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Spring in Washington

Springtime is Ebby's favorite time to travel in Washington State. Everything is in bloom and summer is on its way!

Diablo Lake, North Cascade Mountains.

This newsletter is closer to the travelogues I used to write before Ebby, rather than the typical author newsletter, although I have sprinkled snippets of Ebby throughout. I have been very busy this past month enjoying Spring in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I traveled around Washington State to celebrate our anniversary. Three fabulous independent bookstores invited Ebby onto their shelves along the way and we met wonderful people everywhere we went. On the art front, I have been painting a lot lately and was accepted to three Art Festivals this August. My latest painting is included in this newsletter, as well as information on where you can go to see me paint it. Let's get started before another month gets past us!

A drive through Washington State.

If you have read my book, Ebby the Magnificent, Tails of an Elusive Baby Bunny, you will know that one of Ebby's characteristics, as an Elusive Baby Bunny, is her inability to stay in one place for very long. If you haven't read Ebby yet, you are probably wondering what the heck an "Elusive Baby Bunny" is. Well, Ebby isn't sure herself until her friend explains to her why she can't seem to sit still. Spot, the chipmunk, explains: "Elusive Baby Bunnies never stay in the same place for long because they want to experience everything. As soon as an Elusive Baby Bunny finishes exploring one place, they want to start a new adventure in another place right away."

I have to admit that there is a little bit of Ebby in me. I find it difficult to stay in one place for very long. This is why I was thrilled when my husband suggested we take a road trip through parts of Washington State I had never visited even after living here for over 30 years. If you haven't been to Washington, it is a BIG state. It is three times larger than Croatia. There is a LOT to see.

The first part of our trip took us to Packwood, a small logging town on the south side of Mt. Ranier. Mt. Ranier, at 14,409 feet (4392 meters) above sea level, is the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii) and is worth a trip just by itself. One of the problems with being so high is it's often covered by clouds, making it difficult to spot. We caught only a partial glimpse of it, but the rest of the scenery is spectacular. Scenes like this inspire me to paint landscapes using the brightest colors imaginable. I don't like using hushed tones, which is why the illustrations in my book are so bright and colorful. These are pictures I took along Hwy 12. I put particularly vibrant photos in a file I call "photos to paint." I have recently started posting time-lapse videos of my painting process on my Facebook and Instagram pages. I might paint one of these some day. You can check out my painting videos visiting by my social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

Even though I am the one who created Ebby, she has had an undeniable and profound impact on me, almost as if she has repaid the favor of being brought to life. Ebby has taught me how easy it is to be kind, and how fun it is to make new friends. Taking a cue from Ebby, I have embraced her simple truth that all you have to do to turn a complete stranger into a friend is greet them with a smile, say hello, be kind, and be helpful. I did just that when we stopped at Clear Creek Falls Overlook. I greeted Bill and Sharon Klancke from Idaho, which led to a wonderful conversation. At the end, they got a copy of Ebby to give to their grandkids. We could have parted strangers. That would have been easy. But what the world needs now more than ever are more friends.

One thing Ebby has instilled in me is the love of Critters and stopping to smell the flowers.

Make each day count, not because it could be your last, but because there is beauty in it.

Next stop was Leavenworth, Washington. Leavenworth is a small, Bavarian-style village in the Cascade Mountains. It's super cute with a fantastic independent bookstore, A Book for All Seasons, which welcomed Ebby with open arms. This lovely couple bought an heirloom quality hardback immediately upon feeling the padded cover and seeing the gorgeously illustrated pages inside--even before the store could enter the book into their inventory. Click on either photo below to go to A Book For All Seasons' website.

Next stop, Wintrop, Washington on the banks of the Methow, Twisp, and Chewuch rivers. It is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. We went for a hike in Pipestone Canyon, one of about 15 hikes within a few minutes drive of the main town. We were treated to flower-covered valleys, breathtaking rock cliffs, and a lush forest, all along a relatively flat hike.

The town of Winthrop is lovely as well. It is an old gold rush town, which has been largely preserved in the style of the old West. It is one of the best living monuments to the sorts of towns you typically only see in Hollywood Westerns, with old wooden sidewalks, and preserved wooden structures. Plus, they have an amazing independent bookstore called End of the Trail Bookstore, which is unexpectedly enormous, and has an incredible selection of books in every genre, now including autographed copies of Ebby the Magnificent!

Next destination was the North Cascades Highway, a 120 mile scenic highway, way up in the northern part of the state. Now, I want to emphasize something here: I have lived in Washington State for over 30 years. I love nature. I love mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, flora, fauna, and all things mountainous. Somehow, the North Cascades Highway has been like an Elusive Baby Bunny for me and my husband. We have heard people talk about it for years, but it is remote and far away from where we live. Plus, it is only open a few months of the year due to snow, and is often closed in the summer due to wild fires. After having to cancel our plans three years in a row to visit it due to wildfires, we finally got to see it for ourselves. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait and lived up to its reputation. Put it on your list of places to go. It starts outside of Winthrop (which is why we were there), and ends in Sedro-Wooley. The picture at the beginning of this newsletter is at the Diablo Lake Viewpoint. Click on the picture below to take you to the North Cascades Scenic Loop website for more information. Along the way, I said hi to a lovely traveling nurse, Amanda Parker, touring on her Harley with her dog, Calypso. As you probably guessed, I ended up selling her a copy of Ebby. We're now Facebook and Instagram friends.

Our trip would not have been full circle without ending back in southwest Washington, where we love to camp and visit the Columbia River Gorge. Along the way, we stopped in at North Bank Books in Stevenson, Washington, where Ebby found a new home. Click on the link below to go to North Bank Books' website, or stop by to say hello the next time you're in Stevenson. Ebby is now in Left Bank Books and North Bank Books!

Summer Art Festivals featuring my artwork and Ebby the Magnificent.

I have been invited to participate in three local art festivals in August! This is the first time I have applied, and I am beyond excited to have been invited to all three events. The first event is the Vancouver Arts and Music Festival on August 2-4 in Vancouver, Washington. In addition to being a vendor in the park, selling copies of Ebby the Magnificent, art greeting cards, prints, T-shirts, and other merchandise, I will submit this painting of Yosemite Falls to the Fine Art Fair. I will include additional information about the other festivals and book presentations I will be at this summer in my next newsletter, together with details on the paintings and prints I will sell at these events. You can also check my Facebook and Instagram pages or contact me directly if you would like more information.

If you want to see my process in creating this Yosemite Falls painting, click on the painting to take you to my Facebook page, where you will find 16 videos I posted showing me painting it in a time-lapse format, or otherwise explaining my process.

Ebby is the perfect gift for every occasion.

Ebby the Magnificent is available in a first edition heirloom quality hardcover edition or a deluxe softcover version. Both versions include a sewn and glued seam, heavy, high-quality paper, gorgeous, full-color images, and a map of the Land of Stones on the front and back covers so you always know where you are. Because it is a one hundred percent positive, bright, hopeful and cheery book, full of adventure, beautiful illustrations, and valuable life lessons for all ages, it is the perfect gift for weddings, baby showers, graduations from 1st grade to PhDs, birthdays, and any other reason you might have to give a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Available only at and select independent bookstores now listed on the Stores page of my website. I happily tailor the autograph to make it even more special, as shown below.

Special Order your own Ebby T-Shirt!

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