Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - September 23, 2020


For pure luxury, it's hard to beat this 1885 Pullman car. I envision beautifully dressed women and wealthy men enjoying their ride in one of these undeniably opulent cars.

But not everyone traveled this well. Next week we'll explore the other end of the spectrum.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - September 16, 2020


Imagine the pride of having your photo taken with one of the locomotives you serviced. This photo was taken in Cheyenne in 1886, and like the others I've featured this month, is one of the exhibits in the Depot Museum.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - September 9, 2020


Oil lamps, better heating, more luxurious interiors - these were the signs of progress train travelers experienced in 1876.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - September 2, 2020


Imagine yourself a traveler arriving by train in Cheyenne in 1884. Would you have been impressed with this depot? I don't think so, and neither did the powers that be in Cheyenne. That's why they lobbied for a new depot.

The Union Pacific agreed to construct a new, decidedly more impressive one. 

Even though there's no longer passenger rail service to Cheyenne, the depot continues to welcome visitors. It's now a visitor center and the home of the Depot Museum, which is where I found the first photo ... and the others I'm planning to feature in this month's Wednesday in Wyoming posts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wednesday Near Wyoming - August 26, 2020

Instead of telling you something about this picture, I have a question. I've told you before that I'm not a farmer, so while I know these are silos, I don't know much else.

What is the infrastructure above the silos, and why is it so high?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - August 19, 2020

Sagebrush prairies, limestone outcroppings, a few stray clouds -- this is another quintessential Wyoming scene.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - August 12, 2020

What is this?

You can tell I'm not a farmer, because when I saw it, I thought of R2-D2 from Star Wars. A much more savvy woman told me it's a pump for irrigating crops.

Whichever explanation you prefer, I hope the picture made you smile. The R2-D2 wannabee certainly caught my attention and made me smile.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - August 5, 2020

Goshen Cattlewomen sign
Quintessential Wyoming!

You probably know that cattle raising is a major industry in Wyoming, but did you expect to see "cattlewomen" on a sign? Why not, when Wyoming's nickname is the Equality State? After all, this was the first state to give women the right to vote, to serve on juries, and to be judges.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - July 29, 2020

river in Yellowstone
Have you noticed that there's been a secondary theme to this month's posts? Not only are they all about Yellowstone, but each one features water in some form.

Since Yellowstone's waterfalls are one of its major attractions, I knew I'd include a photo of one this month, but I have to admit that I smiled when I realized I could show a different kind of water -- snow! -- in the same picture as the falls.

Yes, it snowed only two days after the elk were taking their cooling stroll through a stream. That's Yellowstone for you -- beautiful and oh, so varied.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - July 22, 2020

hot pool Yellowstone
One of the things I love most about Yellowstone is the variety of thermal features, including hot pools.

Unlike the hot spring I showed you at the beginning of the month, this pool doesn't bubble. Instead, its heat is most visible on a cool day, when the water vapor looks like a cloud emerging from the depths of the pool.

How deep do you think the pool is? I have no idea, but I suspect it's quite deep.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - July 15, 2020

elk in Yellowstone stream
Whether hot or cold, water is one of the dominant features of Yellowstone.

As you can see, these elk are taking advantage of a cool stream on a hot late-summer day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - July 8, 2020

river in Yellowstone

When many people think of Yellowstone, they envision Old Faithful and the other thermal features, but there's more to the park than hot water.

Yellowstone is home to countless streams and rivers that can make back country hiking a challenge. Still, who can deny the beauty of a rapidly flowing river winding its way through an evergreen forest?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - July 1, 2020

Where was this picture taken? I imagine you've already guessed that it's Yellowstone, since the brilliant colors and the bubbling spring are giveaways.

Since many of us are not traveling as much this year as we have in the past, I thought I'd devote my July Wednesday in Wyoming posts to a virtual tour (translation: five pictures) of my favorite place on Earth. (Yellowstone is also one of the reasons my husband and I moved to Wyoming, but that's another story.)

Back to this picture. Does the bubbling water make you think you should dip your hand into it? You shouldn't, of course, since it's scalding hot and smells of sulfur, but that's the beauty of a photograph - none of that is obvious.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 24, 2020

South Pass City miner's lunch bucket
You've probably guessed that this is a lunch bucket miners at South Pass City used. It's fairly large, but that's because mining was hard work, and they'd bring a lot of high-calorie food.

What you might not know is that sometimes they took more than chicken bones back with them at the end of their shift.

South Pass City lunch time sign
Yes, there were thieves in the mine shafts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 17, 2020

South Pass City miner's shoe protection
Can you guess what this is?

Since this month's posts are about South Pass City, if you guessed it has something to do with gold mining, you're right.

This is a metal sole that miners wore to protect their feet. You'll see that there are small tacks around the top, presumably to attach the sole to their shoes.

Ingenious, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 10, 2020

South Pass City mine model
What did the inside of the gold mine at South Pass City look like? This model shows the details.

To give you an idea of the sheer size of the mine, look at the man pushing a cart at the top left.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Cover Reveal

One of my favorite parts of the whole process of turning a manuscript into a finished book is being able to share the cover art and the title with you. And now, at last, I can do that.

Dreams Rekindled Cover
What do you think? I was thrilled when I saw the cover. As I told Revell's Art Director, I think it's even more beautiful than the one for Out of the Embers, and that's saying a lot, since Embers has a fabulous cover. This one is even more fabulous. At least that's my opinion.

The model is exactly the way I envisioned Dorothy, and I love how the colors of her dress coordinate with the autumn scene. Then there's the title, which continues the fire theme from Out of the Embers at the same time that it gives you a hint about the story. I like it as much as I do the cover.

