Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I Don't Attend RMFW Meetings, But I Have a Great Excuse by Barbara Graham
An unrepentant quilting addict, she lives in Wyoming with her long suffering husband and two dogs. Her motto is “Every book needs a dead body and every bed needs a quilt.”
Murder by Vegetable: The Baby Quilt--the 4th Quilted Mystery--released October 19, 2012.
I Don’t Attend RMFW Meetings, But I Have a Great Excuse by Barbara Graham
I’m a virtual dinosaur with minimal computer skills but I’m in good company up here. Only 80 miles away, a dinosaur skeleton was found not many years ago. My kids went on field trips to find shells from eons ago when this was the ocean. Nearby is the Yellowstone Caldera. I’m assured by the motion picture industry that when it blows I will be annihilated. It is comforting to know.
Wyoming is unique. With a population of 500,000 in a fairly large chunk of land, the closest shopping mall is 110 miles away—in Montana. I think there might be three malls within the state but none closer than 200 miles to me. There are more antelope than people and often 50 miles or more between gas stations. I love it. That said, Wyoming is often described as a single small town with long streets. I know people all over the state. Warning—do not badmouth anyone, you might be talking to the cousin, sibling or parent of the person living 400 miles away and word will get back.
What, you may wonder does this have to do with writing? In my world the most valuable thing for a writer, is good blinds or curtains. Keep them closed. Otherwise there is too much gazing off into space, at the mountains, or the sky, or at the critters.
Many people in Wyoming write. It might be connected to the long winters, or the tradition of storytelling to pass down history or maybe it’s the same everywhere. In my town, I’m the odd duck, even for writers, because I kill imaginary people. There is little more thrilling than finding the right way to do away with someone. I’m always keeping an eye out for my next victim or weapon. While writer friends around me are turning out poetry, history, non-fiction, I’m killing people in Tennessee. Why? Well, I love mysteries and I lived in Tennessee for several years. My little group of imaginary friends live there and are not planning to migrate. The fourth book in my series, Murder by Vegetable: The Baby Quilt released this month.
When the wind is howling and the temperature is plunging—I don’t care (except when walking the dogs)—in my office I have gone to East Tennessee. And yes, it is different from West Tennessee. I’m often asked why I don’t write about Wyoming. I may yet, but this group of imaginary friends likes where they live and are not moving. I know them well enough to be sure they would happily visit in the summer, but they would not live here. A week in Yellowstone is not the real world.
The photos: The landscape picture with the fall colors and two mountains is the view from my office. I have to keep the blinds closed to get any work done. The back side of the mountain on the left is the peak rising from the water, maybe ten miles away. Kind of cool. These four deer spent a whole day in the yard, sheltered from the wind. I nicknamed them “the four stooges.”
Thanks for the tour of your writing country, Barbara. I wanted to retire to Wyoming until I found out about the cold and the wind. I guess that would be an advantage if you wanted an excuse to stay inside and write.
For more information about Barbara and her quilting mysteries, visit her website. From time to time you can also find her on Facebook.