Tales of Rangers

    A rainy day in the Rockies.

    It's been cold and rainy this weekend. This makes me very happy because I get to use my fireplace for the first time this fall and enjoy the flames. I love to write in front of a fire. In fact, most of Hard Evidence and Unlawful Contact were written in front of a crackling fire.

    With the rain and the fire, it's been a perfect writing weekend. I've set Untamed aside for a moment to work on the proposal for my next romantic suspense, which will tell Kat's story. I've known for a long time that this story would include my experience falling off a cliff and that Kat would end up falling in love with a mountain parks ranger. I also knew the main story would revolve around a struggle over sacred land — a constant struggle for American Indian people.

    After writing the synopsis and prologue, I met with Ranger Rick Hatfield, a friend of mine. He and I were both volunteer naturalists with Boulder Mountain Parks — Boulder is one of few cities in America that has its own parks system in the mountains. He focused on monitoring raptor nests, while I led hikes of grade-schoolers and other visitors. Then I began writing seriously, and he became a Ranger.

    Nowadays when I see him, he's all official — uniform, big pick-up truck, geared up. My biznatches SueZAY and KrisTAY met him when they were here. We ran into him up at NCAR. He was there because some stoopid drunk dude had driven his car up the Mesa Trail. The first quarter-mile of the trail is flat. Then you come to a very steep, very rocky dropoff. You can imagine what happened to the car. But I digress...

    So I met with Rick today and he showed me all the gear on his belt. Glock 21 .45 caliber sidearm. Baton. Mace. Cuffs. Two spare magazines with hollow-point rounds. Pager. Radio. I got to handle his Kevlar and ask a bunch of questions. It was fascinating and a great excuse to hang with him for a while.

    It struck me as funny that I'm writing a historical about the original Rangers — the men who served during the French and Indian War under that name — and that when I'm done with that, I'll be writing a story about a modern-day Ranger. Because I'm still searching for a last name for the hero — Gabe won the vote with you all, by the way — I was thinking of calling him Gabriel (Gabe) MacKinnon and having him be the many-times great-grandson of Iain MacKinnon. He could tell Kat how he learned that his ancestors were Rangers in the old-fashioned historical sense. Silly, perhaps, but a fun way of linking my current historical series with the I-Team series.

    In the meantime, I'm recovering from the VOTE edition and taking tomorrow off.

    I'm on Shelfari now for those of you with "shelves." Find me and let's link up there!

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