Following are comments from an array of readers, family & friends from the past extended year. They are fairly much in order, but some have been taken out of chronology, just for fun. We at "Wild West Woman" Publications hope that you will enjoy them. If you would like to add a comment of your own, please feel free to do so on our Guest/Blog. Who knows... they may end up on this page! Thanks for visiting...
Entry 42 - 20.Mar.2007 21:39:43
My favorite part is the marital moment in monument valley when Laura tells Pete, her life partner for 25 years, that he is history if he won't take the pup shed just met with them. She won't go if the pup doesn't go. Being on the other side of the conversation I am truly in disbelief... But not willing to test a relationship that starts new and fresh every day. A relationship which if not tended gently like a gardener protecting her latest seedlings can wilt quickly right in front of you. If you ever find yourself in a situation like this, I can only advise you to follow your heart. I did and have had immeasurable rewards and no regrets.
Entry 4 - 20.Mar.2006 09:52:44
i read this book last Fall while on vacation in Virginia.......i could not put it down. i would read for hours at a time, so anxious to hear what would happen next. i was so involved in this story that when i read the last page, i called Laura and asked if i could drive down to see Kokopelli. She graciously allowed me a visit, and i spent most of the day on her farm in awe of HER and Kokopelli, the dog. i immediately bought 36 books to bring back down here to Florida, where i gave them out to all my friends. This book was such an inspiration to me......it allowed me the freedom to "follow my heart" like Laura did. She gave me such a gift by writing this book. i am forever grateful to her.
My dear Alice -
Entry 7 - 21.Mar.2006 00:51:20
This is a story so improbable, you think it must be made up. Except it isn't. Laura Cockerille Giannini has become my idol for gutsiness and living life adventurously. Her tale made me laugh till the tears rolled.
Entry 1 - 14.Mar.2006 14:33:36
I have read The Kokopelli Journals and was thrilled by the amount of detail about our beautiful American Southwest. I am from a tiny little town in New Mexico and was charmed by Laura's descriptions of The Turquoise Trail, Santa Fe, Taos - and even the "High Road" leading to Taos. Throughout the story her words take me back home...
What an adventure for anyone! I am so sorry for the tragedies that Laura and Pete had to face in the loss of family and friends to the murders in their lives, of which she writes in the beginning, but they wouldn't let that stop them from celebrating their anniversary. Not even September 11th of 2001 stopped them - even though this was their 25th. They showed remarkable courage to keep going. And for Laura to have had the gumption to save this desert puppy not only once, but a second time, and with the law at her heels, to boot, is unbelievable!! The story of how all of this came about it amazing - I laughed and I cried in reading this wonderful book.
A friend gave The Kokopelli Journals to me for my 48th birthday and it is one of the gifts that I will most cherish, and will read over and over again. Anytime I want to "go home" I will pick it up and start reading. Open a page anywhere in the book and go from there. It is that well written. Thanks to Cindy for the gift - and thanks to Laura for writing about her incredible experience in the Four Corners!! Like Daryl said, in the book: "You go girl!" I can't wait for your second book - and your third! Oh, and the illustrations, the poetry, the quotes that start the chapters, and the maps of the Four Corner region were beautiful. It was a spiritual journey into the heart. The whole book is a work of art!
Entry 6 - 20.Mar.2006 19:30:54
Heart & soul betrayed too often, by too many people…animals and nature became Laura’s best friends. The Kokopelli Journals is a story about triumph, hope, courage and good news. Laura illustrates her lifelong passion for the untamed Wild West, the animals that share it, and her own spirited adventurous nature. Along the way, we meet the colorful characters that both helped & hindered Laura throughout her [mis]adventures. Her poetic descriptions of the American Southwest will have the Books on Tape fans waiting in line for this one.
Entry 5 - 20.Mar.2006 18:35:24
I read this book when it was coming in 30 pages at a time. Laura first told me the story as we walked along our ridge road one summer evening. At that point she'd already been renting a room so that she could work on it. She worked on it in the wee hours of the night and in the early morning. She worked between feeding the horses, gardening and caring for her three children. I loved every little portion of the story that she brought to me, typed and edited, so that I could put in my two cents. (Believe me, it was two cents too.)
