Writing Retreat at Whiskey Belle Ranch

Highlands and horses and dogs, oh my! Chickens and kitties and snakes? OH MY!

Enjoyed a fantastic writing retreat last week at Whiskey Belle Ranch with Shannon Baker and Wendy Terrien. We worked hard on our books, laughed a helluva lot, and shoveled poop–real poop!–horse poop, that is.

Things did get riled up when Bubba the bull snake slithered into the chicken coop to cop an egg. Twice. But we corralled him, relocated the rascal, and carried on with our critter care while also writing and brainstorming.

Thank you, Bob and Alanna for sharing your amazing Ranch!

(And thank you, Wendy, for sharing your fabulous photos.)

Eye level

lil blu bg
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
~ Henry David Thoreau.
Photo by Richard Fogg.

Armed and Dangerous!

51CADeQfNSLAvailable now from Amazon, Armed and Dangerous includes opening chapters from ten  romantic suspense novels published by The Wild Rose Press!

Lethal Refuge by Vonnie Hughes
Iron Cop by Sally Booth
Proving Ground by Stanalei Fletcher
On The Surface by Margo Hoornstra
A Serenade to Die For by Janet Fogg and David Jackson
Wounded At The Lake by Mitzi Pool Bridges
Caged Souls by Gina Leuci
Keeping Hope Alive by Fran McNabb
Broken Ties by Gloria Davidson Marlow
Peril, Passion, Peru by Eve Dew Crook

Heron Rises from the Dark, Summer Pond, a poem by Mary Oliver

Pas de deux by Richard Fogg

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

Bashful and the Bee

 

Apotheosis by Emily Dickinson

B buz bfly
Photo by Richard Fogg

Come slowly, Eden!
Lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars — enters,
And is lost in balms!

 

Moonset (Photo and poem)

moon set 15 (1)
Photo by Richard Fogg

 

Moonset, a poem by Emily Pauline Johnson:

Idles the night wind through the dreaming firs,
That waking murmur low,
As some lost melody returning stirs
The love of long ago;
And through the far, cool distance, zephyr fanned.
The moon is sinking into shadow-land.

The troubled night-bird, calling plaintively,
Wanders on restless wing;
The cedars, chanting vespers to the sea,
Await its answering,
That comes in wash of waves along the strand,
The while the moon slips into shadow-land.

O! soft responsive voices of the night
I join your minstrelsy,
And call across the fading silver light
As something calls to me;
I may not all your meaning understand,
But I have touched your soul in shadow-land.