I love research!
I’ve started working on my next book featuring Eric and Renee and some new characters. Part of the setting is an archaeolgical dig site in southern Indiana. I wanted to get some hands on experience with an actual dig, so last weekend I embarked on a research roadtrip! I had the most incredible weekend driving across picturesque southernIndiana and Illinois!
Dr. Susan Alt of Indiana University generously allowed me to spend a morning observing a Field Study student dig site at Emerald Mounds – a Mississippian Era Native American site about 20 miles east of St. Louis. Students from the University of Illinois and Indiana University are spending six to eight weeks excavating a site that is at risk of being lost due to farming and erosion. I am a science geek at heart and it was incredibly cool to get to watch them at work!!
I also visited Angel Mounds near Evansville, IN and Cahokia Mounds in Illinois just east of St. Louis. All three sites are settlements of Native Americans who lived there until about the year 1400. The Cahokia site had more inhabitants during its heyday than London did at the same time.
Here is the Field Study team who allowed me to peek over their shoulders as they worked.
Working on the site.
Learning excavation techniques.
The site is in a very beautiful farmland/pastoral setting on a bluff overlooking St. Louis in the distance.
My Dad turned 80 this year and to celebrate he and I took a hot air ballon ride! It was very cool, to say the least. Cross that off the bucket list!
The weather conditions were perfect!
We landed near a cemetary and the headstone nearest to us had hot air balloons on it! I love it when the Universe speaks to me that way!
Too bad I had to get up at 5:00am! Such a lovely ride!
A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at Decatur Middle School and this lovely young reader bought a copy of THE FIELD. The cool thing is that I recognized her from when I presented at Decatur three years ago and she bought a copy of INDIAN SUMMER. I l love it when that happens!
After we learned the exciting news about The Field winning the Eric Hoffer Award, my husband suggested we have champagne to celebrate. I said that I couldn’t that night, but perhaps on Tuesday evening as I had something else scheduled. He went to his favorite writing local – The Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple – to work on his next book. Later that evening he texted me that the owner of the restaurant told him we had a bottle of Cava – Spanish sparkling wine – that we had purchased at a wine tasting in December and forgot to pick up. Perfect for toasting to my writing success. When he brought the bottle home and I looked at the label, here is what I saw ~
Poema in Spanish means ‘poem’ in English, and a writing quill!?!? The Universe is speaking loud and clear! And that’s not even including the huge clap of thunder that I heard immediately after I said an affirmation about being a successful writer and publisher the night before! If you listen, the Universe is speaking loud and clear.
This is almost to thrilling for words!
The Field is the winner in the YA category of the 2014 Eric Hoffer Awards!!
Buy the book!
Look what I got for Mother’s Day and my birthday!
It’s a Phat Cycle! Not for speed, but for tooling around town. I am channeling a younger version of Angela Landsbury from “Murder She Wrote.” Author who rides her bike to the market, knitting store and Book Store! It is all about the basket, of course!
Last weekend my husband and I went on another hike in one of Indiana’s beautiful state parks. Shades State Park is about an hour’s drive west of Indianapolis on Sugar Creek. To get there we drove through miles of flat farmland, but the park itself has gulleys, canyons and gorges. Really beatiful! I particularly loved all the spring wildflowers.
It was definitely a rugged trail. Ibuprofen was my friend for several days afterwards!
We had to climb ladders to get through several of the gorges.
Overlooking Sugar Creek.