The story is so profound in so many ways. It is full of tales of the southwest, history of the southwest, environmental issues, historical moments and the stuff of day-to-day living. All of this is bound up in the good will of hundreds of people. Laura and Pete are the types that make friends easily and they're fascinated by life, art, nature and history. The Americans that they meet along the way: their own children, animals, truck drivers, balloonists, waitresses, hotel clerks, police, tour guides and old friends weave a thread of love and good will throughout all the adventures and tales from the past. In America, we are so inundated by tales of war and famine and we are all tempted by the media coverage to be afraid of outsiders and each other that Laura's book is a breath of fresh air! It is a reflection of what makes America great...the people on the ground, the people (as Jodi Foster says) who get up every day and make breakfast for their families and go to work and help their neighbors and share flowers and seeds and food and love. The Kokopelli Journals is about what makes life worth living in spite of the bad stuff. Everyone should read it.
Entry 11 - 1.Apr.2006 10:25:44
Dear Laura, I wanted to tell you just how much I enjoyed
reading "The Kokopelli Journals". I have always wanted to
see that part of the US, and never have. In your book you made the area
seem alive with wonderful description and through your adventures. Your
written clarity brought to life the wonders of the 4 corners, and other
places, as well as the people and, of course, the animals of the region.
Thank you for committing such time and effort in bringing your discoveries
to all of us who have not shared the experiences.
Entry 8 - 21.Mar.2006 02:03:51
I want to thank all my friends & readers
for taking the time to log on & add your thoughts about my book,
of which I've poured my heart & soul in the writing & endless
details & edits in these last 4-plus years. I am truly touched &
honored by your sharing what the story has meant to you. It makes climbing
that glass mountain worth every little aggravation & doubt that
I faced in the process...
Entry 34 - 4.Nov.2006 14:26:44
I was checking out the Calendar/events link when I stumbled
upon the Guestbook link. Great! I have been wanting to say how much
I enjoyed reading The Kokopelli Journals. My wife and I fought for who
reads it first. She got it for a book club read, but I kept sneaking
it away from her - and then getting caught up in the story!
This comment is long delayed, from your very nice entry some time ago, Fred. Unfortunately, I erased it in doing my daily 'sweep' of the trivia continually placed on this Guestbook site. I had the presence of mind, however, to copy most of the wonderful comments that have been shared, so I've taken the liberty of repeating yours, and the last - Janet Cox's entry (which I also accidentally erased), so please - just go with it... I'm sure there's a way to have been more proficient, but I haven't yet figured it out... Again, thanks for your comments, Fred, & I do hope that you & your wife are soon able to make it to the Southwest! Laura
Entry 9 - 23.Mar.2006 08:05:54
Entry 40 - 8.Mar.2007 16:37:20
I just finished your book, Laura, and wanted to add my 2cents, like so many others have done. One thing that caught my eye was your subtitle, "A Southwest (mis)Adventure - cute! - of Discovery, Compassion, Empowerment... & Mischief". As I read your story I realized that, as it unfolded, this was a very good description of the contents of your book. But "Journals" isn't. It begins as a travel-log, after your touching and difficult introduction, and then reads like a novel. So "Kokopelli Journals" might give one the idea that it is a diary or journal. Have you thought about that? I still LOVED your story, Laura, but was curious about the name.
I also found myself looking at your dust jacket photo,
on the back inner flap, many times during reading, as I felt so close
to you and your world and your words, like I almost knew you. I noticed
ed that this isn't a "Hollywood glamour shot", but a photograph
of a real person, which is just what your writing portrays. It's honest
and real. Thank you for not being pretentious. Our world is full of
superficial glamour with nothing underneath it. Your photo & your
writing: unpretentious, caring & so, so real. It reminds me of Barbara
Kingsolver's stories, only hers are fiction. Keep on writing, but please
don't let success go to your head -
Hey, Lizzie - or Elizabeth,
Actually, quite a lot of the story was based on actual journal notes that I had written both at the time of Pete's & my original travels, immediately after 9/11, & then again when I returned solo to retrieve Pelli. Some of the words are verbatim. This is why it was important to me - & only fitting - that it be called The Kokopelli "Journals," even though I chose to write much of it as narrative nonfiction, in a novel lay-out, to keep it reading smoothly.
My follow-up book (when I get the chance to finish it) will likely be "Kokopelli's Capers," w/ our little farm as background, showcasing Pelli’s antics as she continues to live up to her name. And does this one ever start w/ a bang!!
Thanks for your comments about the dust jacket photo, Lizzie. Pete took that of me outside our home & I relate to it. Yes, it isn't glamorous & I'm not made up like a Hollywood star - but then, I'm anything but. The jacket I'm wearing, in fact, I've had longer than I've known Pete - which is a very long time. It's an old, beat-up farm jacket w/ a denim heart sewed long ago over a barbed-wire rip. The poor old thing is falling apart, & some days I can relate... but it still hangs in there.
