In The Writer's World

The State of the State 

The Yellowstone River–fly fishing paradise–in Paradise Valley near Yellowstone National Park.

September came and went in a flash as Portland-area theatres opened their new seasons and kept me busy attending plays and writing reviews. It brings a rush of pleasure when theatres open their doors each season, with great excitement for new works and seeing some familiar plays as well.

September 28 I embarked on a needed 5-day getaway to Montana to see Yellowstone National Park. The park is remarkable in every way. The scenery in and around it is breathtaking–the beautiful Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley, steam spewing from the ground near Mammoth at the northwestern entrance to the park, the vastness of the landscape. But the biggest treat for me was seeing animals as they should be, not confined in any way, not racing for cover fearing they may be shot–bison, elk, foxes, bears, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, herds of deer, birds of prey–each majestic in its own way.

We were encamped in a modest but cozy Airbnb rental in Pray, Montana, located in Paradise Valley two miles from the Chico Hot Springs Resort, so we also soaked in the pools a couple times. A fine local bakery resided a short jaunt from our place. Need I say more?

We followed a tip from a local, and drove to a location a few minutes from our rental late one afternoon. The takeaway? Grizzly bears dining in some fields below us, curiously unperturbed by the presence of cattle nearby. They had other, more interesting treats to forage prior to hibernation!

Book News

Browsers at NIWA’s booth, Portland Home and Garden Show.

Back home, October started with a bang. The day after my return to Portland, I joined my NIWA group at the Portland Home and Garden Show. We visited with local readers, sold and signed books at our large booth area, and generated a lot of interest for our organization. If you are a writer, check out NIWA. It’s great to be a member and participate in NIWA’s many activities throughout the year.

This coming weekend, on Saturday, October 12, I’ll be one of many presenters at Write Here, Right Now, a free all-day writing workshop sponsored by Toastmasters. Local authors will talk on a number of topics and host a panel discussion. My gig is at 2:45 p.m. and I will present Setting as a Character. Those of you familiar with my mystery novels can appreciate what a major character setting is in each of them.

If you are dusting off an old work or starting a new writing project, this is the place to be! All of us authors will have books available for sales and signing.

Lake Oswego Public Library is where I’ll be on Tuesday, October 15 at 7 p.m. to present an author talk, Q&A, and general discussion. I’d love to meet y’all, and will have available books for purchase and signing. (I will donate a set to the library as well.)

Other Matters

Buffalo roaming in Yellowstone National Park!

September dropped more than three inches of rain on western Oregon vineyards just as harvest was getting started. Emma Golden is concerned, even though it’s none of her business these days. Since when did Emma ever mind her own business? In her fictional world, she is preparing to launch her new book on the vineyards and wineries of Oregon with a signing at Delaney Family Vineyards (also fictional) during the Thanksgiving in Wine Country weekend event. The weather promises foul then. And, even more to the point, a murder most foul may occur that very weekend.

Without giving anything away, I promise a wild ride in the next Emma Golden Mystery!

Be well, dear friends.

Grizzly Bear boar at home on the range. Patrick Brooks photo.



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  • Jennifer says:

    Yay. I do so enjoy these newsletters each month. Thanks once again for taking me, through your writing, to Yellowstone and on the promising new adventure for Emma in Oregon wine country.

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