Check out the loveliness from opening day at the 43rd Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!
I moved to Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana in 2007, a few months short of Hurricane Katrina’s second anniversary. To see the marks of devastation New Orleans still carried, to hear the daily conversations, it was clear Katrina, “the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history,” had left a lasting impact on countless lives.
What was completely unknown to me was the plight of Louisiana’s wetlands. Louisiana, which contains approximately 40% of the nation’s wetlands, experiences 90% of the coastal wetland loss in the lower 48 states. The state loses 25 to 35 square miles of wetlands per year. If nothing is done to alter this, all of Terrebonne, along with other coastal parishes, will be underwater by 2050.
Follow me over to The Nerdy Book Club to read the rest.
I’ve talked a lot here about my office space through the years. There was the post about my closet office back in Louisiana and the picture of my research spot in a nearby park. Here in Albuquerque, you’ve seen my office when we first moved in, the addition of my desk, a tour of my bookshelves, the bulletin board above my desk, the rubber rat on the desk itself, and the closet overhaul I had done in May.
While I don’t do the majority of my writing here (I still prefer the couch, the bed, or Starbucks), I love this space. There’s something about being surrounded by familiar books and inspiring words that makes me feel at home.
Last month I added in two more pieces of furniture, a secretary and chair from my parents, who have recently moved to town.
I bought some blue and white knobs and two yards of bird fabric at Hobby Lobby (since a certain sometimes-grubby puppy likes to sit nearby).
The desk as been in front of the window the last year or two, and while I loved being able to look outside, it could get pretty toasty in the summer and rather chilly in the winter. See the little lamp I’ve hooked onto the desk? It’s the one from my office closet days and makes things feel extra cozy in a way the overhead light just can’t.
Here’s a glimpse from the doorway.
And one when standing in front of the window.
Here’s the secretary all prettified.
Sara Zarr in her podcast talks about being “at home in your work”, an idea I really love. Having a welcoming space like this helps me find my way into the writing and all the other tasks that come with the writing life.
How does your work space influence your work?
Some of you might remember the days I worked in a closet office, a tiny 3′ x 4′ space where I wrote May B. When we moved to New Mexico, I graduated into a full-sized office. Last week the office closet got a little makeover.
How it all started — a jumbled mess.
Closet insides now on the outside.
My wonderful new shelves from California Closets.
There’s even a special nook for my fake sod brick (doesn’t every author who writes about pioneers have one in her closet?).
I wrote some words in every single one of these books! Way too fun.
I’m hoping this little fella sends his joy and inspiration over Jasper‘s way.
And here it is! Isn’t it beautiful? I trust nothing will fall on my head the next time I pull back that shower curtain…
In June, we spent two weeks in Texas. While my husband had some meetings the boys and I headed to Houma, LA, the second-happiest city in the US, and our home for three years. Ten minutes in to Louisiana, a roseate spoonbill, a native bird I’d never, ever seen, flew over our car, kind of like a state ambassador welcoming us back.
I was determined to go on a swamp tour while we were in town — something we never got around to doing when we lived in Houma (though we sure loved our swamp adventures). I scheduled a trip with Cajun Man Swamp Tours, invited some friends to come along.
The super personable “Black” Guidry was our guide (check him out here in this Kia commercial). As there were French Canadians on board, Black gave the tour in both English and French, which was a lovely little Cajun bonus.
Oh, we sweltered. But there was Spanish moss!
And cypress knees (those little knobby things poking out of the water on the left-hand side)!
Even Leroy came to visit!
The tour felt especially personal knowing OVER IN THE WETLANDS, my picture book love letter to Coastal Louisiana, is coming out sometime next year.
The tour, that spoonbill, those illustrations, they were all like coming home.