I love Barbara Kingsolver's writing & am honored that you compared my work to hers. Several people have paralled TKJs with her book, The Bean Trees, & the follow-up to that one, Pigs in Heaven. I'm just thrilled that my story meant so much to you & thank you for sharing your thoughts -
Entry 13 - 4.May.2006 00:03:17
Dear Laura -
Entry 17 - 25.May.2006 15:17:25
I bought a copy of The Kokopelli Journals from a Starbuck's signing and finally read the book. I am busy and it took my awhile to get into the story, as Laura meandered through their travels in New Mexico and Utah before ever finding this stray puppy. When I settled down and let myself relax and just get into the story, I found it a comfortable read, an explicit & beautifully described journey with this very real couple through these Southwest lands. I also learned a lot. September 11th hangs in the background, like a shroud on the mood of the story, but Laura tells it so well, and brings this time to life, I found myself looking forward to the updated news in the headlines she shares throughout the book. And how timely some of these are to what is going on in the news today.
I became engrossed in the way she incorporated the murders
in her life with 9/11 and the finding and saving of this puppy, it made
me crazy to want to find out what happened - and I didn't have time
to read, but didn't want to put it down, either. Thanks a lot, Laura,
for backing me up with all my workload, but thanks, too, for writing
this incredible book, this journey into the soul, and for sharing so
much of your life with us. Is Kokopelli with you now, and is she doing
Oh - LOVED the drawings and the maps and all your quotes you have in the book! They're a part of what make the story so rich.
Entry 3 - 19.Mar.2006 22:39:19
I am president of the Friends of the Fluvanna County Library in Virginia. Laura was a guest speaker at one of our meetings recently. It was a great program as Laura talked about her book, The Kokopelli Journals. The book went over very well. I, personally, enjoyed the book very much. It's filled with history, love of nature, love of animals and love of humanity. It's a winner.
Entry 22 - 5.Jul.2006 19:08:31
Laura, thank you for this wonderful journey. I am so glad to have met you and your husband at your book signing in Barboursville. Your story is testament that all sentient being deserve compassion and respect and that we need to take special care of this one planet in which we all share. I have never been to the American Southwest but truly hope to visit all of the places that you have described so well. Kudos to you and Kokopelli!
Entry 24 - 26.Jul.2006 22:02:22
My mother in law bought this book for me in Charlottesville VA and Laura signed it for me. I am about halfway through and can't seem to put it down, I feel as if I'm there with Pete and Laura on their journey. Great job with this one, and I hopefully another adventure will be published soon.
Sarah, I'm go glad that you're enjoying your journey with Pete & me... Please log in again when you’ve finished!
Entry 35 – 15 Nov. 2006 18:18:38
Hello. I am well into your book, The Kokopelli Journals. I am so sorry for the great losses in your life, Laura, but want to commend you for your perseverance in continuing on, after both the heart-wrenching murders in your family, and after 9/11. You have a great spirit for life, and a refreshing, witty writing style that I am immensely enjoying.
I am savoring my journey with you and your husband through the Four Corners landscape. I am almost at the point where you find the puppy in Monument Valley (I cheated a little and read ahead), and I am greatly looking forward to how this will play out in the rest of your story. I feel as if I am on the trip with you, a traveling third party to all of your adventures, and I greatly appreciate this vicarious gift, as I am wheelchair bound. I enjoyed beyond words your description of hot-air ballooning with the cowboys you met in Taos, as your descriptions of the event take me there with you. For a little while I am transported out of my chair and into your great adventure. Your historical research has been meticulous (I know, as I have checked the details as I read along).
I have heard many fine comments about your book and wanted to write
to you and add mine. Keep up the good work, Laura, but I do suggest
that you make The Kokopelli Journals easier to locate. I had to search
for a copy; Barnes & Noble and Borders does not carry it. A friend
found a copy for me at a wine tasting event. I am quite sure that this
will be a best seller, if the public had more access to it. This is
not meant as a criticism - quite the contrary, it is a compliment. Please
let the public know it exists, and make it easy for them to find, for
you have a beautiful way with words that should be shared.
