smaller hidden pictures.

The more I read the more frequently I was moved to tears until it became obvious that 12 years ago, I had subconsciously put in words much of what I was unable to say out loud. The act of reading these words aloud to another person somehow served a therapeutic purpose that elicited responses way beyond being involved in reading fiction.

The writing is multi-layered. The characters all speak, obviously, from within my perceptual source. The characters are, as any writer will tell you, extensions of myself more than they are creations modeled on someone else. The characters reflect different points of my own view and, being multi-layered, there are many levels of perception.

I read this novel with very strong emotions and, twelve years after it was written, I acknowledge that it represents the essence of how I see myself in terms of ancestry, culture and background. For me it is an anthem to who I am and the kind of courageous people from whom I am descended.

In transcribing this writing from the paper copy which was done with a typewriter I have made a few corrections of grammar, spelling and syntax for clarity purposes (to the degree I am able to do good proof-reading). I would not add to, delete or change anything in this material, as it comes directly from my inner world and reflects too much to try to change it after the fact.

A.C.R., South Bend Washington, October, 1999


Preserving Culture Through Art
Artist Draws on Native Heritage 


from Lewis County Chronicle online

By Carrina Stanton
For The Chronicle

Though too humble call art a talent, Charles Funk of Chehalis does say it's been a part of his life as long as he can remember.

"I went to a school reunion once and my second grade teacher came up and said, ‘I remember you. You used to draw in the margins of all your papers,'" Funk said. "It's become a way of life."

Through a lifetime of artistic endeavors, Funk has thrown himself into a variety of media. Just to name a few, he's been involved in commercial art, illustrative work, oil paintings, watercolors, screen printing and carving. A common thread through most of his endeavors, though, is the inspiration from his family history and childhood memories of Willapa Harbor and the Chinook Indian Tribe.

"When I'm just sitting and loose drawing things I do Willapa Harbor," Funk said. "That or dancing bunnies, but that's for the children."

Funk has been involved with the Chinook Tribe and the Quinault Indian Reservation since his grandparent's generation. His father worked on the reservation in the Indian Conservation Corps, which was an organization similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps. More recently, Funk has been a member of the Chinook Tribal Council for two years.

The 2,000-member Chinook Tribe, based near Astoria, Ore., is not yet recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, though they are working on reinstatement. Funk said Northwest Indian is a popular art style with local artists, but what makes his art unique is it is drawn specifically from the traditions of the Chinook Tribe. Though it is similar to many local Native art styles, it has its own flavor, he explained.

Image -Chronicle online.

Pacific County Fair

Performing Arts at the Raymond Theatre

Shoalwater Bay Casino

Published by SwanDeer Productions
Arthur and Lietta Ruger, Bay Center, Willapa Bay in Pacific County Washington


Willapa Magazine 2007 is an internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The opinions expressed by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own. Willapa Magazine recognizes Fair Use law and publishes original writings in their entirety based on 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Willapa Magazine Permission of author(s) ia required for reprinting original Willapa Magazine writings and the original author(s) for material posted under fair use law.