February Hedge a gram

Happy February,

     What a good time to take your artistic skills, could be drawing, or writing to do a card for your favorite person. If you are reading this after Valentine's Day, it doesn't matter, do it anyway! This is my February hedge a gram, the time I take to share my thoughts with you and especially encourage everyone big or small to get out your art stuff and create!
     Right now I feel like I'm about to jump off a cliff, but with nice big wings. I have lots of new experiences ahead of me. My husband Joe and I are about to go back to Africa and I'm writing and doing sketches for my new book.
     We are going on a bird watching trip to the new South Africa. I always say the "new" South Africa because there is a new government there and vibrant and exciting change. Even though we're going bird watching with a guide, it goes without saying that we'll see lots of animals. I like to stop and see all the little animals that are endlessly fascinating, like mongoose, honey badger, turtles, pythons, and all the incredible birds. I am most looking forward to going to Krueger park, one of the oldest and best known parks in Africa. I hope to put some of our animals sightings on our Internet site. You can see a presentation of our trip to Botswana last year in the Videos section of my Home Page. If you think the people on the video are knowledgeable, warm and friendly, you'd be right, and that is another reason we are drawn to Africa. I'm getting out my binoculars - the most important item I'll bring, and all my khaki clothes. The brown color blends in with the scenery and one feels less intrusive. It's also a tradition.
     I am working now on a Three Bears book, the bears are polar bears and Goldilocks has black hair because she is Inuit. My book will be set in the Arctic, and Joe and I will be traveling to Nunavut, which includes the area next to Greenland. I am learning about Inuit culture, thanks to the Canadian Educational system which has sent me the movie,   The Fast Runner which won lots of awards and is written and acted by Inuit people. I would rate it PG-13 by the way, if you are a teacher.
     We are so lucky to have access to so much about the world around us. I am reading Polar Dreams by Barry Lopez and My Cold Heaven by Gretel Ulrich. These books have helped me be realistic about the far north. I enjoy having a learning goal, and the taking pieces of what I've learned and turning it into a book.
Happy reading - books really do take you to other lands! Bye for now, your friend,

Jan Brett