Research trip to Mammoth Cave and Diamond Cave for my work in progress.

2015 pics 093

I’m getting ready to write the scene in my WIP where the characters visit Mammoth cave in Kentucky. Being deep underground, caves aren’t bombarded with all of the energy waves from cell phones, TV’s, radios, etc., and some consider them to be portals to other dimensions. To find out more about that, you’ll have to read my novel when I’m finished. 🙂

Last spring I went on a research trip to Mammoth and Diamond caves to learn more about them. The most interesting thing I learned, which might seem obvious, but didn’t occur to me until I was in the cave is that it is PITCH BLACK when they turn out the lights. You could see absolutely NOTHING. Not the hand in front of your face or even the movement of your hand. It took a brave soul to venture down there before they were electrically lighted.

Mammoth cave is mostly a dry cave, so while it was beautiful and cool, it didn’t have the stalagmites and stalactites that form from dripping water.

2015 pics 037

Tunnel in Mammoth Cave

2015 pics 030

Rock passage in Mammoth Cave

Emerald Cave, which is much smaller, but actually part of the same cave system, is a wet cave and has beautiful features formed from the constantly dripping water.

2015 pics 098

2015 pics 112

2015 pics 124

It’s hard to do justice to the beauty with my little instamatic camera. All of the caves were originally thought to be formed by water and at the lower levels not open to the public, underground rivers flow. One of the rivers, appropriately called the River Styx, emerges from the ground through a rock wall onto the surface.

Styxx

This looks like a pool of water, but it is actually a river flowing out of the rock wall.

One of the themes of my books is the dangers of Fracking. We found it interesting that the buses at Mammoth Cave National Park are run on the so-called ‘clean energy’ of natural gas. Ironic to say the least.

Research trips are one of the perks of being an author!

I

Kentucky Book Fair – Love being with authors and readers!

 

 

ky5

Saturday I was at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, KY! Met lots of new author friends and lots of readers! I even had some metaphysical conversations about the premise of The Field! 

ky8

I shared my table with Megan Whitmer, author of BETWEEN and Julia Watts, author of HYPNOTIZING CHICKENS – that title got a lot of attention!

ky4

Here are some great t-shirts I saw – gotta love authors and readers!!

ky7

Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel. 🙂

Banned Books?! Open a book and Open your mind!

Lots of great books on this banned book list!

KY1ky2

Books By The Banks ~ Cincinnati, Ohio

IMG_0828

 

Great day on Saturday at the Books By The Banks Book Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio!

 

IMG_0831

Met with lots of readers and shared a table with Mindee Arnett, author of Avalon and The Nightmare Affair (a YALSA Teen Top Ten nominee.)

Of course, I also bought books… here I am with Marc Brown, author of the Arthur Series and TV show that my children grew up watching.

IMG_0834

 

I’m buying books for my niece and nephew, the next generation of readers. So much fun!!

Up in the Air!

IMG_5912

 

IMG_5897

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!

IMG_5914

IMG_5928

IMG_5945

IMG_5925

IMG_5949

The weather conditions were perfect!

IMG_5951

 

IMG_5961

IMG_5965

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!

IMG_5966

 

Too bad I had to get up at 5:00am! Such a lovely ride!

Hiking Shades State Park

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.

 

 

IMG_0690

 

 

IMG_0691

It was definitely a rugged trail. Ibuprofen was my friend for several days afterwards!

 

 

IMG_0692

IMG_0696

 

 

IMG_0700

We had to climb ladders to get through several of the gorges.

 

 

IMG_0702

Overlooking Sugar Creek.

Winter Hike

It snowed six inches in central Indiana on Friday, so my husband and I went for a hike in Brown County Indiana. We weren’t going to be deterred by a little snow! Well, acutally I was. We hiked four miles of the total six mile trail. I just couldn’t slog through any more of the six inches of virgin snow. We did see several hunters, though. It is somewhat disconcerting to be out in the beautifully silent woods and come upon five men in camo with bright orange accessories, all toting riles. We didn’t see any deer. They were smart enough to stay hidden.

 

 

IMG_0582

 

 

 

IMG_0583

 

 

 

IMG_0584

 

IMG_0585

The reward was having lunch at the famous, but inconveniently located Story Inn.

 

 

IMG_0589IMG_0586