About this blog...

Here you will find information, musings, and pictures about zoos, the natural world, and writing. Welcome to the erratic thoughts of a zoo mystery author! See ZooMysteries.com for more photos and information about my books. Click here for cool sites about elephants and conservation organizations.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nose to grindstone

I am working away diligently on Zoo Mystery #3 so all I am going to post is a nice picture. It's a pregnant Grevy's zebra, a good metaphor,no? Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another zoo keeper in the mystery world

Linda Lombardi writes a funny blog, Animals Behaving Badly, and now she has a zoo mystery out as well, The Sloth's Eye. Welcome to the mini-genre, Linda!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Did Not Survive pays off

I'm pleased to say that I recently received my first royalty check from Did Not Survive and, as promised, I donated it to conservation. Let me hasten to say that the check was modest--it takes time and luck to establish a mystery series and mine is still new.

Here are the organizations and the reasons I selected them:

Health in Harmony, for their program to provide local jobs reforesting Gunung Palang National Park, an employment alternative to illegal logging.

Center for Biological Diversity for their efforts to save natural areas by suing to enforce US environmental laws.

Asian Elephant Support for their efforts to help both wild and captive Asian elephants.

WildAid for their campaign to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products in Asia.

What would be your choices? Let me know what organization and why. I'll consider them when the next check comes around.



Thanks for thinking of us, but bigger would be better. Go sell more books.

My new look

I inveigled (extorted?) a minor blog make-over from a house guest. Emilie Wapnick is the creator of Puttylike, a website dedicated to "Lifestyle Design for Multipotentialites."

CLICK HERE to see what the 20-somethings are up to these days.

How do you like the new look? Is that a great camel or what?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Balance, breathe, begin again

Today I watched a little video of a Bill McKibben OpEd piece on climate change (click here). It always gets me down to think of the destruction we humans are causing on my watch and my inexplicable failure to put a stop to it. There's some trick to saving the world that I just can't seem to get.

But I just unearthed in the chaos of my desk a Gary Snyder poem that is a small comfort. Perhaps he won't mind me quoting it if I include a link to his page at City Lights bookstore, where you can get lots of his fine poems. Click here.

As the Crickets

As the crickets' soft autumn hum
is to us,
so are we to the trees
as are they
to the rocks and the hills


Which I take to mean: all this will pass, regardless of what you or I attempt or accomplish.


Is that really the best you can do?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brewing up elephant conservation



Here I am doing my utmost for elephant conservation by encouraging the board of Asian Elephant Support to enjoy summer weather and a boatload of beer. This is at ZooBrew, an event at Oregon Zoo showcasing local breweries. (Yes, they have a serious board meeting tomorrow, indoors and cold sober.)

Linda Reifschneider, President and Treasurer (just off the plane from St. Louis); Michelle Schireman (Oregon Zoo zookeeper and supporter); me; April Yoder, Director (Little Rock, AK); Sharon Glaeser, Vice President and Secretary (Portland).

I was pleased to hand Linda a check that was part of the royalties from Did Not Survive, the second in my zoo mystery series.

These folks are supporting important work in Asian elephant conservation. Take a look at their classy website HERE and consider becoming a supporter yourself.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just a picture--Yellow Necked Spur Fowl


No time to blog, so here is a picture I took in Kenya of a yellow-necked spur fowl. They acted like quail, scampering over the roads and popping up unexpectedly.