To give you a sneak peek into Dreams Rekindled, here's the blurb that'll be part of the sales catalog.
Though she hopes for a quiet, uncomplicated life for herself, Dorothy Clark wants nothing more than to stir others up. Specifically, she dreams of writing something that will challenge people as much as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin seems to have. But in 1850s Mesquite Springs, there are few opportunities for writers—until newspaperman Brandon Holloway arrives, that is.
Brandon Holloway has seen the disastrous effects of challenging others and has no intention of repeating that mistake. Instead of following his dreams, he’s committed to making a new—and completely uncontroversial—start in the Hill Country.
As Dorothy’s involvement in the fledgling newspaper grows from convenient to essential, the same change seems to be happening in Brandon’s heart. But before romance can bloom, Dorothy and Brandon must work together to discover who’s determined to divide the town and destroy Brandon’s livelihood.
With this second novel in the Mesquite Springs series, bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you to discover the healing power of truth.
If you've read my bio, you know that at one point I aspired to be a newspaper reporter, so you can imagine how much fun I had telling Dorothy and Brandon's story and including details of 19th century papers and printing presses. 

And, since I suspect you're curious, let me tell you that Dreams Rekindled is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021. 

Now come the important questions. Would the cover make you want to read the book? What about the blurb? Does that intrigue you? I'd love to hear your reaction to both.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 3, 2020

South Pass City
Welcome to South Pass City, one of Wyoming's historic mining towns.

It was here that miners spent their days bringing precious ore from the hillside, that others made their fortunes providing services to the miners, and that Esther Morris became the nation's first female judge.

For more information, visit South Pass City's website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wednesday Near Wyoming - May 27, 2020

carhenge -- ford seasons
When you look at this picture, do you think of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"? I didn't, but that famous piece of music is what inspired the artist.

Still confused? The name of this automotive sculpture is The FORD Seasons. And, yes, those are Fords.

What may still not be clear is that the cars represent the seasons of wheat growing.

  • Green - Spring: the wheat is planted.
  • Gold - Summer: the wheat is growing. (Notice that this part requires two cars to show how much the wheat has grown.)
  • Pink - Autumn: the wheat is harvested. 
  • White - Winter: the field is empty, waiting for spring and planting season to return.

I'll admit that none of that was particularly apparent to me at first glance, but even without the explanation, I smiled when I saw this part of Carhenge.

I hope you've enjoyed this month's trips to Alliance, Nebraska, and that you'll come back next week for a new post.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wednesday Near Wyoming - May 20, 2020

We've all heard of a fish out of water, but have you ever seen a fish that was made from an abandoned car rising out of the Nebraska prairie?

As you've undoubtedly guessed, you can find this unusual fish and the dinosaur skeleton at Carhenge.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Wednesday Near Wyoming - May 13, 2020

Carhenge - covered wagon
When I think of covered wagons, I picture Conestogas. Don't you?

The artist who designed this one, however, took a more humorous approach and put the hoops that would traditionally be covered with canvas on top of an abandoned station wagon.

Where do you find this oddity? At Carhenge.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wednesday Near Wyoming - May 6, 2020

Carhenge - cars

Since many of us are unable to travel and might need reminders to smile, I'm featuring an unusual and out-of-the-way destination in this month's posts.

You may have noted that the title says Wednesday NEAR Wyoming rather than Wednesday IN Wyoming. That's because we're heading to Alliance, Nebraska and Carhenge.

As you can tell from both the name and the picture, it's an attempt to recreate  Stonehenge using cars rather than stones.

Did it make you smile? I certainly smiled when I first saw it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - April 29, 2020

sheep grooming
Ending our month of smile-inducing pictures from the Laramie County Fair is this one of a teenager getting her sheep ready for the competition. I'm amazed at how much work she put into grooming the sheep and even more amazed at how well behaved it was.

Did you smile at this month's pictures? I hope so!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - April 22, 2020

Remember the sheep from mutton busting? Most of them looked like ordinary sheep. This one, however, had a lion cut that made both the announcers and me smile.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - April 15, 2020

Mutton busting isn't the only event for children at the county fair. Younger kids enjoy their own version of barrel racing, only instead of real horses, they ride stick horses, and traffic cones replace barrels. What doesn't change is the fun and excitement they have.

Look at this young cowboy. Not only is he wearing a cowboy hat and boots, but he also has chaps. A future rodeo champ in the making.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday in Wyoming - April 8, 2020

Here's another picture, also from the county fair, that made me smile. Are these alpacas siblings or simply friends? I don't know. All I know is that they're adorable.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Evelyn's Oatmeal Pecan Pie

So many people have asked for the recipe for the oatmeal pecan pie that plays an important role in Out of the Embers that - even though it's a family secret that Evelyn refuses to share with anyone - I'm willing to share it with you.

oatmeal pecan pie recipe

Isn't the page beautiful? I wish I could take credit for that, but I can't. The creative staff at Revell designed this page and all the others that make up Hill Country Sweets. (In case you're not familiar with it, that's the cookbook we offered along with other freebies to those who preordered Out of the Embers.)

The cookbook itself is easy to read, but I suspect you're having some trouble deciphering the recipe because I had to resize the picture. Here it is in simple text format.

Emmeline Radcliffe’s Oatmeal Pecan Pie
A Polly’s Place Recipe

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

½ cup butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup dark corn syrup *
¾ cup quick oats
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans

Pour into unbaked 9 inch pie crust.
Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.
Bake 25 minutes.
Uncover edges.
Bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

* Since corn syrup wasn’t available in 1856, Evelyn and her mother would have used molasses. 

I hope you enjoy the pie as much as Evelyn's customers did.

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.