Tahoe Quarterly’s Ski & Ride issue is on stands now! My copy came in the mail yesterday and it looks fabulous. The rider on the cover gives me chills, and that’s just the beginning of the fabulous photography. Some great stories: a retrospective on Tahoe’s role in the birth of snowboarding, a piece on the landowner standing between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and a look at cloud-seeding using drones to maximize the area’s snowfall. Appropriate the issue’s theme, I wrote a piece on Marianne Rosenfeld, the South Lake Tahoe-based owner of Forest Furniture. When her husband died in 2008, she repurposed his old skis into a chair as a sort of tribute to him. Since then, her business has grown, and in addition to the ski chairs she creates high-end furnishings, as well. A very fun piece to write, and I got the nicest message from Marianne saying she loved the article. Writers often work in a vacuum, so it’s wonderful to get feedback!
In other TQ news, we begin the Mountain Home Tours on Friday. I’m afraid that Friday may be the only tour I can attend, but it’s set up to be a great day—we visit Donner Lake and Alpine Meadows, with a lunch stop at the final house. These houses are incredible… although I always return from the tours ready to gut my own and start from scratch!
The TQ Winter issue is on stands (well, it’s been on stands, but I’ve been too busy to blog about it!) and it looks beautiful! Our very talented graphic designer recently switched up the cover graphics and I’m really loving how it looks. I wrote the Art piece—a profile of the painter Christie Marie Elder. I love her story: She’s a natural at everything she tries. She started snowboarding after years of skiing and immediately landed on the world circuit. After years competing (and investing in her own tattoo equipment to support herself while continuing her art), she retired to start a family. She really wanted to focus on her art, though, and so she joined South Shore’s Tahoe Art League and almost immediately became its president. A very talented woman and a pleasure to interview!
I also wrote the Home Design story about a French-inspired estate in Southwest Reno. The couple has spent a decade tracking down antiques (often while riding their Harleys to antique shops) for their gorgeous home.
Some other great stories—a feature article on Snow Park Technologies, which makes features such as halfpipes, a My Sierra piece on Sierra Nevada College (wonderfully written by Tanya Canino, whose two classes I’ll be taking over this semester!), and a story looking at the possibility of an ice rink coming to Reno, among others. I am fairly intrigued by the ice rink, as it will be just a few miles from my house! Anyway, if you haven’t seen the issue, do yourself a favor and pick it up from stands around the Basin and Reno, or subscribe now!
As always, I’m ridiculously behind on blogging. It’s been a busy summer, but the absolute highlight was my brother’s wedding. A beautiful ceremony and so wonderful to spend so much time with my siblings (above), who are five of my favorite people in the world, as well as so many of my East Coast family and friends.
Now that fall is here, I’m trying to get back into work mode: I’ve already been to the TQ office twice, once to go through the Home Award applications, once for Ski & Ride proofing, and I have another day of proofing next week.
I’m sending the girls to school twice a week, with the hopes that I can be more efficient with my freelance work, but also make time for my personal writing. I’m currently halfway done with a major revision for my novel, and am hopeful that a few child-free days a week will help me make significant progress in the next few months!
Just finished editing the Summer issue of TQ and it looks beautiful! Lots of great articles, including one on scuba diving Lake Tahoe (which made me a little queasy reading) and a really interesting feature on the state of the forests coming off four years of drought. I wrote a big piece on the Nevada Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition Tahoe: A Visual History. It will be pretty impressive and include basketry from the Washoe Tribe, nineteenth century paintings, large-scale wall installations and will include pieces from artists such as Ansel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Maya Lin, Phyllis Shafer and Erika Osborne.
During the first proof, last week, I got to stop on Mt. Rose on my way back over the Summit and take my fur baby for a hike (the first hiking I’ve done after a solid three weeks of being sick). For the second proof, it rained most of the day in Incline, so we skipped the beach. Not complaining, though—we’ll take all the water we can get!
Proud to report that the Ski & Ride issue of Tahoe Quarterly is on stands and it looks beautiful! This is a fun issue—some interesting stories, including one about the expansion of the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center and another exploring Granite Chief Wilderness. For the Arts section, I profiled the concertmaster for the Reno Philharmonic (as well as the Nevada Opera and Reno Chamber Orchestra), Dr. Ruth Lenz. She’s an incredibly talented violinist, who manages to balance her numerous musical organizations, teaching violin and life with two young children, as well as her hobbies, which include hiking and horses. Very impressive!