Dear William -
As far as Barnes & Noble & Borders goes, I have kept TKJs out of the big chains so far, as I feel strongly about a mutually supportive relationship w/ Independent Booksellers. It's the Wal-Mart vs. Mom & Pops concept/Made in America thing - especially w/ my 1st Edition, as this is my baby. That said, the very nice manager at Borders, in Richmond, just asked me to do a signing there, hopefully before Christmas, which requires my registering TKJs w/ them. I may do this, but my big next step is to find a major publisher - w/ the vision I have for this book - to launch it both nationally & internationally. It's time for the 2nd Edition. I've proved that TKJs has a huge audience & that it sells well. I've paid for the first round, now it's time to aim for the stars & moon & to go nationally, as well, w/ some of my ideas for fund-raisers for spay/neuter programs. There is so much to do!
Again, I thank you for writing, William. It
is an honor to be able to take you on a journey where your legs cannot
Entry 25 - 2.Aug.2006 18:53:02
Oh, Laura, Oprah has GOT to get a copy of your book! My husband & I bought a copy at a wine tasting signing. We shared it together, taking turns reading it (and sometimes we even read it to each other and laughed at the crazy things you got yourself into). You care so much about the world, and she does, too. You write with such passion and spirit. Oprah would like that so much!
The Kokopelli Journals has all the things going f9or it that she talks about on her show! She is an animal lover and you sure save the underdog. She is interested in Indians and the environment. She'll love your spunky style - even that you self-published it.
Send her a copy! We'd send our copy to her, but you can't have it back. Ed & I plan to start a collection of your books. Are you working on your next one yet?
Good luck! Rachel
Hey Rachel & Ed, thanks for your enthusiasm,
there... Yes, others have mentioned that Oprah would LOVE this story.
I am working on a letter to her now & will send this before Pete
& I head to New Mexico in September, for signings there & our
30th. We will see where this might lead... Who knows! If Oprah likes
The Kokopelli Journals, I surely won't need an agent to launch it nationally!
Again, thanks for being in touch.
Entry 20 - 2.Jul.2006 11:58:39
I very much enjoyed reading The Kokopelli Journals. To me, the book is part travelogue, part historical fiction, part historical non-fiction, part political commentary and part adventure story. Your honesty, willingness to share painful events, sense of irony and cynicism coupled with outright silliness and incredible sense of fun made for a good read and a wild ride through the west.
Certainly I got to know you and your loved ones in a very special way. Thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts in this very profound way.
Entry 21 - 4.Jul.2006 11:58:08
WOW ... It is truly difficult to describe in words just how much I enjoyed this book!! In essence, I literally couldn't put it down, & finished it cover to cover in just about 48 hours from time of purchase!! Laura's way with words, & the beautiful flow of the book itself compelled me to literally read until I fell asleep with the book in my lap!! In all honesty, I very strongly feel that this book is definitely one of the BEST that I have read in the last 30 or so years ... & I am a VORACIOUS reader!!! I more than highly recommend "The Kokopelli Journals" to anyone, & everyone who wants to read an absolutely fascinating, & captivating TRUE adventure!! No writer of fiction could possibly come up with such an incredible adventure!!! What more can be said as to Laura's recovery of the pup, other than those words of Frederick The Great ... "L'Audace, L'Audace ... Toujours L'Audace!" Keep on writing, Laura, & I'll keep on reading!!!!!!
Entry 26 - 7.Aug.2006 17:44:33
Hi there, Sarah, I'm sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner. We've been really busy w/ reunions & planning our trip to the Southwest. I'm glad that you liked TKJs so much & hope that your husband likes it, as well. I love that wives & husbands are enjoying it equally & getting such a kick of 'reading' it together!
Your father-in-law must be Gary, right? So Christie is your mother-in-law - a VERY find lady. Tell her hello, please. I would enjoy seeing her comments here, when she's finished her book... Thanks for being in touch; if we can help w/ suggestions when you're headed to these grand lands for your anniversary, let us know! Laura & Pete
Entry 28 - 11.Aug.2006 17:44:19
Hi, Sis! Sorry I'm just now checking out your guest book. You know I'm learning all about cyber-stuff. Am so proud of your success and am blown away by some of these comments. Look forward to helping any way I can with the upcoming "...Capers". Let me know!
P.S. Miss you. Was so nice to see you last week...for the 1st time this year! If ANYone understands how deeply you need/seek a clone, I do! Luv ya!
Betsy, thanks for your comments. Yes, a clone would be a Godsend... I thank you for all of your help w/ TKJs, & I'm sure w/ my next book, The Kokopelli Capers, which I'll resume writing "one of these days". Have fun w/ your new computer! LauraWop
Entry 30 - 9.Sep.2006 13:37:19
Laura and I have had a warm welcome in the Southwest,
in Santa Fe at "The Thirsty Ear Music Festival", at the Santa
Fe Humane Society Shelter Benefit signing, and reconnecting in Taos
with our outlet there; Featherstone Trading Company.
