I Lost My Heart Last Week

I did. I fell in love with a place I had never been before. I traveled to Crested Butte, Colorado with my husband on a business trip. Thrilled to get to take this trip with him, I honestly didn’t care where we were going. As long as we were going together, and a week away from the kids, I was game. And while I knew we were traveling to Colorado, and I knew it was winter, and I had even been there before several years ago, what I was still a little naive about was just how cold it would be. Despite my friends warning me. Seeing 7 degrees on my phone and feeling 7 degrees are two very different things. Especially, when you are checking the temperatures from sunny and 75 Houston, Texas.

When we arrived at the Gunnison airport, the snow piles–piles taller than myself–amazed me, and I realized my daughter’s dream of me making a snow angel and taking a picture for her was slim. I knew the minute I tried to lay in the white, soft pile I would just sink to the bottom, to a six feet under frozen death. (Luckily that didn’t happen.) Still, I was determined to make it happen.

Upon landing, we loaded into a shuttle and traveled the forty-five minute trek to Crested Butte. The longer we rode up the mountain the more my head spun from the altitude. Another thing my friends tried to warn me about. Still, hearing it, and experiencing it are two very different things. On the drive, all I could think about was getting into my hotel room and getting something to eat. Forget the snow, forget the cold, I just needed a muffin and an Advil! Stat!

But, finally, after our bodies had a short time to adjust to the altitude, we ventured out and explored the pleasant, quaint town of Crested Butte. A town discovered in the late 1800’s as a coal miners paradise, Crested Butte has enough charm and history to pull at almost anyone’s heart. I spent the week walking up and down Crested Butte’s famous Elk Avenue with some of the other spouses on the business trip. *Shout out to Carrie, Kim, Alison, Rita, and many of you other beautiful ladies.* We popped into little art shops, coffee shops, and ate some delicious pizza at the number one pizza joint in the town.

I got to go horseback riding, tried snow skiing (maybe not the sport for me), and got to take an amazing history tour with Glow, one of the long-time town natives. Glow was wonderful and kind, informing us of the famous history that made Crested Butte what it is today. In fact, her tour inspired me so much, my wheels began to turn, and I now have an outline for a new novel. Thank you, Glow!

By the end of our trip, I was sad to leave the place that had rooted itself deep in my heart, but happy to get home to my babies. With temperatures in the negatives, the warm Houston sunshine felt good on my skin when Mr. B and I arrived home. Still, while I’m here in Houston, my heart dreams and longs for the beautiful snowcapped mountains of Colorado. A place someone could easily get lost in with all of it’s beauty and charm.

Here are a few pictures. More to come in the next few weeks!

Erin Bevan

What Inspires You?

I’m excited to get to host a fellow Soul Mate Publisher today on my blog. Linda Bradley is here to share about her Montana Bound Series. A series that follows her character Maggie Abernathy very closely. I love Linda’s book covers. The earthiness of them reminds me why I fell in love with books to begin with. Books have a way of pulling you in and slowing you down. I love reading a good book, and Linda shares with us how art inspires her to write good books.

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Writing is a twenty-four-hour endeavor in my book. The hours of a regular day may be filled with teaching seven-year-olds, worrying about the kids, caring for my mother, or walking the dog, but summer brings reprieve. The warm sunshine brings rejuvenation.

My story characters linger in my mind no matter what I’m doing. Even through the busiest times, or the laziest of days they’re hatching new plans, seeking adventure, and cultivating seeds of evolvement. Much like myself, and I suspect others.

Maggie Abernathy is the main character in my Montana Bound Series. In the wakes of finding herself alone, her hobby of hand-painting black-and-white photos isn’t just an activity to fill her days. This endeavor evolves into a passion, thus silently leading her toward a new beginning.

With an art background, I’ve been pondering Maggie’s ability to make ordinary salt-and-pepper photographs come to life with the traditions lighting her world. This summer, I’ve colored a few pictures myself as a means to stay connected to her.

First, I chose a photograph taken in Montana while researching White Park Cattle. I altered the image on the computer then printed it out. Colored pencils are one of my favorite medium to work with so I dug out my bag of colors and got to work.

linda

Henry David Thoreau said, “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” As a writer and an artist, it is easy to see the parallel drawn between these two great statements. Take from it what you will. For me, I draw inspiration, tending to the roots that have allowed me to connect with readers.

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Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.

Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan

Erin Bevan

Fun Friday Featuring Kim Hotzon

My Idea Tree For 2016!

idea treeJanuary is here and with a new year comes an opportunity for a new start! January is often a difficult month for many reasons: cold weather, extra bills, and the fact that the holidays are over.

I decided to write a blog about a tree. Not a Christmas tree, nor a family tree. An idea tree. It’s a simple concept – kind of like mind-mapping.

I find New Year’s resolutions are important but hard to make and keep. I wanted a way to remind myself using a creative, visual approach and the idea tree seemed an ingenuous way to do just that.

Simply think of all the things you’d like to accomplish this coming year. These don’t have to be expensive or unrealistic goals. My goals incorporate both career and personal wishes. Start easy and go slow. Record your goals on an idea tree and pin it up where you can easily see it. I chose a spot in my office but you can hang up your tree on the fridge, mirror, computer screen, wherever it suits you.

The idea tree is meant to inspire and remind you to stick to your goals. You can print off free tree graphics on Google and create your own idea tree! Good luck and I hope you reach your goals in 2016!

Hands Full

Erin Bevan