My story Hazmat Holiday appears in the current issue (Jan / Feb 2022) of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
I spotted two hearts in the natural world. The first was a patch of melting ice on concrete. The next was a clump of weedy grass along a walking trail.
In Not Just for Aspiring Authors, on the Pikes Peak Writers blog Writing from the Peak, I discuss the benefits of participating in the month-long creative madness called NaNoWriMo.
National Novel Writing Month – is primarily touted as an exercise to drive aspiring authors to write 50,000 words. Hitting that goal may mean completion of a novel draft for the very first time. At the very least, NaNoWriMo inspires confidence that hitting The End is possible.
But what about the published author?
On every walk through the neighborhood, we see changes in the trees. The colors are beautiful, but warn us that soon the leaves will fall. Our flowers are making a brave last stand before the first frost of the season.
The Garden of the Gods, a city park, began hosting Motorless Mornings in 2018. This popular event involves blocking the roads through the park to motorized vehicles. Pedestrians, bicyclists, roller bladers, and skate boarders share the asphalt roads curving through the hills.
My husband and I enjoyed a peaceful walk. Threatening clouds to the west may have discouraged a larger crowd. We did get sprinkled on, but it was worth risking a soaking to see the stunning views.
My next cozy mystery has a title. I recently completed a novel for the Annie's Museum Mysteries. While writing AMM03, I used my own working title.
Now it's official. DOUBLOON JEOPARDY will appear in the lineup.
This series promises plenty of action and entertainment. The series has not yet been released. I will keep you posted!
Painted rocks are popular. I'm not talking about naturally artistic geological formations - I'm referring to rocks that have been painted by humans.
The thrill of finding a painted rock is hard to describe. Painting and leaving rocks for random strangers to discover is an act of kindness. Sharing anonymous art with the world is an act of selflessness.
I paint and leave rocks, always wondering if they give the receiver the same thrill of discovery as I have when I find painted rocks.
These mini works of art are painted by amateur artists. The goal is to spread happiness. If they are on private property, I admire them but leave them in place. If they're in a place of business, ask first before taking. Rocks in parks and on walking trails are there to be shared.
Painting rocks is inexpensive. A set of hobby paints, brushes, and sealer are all you need. You don't need skill. Painting on the uneven surfaces is difficult. Leaving little messages of hope, or silly images meant to make a person smile, can bring a smile to your own face. Here are some that I found on recent walks.
This article tells about the Colorado Springs area rock painters.
My daughter is encouraging me in my attempt to resume running regularly. Last weekend she took me to a place I have seen a thousand times from the highway, but never explored on foot.
Pulpit Rock is a pocket of rugged inside the city of Colorado Springs. Popular with hikers, I was curious to discover the appeal of this pile of rocks.
I didn't run much, as the trail was steep and rocky. The hike was wonderful. The weather is changing from an unusually lush, green season to a hot, dry, get-ready-for-fall phase. The vegetation was beginning to dry up. Still, there were flowers hanging on.
This weekend we ran with the Women's FIT Team on a paved walking trail. I did actually run a bit.
The last year and a half have been challenging for everyone, and knocked many of us off our routines. I hope you are regaining your balance, and reconnecting to what you love.
Earlier this month, my husband and I enjoyed a rare camping trip with our adult children and their families. We met up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Even my grand-cats Yakumo and Tenma came along. We did all the silly tourist stuff like the Cosmos Mystery Area, Wall Drug, and Storybook Island.
I was born in Sioux Falls, so I had already experienced most of the amazing scenery and national treasures contained in western South Dakota. One of my favorite moments was leaving the crowded main street of Keystone and taking the self-guided walking tour.
Revisiting Mount Rushmore was particularly inspiring. My husband and I enjoy historical biographies, and had read books recently that covered all four presidents carved on the mountain. The program before the lighting of the monument was thoughtful, and included honoring all veterans in the audience.
Our visit to Crazy Horse began with a film on the history of the continuing project. Without seeing the film, the rest of our visit wouldn't have had the same meaning.
We tackled too much in too few days, rushing through some experiences that deserved more time. We all agreed that the Black Hills deserves a return trip.
Even with all the touristy bustling about, I still had moments to catch my breath and reflect. This is an amazing country we inherited from our predecessors. I'm inspired to learn more about the great men and women of the American past.
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