Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Quiet Moment

In the past five weeks, I've been in Alaska, Western Mass, Vermont, New York, and Pittsburgh, all while continuing to orchestrate a house and office move here in Boston and gear up for a book release. Next week, I go to ALA in Chicago. Meanwhile, the news continues along in its horrible way. Somehow I've managed to protect my writing time, more or less... but I'm tired.

So yesterday, I took the day off from writing. I finalized some things in the old apartment; I mended some clothes; I listened to the podcast Buffering the Vampire Slayer (in which Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo rewatch, and talk about, every episode, and then at the end of each episode, Jenny releases her recording of a wonderful song about each episode! It's THE BEST). And then I went to Sofra and read Tamora's Pierce's upcoming Tempests and Slaughter while outside the windows, it poured.

Ayran yogurt soda. So pretty!

With warm buttered hummus. YUM.
I hope you are finding moments of peace.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How to Attract Teeny Tiny Birds

Twice as I sat on the edge of this balcony,


a ruby-throated hummingbird appeared and inspected my feet.

(Thanks for the pic, Kevin and Heather!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Expo Signing Tomorrow

With apologies for my recent failure to update my appearance schedule (and everything else too) -- if you're in New York and if you're at Book Expo, I'll be signing ARCs of Jane, Unlimited tomorrow from 2 to 3 at the Penguin booth. Come and get them! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

This Moose

This moose removed the leaves from this birch tree so delicately.
Spotted near Eagle River; picture taken by Kevin. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Which I Do Something Extraordinary

While Kevin was off hiking on his own...

I treated myself to something special.

I boarded a little red plane...


And we flew to Denali. Click on any picture to embiggen.

The peak on the left is Denali. That's a glacier flowing through the center of the picture.

We flew all the way around Denali.

 Glacier on left, peaks on right.

We flew low over glaciers.


We flew so close to the peaks!


Did I mention I got to sit in the cockpit? That's Chip flying the plane.


Those colorful dots are tents of climbers on their approach to Denali base camp. See the lines in the snow? Base camp is along the path to the left. The dark shape at the top is the shadow of the mountain.

Follow the line to those few little dots in the left middlish part of the picture. That's Denali base camp!

Then guess what we did?

Some hikers needed a pickup...

So we landed in the Ruth Glacier Gorge.

We landed on a glacier!


The plane landed on skis.


It was silent, except for the occasional avalanche. It was HUGE.

Definitely click this one to embiggen.

A day like this called for a snow angel.


Thank you, K2 Aviation and Denali National Park, for this unforgettable experience. There are no words, so just click on this picture.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Alaska Texts with Sisters

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kevin Hikes Off and I Write

At my beautiful writing cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska, overlooking the mountains of Denali National Park, I took pictures....

It's raining in the moutains...
See the face?

I took this one at sunset, around 10:30pm....

While Kevin, preparing for his solo hiking trip, counted calories in chocolate, pasta, jerky, etc. to make sure he was bringing enough.


It was a big job, but eventually, everything he needed -- food, water, layers, tent, stove, fuel, sleeping bag, thermarest, GoPro, snowshoes, etc., etc. -- was in the pack.


Even after he fell asleep, I was still taking pictures.

Took this one around midnight. That's the western sky.

And the western sky again around 3AM. That little bump is the top of Denali.

In the morning, the mountain was out.


We drove to Denali State Park, home of Kesugi Ridge, where Kevin would be hiking. He hydrated....


Put on his gaiters....



And then he was off.

There he goes! Have fun Kevin!

On the drive on my way back to my writing cabin, I took another picture of Denali...


For you see,  though I'm officially writing while Kevin's away, I also have a mountain-themed adventure of my own on my planner. More soon here on the blog :).

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hiking and Camping at Eagle River

In Eagle River, Alaska, we did another overnight hike and camp.

This time we made a point of practicing with the GoPro, which is a small, rugged, waterproof outdoor camera. It creates a bit of a fishbowl effect. In real life, the trees weren't really bending toward me :).



This part of Alaska is full of birch trees, and birch trees are full of color! Non-bendy pics were taken with iPhones.

Corn nuts. Yum. That's the river bed behind me.... pretty dry at the moment.

Skull of... something or other?

Pretty rocks.

Birch pinks and greens!

We hiked maybe 6+ miles, backtracked a bit to a nice place for camping, and made camp. Despite recent rains, Kevin was able to get a fire started, which was lovely. It wasn't anywhere near as cold as up on Carter Lake, but it wasn't warm either!

Kevin got us more water from the river. (We treated it, just to be careful.) My ankle was bothering me a bit at this point, so I was sitting by the fire, being lazy.

This is our hike back the next morning, and I don't remember what had just happened, but I'm guessing something funny. Or maybe I'm just glad I'll be off my ankle soon.

Panorama with our view of Eagle River and Kevin. Click to embiggen.

And one more with me in the birch grove.

When we got back to the car, we immediately switched gears, because this guy is about to do something special....
For the next leg of our Alaska adventure, Kevin is going to be hiking the Kesugi Ridge trail for a few days alone while I write at a cabin in the town of Talkeetna. More pics to come! And by the way, if these blog posts seem to be coming faster than we could possibly doing these adventures, it's because I have WiFi rarely. So I save blog posts up and publish them when I get a chance. So, no, we did not actually hike back from Carter Lake, visit Exit Glacier and Hatcher Pass, and start out on an overnight at Eagle River all in one day :).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Exit Glacier and Hatcher Pass

Pictures this time, with just a few words.

Me at the Exit Glacier.

Panorama. Click to embiggen.

Later, snowshoeing at Hatcher Pass. That's Kevin.

This is the view.

And this is the rented snowshoe that fell apart. Sadly, we had to cut this adventure short, but I'll blog another adventure tomorrow!