My Works

My Works

The Key Peninsula, Arcadia Publishing. 2007

A pictorial history of a peninsula in Puget Sound, state of Washington, from mid-1800s through 2006.
Black and white photos of early pioneers, their descendants, buildings and scenery,
development of the various communities of the area to present day citizens,businesses, events and activities

Blue Deer: Four generations of poetry, in Winter 2011



Behind the asparagus
Shaded by the apple tree
On a blanket
A book for company
I created worlds


The birds are full of music
Sunlight beckons
After days of rain

I must go admire the trilliums
Young green oxalis

Scatters of color
Against evergreens and barren earth
Fresh canvasses heralding a new season

Geese overhead
Proclaiming Spring
Time to move on to new adventures

The windows will be there tomorrow

– Housewife-writers’ Forum, 1988


Hilda Matilda and Jennifer Jane

decided to go for a walk in the rain.

They put on their boots and mittens and caps

and bright yellow slickers with zippers and snaps.

They took their umbrellas and stepped out the door,

splashed in the puddles and looked ’round for more.

They stuck out their tongues and tasted the drops

then headed for home with jumps, skips and hops.

It’s fun to go out for a walk in the rain,

said Hilda Matilda to Jennifer Jane.

(verse one of four)



Biographies of contributors to Blue Deer

James McCourt O’Hara, born and raised in Ayrshire, Scotland, came to U.S. in 1930 to make his fortune. He loved words, and read dictionaries for fun, learning and using words new to him.  He loved music, sang and danced at any opportunity. He had many jobs over the years, including logging in Washington state. His favorites were landscaping and bartending. A tablet of some kind was a close companion, where he noted phrases he liked, started stories, and composed a few poems. He entertained his children with songs and stories, some made up on the spot.

Robert L. Slater is a teacher/writer living in Bellingham, Washington.  His stories and poetry have appeared in Story House, Continuum, SBD, Jackhammer, Goblin Muse, Martian Wave and on PBS in Earthscape. He has a should’ve been-a doctorate B.A. in Theatre/Education, Spanish and History minors and a M.A. in Educational Technology. He plays guitar, acts/directs in the Skagit River Shakespeare Festival, brews beer and mead, cooks, reads, practices Taekwon Do, writes novels, plays, songs, and sings. He has six children, ages 7 to 25 years. His motto is Robert Heinlein’s “Specialization is for Insects.”; for his novels:

Sheridan M. Musick Slater graduated from Chugiak High School with honors in 2009. She’s currently attending Western Washington University and pursuing a degree in everything. She’s an active board member of Shakespeare NorthWest, a non-profit organization, and enjoys debating with the WWU debate team. In her spare time, when she has any, she enjoys reading books, swing dancing, reading The Economist, wandering beaches, watching movies, baking, acting, reading more books, singing, and playing Frisbee.

Ian R. Q. Slater is in eighth grade at Shuksan Middle School where he plays classical cello. He was one of a handful of seventh and eighth graders selected from Bellingham, and across the state for Washington Junior All-State. He also auditioned this past summer for a music camp called Marrowstone, and was accepted. He regularly participates in North Sound Youth Symphony at WWU. He has background as a thespian, appearing in plays with Shakespeare Northwest, the Bellingham Theater Guild, and a few other companies. His other interests include academics, reading, as well as writing, and a few sports.

Sarah Slater is currently a senior at Insight School of Washington, due to graduate in June, 2011. She actively volunteers at Cascades Camp and Conference Center, a local Covenant camp, and attends horsemanship lessons monthly. She sings on the worship team at Grace Covenant Church of Bremerton. Aside from drawing, in her spare time she enjoys reading, horseback riding, swing dancing, video games, watching anything Sci-Fi, hanging out with friends, and listening to music.



Unpublished Pieces by Colleen


The waters of Puget Sound gently lapped the shore as she strolled across the sand to a beach chair.
She picked up the child’s miniature nursery rhyme book lying on the beach.
Would the child return to claim it?
No. The book was new, too new to be a favorite.
Something bought at the gift shop to keep an overactive child amused.
She smiled as she read the familiar rhymes of her own childhood

Curly Locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be mine?
He said he loved her curls, her eyes, her mind,
the sound of her voice, and he would take care of her forever. Forever…

Jack and Jill went up the hill…
They tried to overcome the mountain that blocked their road to marital bliss.
They fell down, injured, separated, each accusing the other of fault.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…
He called her his little Humpty-Dumpty when she added those extra pounds.
“I’m just happy,” she told him, and it became their little in-joke,
until he said, “I didn’t marry a fat woman,” and that wasn’t a tease.

Hey, Diddle-diddle, The cat and the fiddle…
How they loved to dance, and the old fiddler his father insisted play
at their wedding was a stroke of genius.
Danceable tunes, singable tunes, songs to make you laugh, cry, and break your heart…

But the dish ran away with the spoon…
He was the dish, the most handsome guy she’d ever known.
Her friends were envious, but he’d chosen her.
Then the tall, willowy, blonde spoon came along. Her friend at first, or so she thought…

Three Blind Mice…
Well, she was only one, but she had been as blind as any three women.
Blind to his attraction, blind to the spoon’s subtle flirting,
blind to those invitations to have him fix the leaking faucet,
help put together the new stereo, and the million other things…

Cross Patch, draw the latch…
That’s who she became when he left. She didn’t pick up the phone,
she didn’t answer notes, she simply withdrew from everyone and everything.
Nursery rhymes originated in real happenings.
She saw herself in every one.