Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Yellow-Jacket Trail

If you've read any of my books, you've soon met an animal, a pet, or a trail through the woods. Maybe that's because it's where I do some of my best thinking, and every trail I've ever followed stays with me.

When I was younger I spent a lot of time in the mountains at my grandparent's cabin. We had a trail on the sidehill behind the house filled with madrone and redwoods. One of these big redwoods, possibly scarred from fire, had a huge opening near the base. A wild cat had given birth there one time, so my brothers and I named the trail "the Kitty Cat Trail." That trail, and the story about that tree, inspired one of the events in my first book FINDING CHANCE.

There are lush woods and fern-filled trails right out our back fence where we live now, too. Here is the end of our "Upper Loop Trail," coming home with the dogs this morning:

And we have a narrow short-cut trail that we often take leading over to our neighbor's logging road. It was a convenient cut-off, until suddenly I was stung on the hand by a yellow-jacket as I went through. Ouch! My hand swelled up, hurt like %$#! for a couple of days and then itched for two weeks!

Sure enough, the nasty pests have a huge hole in the ground right where we walk, and until they go dormant in the winter, I'm not traveling that way anymore.

But of course that led to a name, and so forevermore, this path has now been dubbed "The Yellow-Jacket Trail":

What brings you inspiration in your daily life?

Do you have favorite trails? Do you name them?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Waiting on Cover Art

I'm on total pins and needles waiting to see the cover art for The Girl Who Remembered Horses.

Musa Publishing is a brand new publisher that launches next week, October 1, 2011, and I love that they have asked for suggestions. So because this book is an exciting adventure story about horses, I sent them lots of pictures of wild horses running, like this:

And this:

Of course there might also be a picture of Sahara, the main character in the novel, the girl who dreams of magnificent creatures that run like the wind - at a time in the future when no one remembers horses.

Will Sahara be on the cover? I don't know. I don't know. I can hardly wait to see, and can hardly wait to show you!

Meanwhile, hop on over and check out Musa Publishing. They are accepting submissions, and their Euterpe YA imprint is also looking for middle grade and young adult manuscripts.

The Girl Who Remembered Horses will release on November 11, 2011 and I should see my cover art soon. Don't worry! I'll post it here as soon as I can! *shiverswithanticipation*

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snowman: The Eighty-Dollar Champion

When I'm not writing books, I'm reading them. And I adore books about horses. Here's one that I just finished. It's currently on the New York Times Best Seller list, and it's fantastic.

I just wrote a review over on Equestrian Ink and you can jump over there and read it, but Snowman is a true story of a horse saved just in the nick of time from slaughter, who went on to become a champion jumper. Unbelievable story and highly recommended!

If you want to see what else I've been reading lately, here's my Goodreads page:

And if you want the latest information on my soon-to-be released book, The Girl Who Remembered Horses, here's the facebook page:

Are you a writer? Or a reader? Both?
What have you been working on or reading lately?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And Suddenly It's Fall . . .

Summer was brief here in the Pacific Northwest. We had rain and gloom through July, a few nice days in August, then just as the kids went back to school in September, we finally put together a string of lovely warm days in the high 80's.

But now I look outside and realize that Fall has arrived. Days are still pleasant but cloudy, the trees are turning color, and it won't be long before the cold rainy season is upon us.                                                    But somehow I don't mind.

I've got lots of new writing projects in front of me, and I'm eager to dive in.

I'm working on edits for my brand new YA novel  THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES coming out in November 2011 (in less than 2 months) from Musa Publishing in their brand new Young Adult imprint called Euterpe. I can hardly wait to see cover art, which I will share with you as soon as I can!

I'm polishing up two more manuscripts and getting them ready for submission.

And in between all this, I'm working on my newest YA novel in verse. And when I say working, I mean I am several thousand words into it, my mind is churning, and my character is frantically telling me her story while I make notes so she doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

So you can see why I'm almost looking forward to the rainy season. Time to stay inside and WRITE!

Which season is your favorite?
Are you sad to see Summer go?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picking a Book Club Book

Our New Book Club meets tonight for the first time. I'm excited! We've all been asked to bring at least one recommendation for a book to read, and in some fashion we will all decide what to read as a group.

Everyone is all in a tizzy. What to choose? How to pick? What is a "Book Club" book anyway?

Is it one of those you see with the ready-made questions printed in the back?
One that's been on Oprah's list? Or from some other Book Club list, like Goodreads?

For me, I think any book might work, as long as it is well-written and invites discussion afterward. A book that you savor, that you can't stop thinking about - a book that actually makes you think.

I'm still working out what I'm going to suggest. There are two books about animals that I really want to read. They are:

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

Friday, September 2, 2011

Laptop Desk, the Coolest Thing since Sliced Bread

Okay, writers - and all you other people who spend hours a day working and/or playing on your computer - I know your back hurts! Why? Because you sit in a chair all day. Or if not in a chair, you sit on a couch, or a bed, all hunched over with your computer in your lap.

Go on. Admit it. You know it's true! And your back hurts, right?

I know that mine does. I do stretches and use an ice pack to keep the pain away, but since I spend long hours in front of the computer, the back pain seems like it's always there.

I kept thinking and dreaming and imagining some little desk where I could sit upright, in my comfiest chair, and still work on my lap top. I searched online and found such a thing, but it was a little spendy for my budget. But I kept dreaming - could a person rig up such a device?

Imagine my delight when my husband walked in one day (yes he's a keeper, girls) with this one and promptly put it together for me. He found it at a Fred Meyer store (they have numerous locations in the Northwest) for a measly (sale price) of $29.95. Best Thirty Dollars ever spent.

Now I can move this desk to whatever chair or couch I want (it comes with wheels also,) adjust the height, adjust the pillows behind me and sit upright while still being comfy and in a better position for my back.

Just wanted to share my find.

I hope you can find one like it near you!