We'll update this a bit more after the Sagebrush Inn signings on Saturday afternoon 9/9/06 - hoping for good weather (in the local monsoon season - and they really need every drop of rain they get) as we have planned an outdoor patio signing at the Sagebrush, graciously hosted by Inn Keeper, Louise Blair.
Pete & I are home now, after a VERY busy
& interactive visit with fine old friends & some special new
ones, & an adventurous 30th. (Alas, no new pets; Pete's "sweeper"
must have worked overtime...)
Entry 31 - 2.Oct.2006 16:51:00
Laura, you are a warm, empowering, & inspiring woman!
And then I read it. I flew down to Florida recently to visit my ailing grandparents, starting your book the first day in the airport and ending it as I returned to Richmond. Let me tell you boy I couldn't put it down! I spent a lot of time helping my grandparents, but picked up The Kokopelli Journals every chance I could to "escape". I've traveled to those places you so beautifully describe and your words transported me back to those lands I so love. Thank You! I can't say enough good things about your writing, your style, your descriptions, your drawings - and your UNbelievable story! If I had 3 pages I couldn't write enough good things about what your book meant to me, Laura. I don't read - I don't have the time - but you make me want to read again - can't wait until you write your second. You can carry that in Black Rock, too!! I'll happily sell them both!
Meredith, sorry I haven't responded sooner to
all the positive things that you said about my book. I'm thrilled that
it moved you so much, especially as you know these areas of which I
write. And thanks, too, for carrying it in your beautiful Black Rock
Gallery; I am honored to be there, and you have sold many a copy of
The Kokopelli Journals!
Entry 38 - 8.Mar.2007 16:27:22
A friend of mine that lives in Barboursville gave me your
book (signed) that she bought for me as a gift in July. I loved it!
I too have a pet that I almost kidnapped and did relate to you vicariously!
What an adventure and I felt as if I was there with you every moment.
Entry 36 - 20.Nov.2006 17:40:18
Hi there, Joy -
Entry 37 - 8.Mar.2007 16:24:34
Laura, first of all, I hope you read this e-mail yourself. Second, I also hope you are patient enough to read a few lines written by someone who has always had a poor knowledge of the English language.
Now: you write so beautifully! As beautiful as the story
you tell. I've read the first and second chapters of your book three
times in a row. And now I want to read the whole book, of course. But
I would like to say: congratulations! Before asking you if you know
of the work of Cesar Millan with dogs. Thank you!
Entry 39 - 8.Mar.2007 16:29:23
I just finished the email campaign for Flying Fish Cafe's Costa Rica Giveaway party. I am glad you're going to be there so I can get a chance to meet you. George is hogging the book right now, but I can't wait to go to Costa Rica so I can get a chance to read it. Looks Great!
Hey there, Traci -
Entry 14 - 10.May.2006 13:05:34
I bought my signed copy of "The Kokopelli Journals" at the Nelson County SPCA animal shelter in Lovingston. I was reading another book at the time, so I put off reading it until last week. I was particularly interested in it because, although I was born and raised in Virginia, I lived in Utah for many years and often camped and hiked in the four corners area. I really got into the narrative and was enjoying it immensely, when I found that pages 177 through 224 were missing. Not torn or cut out, they simply were not bound into the book. I haven't seen comments about this by any others who have left messages in the Guest Book, so it must not be a general problem. Maybe my copy is unique. I don't want to continue reading without those pages (it's getting to the part where Laura and Pete find Dingo/Kokopelli), so I have put it aside temporarily. Please e-mail me your suggestion as to what I should do, Laura. I really want to finish your wonderful story.
Entry 16 - 21.May.2006 15:00:25
Many thanks, Laura! Earlier this week, I went over to the Almost Home animal shelter and exchanged books. The new copy has the missing pages, so I picked back up reading where I left off before. I enjoyed talking to you on the phone and hope to meet you in person at one of your local book signings. I hope Pete will be there, too.
Entry 15 - 12.May.2006 12:59:51
Hello, David -
If this is not convenient to you, please email
me & we will figure out a convenient way to switch-out your
book. I do not have your email address from this guest page. Again,
I apologize for this inconvenience. How odd. If you are in Charlottesville
today (May 12th), you might stop by Greenberry's Coffee shop; I'll be
there all afternoon signing books, and will replace yours on the spot.
Can't wait to hear what you think when you've gotten your new book and
can finish the story!
Wild West Woman Publications, LLC