Friday, May 31, 2013

Tiny acknowledgements

Within my stories I like to include little references to my other loves, where I live, genealogy, friends and family.  A certain person I know and love dearly has had a hard time this past year so I put a tiny acknowledgement on The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge's first page.

Can you guess?  

Salmon, Idaho – Spring 1891

Her eyes popped open.  In the darkness that enveloped her,   Evie Rolfe swallowed hard.  Sometime during the night, her lamp died and left the young woman alone.  Her fingers tightened into a white knuckled grip around the rifle while she listened for anything unusual.  She didn’t dare move, waited untold minutes locked in fear until light trickled through the cabin’s only window.  

While ebony grayed, shadows faded, she gained a measure of courage.  Evie scanned the modest room in search of what had woken her.  A simple chair sat beside her in front of the stone fireplace.  Cast iron pots and a frying pan were stacked on the hearth by short rounds of pine.  Along the walls was a long low bench with towels folded neatly on top, a four-drawer dresser, a metal pail then a bed in the corner.  Nothing appeared out of place so far.

Nervous Evie twisted so she could look at the wall behind her.  A gap in the window curtains allowed a glimpse of crimson sky.  Against the door, a crudely made wood table remained snug with the oil lamp in the center.  To the right of that her cloak and a large tan wicker basket hung side by side.  A rough broom she’d fashioned stood propped in the corner.  Relief seeped through her. 

The breath she’d held released.  Evie sagged against the chair her grandfather made.  Her left hand lifted, rubbed over her face then lowered to slide palm down over a scarred, oak arm.  Loneliness, a muted ache, haunted.  The worn rocking chair was all she had left from her family.  She sighed, soft almost soundless. 

A distinct thud carried through the log walls.  Her short-lived calm vanished.  Blood raced through her veins.  Heart in her throat Evie gathered the edges of the quilts close around her.  Slow, cautious, rifle cradled to her stomach, she pushed up to her feet then turned to face the window.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wild flowers

One of the many reasons I love living in Oregon.
Nature is so inspiring.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Human kindness

Yesterday as we pulled up a four way traffic stop I witnessed human kindness.  A man in one of the opposite lanes coming toward us suddenly got out of his car, left the door open stepped into traffic, his arms wide.  People stopped, cars stayed where they were as the light changed green, yellow, red and green again to watch him.  He escorted a mama duck and her many tiny ducklings over four lanes of traffic to the safety of the sidewalk.  He returned to his car then but the ducklings were having trouble getting up the curb to join the mama off the road.  He zoomed across the lanes himself to park as close as he could to them, only then did traffic start to move.  Another man, the first car in the lane next to the babies pulled up beside them to protect them while the original man ran over to help.  Both men gave the ducklings quick nudges up onto the curb.  It only took moments but it left a powerful impression on me.  It reminded me how good people can be when they chose to be.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The influence of family

My paternal grandmother interested me in our family history.  Early in my genealogy research I discovered that my maternal grandfather was born in the late 1800's.  That information fascinated my teenage mind and somehow made the time frame more real.  

It wasn't simply history it was personally relevant.

It's why I've set my western historical stories in the late 1800's.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Inspiration abounds

My fascination with the old west (1800's) started at a young age  
seeing old barns and cabins when out on drives with my family.

This is a picture of an Elk feeding station.

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