The Beauty of Winter

It’s already been a long winter here in Colorado. More cloudy days than we’re used to, not to mention more snow and cold. And winter isn’t even technically here yet! But it’s not all bad. We’ve had some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen during a Colorado winter. And winter is the season of cinnamon, nutmeg, conversations in front of the fireplace, warm blankets, and candlelight. Grab a cup of hot cocoa or hot cider and enjoy.

IMG_1923

img_1895-e1575169804820.jpg

IMG_1900

img_1898-e1575169951789.jpg

img_1925.jpg

IMG_1901

IMG_1927

IMG_1928

img_1941.jpg

 

img_1940.jpg

IMG_1935

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. 
–John Burroughs

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
–Edith Sitwell

Short and Sweet

I have out-of-state family visiting so family has been my priority this week. So this Wednesday’s post is short and sweet. Next week I’ll be back with some good information on making the best of NaNoWriMo.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.
Barbara Bush

IMG_1768

img_1773-e1571194135864.jpg

Wild animals are less wild and more human than many humans of this world 
― Munia Khan

IMG_1770

See you next week for some talk about NaNoWriMo!

 

 

Autumn Splendor

I absolutely love fall! The only thing is that winter seems to come too quickly, chasing fall away before its time. And it looks like winter is going to hit early this year in Colorado. Eighty degrees Wednesday, and a high of 28 on Thursday with measurable snowfall. But until then, here’s a little bit of Colorado Rocky Mountain autumn beauty.

img_1720.jpg

IMG_1719

img_1714.jpg

img_1729.jpg

IMG_1726

 

img_1709.jpg

img_1711.jpg

img_1722.jpg

img_1718-e1570503803174.jpg

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!
― Humbert Wolfe

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”  – Stanley Horowitz

 

 

 

The Magic of Nature

Some more of nature’s beauty. As you’ve probably been able to tell by now, I absolutely love sunrises and sunsets. God’s love language to His children.

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. ― Jo Walton

IMG_1521

IMG_1645

 

IMG_1658

IMG_1654

And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.
― William Cullen Bryant

IMG_1676

IMG_1688

IMG_1680

IMG_1659

Every sunset is an opportunity to reset
― Richie Norton

 

Highlands Scottish-Irish Festival

IMG_1624

My husband and I used to go to the Highlands Scottish-Irish Festival in Estes Park, CO every year. Unfortunately, it’s the same weekend as the writer’s conference I’ve been attending for the past several years–Colorado Gold.  (Colorado Gold is my favorite writers conference ever–if you’re a writer and you’ve never gone before, I sincerely urge you to give it a try. You will leave vowing to go again the next year. And the year after that.)

But I digress. This year I decided to attend the Festival again. While I desperately missed my writing friends at conference and the loads of information gleaned there, we enjoyed the Festival with friends.

img_1636.jpg

img_1639.jpg

The fun started with a parade on Saturday morning that beats any parade I’ve ever seen. And the best part? There’s absolutely nothing political. How unusual is that? Just pure fun of all things Scottish and Irish. And oh, for the bagpipes!

img_1633.jpg

img_1632.jpg

img_1630.jpg

img_1628.jpg

img_1623.jpg

So many clans in their colors!

The activities at the fairgrounds consisted of Scottish athletics, jousting, pipe band competitions, Irish dance, Highland dance, exhibitions of dogs from the British Isles, Celtic rock and folk music, sooooo much amazing food, commercial tents, a Guinness tent, (for those not familiar with Guinness beer, it’s a must while at the Festival–for those who imbibe), and so much more.

img_1637.jpg

And my favorite entertainer there since we’ve started going…none other than Seamus Kennedy. The guy has a sense of humor that draws quite the crowd.

img_1640.jpg

The weekend of September 11, 2020…Highlands Scottish-Irish Festival or Colorado Gold Writer’s Conference…choices, choices, choices. Perhaps cloning so both is an option…

A little Scottish humor: “Kilt. It’s what happened to the last person who called it a skirt.”

More Visions of Summer

It’s been said that even too much of a good thing isn’t good. I disagree. I believe there’s no such thing as too much of summer’s beauty. Of drinking it in fully, with deep appreciation. Here is evidence of some of what I’ve been drinking in.