In other news, I finished proofing the Winter issue of TQ on Wednesday (look for it on stands the first or second week of December!) and spent Thursday interviewing and touring for three of the articles I’m writing for the Mountain Home issue. Some beautiful—and very inspired—homes. I came out of my last tour determined to build a living wall of succulents inside my home. That resolve quickly faded, but it was very cool to see it done well in someone else’s home!
Last night, my family went to bed early and I was about to do the same, but as I was lying in bed, I had an epiphany for how to end a short short story I’d written two years ago. I hadn’t thought about it in forever—and I have no idea what made me think of it last night—but I got out of bed and went to find it on my computer. As I was searching for it, I stumbled across a different short story I’d written three years ago. I barely remembered it, but I opened it up and thought it was surprisingly good! Anyway, it was only 2,000 words, so I opened up a new side-by-side window and rewrote it, changing the tenses and adding here and there. It still need some polishing, but hopefully I can work on it and then maybe try to submit it to a journal or for competition. It was so strange that I randomly found it, and a very happy surprise that my earlier works (even the ones I have almost no memory of!) are salvageable. I opened the one that I had been thinking of, and it’s not as good, but again, short and probably worth it to polish it up and see if I can make something of it. The lesson here—as I’ve heard over and over in any author interviews—is to write all the time. After all, as my favorite quote goes, you can’t edit a blank page.
To speak the lingo, my work-in-progress (or WIP) is actually progressing! About a month ago, I made the decision to really focus on the most complete of my projects, which is forcing me to finally finish one of my many WIPs. For this one (title still undecided—that seems to be the hardest part!), there were a lot of scenes that needed cleaned up and clarified, and it’s been great to actually deal with all the incomplete areas versus brushing them off. I started by taking a couple of hours and re-outlining the entire novel scene-by-scene, adding in notes about where things needed smoothed or reworked or if there were events or people or props that popped up out of the blue in one place and would need introduced somewhere else. It’s also allowed me to add scenes and add depth that I hadn’t realized was necessary in the half-assed, skim-through revisions I was doing earlier.
Anyway, I’m in the final chapters, though there are some pretty messy scenes that need some reworking. However, once I finish, then I think I’ll be onto my final revision—a read-through for grammar, sentence structure, word choices and tense consistency. With my toddler asleep and my 3-year-old occupied watching Care Bears, I think I’m going to pour a glass of wine and see how much I can get done. On a side note, my definition of a wild Friday night has definitely changed.
With views like this of lovely Lake Tahoe, it’s impossible not enjoy the drive to the office. Off to spend the morning with my red pen!
I’ve been in limbo with my own work. Part of the problem is that I’ve had so much to work on. I have one novel that’s written but needs extensive revision, one that WAS written, then I realized I started in the wrong spot and there’s very little that can be reused, and a newer project that I was excited about, but is in the very beginning stages. The way I’ve been going is that I’d just work on whatever I was excited about, but after two years switching enthusiasms and never completing anything, I needed a new course of action. SO. I’ve decided to start with my closest-to-done and work down the line, which is actually kind of exciting because it should force me to complete something, even if it’s not the project I’m the most passionate about at the moment. So, that means it’s time for me to start revising novel #1! I’d already rewritten about half of it, so it’s not in terrible shape, and I think the characters and the plot are pretty well thought out. Still, I’m dreading the rewrite: It’s the forming of decent sentences that’s giving me trouble. In my mind, I’m still just trying to get words on paper. Now that they are there, and I need to manipulate them into something lyrically pleasing, I’m having the hardest time with it. Well, that and the fact that, with two small children, it’s hard to find time during which I can focus (an example: as I’m writing this, three-year-old is asking me for a third time to explain the plot of Beauty and the Beast).
David Wise, photo courtesy Northstar California
The Olympics are over and I am very happy to report that the athletes for the Tahoe/Reno region did incredible! Maddie Bowman picked up a gold medal in the ski halfpipe, Julia Mancuso scooped up a bronze (to add to her collection of silver and gold) and David Wise won the gold in the freeski halfpipe. I was lucky enough to interview many of the Tahoe hopefuls in the TQ Winter feature, and profiled David in the 2013 TQ Ski & Ride issue. Here’s my interview with David, pre-gold medal:
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