Thursday, April 30, 2015


My fabulous writing friends, Daryl and Natasha.
This past weekend I attended the New England SCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts.  It was refreshing to be totally immersed in the writing world with few opportunities for my thoughts to wander.  My writing friends and I volunteered on Friday.  For lunch, we had fantastic German food at the Student Prince.  I got home late, got up early the next day and groggily attended sessions on Saturday.  I went to query and synopsis workshops where I learned I was doing some things wrong (ack!). 
My friends don't like to be photographed, so I secretly photographed them from above--until they caught me.
Jo Knowles got a rock star reception when she entered the ballroom.

The keynoters were all good speakers.  Jo Knowles' personal journey was captivating.  Much of what she said hit home--the shy, quiet kid, the brother, the PEN award, and the controversial topics that need to get out there.

My happy plate

I got brave and signed up for open mic.  I contemplated scratching my name off the list, but decided it was good practice reading in front of strangers.  Others in the room felt the need to perform as they read.  Personally, I thought the words should convey the story and that jumping around was a distraction.  What I found surprising is that many of the participants wrote in rhyme.  It was interesting hearing different styles and voices.

I responded to a misleading piece that insinuated that this winter's snow meant there was no warming.
This past month, I fired off a couple of letters after reading a misleading blurb in a regional newspaper.  It took advantage of the general public's lack of understanding of the difference between climate and weather.  Many other newspapers would never have published it.  In tiny font, the newspaper wrote they didn't verify this section.

In my last post, that fox den that I thought was a pile of dirt was really a split boulder covered with snow.

That coyote den that I thought was a fallen tree was really a brush pile.  Surprise, surprise.
Right now, I'm working on an assignment for a new client.  I will let you know more details after my story is published later this summer.  I am grateful to be busy the next couple of weeks.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Animal tracks in the snow

This was one of three entrances.  Coyote den?
The past couple of weeks I've been revising a ChemMatters article that was supposed to get published in October 2012.  I like the new direction this article is taking.  It's fascinating stuff.

This was one of two entrances.  Fox den?
I will be volunteering at the New England SCBWI conference on Friday, April 24th and attending on Saturday.  I also hope to attend some of the National Association of Science Writer's conference in Boston in October.

Tracks crisscrossing through the snow.
Several weeks ago, I was snowshoeing and noticed a whole bunch of tracks crisscrossing through an open field.  This was off the trail, in an area where there were no human tracks.  The variety of tracks made it an interesting place to explore.  Adding to the excitement, one man that we talked with said he'd spotted a bobcat at this location.  

Glove is 5.5" across and 8" long at widest points
I found two animal homes.  The larger one had three entrances and looked like it might have been a snow-buried fallen log.  A smaller burrow in the dirt had two entrances.  I wish I had a flashlight to snoop in those holes.  We've had rain recently, so I want to go back this week and see if I can find clearer prints in the fresh mud.


A hopping animal?