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The New Business, a Year Later

It’s been a year since “The New Business” launched; there have been changes! Vertical Succulents became Highway 92 Succulents in January, and customers responded with great support. Take a look at the space below, one year after I signed the lease!

Rosie the LGBT Riveter – Special from Newsweek

Last week an article in Newsweek reported on the effort to collect WWII homefront stories from the LGBT community — especially women within the community. My book Wax and I were mentioned and I’m honored. Here’s a PDF of the article for your reading pleasure!

The new business

It’s hard to pass up a good deal. On May 18th – exactly 40 days ago – I discovered a greenhouse for lease for 14 cents/square foot, with retail space at the front of the house offered at 23 cents. A long-time friend (I won’t call him old) with a dream of becoming a nurseryman was ready to jump in, but he’d committed to some large scale projects through the summer.

The new book

I’m still working on The Earthen Corral. I thought I’d finish it by Christmas 2012, but that was before the wreck of the Fjord Queen on October 13th. The clean-up (both physical and bureaucratic) took much longer than expected and before it was complete, Barry nearly electrocuted himself. I was buying pumpkin for a Thanksgiving pie when I got the call from a deputy sheriff. Barry was in a coma for a week, but eventually made a full recovery. Other life events have conspired to keep me from finishing the book, but now I’m getting back to it. I’ve missed it.

Help fund WWII Home Front History Exhibits.

Proceeds from the sale of “Wax” will help fund new exhibits at Rosie the Riveter/ WWII Home Front National Historical Park. Click on the “Buy Books” link in the top menu bar.


I took a little side trip of my own today. Sometimes if the weather’s nice and the tank is full, I’ll follow the GPS instead of the map. Usually the route is direct; unfortunately it’s not always paved. Here I’m waiting for my turn to cross a river without a bridge.

Many hands make light work.

To everyone who helped: combing the beach for rubble, cutting wood and metal, loading sleds and sacks, toting loads, offering kind words, strong hands, and so much heart (not to mention homemade cookies): A very big THANK YOU!! The day was a huge success, with a fifty member human chain moving 9000 lbs of shipwreck. She was loaded for transport by 2:30. Both tanks were removed as well as all the boat debris that made it to the beach.

The Fjord Queen on the Rocks

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 4:00 hours, the captain of the F/V Fjord Queen was ordered to leave her trapped on the rocks at Ross’ Cove. He’d gone aground at 2:30, and after a ninety minute struggle to right the ship, was taking on water. The Coast Guard and other emergency responders were there to assist.

One Year Later

A year after its publication, a reviewer in Canada wrote this about Wax. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about a sequel!

The cat's name is Loofie

I'm often asked, at readings, about the inspiration for "Wax". I was inspired by oral histories I read — transcripts of interviews with women who worked in the shipyards during WWII — obtained through Rosie the Riveter, WWII Home Front, National Historical Park.

Utopian Experiment

Potrero Nuevo Farm is located just south of Half Moon Bay, about a mile east of the Coast Highway. I pick vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers there on Monday afternoons as a member of the UPick Club. I like to joke that the farm is a utopian experiment – a successful one.


The working title is “Wheels”. My neighbors are monitoring my progress. Most think it’s a pretty cool project; one thinks I’m crazy.

WWII American Home Front Oral History Project

I'm often asked, at readings, about the inspiration for "Wax". I was inspired by oral histories I read — transcripts of interviews with women who worked in the shipyards during WWII — obtained through Rosie the Riveter, WWII Home Front, National Historical Park.

Thank you Kaiser Heritage

I was happy to have the booth next to Kaiser Heritage during last weekend's Home Front Festival in Richmond. The health care network that now serves 8.6 million members was born in the Richmond shipyards during WWII.

WWII Home Front Festival

On October 15th I had the pleasure of participating in the Richmond, WWII Home Front Festival, a cooperative effort between the City of Richmond, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and the National Park Service. I hadn't attended before, but I will attend again.

Book Tour Cat and Book Store Cat

Loofie (aka Alice Aloof) has been my faithful traveling companion on the Tin Can Camper Book Tour. For the most part, our journey's been uneventful.

The Frogman and Four-Eyed Frog Books

I was driving through Gualala, California when I saw an adopt a highway sign: the litter free road was compliments of Four-Eyed Frog Books.

Publication Party

Last night one hundred friends gathered on the back patio of The Gate in Belmont to celebrate the publication of "Wax". Many, many thanks to all who helped with the event

Bob's Beach Books Authors' Fair

An important stop on the Tin Can Camper Book Tour! I never know what to expect and I'm never disappointed.

Wonderful Book Stores

I'm grateful to the independent booksellers hosting me in their wonderful stores — I've just updated the schedule. I'll be starting in the north in mid-September;

Rosie the Icon

The "We Can Do It" poster created by the War Department to recruit women for industry, has taken on a life of its own, spanning generations. The image has been used on kids' lunch boxes and campaign mailers.

During and After Photos

Now I know about aluminum primer, which is useful information if you plan to paint aluminum.

Sylvia's Famous Camping Spaghetti Sauce

When “Wax” was nearly ready to print, I was asked to provide two pages of filler. The printer’s final page “signature” is produced in multiples of eight, so my 334 page book was a little short. What would be worth printing? Clue: the women are eating spaghetti in two important scenes.

Exfoliating Mighty Mouse

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I discovered rubbing compound. Who knew that fifty-seven years of oxidation would buff off?

Field of Dreams

That's what came to mind when I first arrived at Vintage Campers in Peru, Indiana. I'd foolishly worried about not being able to find the place. Proprietor Dan Piper explained that he'd "got the disease — bad" and started collecting.

1954 Beemer

Airstreams are the Cadillacs of tin can campers. In Wax, Tilly lives in a sixteen foot beauty in Parking Lot C. I found a 1948 Wee Wind, restored, for thirty-eight thousand dollars — about thirty-six thousand more than I intended to spend.


About Author

Therese Ambrosi Smith became fascinated by a remarkable collection of WWII oral histories at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park, and her debut novel, Wax, was born. Her short fiction has incorporated personal tales of work and travel: climbing mountains, surveying logging roads, designing parks and playgrounds, tending bar and selling fish. She completed the UCLA Writers' Program in June 2009, and is currently embarking on a "tin can camper book tour."