Well, I think I’m finally caught up! My convalescence in January totally threw me off, and I’ve been playing catch up for the past month. I wrote three Home Awards pieces for TQ, one artist profile, I got through all the editing in my inbox, sent out the Star Resort newsletter and just inserted the additional revisions to the erotic novel I’ve been editing. But the surest sign that I’ve finally gotten through my work is that I’ve FINALLY gotten around to doing my invoicing! I love the writing side, not so much the financials… Anyway, on Friday I go into the TQ offices to proof the Mountain Home issue (SO excited to see it laid out!), then one more proof on Wednesday, and then I think I have a break. After the flurry of the past few weeks, it feels well deserved. I have a spa gift certificate I’ve been meaning to use for the past year, so I think I know how I’m going to spend my free time…
Coffee and M&Ms to get into edit mode. Let the chaos begin!
I’m so excited about my current projects! For TQ, I’ve got a couple of stories lined up, one of which involves talking with local Winter Olympic hopefuls, the other interviewing a South Shore artist who rediscovered painting after a growth was removed from the right side of his brain. I’m researching the functions of right brain versus the left brain, and it’s really fascinating to see how he changed when his right brain was freed from this growth.
My other project is really fun: I’d been back and forth with a client about editing her novel and recently completed Chapter 1 as a sample to ensure that she liked my work. I’m having a blast editing it (not only is it the first novel I’ve undertaken to edit, but it’s an erotic novel!), so I was pretty happy that she likes my editing. I just got the green light to move forward with the rest of the book, so for the next few weeks, it looks like I’ll be splitting my time between arts, athletes and erotica. Quite the combination!
Summer in Tahoe means a spectacular display of colorful blooms: fields of yellow mule ears gazing at the sun, seas of blue lupine and orange poppies nodding in the wind.
More than 700 kinds of wildflowers grow in the region, according to Zephyr Cove resident Roger Rosenberger, wildflower expert and founder of http://www.wildflowerhikes.com. “It’s an endless palette, which, of course, makes it so interesting.”
Wildflower season typically begins in June and peaks in July and August; the season progresses uphill, so the best spots for end-of-season blooms are high, north-facing slopes. Continue reading →
In the Summer issue of Tahoe Quarterly, I have a story about the wildflowers of the Tahoe Basin. The area includes some 700 different types, so it was hard to narrow the article down to a sort of “top ten” list, but it was very interesting to write! (Side note: Did you know there’s a rare, local flower called a phantom orchid that is non-photosynthetic? It gets nutrients via fungi versus chlorophyll.) I took out a couple of local wildflower expert Laird Blackwell’s books on the topic from the library, and I’m wishing I still had them because I saw some white flowers on a run though the trails recently and couldn’t identify the little beauties. Off to buy my own copy, I suppose! On another note, just received my copy of TQ Summer and it looks great!
I was at my library last week and, lo and behold, there was Tahoe Blues on the ‘featured reads’ section! It was so exciting to see a work that I participated in on the shelf, and I pointed it out to my toddler, who didn’t seem to care.
THEN, this past weekend, I was in Truckee to visit my friend Vanessa. We were poking into all the little shops and boutiques downtown (why couldn’t the cupcake store have opened while I still lived there?) and we wandered into a store called Bespoke. Again, I saw Tahoe Blues.
“Have you seen this?” Vanessa asked. “It’s a great little book; I was flipping through a friend’s copy the other week.”
When I showed her my byline, she was somehow even more excited than I was and bought a copy while announcing to the entire store that I contributed to the book. And, on that note, Bona Fide Books is looking for submissions for a follow-up to Tahoe Blues called Tahoe Sepia, a compilation of short, 1,000-word pieces chronicling the area’s past. It combines two of my favorite subjects, Lake Tahoe and history, so I’m very excited to start work on my submission!
I’m belated, but the Winter issue of Tahoe Quarterly is on stands! It’s a great issue. I profile Truckee artist Annie Hooker, whose 1940s-era paintings deal with notions of nostalgia. There are some great stories, including a feature article dealing with the tenuous relationship between bears and humans in the Tahoe Basin, a gorgeous piece on different types of snowflakes and an article about people who ski every month of the year. These people are insane: One guy has been skiing every month for 18 years; another guy is my husband, who was on a 26-month streak at the time of his interview and is now pretty close to 30! Like I said, insane people!
Today, I got to visit two Martis Camp homes that I’ll be writing up for Tahoe Quarterly. Both are incredible homes—the first, designed by architect Ted Brobst of Ward-Young, creates a contemporary retreat utilizing hot rolled steel, Western red cedar and ledgestone. The second, designed by Scott Gillespie of SANDBOX and built by Mark Tanner Construction, is the perfect family getaway, complete with a bunk room, sleeping porch and great outdoor spaces. At the second home, I had to opportunity to meet the wonderful homeowner and one of her sons, and the two of them were more than welcoming, showing me around, telling stories and even entertaining Audrey, who was my little work buddy for the day. The TQ Home issue is my personal favorite of the year, featuring the area’s best architects, builders and designers. I’ve got two more homes to tour and write up, but in the meantime, find links to some of the articles I’ve written for issues past here, here and here!
Got to pick up the red pen yesterday and spend some time proofreading at the Tahoe Quarterly office! Since Audrey’s been born, I’ve done some light freelance work, but yesterday was my first “real” work day. Audrey tagged along as my office buddy—after sleeping all day the day before, she decided to stay awake most of yesterday, go figure. Regardless, proofed the entire magazine with baby in tow! It’s going to be a great issue—the feature article explores the relationship between bears and residents in Lake Tahoe (following the shooting of a Homewood bear this past summer) and other articles include a very interesting piece on snowflakes, a look at the Truckee Community Farm (which grows high-elevation produce year-round in a geodesic dome), an Outdoors piece on winter water sports and my Arts interview with Truckee-based painter Annie Hooker, among other stories. And, as always, beautiful photography as well! Explore past articles here.
I have officially finished both a first draft and a first rewrite of my novel! I’d feel better about it except that this baby still has me on a pretty tight timeframe (four weeks till D-Day!) and the writing needs a lot of improvement. I feel pretty good about the characters and plot, even a lot of the dialogue, but it still needs help. So! Today, I printed out the entire manuscript and I’m doing an on-paper read-through. While I’m looking for weak points and places to expand or cut, my main goal is to go through and highlight all the adverbs so I can reduce redundancies and tighten my writing. Holy cow, are there a lot! I did a quick find and replace for the letters –ly and found 808 instances. They don’t all need to die—just the majority. I don’t really need my heroine to “say softly” when she could just whisper, or have some guy “run quickly” when he could sprint. It’s a lot of work—just going through and circling them all is wearing me down, but when I can go back and show through dialogue or actions how someone is being sarcastic versus writing “she said sarcastically,” I think I will be much happier!