Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 16, 2014

I was impressed with the use of glass for this trout, but even more I enjoyed the whimsical tribute to Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting of sunflowers. 

Are you a fan of Van Gogh?  If so, which is your favorite painting? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 9, 2014

Last week I mentioned that the Traveling Trout exhibit showed a remarkable use of varied materials.  The one on the left is made from felted wool.  Can you guess what was used for the one on the right?
Soft drink bottles and cans.  If you look closely, you can even see which brand was favored.  I would never have thought to create a trout that way.  Would you?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 2, 2014

How would you decorate a plain white fiberglass trout?  That was the challenge that the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson posed to Wyoming's high school students.  The results, which are now showcased in the State Museum's "Traveling Trout" exhibit, impressed me with both the variety of materials used -- everything from duct tape to coins to felted wool -- and the creativity. That's why I'm going to spotlight one or more trout each Wednesday in April. 

The judges awarded first, second and third places and a number of honorable mentions.  You'll have to wait until the end of the month to see the first place winner.  In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy some of the entries that piqued my imagination.
I've never seen a trout like this, but that didn't stop me from calling this one of my favorites.  Does it remind you of anything you've seen?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Release Date!

It's official!  Today is the release date for Sincerely Yours, Revell's first novella collection.  Both the print and the e-book versions are available now, and my fellow authors (Jane Kirkpatrick, Ann Shorey and Laurie Alice Eakes) and I are excited.

As you might guess from the cover, letters are the connecting theme in Sincerely Yours. Each of our heroines receives a letter that changes her life.  That's why the tag line is:
     Four unexpected letters.
     Four intrepid women.
     Four lives changed forever.

We invite you to join us on our special Facebook page for more information.  As a special bonus, Jane is offering a giveaway. 

And if you're ready to buy, here are some links for you.

Order (Print)                          E-Book
Amazon                                Amazon
Barnes &Noble                      B&N
Christian Book Distributors     CBD

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday in Wyoming -- March 26, 2014

Last week we visited Thermopolis, which put its name on a sidewalk bench.  Douglas, the home of the mythical jackalope (a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope), puts the town's emblem on many things, including the picnic tables near the visitor's center.

And on a bridge.  And, then, of course there are the larger than lifesize statues in various places around town.  Are you surprised to learn that the town's website is

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Did You Know? Carousel Trivia Part 3

Welcome back!  Today's our last day to talk about carousel trivia.  I thought we'd start with seating.

5.  What if I don't like riding a horse?

It's true.  There are some people who prefer not to climb onto a horse and ride astride.  That's why the carousel carvers invented chariots.  Basically fancy benches, chariots come in all styles imaginable.  This is one of my favorites, the lovers' chariot.  Believe it or not, this carousel is inside a shopping mall in Nyack, NY.

You can have a different kind of ride in a tub.  Although relatively rare now, these were popular with courting couples in the early twentieth century.  Why?  Because as the carousel revolved, so did the tub.  The centrifugal force drew riders closer together -- perfect for shy couples who had few other opportunities to touch without incurring criticism.   (My, how times have changed!)
There's a wheel in the center that allows riders to control the speed at which the tub revolves. While it can't compare to a modern roller coaster, the tub was considered a fast ride in its era.

Most modern carousels include chariots to provide a variety of ride options.  The Carousel of Happiness in Nederland, CO goes one step further and has a space specifically designed for wheelchairs.  The ordinary chair can be easily removed, allowing a handicapped person to ride.

6.  Why don't I see many two-story carousels?

When I found this lovely carousel at a French resort along the Atlantic ocean, I was surprised to see that it had two stories and wondered why I had never seen a double-decker merry-go-round in the States.  Later, I saw the one below in Paris at the foot of Montmartre, and I had the same question.  It was time for some research.

The answer, as you might have guessed, is money.  Oh, it's not that the two-story carousels cost more to construct, although of course they did.  The problem was that it took too long to load and unload the second story.  Even though there were more horses on the double-deckers, when the extra time was factored in, it turned out that fewer people were riding these each day than an ordinary one-story merry-go-round.  The ever practical carousel owners didn't want to sacrifice profits, and so double-deckers became very rare.

And now we've come to the end of our carousel trivia tour.  I hope you've enjoyed the ride and that I've intrigued you enough that you'll want to learn how carousels change Lorraine and Jonah's lives.  Their story, "One Little Word," is part of the Sincerely Yours novella collection.

Order (Print)                                   E-Book
Amazon                                          Amazon
Barnes &Noble                               B&N
Christian Book Distributors             CBD

Friday, March 21, 2014

Did You Know? Carousel Trivia Part 2

Thanks for coming back for the second installment of carousel trivia.  Yesterday we talked about the design of carousel animals.  Today we'll discuss the actual construction.

3.  Is it true that the two sides of an animal are different?

Yes, it's true.  They even have different names.  The "romance" side is the one that faces the outside of the carousel.  As you might expect, it's the most elaborate side, since it's the one that's most obvious to riders.
The designs on the romance side are intricately carved and painted -- lots of detail.

At first glance, the other side might appear identical to the romance side, but it isn't.  There's minimal carving on this side.  Instead, the details are simply painted, and some of them are omitted.  For example, look at the pink ribbon near the goat's head on the romance side.  It's nowhere to be seen on the inner side. Reducing the amount of carving and painting saves a lot of time and also means that less talented artists can work on that side.  That's why the inner side is called the "apprentice" side.

4.  Did you ever notice that each successive row has smaller animals?

The reason for this is that the carousel platform is circular, and as you approach the center, there's less and less space.
What may not be obvious is that the inner horses are also simpler in design.  Like the apprentice side of the outermost horse, these have fewer details, and many of those details are painted rather than carved.  Why?  Cost.  There's little reason to lavish a lot of time on the inner horses when they're not the focus of riders' attention.

We'll have our final installment of carousel trivia tomorrow.  But if you want to learn more or are curious about how my fictional carousel carver Jonah's  profession affects his relationship with Lorraine, an heiress who's in danger of losing her inheritance unless she marries the right man, here are buying links to Sincerely Yours.

Order (Print)                           E-Book
Amazon                                  Amazon
Barnes & Noble                     B&N
Christian Book Distributors     CBD