Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - April 1, 2020

In a world that seems filled with unhappy news and dire predictions, we all need reasons to smile. That's why this month's Wednesday in Wyoming posts will  feature pictures that made me smile.

mutton busting
Have you ever seen mutton busting? I was introduced to it the year we moved to Cheyenne when my husband and I attended the county fair.

Who wouldn't smile at the determination of this young cowboy to remain on the sheep's back, even when the sheep had other ideas? I certainly did.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - March 25, 2020

Capital Avenue viewed from Cheyenne Depot
Where are we? This doesn't look like a picture of the depot, does it?

Actually, it was taken from the front of the Union Pacific depot, looking down Capitol Avenue toward the Wyoming State capitol. (What else would you expect to find on a street with that name?)

The buildings are very different in architectural style and building material, but they share the distinction of being two of the most important landmarks in Cheyenne, which is why in future months, I'll feature pictures of the interior of the capitol after its multi-year renovation.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - March 18, 2020

Cheyenne Union Pacific depot museum stone detail
What's more fitting to decorate the exterior of a railroad depot than a stone with a bas relief of a train engine?

As you've probably guessed, since this month's posts have focused on Cheyenne's Union Pacific depot, that's where you'll find this stone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - March 11, 2020

hobo signs, Cheyenne Union Pacific depot museum
Last week, I mentioned that the Union Pacific depot now houses a museum. And it does. Part of the museum is located in the original depot building; the rest is in a recently constructed building that's attached to the western end of the depot itself.

With a combination of static exhibits and videos, the museum traces the history of both the depot itself and the railroad. So, what are those strange symbols and why are they in this post, you may be asking.

They're signs hobos used to help others who traveled along the rails, hiding in boxcars as they moved from one destination to another.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

National Grammar Day

Who cares about grammar?

Her and me thinks its important two no the rules of grammar, but sew few people dew.

Did you laugh when you read that last sentence? You were meant to. Although it's an extreme example, there's no doubt that grammatical rules are often broken, and -- since I'm a grammar purist -- that bothers me.

That's why I wrote a series of grammar-based blog posts for LA Sartor. I named them "Raves and Rants," although the rants far outnumbered the raves. If you're interested in my explanations of simple -- and not so simple -- grammatical rules, here's a link to them.

And, in case it wasn't totally clear, the second paragraph should have been: She and I think it's important to know the rules of grammar, but so few people do.

You knew that, didn't you?

Wednesday in Wyoming - March 4, 2020

Cheyenne Union Pacific RR depot
One thing visitors to Cheyenne can't miss is this, the Union Pacific depot. With its combination of red and white sandstone and its Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, it's one of the dominant landmarks in the city that owes its existence to the railroad.

This wasn't the first depot, however. The original one, a modest wooden structure, was deemed unsuitable as the city changed from a rough town sometimes called "Hell on Wheels" to the territory's capital, and so construction began on this decidedly more opulent building.

Even now, although Cheyenne no longer has any passenger train traffic and the building has been converted to a restaurant, visitor's center, and museum, the depot is still an important part of the city. 

During the summer, concerts and a farmer's market take place in the square in front of the building, and an ice skating rink provides winter fun for many. And through every season, it's a beautiful reminder of Cheyenne's origins.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - ONE DAY

I had a choice and I made the wrong one.
What was the choice Evelyn made and regretted? You'll find the answer in Out of the Embers, which releases tomorrow.

Yes, our countdown is complete. I hope you've enjoyed the quotes and learning a bit more about Evelyn and Wyatt's story. And if you read the book, I hope you'll agree with bestselling author Mary Connealy, who said, "I can't remember when I've enjoyed a book more."

For more information.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - February 26, 2020

glass art bicycle wheel
When I saw this piece at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens' Glass Art Celebration, I knew I had to include it in a post. Why? Because it reminded me of my editor, Vicki Crumpton, who's both an avid bicyclist and a firm believer in recycling.

Vicki, this one's for you.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - One Week

It might be wrong to probe, but Wyatt was going to do it.
Can little Polly help Wyatt unravel Evelyn's secrets?

At this point, I'm counting days, not weeks, until the official release date for Out of the Embers. It's an exciting but also anxious time for me as I wait for the first reader reviews. Will readers love the story as much as I do? I hope so!

More information.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - February 19, 2020

glass art
One of the great things about the annual Glass Art Celebration at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is that it features a wide variety of glass art. I particularly liked this one's mosaic effect.

Here's a closeup to show you the number of pieces and different sizes of glass that are used to create this piece.

