Books by Amalie Rush Hill


To those who write comments to my website:

Please indicate what you are referring to and write in complete sentences so I can understand your intent. I’m never sure what article or even what site you are commenting on. I would be happy to answer and/or comment on your input, if so addressed. And as a writing teacher, I expect my students to read over what they write so there are as few errors as possible. This means taking the time to craft a well thought out response, pro or con. If the comment is worth making, it is worth doing it as well as you can. Sorry if this seems like a school project but if we are to truly communicate, we have to follow the rules of grammar, spelling and so on. The Internet is an impetuous and tenuous medium littered with all manner of misguided attempts at interaction and it behooves us to be precise.

Thank you


Shoals of Time

I am currently working on book three of Amolaja and am on page 126 or so. It goes slowly, I guess. I haven’t got a deadline so it goes as it goes. It’s fun to write. I name my characters and they do stuff: walk, talk, interact with each other, etc. I’m never really in charge and I let them do whatever they want. Sometimes I think I know where we’re going but then they [characters] do something I didn’t expect and we’re going in a new direction. That’s what makes it fun. And I love words and paper although I don’t use paper anymore for writing, just for drawing. When I started writing long ago I used paper but that was in the days before computers – yes, there were days before computers. I also love the sound of the clicking of the keyboard – I just do. Read my bio info and you’ll learn more about me.

Thanks for checking in. I can’t communicate without someone to read, listen, watch, etc. I was a theater major in college and I understand the relationship between the actor/writer/artist and the audience.

Discontinuity Volume Two of Ambolaja

At the end of the hallway was a large space that seemed open to the outdoors. It took him a moment to realize the glow was a kind of phosphorescence covering the walls. He could see the two women on either side of Jericha’s bed and they appeared insubstantial in the strange light. As he approached, they backed away from her side.

Finneas looked down on his wife and was filled with a sense of wonder; she looked just as she had when they first met, young and beautiful. Her face was unlined, as perfect as a waxen doll. At first he wondered if they had encased her in something or if her real body were elsewhere. He touched her face. It was warm and he jumped a little at the electric shock that met his hand.”

Indicator Species

Indicator Species

Do we ask so much, ye Spotted Owls,
Ye indicator species?
We ask to stay and cut awhile is all,
Until the forest is gone.
It is renewable.

Renewable resource:
Once the tree is down, it is no more.
The human billions on Earth are a
Renewable resource, too.
Where there are people now
There will be people tomorrow,
Different, but renewable.

We ask only to burn the rainforest.
Is that too much to ask?
We only wish to fertilize…
We only want jobs…
We only want to fill up this swamp
With waste…

The trees have not grown back
In the long-ago Saharan forest
Nor the only-yesterday
The petroleum poisons will not be polite
And leave when their job is done.
What is our job,
This precious work for coin that costs so much?
What is the problem with our coal-fired plants?
What is the problem with chemicals
To grow more and kill more pests?
What is it?

What is a renewable resource anyway?
A library?
A mind?
The wind?

The great hardwood forests are gone.
They did not renew.
The great evergreen forests are going
And the tropical forests, too.
So what is it with trees anyway?
Trees, the power plants of water,
Wind and oxygen.
They are beauty, home and soul.
They stand with their rooted feet in soil
So thin that a wind, fire and rain
Will wash it all away.
Eons ago great forests burned,
Blew down
And died of drought.
Their bodies remained to nurture the new.
Now they are ripped up,
Taken away and the broken pieces burned,
Exposing land, leaf and animal to instant violation.

Renewable resource.
What is the indicator species?
We are.
The timber man has lost his job,
Because of better machinery,
Because of recycled paper,
Poor economy …
Because of owls?
No, because like the owl,
He is endangered.
Set aside some forest
For the owl and the lumberman.
Which will be the first to use theirs up?

People are endangered.
We are everywhere and our numbers increase,
Still we are losing …
Losing the air, the water,
A suitable climate for living,
Losing ground.

Nowhere on earth does the wind blow clean.
Nowhere on earth does the wave lap pure upon the shore.
Nowhere on earth is a man’s worth related
Or relevant to the worth of a Man.
A man’s worth now is his paycheck
Once all men had work and their payment was life.

We are the indicator species.
We indicate destruction, disease, poverty,
We indicate ignorance and arrogance.
We indicate politics.
We indicate some important power held
Tightly and in vain.
We do not own the world.
We cannot hold power in our hands
Or our pockets
Or a numbered Swiss account.
We hold power in our hearts and souls.
We share the power
With the trees and the owls …
The whale and the wolf.
We share it all.

And when the rain falls no longer,
When the unfiltered sunlight burns corn and beans
And flesh;
When there is no water, or food or air,
Who will be left to get a job,
To pump gas,
To till and toil,
To teach the children?
Who will be left to hear the moan of the wind,
Rustling the dead leaves,
Crying for its Mother Earth?
Who will be left to hear Her
Crying silently to the dark skies
For Her children: the insects, the trees,
The birds, the grass, the horse,
The Man?

For so long, the Man indicated Tomorrows,
Dreams, beauty, love, so much
And gave not a backward glance;
Gave so little back.
Left too little.
Took too much.
Borrowed on Time.
Charged to the Future.
No credit left.
No job.
Can’t pay.

