A quickie

    Sunset on Navajo.

    I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that I'm working on the last chapter of Naked Edge today. Then I'll have just the epilogue to write — I've been dying to write it for a long time — and edits. So this novel will absolutely be done by the end of the month.

    Then I start research for my next project which involves this fellow:

    Clive Owen as King Arthur

    I hope you're all doing well! I miss emailing and chatting with you! But I am so so so happy that this book is almost done. The other night, I had myself in tears over the climax of the story. Let's hope that means you'll find it moving, too.

Just for fun

    My parents and my nephew Finnegan at Delicate Arch in Canyonlands

    I love the American West. Those of us who are lucky enough to call it home know that the beauty of the place, the extremes of weather and variety of landscapes make every day an experience filled with beauty. This is from Canyonlands, Utah, not far from my parents' home in Southwest Colorado. I'm posting it just 'cuz it's pretty.

    I'm working on Chapter 29 of Naked Edge today, hoping to finish it tonight so I can write the last chapter (let's hope it's the last!) tomorrow and the epilogue on Sunday.

    Thank you all so much for your touching words and prayers for Connie and her family. She made a difference in people's lives while she was here, and, really, that's the best thing any of us can do.

    Have a glorious day!

Naked Edge update

    A photo taken somewhere on the dinetah — Navajoland — where Kat from Naked Edge was born. I think the real Kat may have taken this photo, actually...

    So I realize it's been a while since I posted. I thought I'd give you a quick update.

    Since my last post:

    I have had a week's vacation, during which I wrote 18 to 20 hours a day and got to Chapter 28 of Naked Edge. That puts me within screaming distance of the end. I'm halfway through 28 now, and I hope to finish it tonight. So that leaves Chapters 29 and 30, plus the epilogue... and then I'm done!

    I'm back at work, but I'm still pushing hard to finish, which means I'm still getting only about five hours of sleep a night. That's okay, because I just want to finish!

    Also, my family's dear friend Connie, whom I mentioned several posts back and whom I tried to celebrate by including her as a character in Unlawful Contact, passed away. She died must faster than anyone imagined. Her funeral is today. I appreciate your prayers for her, and I'm just glad she's no longer suffering. I was able to visit her in hospice, which was a moving experience, but also very sad.

    Connie with my sister back in the early ’70s. The two of them shared a birthday. I have no idea who anyone else is in this photo. This is the house we lived in from the time I was 9 till I was about 12.

    She will be sorely missed by her family, friends and all the women she helped through her church. She was very involved in assisting abused women and in helping women through Christian ministry. I'm not big on religion, but she's one of a small number of people who truly walked their talk. If there is such a thing as Heaven, she's there now.

    My thoughts are now with her husband, John (who was "Pastor John" in Unlawful Contact) and with her children, who've been my friends since I was 2 years old.

    Work is, of course, very busy, and I'm really not up for it now. Between Connie's death and the writing the climax of Naked Edge, I'm feeling pretty emotional and just want to write and sleep and isolate myself.

    Speaking of work, I'm very late getting ready for it. I just wanted to give you all an update. I hope to finish Naked Edge by the end of this coming weekend.

The home stretch

    I'm off from work through July 13, during which time I am going to be working mercilessly on Naked Edge, with the goal of finishing it by July 15, at which time I must start another project. I tried putting up a countdown clock here for fun's sake, but I couldn't get it to work.

    So rather than leaving you with a countdown clock to stare at for the next two weeks, I thought I'd share a video of some of the most amazing powder skiing I've ever seen. Remember, I grew up in Colorado. Skiing lessons were part of PE in junior high. So when I say this is fantastic skiing, believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

    I have no idea who these guys are, but they ski like powder demons. Why is this relevant? After all, it's July! True, true! BUT, Gabe Rossiter, the hero in Naked Edge is a mountain parks ranger and loves to ski. Not only does he love to ski, but he's amazing at it. None other than Julian Darcangelo says that Gabe is hell on skis. And now that you've got this video to watch, you can see what that means. These guys ski deep powder, taking face shots all the way, and they ski a couple of cliffs. (In ski lingo, "face shots" means having the power fly into your face. Outside of skiing, it's a porn term, and you can figure out for yourself what it means.)

    In his younger years, Gabe chased powder. That is to say, he traveled wherever the powder was deep and the skiing was good. A lot of young guys live that way here, mostly sleeping in cars or vans and driving anywhere in the Rockies where the snow is dumping.

    If you want to catch some of Gabe's other activities, you can search YouTube for heliskiing. He and Marc Hunter out of necessity go heliskiing, something I have actually done. I went heliskiing with a group of friends near Telluride. Heliskiing is where they fly you into the wilderness to some crazy high ridge in the mountains and drop you off in the snow and you ski down the mountain in deep powder. I suck at telemark skiing, so I kind of fall down the mountain while wearing skis. But, hey, I still went heliskiing, right?

    After watching all of this snowy activity, hopefully you'll feel cooled off and refreshed.

    I'm five chapters and an epilogue away from finishing Naked Edge. I'll check in if I can. If I'm focused on the story and can't come back to the real world, then you won't see me for a while. But do enjoy that crazy ripping in this video. I watch in awe.

    And if I don't see you all again before Saturday, have a wonderful, safe Fourth of July!

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