I wish I could create pieces like this, but since I can't, I'm grateful that the Botanic Gardens hosts the show so that I can enjoy seeing them.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Two Weeks

Fun was not a word she would have used to describe her life.
Poor Evelyn. She's right - her life hasn't been filled with fun, especially not recently - but maybe, just maybe, Wyatt can change that.

Click here to learn more about Out of the Embers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - February 12, 2020

This piece of art from the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens' Glass Art Celebration is beautiful in its own right. After all, who doesn't like columbines?

What also appealed to me was that it was hung in an outside window at the Grand Conservatory, making its background part of the gardens themselves.

I can picture columbines blooming there next summer. Can't you?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Three Weeks

Evelyn was mighty pretty when she was riled.
Poor Wyatt -- no matter how hard he tries, he just doesn't understand how Evelyn's mind works. Does any man?

More information.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - February 5, 2020

Cherry Blossoms glass art
It's time for the annual Glass Art Celebration at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, one of my favorite events of the year at one of my favorite places in Cheyenne.

This piece caught my eye for several reasons. First of all, there's the beauty of the cherry blossoms. But I also liked the way the leaves of the huge banana palm highlighted it.

As you can see, the Shane Smith Grand Conservatory is the perfect place to display art.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Four Weeks

Don't abandon your dreams
Do you agree with me that Evelyn's advice to Wyatt's sister Dorothy applies to all of us?

More information

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - January 29, 2020

Smokey Bear poster
We've reached the last Wednesday in January, so this will be my final Smokey Bear poster.

Did you enjoy seeing them? I hope so.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Five Weeks

Out of the Embers quotation
Have you ever kept secrets from one of your siblings? Though Wyatt is close to his sister Dorothy, he doesn't share everything with her.

Can you guess what he doesn't want Dorothy to know.

More information.

Preorder Goodies

Out of the Embers Preorder Freebies

My publisher and I are so excited about Out of the Embers that we're offering a package of goodies for everyone who preorders (or has already preordered) the book and enters the giveaway between now and March 2.

There are a number of items included, but my favorite is Hill Country Sweets, the special cookbook, because it has more than delicious-sounding recipes. It also has stories about why that particular recipe was special to the person who contributed it. Just reading the stories was fun, and sampling the recipes ... well, let's just say I wasn't counting calories those days.

All the information about how to enter the giveaway is on my web page. We only have 100 printed copies of the cookbook, so don't delay. Preorder your copy and enter today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - January 22, 2020

Remember the equation Smokey Bear taught in last week's poster? Here's the result -- a careless camper leaving a fire still burning.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Six Weeks

This was more - so much more - than she'd dared hope for.
Can you guess what future Evelyn chooses?

I was thrilled when I saw this meme, because the old-fashioned stove captures the spirit of Polly's Place, the restaurant she opens in Mesquite Springs.

More information.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - January 15, 2020

Smokey Bear poster
Who knew that Smokey Bear taught mathematics to the forest animals?

This equation -- man plus fire equals burned tree -- is, unfortunately still true.

Did you notice the fire alarm next to the poster? I know it was only coincidental, but I liked the juxtaposition.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Seven Weeks

His future was clear. If only she could say the same.
The minute she sees the Circle C ranch and Wyatt's magnificent quarter horses, Evelyn understands why this life is so important to him. He's found his calling. The problem is, she's at a crossroads with no clear direction to follow.

More information.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - January 8, 2020

Smokey Bear poster
Here we see a tired Smokey Bear holding a message: Please Prevent Forest Fires.

Although that one and the famous "Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" are direct appeals to everyone who sees the poster, the first Smokey Bear poster had a different message. It said "Care WILL prevent 9 out of 10 woods fires!"

Notice the differences. It's not a personal appeal, and instead of saying "forest fires," it calls them "woods fires."

Which do you think is more effective?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Out of the Embers Countdown - Eight Weeks

She Could Not Let Fear Reign
Evelyn has many reasons to fear, but she's determined to overcome her fears and keep the young orphan girl who's lost everything from succumbing to her own fears.

More information.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - January 1, 2020

Ten Smokey Bear Posters at Wyoming State Museum
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!

Did you know that Smokey Bear (no, it's not Smokey THE Bear) had his 75th birthday last year? August 9, 1944 was the big day. In celebration of his 75 years as a spokesbear for fire safety, the Wyoming State Museum had an exhibit of some of Smokey's posters last summer.

Don't worry if you can't make out the details. I'm going to feature some of my favorites this month. So ... come back next week to see more of Smokey.