We're spending some time at our cabin in the mountains of New Mexico, on the eastern slope of the Southern Rockies. The bluebirds are nesting on our deck, the hummingbirds flock to the feeders, and the magpies dodge and dart like thieves through the pines. This morning, we could hear the male turkeys gobbling to the females and the ravens calling to one another--watch me watch me!--as they ride the winds down the steep slope and over the green valley below. All, all lovely.
It's cool here, too. Yesterday, the temperature was a reasonable 80, with a sweet, pine-scented breeze. Back home in Texas, it topped 100, with highs of 105 predicted for the Hill Country.
This is a working vacation for me, and this is the corner of the loft where I spend part of the day. The current work-in-progress, A Plain Vanilla Murder, is China's next mystery (May or June, 2019). Great fun for me: digging into the life history of vanilla, a spice that most of us know only in those little brown bottles we buy at the supermarket.
A spice? Really? Yes. From Wikipedia: "A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food." The extract we buy in those brown bottles is derived from vanilla's whole seedpod. Now you know.
I'm also working on an email interview with Laura Rogers, who plays Kay Summersby in Pressure, running this summer in London. (Kay is one of the protagonists of The General's Women, my novel about her relationship with General Eisenhower during WW2.) The play is about the run-up to the Normandy landings and the critical weather forecast that created enormously tense discussions among the invasion's planners. Watch for the interview, coming soon to this blog and to the book's website.
Also on the calendar: a few days with family (Bill's and mine) in Colorado Springs, and more quiet time here in the mountains.
Reading note. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.― John Muir, Our National Parks