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Home > Author > Eleanore MacDonald
Eleanore MacDonald

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  Eleanore MacDonald

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"If we humans can’t figure out how to treat the voiceless with dignity and caring, we’ll never come know peace."

Background Information

Eleanore MacDonald is a California native … a musician, an animal advocate, a writer, who lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on a small farm graced with a host of furred and hoofed creatures.  Growing up a motherless child in Carmel, CA., she found a great solace in the sea, in words and in the animals, drawing it all into her blood until they became a part of her––she has since then always sought a way to express that love through finding the extraordinary in an ordinary world. Eleanore is also part of an award winning songwriting team with her husband Paul Kamm and has been a performing artist for 32 years. A true friend of Greece - her people, culture and islands - she has been traveling there and working with, and for, the stray animals of the country's streets since 1986. She is presently working on her second novel, another book set in Greece that revolves around the hard beauties of the human-animal relationship, in the hopes of further engendering advocacy for the needy creatures everywhere.

You can learn more about Eleanore, through the words, the sea and the animals in her blog, Notes From an Endless Sea, at 

Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald -

Some people know her as half of the much-loved internationally known modern folk music duo of 30 years, ‘Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald’. Others remember her as a lifelong advocate for and lover of the animals, and for the almost decade long stint spent as a teamster on the streets of Nevada City, CA; the slight, ginger haired, whip wielding woman sitting on the box of a Vis a Vis carriage, gently commanding the reins of a 2,000 lb. Percheron draft horse. (She was well known for using the whip on the cars that came to close to the horses she drove and loved so much, and never upon the horses themselves.) Or, in the ’80s as a singer and keyboard player in the California based world dance band, Matinee Forever …

Now an author, Eleanore MacDonald is giving us something new to remember her by with the release of her first novel, ‘All The Little Graces’.  “Dream on! Don’t ever stop!” she exclaims over coffee, the cool morning at her home in Penn Valley accented by the song of birds and the grumblings of horses wanting to get out to their pasture.  ”This book is testament to the fact that we are never too old to realize our dreams. I always wanted to be an author – I’ve always written, but my life’s focus became more about performing; I danced, I sang, but it wasn’t until this story began to unfold on paper when I was 50 that my dream to be a ‘Writer’, capital W, took its form. So, live your dreams!  Don’t ever let anyone talk you into doing otherwise. Somehow, find that way to follow your heart.”  Now, at 58, her book is finished and first released in February as an e-book, it has been garnering some great reviews.

Set on a Greek island, All The Little Graces is a fictional story that revolves around the complicated beauty of the human-animal relationship.  “It’s a work of fiction, yes, but one that is based in truth. Paul and I began traveling in Greece in ’86, but it was when our family was planted on our favorite island for 6 weeks in ’90 that we met up with one of the book’s protagonists, ‘Margarita’, a loud little street dog who essentially adopted us and then opened our eyes wide to the reality of life as a stray animal in Greece.” Almost everything written in ‘Graces’ about the dog is truth, she says. “One of the ‘unwanted ones’ herself, Margarita set us off on a long and wild ride by deciding to adopt us, but she also introduced us to much more beyond the plight of the strays, to lovely people like the village fishermen and the black clad yia yias (grandmothers) who hold court on back alleys, the wise old men who haunt the ouzeries and benches scattered along the island’s harbor-front, people who run the local businesses and keep the island commerce alive, farmers who still to this day bring vegetables to town on the backs of their sturdy Skyros ponies and mules …  Margarita introduced us to the beauty, as well as to some of the harsh realities, of an enigmatic culture. We absolutely fell in love with Greece. It is our home away from home and offers great inspiration to both Paul and I. Many a song of ours has been written there.”

A percentage of proceeds from the e-sales and physical sales of ‘Graces’ will benefit 2 animal charities; Sammie’s Friends, the no-kill animal shelter/rescue in Grass Valley, CA. and the Skiathos Dog Shelter on the island of Skiathos in Greece. However, if you buy the book at either shelter, they will keep ALL of the proceeds. A lifetime lover and advocate of the animals, MacDonald says, “They have given me so much, taught me so much and a great focus of my life has been their well-being. I prefer the animals to most humans, actually. This is another way that I hope to be able to give back to them.”

