In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And the Mountain Is Connected to the Valley ...

two collapsed shrew tunnels
Pygmy shrew.
Yesterday the odd markings of a tiny shrew crisscrossed the backyard. The smallest of mammals, a shrew looks like a mouse that never had a neck, with an added layer of fur. In snowy terrain, shrews travel underneath the snow, along the frozen ground. So how do you see their tracks? It's wild -- you see instead the lines of collapses at the snow surface, where the snow sinks down into the tiny tunnels beneath. Love it.

Also in the backyard is a set of deer tracks leading directly to the wall of the house and back. Turns out the deer spotted the green grass revealed under the outside vent of the clothes dryer. I bet that was a tasty snack.

Although my heart and books are always in Vermont, this snowy, windy ridgeline (this morning's wind is literally roaring) is also connected to the roads that go "elsewhere," including the roads of the Internet. Today they connect to Little Willow, whose website is a mountain-size resource room for readers. I especially like her list of books that deal with "tough topics for teens." And today I'm honored to be her guest for an interview about writing and about secret rooms. Thank you, Little Willow. It's wonderful to "be here."

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