December 27, 2017
I am spending the Christmas holiday in Durango, CO at my daughters. I rode up with my son and his family. As usual we have had a wonderful holiday. The children received gifts beyond their imaginations and have behaved beautifully. Amidst all the hoopla and celebrations I have managed to get some writing done. A sentence here, a paragraph there, sometimes a whole page at one sitting, but pleased to be moving forward.
Today, my daughter had to go back to work, my son took his family on various outings and adventures and I stayed at the house and wrote. They came and went throughout the day. The words flowed through my fingers and the current chapter grew and grew.
Naptime came for the girls and I stopped long enough to give hugs and kisses. Then back to flowing words. An argument between two characters developed. Then a fight.Then an explosion of emotions. Then a traumatic turn of events and the chapter was finished.
I WROTE A FIGHT SCENE! I NAVIGATED A TURNING POINT IN THE STORY!!
I FINISHED THE CHAPTER!!!
I put my computer down with a satisfied happy sigh, turned to share my great news, and no one was around. The house was completely silent. Where was everyone? Had they left me? I sent my daughter-in-law a text asking, “Where are you?”
“I’m outside cleaning out the truck.” I went to her to find out why I had been left behind only to discover (much to her laughter) that my son had told me he was going upstairs to get the girls to nap. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing. My son-in-law was upstairs on his computer. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing. She had told me she was going outside to clean out the truck. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing.
I was completely oblivious. Never heard a word. I found out the family had been laughing about my oblivion the whole time we had been here. They would speak to me and I’d not respond, but my fingers kept up their tap taptapping.
So tonight we are going out to eat at my treat! I have the best family ever.
December 13, 2017
My favorite memory of Christmas in Oklahoma when I was a little girl was the fact that Santa Clause came to our house while we were awake. We didn’t get to see him, but we heard him. When it was about time for Santa to arrive the adults and older kids would send all the children (and there were always a bunch) to the far back room where we would wait in extreme anticipation. One of the teenagers would escort us and stay with us cautioning us to be quiet and listen for the bells on Santa’s sleigh. We’d hear them tingle from far away and they would come closer and closer and get louder and louder. Then his big booming voice, “Ho, HO, HO, Merry Christmas” would ring out from outside the window and, if it had snowed, we’d hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of his and his reindeer’s feet in the snow. I would get so excited I’d think my heart would burst. Then we’d hear him in the house talking to the adults and hoping Mom or Dad wouldn’t tell him of any bad things we had done. After the “Good-bye Santa. See you next year” had died down the door would open and the stampede would begin. When we got to the living room Santa’s cookie plate held only crumbs and his milk was gone. Our stockings were full of apples, oranges, nuts, and bright colorful ribbon candy. Under the tree were delights beyond the imagination. For me, I would often find a beautiful new doll.
My children experienced the more traditional Santa that came while they were sleeping. We always left cookies and milk and sometimes a carrot for Rudolph. The one thing my kids insisted on was that we had a gift for Bandit, our dog. He always got a new chew bone. No matter how old the kids became Santa always came. As they got older, for several years we would go as a family to the movies on Christmas afternoon. A few years ago we went to Colorado for Christmas and that started a tradition of going to my daughter’s house in Durango for a white Christmas.
December 1, 2016
I stepped out the front door to get a picture of the vibrant sunset that spread its deep blood red and dark rusty burnt orange over the treetops across the road. While I stood there admiring the fading colors in the sky there must have been a train approaching because all of a sudden coyotes in the woods south of me set up a wild chorus of yipping, barking, and howling. Each voice was different and there were several in the pack because the chorus rose in a swell as the volume and pitch increased. Then I heard the train blow its long deep whistle and the coyote song faded with the color in the sky. Only the sound of the train whistle remained as the train rattled and clacked past the house.
August 14, 2016
I love living in the country. I love not hearing the traffic roaring by. I love the sound of the train whistle (except when it wakes up my grandbaby). I love standing on my porch and not seeing any neighbors. I even like watching the buzzards circling overhead as I hang my washing on the clothesline. I love the acres of green when Texas shows off her spring colors. I love the tall sunflowers that are blooming behind my well house in the late summer heat.
But the sound that always sets my heart racing is when I step out my backdoor in the dark night and hear the coyotes howling so loud and so close it makes tingles of fear wash over me and I stand so still. Even knowing they won’t come near doesn’t take away that wild feeling that makes part of me want them to go away and part of me wishes they would howl more. What an eerie sound! I think of my characters, Will and Two Feathers, alone on the Texas prairie, that sound coming out of the deep dark night, so very scary.
July 31, 2016
I come from a very large family. There were seven of us kids. Now there are lots of nephews and nieces and in-laws and lots of great-nieces and great-nephews and in-laws. So, when we have a family reunion it’s a big affair.
We decided to hold a reunion in Colorado this year and thirty to forty Vincents descended on Durango the last week in June. I’m not sure it will recover soon.
There was rafting, hiking, an ATV scenic mountain trail ride, a train ride through the mountains, and of course lots and lots of eating. Durango has some great restaurants.
And…there was shopping, lots and lots of shopping. I found some black pottery for my writing cabin. It adds to the western ambience.
We rode the train from Durango to Silverton. It was my second trip, but this time I made it all the way to Silverton. The first time I rode it we broke down about half way. It was disappointing at first but they managed to stop at a beautiful spot and my daughter and I spent several hours enjoying the mountain scenery.
This time, as we slowly made our way up the mountains, I started thinking of a new Will and Buck story about how that train track was built. I bought some books and DVDs about the history of what it took to build that narrow gage track. I strive seriously to be sure I am historically accurate.
Sometimes the ledge the track sits on is not much wider than the track itself. It does get scary when you can’t stick a finger out the window for fear of hitting a solid wall of rock on one side of the train while on the other side you are looking straight down at what looks like a tiny river racing several hundred feet below you. I like to have an element of historical events in each of my books. This would make a great background for a story as Will and Two Feathers get a little older.
I have included some pictures from beautiful Colorado. I hope you enjoy them.