And what now? “Well, Paul and I are working on our 10th CD, original music that we look forward to performing more of in Europe in the coming year; I will continue on my quest to find traditional publishing, and I’ve started working on my 2nd novel, again set in Greece. I think it must be time for me to go back there and do some more research, don’t you?”

Birth Place
San Francisco, CA US
Contact Information
Eleanore MacDonald
PO Box 181 
Nevada City CA 95946   US
Contact Author: Eleanore MacDonald
Favorite Links

Notes From an Endless Sea
Eleanore's blog - Eleanore MacDonald * Home * About * All The Little Graces ~ The Book * Reviews my endless sea March 26, 2011 I just need to begin. To begin. Now. This blog is called Notes From an Endless Sea. But here I sit, landlocked … no sea in sight … a coastal mountain range, a fertile expanse of valley and a tumbling of foothills to my West and 2800 vast miles of continent to my East! What I have discovered is that ‘endless sea’ really is metaphor for that well of inspiration that we each find our own ways to draw from, and for me, a well that is most certainly made more tangible by sense of ‘place’. Sometimes it is the south fork of our Mother Yuba River, here in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California –– Mother Yuba, with her cleansing waters pouring ‘round sun warmed, rounded granite boulders, welcoming us all, “lie down” she whispers while she takes our troubles from us and offers them to the ocean … sometimes it is the Glastonbury Tor, that first glimpse when coming upon it on a hedge shaded, sheep cluttered lane in the English countryside – an otherworldly vision always accompanied by a gasp of wondrous awe … the Chalice Well, too, into which I once peered and saw myself, thousands of years ago, and heard the voices of a hundred women, singing … or laying with my daughter in the heather and gorse within a prehistoric stone circle surely touched by Brigid, deep in the Dartmoor wilderness, surrounded by the wild ponies … some days it is simply a deep blue sky pocked with white upon white popcorn clouds, all washed with a broad stroke of diaphanous morning orange … always, always look up!! … or when I lay my cheek on the red mare’s soft neck and feel her magic shooting deep into the earth, grounding me as I listen to her fluttering sigh … or even the moments like –– just now –– when my Djuna Cupcake, the black lab and border collie of my waking dreams, my sweet goofy heart of hearts runs up to me wearing a huge waggy grin with a wad of my underwear hanging from his mouth (well, that I will explain at a later date). Laughter, peace, beauty, awe, depth … and more, they touch, they percolate, they brew and stew and turn into magic, into epiphany –– they are inspiration. One way or another. Mostly, my ‘endless sea’ is indeed an endless sea and all of the blessed moments spent at her shore embraced by her calm as I gaze out over waters of cerulean glass from the shade of one of Athena’s olives, or from the prow of an elegant old blue and white fishing caique … into a horizon borne of myth and medusa, Goddess and God, the ancient mariners and the marriage of sun and earth and sky. Breathing in the peace, breathing out a sometimes-writhing cacophony of thought, breathing out politics and all that bodes of ill in the world. And breathing in –– again –– peace. The Aegean Sea. Pure Magic. My literal Endless Sea, gently letting me empty so that I may fill, and begin again … All of it, the home of my Muse. So that endless sea has everything to do with the whys of my attempting to begin this blog … it is all of that inspiration that conceived, gestated, nurtured and then allowed me to birth my first novel, All the Little Graces. I dedicate this space to beauty, to sweetness, to dog pads and cat fur, breathing in the green of spring and the red of heart, to Grecian journeys and far away friends and all of the homeless and weary creatures I meet along my way. Welcome to My Endless Sea and all of her notes.

Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald
Eleanore's music site. Writing, whether of prose or of song, is shamanism, basic and elemental and filled with magic and color that can encourage one to think and feel in ways one may never have before.

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