Actually, that really is what April looks like in Breckenridge. It's going to take a long time for all that snow to melt!
I live in Breckenridge as many weeks of the year as possible. When I consider ways to give back to my town, I focus on protecting nature. Since April is National Keep America Beautiful Month, I researched volunteer clean up days here. Funny thing is, it’s scheduled for May 21, because there’s too much snow on the ground until then! Plus April and May are called the mud season for a reason.
Does your town have volunteer cleanup days?
Have you discovered DoSomething.org? It is a global organization for young people who want to volunteer for loads of causes. Check out their environmental actions section. Or join the 3.5 million Sierra Club members fighting for the Earth! They have a youth-specific Sierra Student Coalition that empowers teens and young adults volunteering for climate justice. Tell me if you’ve found other great ways for teens to volunteer in your communities.
#environment, #cleanup, #giveback, #studentvolunteers
One thing that makes all the hard work of writing, editing, revising, and submitting my stories is when I hear excitement from readers I meet. At the recent CCIRA conference, I met a wonderful book seller from Bookies/The Book Bar, Marilyn, who recognized my title with excitement. She had just begun reading The Netahs. She admitted it was on the long-list for the Reading the West award for Young Adult fiction. I had not yet heard that it had made the list. She thoughtfully emailed me the link with the announcement. I don’t think my feet touched the ground for the rest of that conference. Thank you, Marilyn!
I also had the pleasure of meeting the young woman at Next Page books in Frisco, CO who is reading my book for the same reason. She also recognized the title, as it had just arrived and was on her nightstand.
Curious? Check out their list of nominees at: https://readingthewest.com/32nd-annual-longlist.
Colorado inspired my story. I’ve always loved walking in the woods, even growing up in the Midwest, where our woods are mixes of deciduous and pines. The smells in our pine and aspen forests here are so fresh and complex and they change with the seasons. The birds in Colorado are less varied, I miss the red cardinals and blue jays. Still, you can't beat the occasional wildlife sightings, always from afar! I’ve seen pronghorns, mule deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, foxes. Luckily, I’ve never met a bear or mountain lion on my walks. There’s a thrill at seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitats, and I wanted to bring that into my story. I also wanted to honor the history and ways of the first peoples who lived here. That led me to conceive of my secret society of Netahs who can turn into animals, which I propose as predating even the known native populations, while also influencing their sensibilities to care for the land and its bounty. Human/animal combinations and transformations have been a part of human mythology for as far back as we've been able to record our stories, and they can be found all over the planet. Mine is merely a variation on a theme!
Keep your eyes out for Book 2! I'm calling it The Netahs, Down in the Valley