Tag Archive for: writing inspiration

10 Things We Love About Fall

 by Sparkle Abbey

It’s hard to believe it’s already September and one of the top ten
words of 2020 is “quarantine.” Like many of our fellow Stiletto Gang authors,
we’re also on Zoom overload, longing to meet friends at our favorite
restaurants, and mourning the end of summer vacations—mostly because we didn’t
have a vacation. 

As unpredictable as 2020 has been, we’re going-with-the-flow
and preparing ourselves for an anything-can-happen type of Fall.

Here in Iowa, most days are still warm days, but there was a short
preview of the cooler days to come. We can’t image an Iowa Autumn without lawns
blanketed with crisp, colored leaves, long-sleeved flannel shirts, and all
things pumpkin spice. And our yearly flu shots.

So instead of thinking about our lost summer vacations, we thought
we share 10 Things We Love About Fall.

  • Writer’s retreats (We have faith they will happen again!)
  • Crisp weather
  • Cozy oversized sweaters
  • Homemade apple desserts
  • Colorful scarves
  • Candy corn
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Thanksgiving
  • Pumpkin spice EVERYTHING
  • The best-scented candles. Apple spice, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, and Cinnamon Chai

What about you? What are some favorite things you like about Fall?

Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don’t tell the other neighbors.) 

They love to hear from readers and can be found on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, their favorite social media sites. Also, if you want to make sure you get updates, sign up for their newsletter via the SparkleAbbey.com website

International Beaver Day!

April 7 is International
Beaver Day
, a day aimed at celebrating and raising awareness of these furry,
dam-building rodents. (Bet you didn’t know that!)
Photo Credit: Michael S. Quinton National Geographic
I swear I’m not quoting my BeaverSav protesters, but beavers really
are remarkable creatures. (BeaverSav is a completely made-up organization protesting
the destruction of beaver habitat by the archeologists in The Body in the Beaver Pond. I might’ve had a bit of fun with one
of the protestors in the story, but they really are dedicated to restoring the
beaver’s habitat.) 
Anyway, given a chance, beavers could serve an important
role in solving many of our planet’s major environmental problems.
Their dams help create one of the Earth’s best life support systems. The dams
flood the land upstream of the dam, restoring wildlife habitats for a number of
species, protecting and filtering our drinking water, storing flood waters to
reduce property damage, and maintaining surface water flow during drought
Sadly, beaver numbers declined—the current population is
roughly 10% of what it was before European settlers moved in—and the majority
of wetlands were drained, disconnecting waterways from their floodplains. Eventually,
rivers became more like canals—or sewers—contributing to our current problems
with water pollution, erosion, and escalating damage from regional floods and
Really bad photo by Cathy Perkins
Beavers have made a
remarkable comeback over the last century. I can personally attest to several
families in our neck of the woods. They keep trying to turn our river and its
side streams into a giant wetland, but the river floods every spring, sweeping
the dams away. Industrious critters, the beavers simply gnaw down more trees and start
Wetlands & Wildlife or BWW (a for-real group dedicated to protecting the 
species) declared April 7 International Beaver Day to honor
Dorothy Richards, also known as the “Beaver Woman,” whose birthday fell on that
day. Before her death in 1985, Richards studied beavers for fifty years, had
two consecutive beaver families living in an addition to her house (that might
be taking your passion a bit far) and wrote a book called Beaversprite: My Years Building an
Animal Sanctuary
Okay, she kinda mighta
been the inspiration for the woman from BeaverSav, but I’m sure Ms Richards is
much more fun to hang out with.
To celebrate
International Beaver Day, here are seven facts about these industrious rodents provided
by globalanimal.org:
Beavers can stay underwater for 15 minutes without coming up for air.

The beaver is Canada’s biggest rodent and the second-largest on the planet.

Beavers’ transparent eyelids work like goggles, by protecting their eyeballs as
they swim underwater.

The beaver has been Canada’s national symbol for more than 300 years.

Beavers’ ear openings and nostrils have valves that can be closed when

The world’s largest beaver dam is 850 meters long and located in Wood Buffalo
National Park.

Beavers sharpen their incisors (teeth) by grinding them against one another.

Ever see a beaver where you live? 

An award-winning author of financial mysteries, Cathy Perkins writes twisting dark suspense and light amateur sleuth stories.  When not writing, she battles with the beavers over the pond height or heads out on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.  Visit her at http://cperkinswrites.com or on Facebook 

Sign up for her new release announcement newsletter in either place.

She’s hard at work on sequel to The Body in the Beaver Pond, which was recently presented with the Claymore Award.