IMG_1513

IMG_1506

IMG_1512

IMG_1500

IMG_1517

IMG_1503

Incredible live entertainment along the river as we sat on a patio eating dinner for our wedding anniversary.

img_1488.jpg

It’s the simple things that are often the most beautiful.

IMG_1511

Again…simple…beautiful.

IMG_1489

A gorgeous Colorado sunrise. God’s Artwork.

With that, go forth and enjoy some summer beauty, drinking in the sights, the soft breezes, and the sounds that only summer can bring.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Summer’s Beauty

Most of these photos were taken at a campground in Rocky Mountain National Park with the aroma of campfire smoke wafting through the air. I never tire of that smell. 🙂  Enjoy!

IMG_1444

IMG_1468

IMG_1441

IMG_1469

img_1448.jpg

img_1446.jpg

 

IMG_1434

img_1464.jpg

Sunday morning worship service is held here, surrounded by God’s artwork.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. – Rachel Carson

Naturally Nature

More nature shots this week. Too many good ones not to share…

img_1249-copy.jpg

Even weeds can be beautiful.

IMG_1301 - Copy

Confluence Park, Denver

IMG_1300 - Copy

My favorite place to bike to in Denver. REI and Starbucks together–so perfect!

img_1251-copy.jpg

This big guy was injured. The State Park rangers came and picked him up and sent him off to rehab.

IMG_1270 - Copy

Watching me closely.

IMG_1273 - Copy

Perfectly still…

IMG_1264 - Copy

God’s Artwork

IMG_1265 - Copy

A Denver Broncos sunset.

Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.  -L. Wolfe Gilbert

 

 

Natural Beauty

It’s time for some nature shots this week. I’ve been graced with so much beauty from nature the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to share. Sit back and enjoy… 🙂

IMG_1247

IMG_1245

IMG_1244

IMG_1190

IMG_1240

IMG_1242

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. -John Muir

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. -Alice Walker

The Three E’s

Education, Education, and Education.
Oh, yeah, and education.
I love learning! And I recently had the perfect opportunity at the Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference. The theme? The Muse Cruise. It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

Below is the new director at the podium while the retiring director takes it easy on the lounge chair.

IMG_1083

Below is a photo of the keynote speaker, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cynthia Swanson, who gave an incredibly motivating speech about successful writers at every age. Gives the older writers (ahem…like myself) hope that it’s never too late and to just keep on keepin’ on. Cynthia’s book, The Bookseller, is soon to be a motion picture starring Julia Roberts.

NCW Conf.2

Below is the bio of another fabulous presenter, Jordan Rosenfeld. Her bio speaks for itself. I attended Jordan’s class on How to Plot Your Novel Scene by Scene. Fantastic!

 

IMG_1082

Below is thriller author LS Hawker. I attended two of her classes, Social Media Marketing: Bookbub Ads, Facebook Ads, & Book Trailers, and also Writing a Thriller that Readers Can’t Put Down. All amazing information! She really knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to share!IMG_1071

Below is Steven Dunn, again whose bio speaks for itself. He taught a class on How to Get Sentences to Feel Like What They Describe. He used passages from his own work and let me tell you, they were powerful!

IMG_1076

Below is Jovan Mays, another keynote speaker. Jovan’s passion for poetry and family was contagious and touching. He had every person’s full attention and respect. Such an incredible man!

IMG_1098

 

I also attended two classes by the amazing Angie Hodapp, who I’ve mentioned in prior posts. I literally cannot get enough of her presentations. I can listen to the same one several times and still learn something new.

I always come away from conferences feeling so inspired and motivated. Last weekend I managed to get my WIP (work in progress), Abby’s Retribution, book two in the Whispering Pines duology, off to my beta readers. With that off my plate for the time being, I’m knee deep in reviewing the audio files for Shear Murder, book four in the Melanie Hogan mysteries, which my narrator sent to me a couple of weeks ago.

With another Camp NaNo coming in July, at which time I’ll be revising Shear Fear, book five in the Melanie Hogan mysteries, I’ve got my work cut out for me and a whole lot of tools in my belt with which to do it, thanks to conferences and writing classes.

Have you been to any writing conferences? What was your biggest take away?

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. -Pele