Happy August!

     Happy Birthday, Leo the Lions!  I am looking over our wild and wooly cliff toward Goose Pond as I paint away on my Fall 2020 book COZY (The story of the Musk Ox).  It is a little like THE MITTEN, as first one, then many more animals shelter under Cozy?s vast and fluffy winter coat during the Alaska winter.  My story also reminds me of HORTON THE BIG-HEARTED MOOSE by Doctor Seuss!  He not only had a great story lines but the world he created was unique.  My world is an extension of my fascination with the natural world.  The creatures that live in Arctic regions especially fascinate me.  I have never been in a wilderness area mid-winter, but have been in northern Norway in late December, getting ideas for WHO?S THAT KNOCKING ON CHRISTMAS EVE? a book I wrote in 2002 and last December.  I went to Palmer, Alaska to visit the Musk Ox farm.  This December will be my first trip into the wilderness in winter.  I'll go to the Sheldon Chalet, which is ten miles from the summit of Mount Denali, and we will spend a few days in the park first.  There are Wolves, Wolverine, and thousands of Caribou in the park first.  No bears, though, they will be asleep in their dens!
    I am also starting to mull my 2021 book.  I would like to do a Troll and Hedgehog book.  In our cabin in the Berkshires, we have a loft that is outfitted just for kids, with little beds under the eaves.  On the big beams that support the roof, I have all the wooden toys I've collected from the countries we travelled to.  When I go up the stairs to check on everything, I always smile when I see my Steiff Hedgehog kids, and I always wish I have been the one to design them.  I hope I can be inspired and make them characters in a story ? I have four troll books already,   TROUBLE WITH TROLLS, CHRISTMAS TROLLS, WHO?S THAT KNOCKING? and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.  Maybe, I'll get glimpse of my new story in my dreams!

       Happy Imagining,

           Your friend, Jan