Showing posts from September, 2022

Photo Friday: TMB Part 2: Les Houches to Les Chapieux

Read the complete TMB series :  Part 1    Part 2     Part 3    Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   TMB Day 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines This is it! July 3, the first day of the official TMB!  We began by taking the bus to Les Hoches, cutting out a bit of the actual trail that we'd hoped to do as a dayhike but skipped due to me feeling ill. We then did what we always did when possible: took a cable car up to start the hike at Bellevue. Happy hikers, ready to begin! I'm on the right.   The walk was a fairly easy and pleasant descending traverse until we dropped steeply to cross a glacial river. That marked the beginning of the climb to Col de Tricot. Only after the crossing did we see the sign about one hiker at a time on the bridge. We were having mixed sun and clouds, but still got good views of the glaciers coming off the south end of the Mt. Blanc massif. The climb to the pass proved to be easy, and we topped out shortly after 11, despite a relatively late start, unprepared for

Middle Grade Review: Pine Island Home, by Polly Horvath

Title: Pine Island Home Author: Polly Hovarth Publication Info: Kindle edition, 151 pages, Margaret Ferguson Books 2020. Source: Library Overdrive collection Publisher's Blurb: When the McCready sisters' parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own. Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night. As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role

#WritePhoto: Farmer's Revolt

Image credit KL Caley I am writing this for the weekly #WritePhoto challenge by KL Caley at Read all about it and join in if you'd like! I have decided to try my best to join in on this hop again, and while this photo is particularly challenging in my opinion (there's a lot of empty space there... what's that tractor up to?), I think I can pull off a bit of something, so here goes. Super short, just over 300 words. Farmer's Revolt Jane Amelia was bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored. She’d driven the tractor across this field a hundred times, trying hard to keep the rows straight and even, as her father had instructed her. And for what? She left neat rows of cut hay for the next bored driver with the rake, then the baler, while she moved on to the next field, and the next, and the next. World without end, amen. The house was just over there, behind the trees that kept the yard separate from the fields. She could go home, have a cup of coffee a

Photo Friday: T(our de) M(ont) B(lanc), Part 1

Read the complete TMB series :  Part 1    Part 2     Part 3    Part 4   Part 5   Part 6 Hiking around Chamonix Sit down, fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for a lot of photos, because I sure took a boatload of them on my hikes in the Alps! I was there for all of July (and a little bit of June and August), and did two major treks, all of it sleeping and eating in hotels and refuges (no camping this time) but still pretty strenuous at times. The TMB hike I did with my brother-in-law and his wife (Tom and Carol). This post shares photos from Chamonix and the hikes we did there while my companions got over jet lag and we all adjusted a bit to higher elevations. Some of the hiking was a matter of cherry-picking the good parts of the TMB through the valley, though we didn't achieve them all. First, a few shots of town. Mt. Blanc hovers over the town from almost every angle, First climbers to summit, I believe. Doing what we did in so many photos--pointing at the mountain. The River A

Writer's Wednesday: What Now?

A couple of weeks ago I sent my current draft of A Coastal Corpse off to a couple of readers. I didn't feel quite ready to send it to lots of beta readers, but needed some help and/or assurance that I haven't written a complete train wreck. So, the question is, as I wait for feedback, what do I do? I'm kind of flailing around, messing a bit with ideas for the next novel in the series, and another story that might be a long short or even a novel, wholly out of my usual style so I'm not sure if I can do it. I'm also not quite sure it it's historical fiction, fantasy, or SF, so there's that little problem. What do you do when you're at a hiatus in a large project? Take a vacation? Do promotional work (like that's going to happen--I've pretty much proven I'm not going there)? Write short stories?  My instinct is to get to work on shorts and flash fiction, and try to sell some stories. It's getting started that seems hard. Share your strategi

Photo Post: West Highlands and more

I've had company this last week, so I'm a bit behind with my posts--looks like "Photo Friday" is on Monday this time! In my last few travel posts, I described time spent hiking the John O'Groats trail and visiting Edinburgh. From there I went to spend a few days--while recovering from COVID--in a cabin in Glencoe in the West Highlands. Happily, I felt good enough to do a little hiking, keeping my distance from other hikers, of course. My first outing took me through the village and up to the Glencoe Lochan. The Glencoe museum. I didn't go in, due to my contagion. World War I memorial. I saw many such in villages around Europe, and was struck by how often there were multiple young men with the same last name listed--brothers or cousins, all lost to that insane, pointless war. On up to the lochlan, the large pond or very small lake above the village. A grey and misty day, but without actual rain, as I recall. After strolling around the lake I started back towar