Friday, May 19, 2017

Newsletter


My first newsletter is out! You can read it by clicking here. To celebrate, I'm giving away this bracelet to one lucky newsletter subscriber. Hurry, the contest ends soon. 


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Antelope Canyon


On the way home from Durango, we took a little detour to Page, Arizona for a tour of Antelope Canyon, on the Navajo Reservation. I'd seen pictures, but they didn't compare to the real thing.

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon. It's only about six to eight feet wide, and during flash floods the water rushes through, forming these fantastic shapes in the rock. Up above, the narrow opening means the light peeks in and paints the rocks with light and shadow, changing during the day. Our tour was in the evening, so didn't have direct beams shining in.

The tour starts in Page. While we waited, a talented hoop dancer performed for us. He manipulated a series of hoops over and around his body as he danced to the beat of a drum. Then they loaded us into the back of pickups and off we went to the canyon. 

Look up
Petrified waves
Like clouds, the forms of the rocks often seem to contort themselves into recognizable patterns and surreal shapes.




It's humbling to think of the millions of years it took to build up the rock, and then for the water to wear it away once again. 









Outside the canyon
Light and shadow

Can you see the bird?
I can almost make out faces in the outcrops.
I like the color contrast here.




Reverse cave






If you're in the area, maybe to see the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon is worth a visit, if only to exercise your imagination.



What shapes do you see?


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finding Rainbows

Yesterday we flew from Anchorage to Arizona, with a stopover in Seattle. It was raining (big surprise I know.) For various reasons, our plane out of Seattle was late getting off and we had to wait behind ten other planes for takeoff. So I was waiting, reading my book, and happened to look out the window to see this. 



I don't think I've ever seen a rainbow this low across the sky, or with such definition between the colors. The photo really doesn't do it justice, especially with the raindrops on the window, but you can take my word that it was spectacular. 

This is one of those lessons I keep having to relearn. Beauty is all around us if we pay attention. 

Look up. Do you see something beautiful?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Musical Memories

I was puttering around in my garage today and found a time machine. Yes, Virginia, those are real vinyl record albums. Granted, the time machine isn't fully functional because, while we do still have a turntable, the stereo receiver it used to be hooked up to is long gone. But it doesn't matter. Just looking at the covers is enough to send me back in time.

I remember when my friend introduced me to Tiger Beat and Donny Osmond. She had his album and a signed poster. *sigh* That smile, that hair. What twelve-year-old girl could resist? Then came the Carpenters and John Denver and Olivia Newton-John. Yeah, I wasn't much of a rebel. Eventually I discovered the Eagles, and Peter Frampton, and Fleetwood Mac. 


My college boyfriend, now my husband, didn't sing or play an instrument, but he had one great musical talent. Within a few notes of a song starting on the radio, he could name the song, the band, and often the album. He introduced me to Heart, Thin Lizzy, Credence Clearwater Revival, and so many more. Here's Homer Simpson remembering his music. 



Earlier in the episode, Homer Simpson claims music achieved perfection in 1974, and I wouldn't totally disagree. I've forgotten most of my algebra and almost all of the periodic table, but I can still remember the lyrics to "Desperado." Can you?




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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Life isn't Football

Have you ever been to a college football game? I don’t even like crowds, and yet there is something exhilarating about hanging out with 50,000 of your fellow fans, rooting for your team.  The conflict is set, the stakes are clear. At the end of the evening, you’ll emerge victorious, or you won’t. But there’s always next season.

It’s especially fun in the student section, where enthusiasm is at its highest. You’re all on the same side, rejoicing at each first down, groaning over every fumble. If a call goes against your team, you all agree it was a bad call, because it’s your team, even if the replay does rather look as though the knee touched the ground. It’s all in good fun, because at the end of the day, it’s just football.

But I’m seeing the same behavior when it comes to politics. There is this bitter rivalry between the two parties, and everyone’s expected to root for the home team. Everything my party does is good, everything your party does is evil. Don’t show me the replay, because I don’t care. I’ll believe what my friends believe, because we’re on the same side.

Is it truly unimaginable that a person who believes women should make their own choices on abortion can also believe high corporate taxes are bad for job growth? Or that we spend too much on welfare and not enough on alternative energy research, or vice versa?

When a controversy pops up, do we really consider the implications, or do we blindly believe or dismiss information based on what our friends are saying? After all, if something is controversial, it usually means there are strong arguments on both sides. Hardy anyone’s against home-grown tomatoes or puppies.

It’s fine to have opinions. It’s fine to share opinions with friends. It’s not fine to marginalize or insult everyone who has a different opinion, especially when we haven’t researched the issue ourselves. Headlines aren’t a sound basis for policy-building. 


If we want to vow unquestioned loyalty to the home team, there’s always football.  

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Giveaway

My first Harlequin, THE ALASKAN CATCH, a Northern Lights Novel, is coming in August and it's set in my home state of Alaska! To celebrate, I'm giving away this Alaska salmon-themed kitchen towel and potholder to someone with a U.S. mailing address. If the winner is outside the U.S., the prize will be a $10 Amazon giftcard. 


UPDATE 3/30/17:  We have a winner. Congratulations, Darlene!

Thanks to everyone who entered. Check back often and read the newsletter for more fun opportunities.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, March 6, 2017

Favorite Colors

I was setting up security questions recently, and one was my favorite color. I had to stop and think. Do I have a favorite color? When I was a little girl, my favorite crayons were magenta and blue-green. I still love those colors, but not always. My horizons have expanded.

When I’m choosing room colors, I’m drawn to warm neutrals with pops of color, such as deep red and sage green. Natural colors that are easy to live with. But when I see pictures of bright red kitchens or blue and yellow living rooms, I like them, too.

In clothes, it depends on my mood. Sometimes bright crimson or purple, sometimes simple black and white or shades silver and gray. Denim blue, of course. Mixes of blues, greens and purples like an ocean painting. A single clear shade of turquoise. Burgundy. Dusty Plum. Sunrise pink.

Yellow daffodils in the spring. Lilacs. Peachy roses. Purple iris. Clear blue delphiniums. Russet chrysanthemums. The palest blue of forget-me-nots, and the velvety purple of a pansy. Bright orange lilies, lacy white alyssum. It’s hard to find an ugly flower.

Truth is, I have trouble naming a color I don’t like. Generally, I’m not a fan of yellow-greens, but I’ve seen chartreuse groundcovers in shady gardens that are stunning, and some people wear it beautifully. Even mustard blends nicely with autumn shades.

Am I open-minded or indecisive? How about you? Do you have one favorite color?