Friday, August 2, 2013

Show & Tell Friday: Monster Turtles, Mountains & More

Happy August, everyone!

What a July it was--hot, muggy, rainy, busy and fun. My baby girl is officially 3 months old, and I can hardly believe it. When you were a kid, didn't it annoy you how grown-ups used to always talk about "time flying"? Then, of course, you yourself become a grown-up and realized, Daggum it--they're right.

Some good stuff to share today:

1.) A year in the life ...

Have you seen this video from a father in the UK who took video clips of every day of the first year of his son's life and put them all together? Each day is a second, and it's adorable. You don't have to know the baby or the family to appreciate the wonderful, precious and fleeting nature of life.

2.) Monster turtle

This is random. And creepy. But I had to share. Look what's been hanging out under the dock at my family's lake house in the South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains:


Yep. Right under the dock, next to the steps where we--and the dogs and kiddos--enter to the water, swim, and hang out. It's a prehistoric mega-turtle. And it had babies. Gulp. And check out my goodlookin', and very brave cousin, Toly. He's a rock star.

3.) What I'm reading now ...

This week, I'm finishing up Diana Gabaldon's A Trail of Fire and am dipping my toes into A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. It's set in the '30s on a New England beach. Here's what bestselling author Elin Hildebrand has to say about it: "An intricately woven tale of friendship, betrayal, old families, and closely guarded secrets. It is what every beach book should aspire to be--smart and engrossing."

Yes, there are a lot of summer novels about old New England families on old New England beaches staying in old New England beach houses. But being a Southerner and unfamiliar with the terrain, I can't get enough of them. Plus Ms. Williams looks young and adorable in her author photo, and I'm always impressed with young successful writers. Check out her author website and more about A Hundred Summers here.

3.) Artist-in-Residence at The Reserve at Lake Keowee

Saturday I'll be headed to Sunset, South Carolina and The Reserve at Lake Keowee to begin my week as an Artist-in-Residence. I'll be meeting with book clubs reading Keowee Valley, giving history talks about the area, and enjoying informal time with community members. I can't wait!

Additionally, at the beginning of the next week--Sunday, August 11--I'll be one of the featured authors at the 2013 Birchwood Book and Author Fair at The Lodge at Table Rock State Park in S.C. I'll be meeting readers, signing books, and reading some from Keowee Valley. I hope if you're in the area, you'll join me!

4.) "Play On" ...

Not to make y'all too jealous, but this is where I live. Tough, right?

Check out this short video of Transylvania County and Brevard, North Carolina, put together by several folks in town. It'll make you want to hop in the car and get yourself to our mountains as quickly as possible.

On a side note, so much of this area is the setting and inspiration for Keowee Valley. I obviously love it, and loved walking my main characters, Quinn and Jack, through such a gorgeous and awe-inspiring landscape. Take a look here.

Happy August, all!