Spring 1992, Revised 2008

Moving Forward…

I have decided that I might as well use this space for my essays and poetry as long as it is available. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner. I have added an essay today and it is one that will be included in a book of essays. We will be setting up a publishing company and “Discontinuity” will be edited and republished under that imprint as well as “Ambolaja” after the rights revert to me later this year. I have a small book of poetry ready to go, too. I am very excited about going forward with this. As soon as the time is right, we will proceed. Watch for the launch info here.

What Is My Name?

What Is My Name?

It occurs to me more and more that there is not much to separate what we usually call good and evil, or to determine the difference. If it is who we are, then the issue is simple: them and us. If it is what we do, then it becomes more complicated.
If I kill in the name of God, the only determinant is what name I call God. If I kill to protect, then the invader is wrong. If I kill to simply dominate, then I am wrong to force my will on others. If I kill because I can, then there is no excuse.
If I kill in the name of God – then the right or wrong of it only depends on the side you are on. My God is Banana and yours is Peel, so it is obvious that your god is wrong. The hero of the piece is determined by which altar he kneels to and who takes the day.
If I kill to protect, then the invader is an open target. If I kill to protect and the invaders are stronger then I am called a rebel. If I kill to protect and the invader is a foreign government or a distant government that only seeks power and land and riches, then I am a revolutionary or terrorist.
If I kill to dominate then I am a tyrant or I am Alexander or I am Hitler or George Custer, or Agamemnon, or any other of a legion of men with power in their sites.
If I kill because I can – then I am a monster. Unless I am killing for the name of God or rights or causes or because I say it is manifest destiny.
People all over the world have used these tactics at one time or another. People all over the world have been the victims of these tactics. Now we believe ourselves to be better than the invaders, murderers, and so on, those from the past. But if our actions are what label us then at what point do we become that which we fight? If I murder innocents in the name of right or god or power or glory, I am still a murderer in the eyes of the victims. If I use the tactics used by conquerors but my goal is not domination, to the conquered, how am I different from any other tyrant?
Slip any name into any slot. Name Allah as the god I kill for and in the eyes of the West, I am a terrorist. Name Jesus Christ as the god I fight for and in the Holy Lands of the Crusades, I am an invader and an infidel. If my God is Mammon, then to the poor I am a monster. If I am an American, fighting to achieve my independence from England, then I am a Patriot. If I am a Shiite Moslem, fighting in Iraq, I am a terrorist or insurgent. If I am protecting my homeland, I am a hero at home but a criminal to the invader. If I am Alexander and I am conquering lands to raise them up and educate them, to bring them into the civilized world, then I am doing a favor to those I conquer. If I am a conquered man, sold into slavery simply because I am the spoils of war, then the conqueror has not helped me.
There are no absolutes. There are only sides, opinions, names and ideals. As long as we, any we, or they, try to impose on me a life that I did not choose, then it is an injustice. If I am a murderer trying to live within a system that says I am not supposed to murder, then I shall be punished by that system. That is individual treatment. To punish a whole society for acting upon their beliefs is tyranny.
I ask the question again: using the tactics of war or invasion or torture, or any kind of mistreatment, how I am I different than any other torturer, invader or murderer? If I use the same weapons, but call them a different name, how am I better? If my actions are intended to harm any other person, but I do so in the name of my good, how I am different? If the enemy is ruthless and cruel, and I resort to the same tactics to overcome him, how am I different?
I have no answer to the question. I suspect that until we learn new ways of being and acting toward others, the wheel will continue to turn. We have to break out of the cycle. And we are programmed to say that innocent people will die if we do nothing. Innocent people are dying as we are doing something. Innocent people are being imprisoned, tortured, starved, enslaved and murdered every day because they are where the fighting is. Not because of their beliefs but because they are believed to be disposable.
I believe that what I do comes back to me. I may not be able to see it or understand it when it does, but I can be pretty sure that what goes out comes back to me. Therefore, I lay down my saber even if it means that I am cut down. I stop being a soldier, stop fighting. I can use my words as a means of change not a sword.
I will be who I am, not another version of a butcher in the name of my good, my god or my ideals.

March 2006


I was given a chance to opt out of my contract with Publish America for Discontinuity and I accepted it. This means that in October 2012, both of my books will revert to me and I will be at liberty to re-edit and reissue them under my own control. There may still be Discontinuity books online but you will no longer be able to order them from the publisher.

Interview and Other news

I was interviewed in September about my books by Dr. Veronica Esagui. You can view it on her website under Author’s Forum, #40. I have gotten very positive feedback from those who have watched it. Some people have even said it made them want to read the second book. And with that in mind, please note that I have cancelled my contract with Publish America for “Discontinuity.” There may be books floating around the Internet but new copies will out of print for awhile. Next fall my contract for “Ambolaja: Into the Light” will also expire. Within the coming year I hope to be on track for new publishing – watch this site!

Shoals of Time

The third Ambolaja book is currently under construction. My target date for completion is 2012 – sometime!

Not sure where it’s going but as with the other two, I’ll tag along and take notes.


Tuesday September 13, Dr. Veronica Esagui will be interviewing me on CCTV from Oregon City, OR. This will be aired for two weeks in the Portland. I hope to be able to post it on U-tube and on this site – watch for it!

Next book event will be at Clackamas Town Square Mall around Christmas – date not yet certain. I will post it when I know.