A blog for people who don't want to spend all their free time in the real world. After all, we live and work there. Escape the mundane with books, travel, and writing.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Denali National Park, Alaska

A few photos of my trip to Denali National Park, Alaska
Early August, 2014

Taiga on the way to Denali, Alaska

Squirrel friend in Denali

Our first caribou in Denali National Park

More magnificent caribou

A mama bear and her two older cubs
Denali National Park

Me with heavy caribou antlers
How do they hold their heads up?

Gorgeous scenery, Denali
First few days of August--the lushest time of year
For more pictures of my trip, click the links here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Glacier Bay, Alaska

A few photos of my last trip to Glacier Bay, Alaska
August 1, 2014

Glacier Bay, Alaska, with water like a mirror

Bald Eagle chilling on an iceberg

A sea bird cruise ship

Marjerie Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Marjerie Glacier and its source mountains, Glacier Bay

Calving, Marjerie Glacier, Glacier Bay

Looks just like a normal August
Glacier Bay, Alaska
For more pictures of my trip, click the links here:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Skagway, Alaska--Upper Dewey Lake

Here are some pictures 
Of my gorgeous hike to Upper Dewey Lake
Skagway, Alaska
Late July 2014
Glaciers on the rugged peaks

Views from near Upper Dewey Lake
Skagway, Alaska

More breathtaking beauty

Upper Dewey Lake

Views of Skagway and Lynn Canal
From the path to Devil's Punchbowl
For more pictures of my trip, click the links here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Juneau, Alaska

A few photos of my last trip to Juneau, Alaska
(And Mendenhall Glacier)
Late July, 2014

Sockeye salmon getting ready to spawn.
Steep Creek Trail, Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau

Porcupine in a tree?
How can that be?

Mendenhall Lake, Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls
Juneau, Alaska

That's where I want to be
I've heard the wind can be quite brisk

Sailing away from Juneau, Alaska
That's Holland American's Amsterdam on the right.
For more pictures of my trip, click the links here:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ketchikan, Alaska

A few photos from my last trip to Ketchikan, Alaska.
Late July 2014

Colorful Creek Street, Ketchikan.
Don't those kayakers look like they're having fun?
There weren't a ton of salmon in the stream this time,
but we still saw some.
I recommend going late August/early September.
If you hit it right, you'll witness crazy salmon traffic jams.
Our ship from the windy breakwater
by Ketchikan's downtown small boat harbor.
You can go down into the harbor itself and look at the boats.
Very cool.  
Sailing away from Ketchikan in the evening
For more pictures of my trip, click the links here:

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interview with Author Kaitlyn Deann

I love picking author's brains about their books and their writing process.  Here is another interview, this time with Kaitlyn Deann, author of The Witches' Sleep and World of Beasts.

Q:  I see that you started writing from very early.  Do you ever look back on things you wrote when you were 11?  How do you feel about them?

I do! There are several stories I look back on because I still love the idea, and I probably will visit them again one day. I like to look back for more than that, though. I think it's important to remember where and how you started. I wasn't a great writer when I was 11, but I had a lot of hope and really big ideas. And I tried. It's important to know that you can't become a great writer overnight. It takes time, patience, and hard work. Looking back on what I used to be able to do and seeing how far I've come along since is the greatest feeling, even if the work was really, really, really bad. Like, you don't even know how bad.
Q:  For you, what’s the hardest part of writing/publishing?

Some days it's motivation, other days it's inspiration, and then most of the time it's just life getting in the way and taking up all my time. I wish I had more time to just write, but I don't. I actually--surprisingly--have a life.
Q:  What’s the best part?

The best part about writing is being able to connect a reader with a character or situation, to pull on their heartstrings. Emotion. That's the best part. Seeing what I've written cause others to connect emotionally. It's very beautiful.
Q:  What is the perfect time and place for you to write?  (Early mornings?  Afternoons in the woods?  A coffee shop?)

Late at night. I'm not very much of a morning person, but I'm a huge night owl. I like to sit at the kitchen table after everyone else has gone to bed and eat whatever I can find that sounds good and drink some water (don't really like much else), and just write my heart out. I can't write in public; I've tried, believe me. I don't know what it is, but I just can't do it. I lose focus or something. I don't know.

Q:  In Book 1, The Witches’ Sleep, Ella dies and wakes up in a world of witches.  What was your favorite thing about writing Ella’s transition?

I loved the new world and new people and new culture. It was fun to invent some things, switch stuff around, and basically confuse my character Ella. She was so used to Earth, and even though Raena (world of the witches) was similar to Earth in many ways, there were a lot of things that were different and she had to adjust to.
Q:  In Book 2, will readers see more of Ella?  Tell us a little about it.  

Yes and no. In WORLD OF THE BEASTS, the sequel to THE WITCHES' SLEEP, the story focuses on Sea-Anna, a less important character from the first book. Book 2 is mostly her story, but I do switch perspectives every now and then to round the story off.
Q:  What similarities and differences are there between Books 1 and 2?

They are similar in many ways, but different in more ways. Book 2 is divided into three perspectives, though there is one (Sea-Anna) that is a major perspective--the most important. Book 2 is also a lot bigger than Book 1. THE WITCHES' SLEEP had a word-count of 96k, and WORLD OF THE BEASTS is a big, fat 140k. Also, my writing has definitely evolved for the better, so I hope my readers will enjoy a story that flows well.
To know more, visit Kaitlyn Deann's website at www.kaitlyndeann.com.

Kaitlyn's Books:

At only seventeen, Ella Barnes is shot and killed for an unknown reason. She is shocked when she wakes up in a different world, a world of witches. Ella has to learn to adapt to a new body, new life and new world, surrounded by new people. As Ella gets to know Raena, the world of the witches and its people, she realizes they aren’t the perfect creatures they believe themselves to be, and she’s not the type of person to stand around and twiddle her thumbs. Will Ella succeed in changing the mindset of the people? Or will she be doomed to die another cold and tragic death because of her rebellion?

Sea-Anna and Tuck have been weretiger slaves to the witches for over twenty years. But now, because their master happens to be the leader’s worst enemy, they have been sold to the beasts behind their master’s back. Sea-Anna and Tuck are separated, bought by two different beasts. Sea-Anna, who dreads the beasts more than anything, promises herself to stay strong, but not for herself, not to save her own life. She has to protect her secrets. But will she buckle under the pressure Aphalie, the world of the beasts, shoves at her? Or will she overcome the trials and become the weretiger she was always meant to be?

Find Kaitlyn Online:

Kaitlyn Deann has been telling stories since she was very young, whether through at-home productions with her cousins and siblings or through verbal tellings. She decided to try her hand at writing when she was eleven, and it became a part of her in an unexplainable way. She fell in love with writing, fell in love with the stories she could tell by simply stringing together a few words. As a writer, Kaitlyn hopes to keep a reader turning pages late into the night and give them something to think about long after they finish the last page. She loves her friends, family, and God. Laughing is her favorite calorie burner. She lives in somewhere, Texas with her family. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014