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Author Anne Hillerman Visits Sylvan Dale

New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman spent two days at Sylvan Dale Ranch during her September 18-19 visit to Colorado as the “Loveland Loves to Read” author of the year.

From left: Peg Isakson, Loveland Loves to Read, David Jessup, Anne Hillerman, Diane Lapierre, Loveland Library Director

Hillerman spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Rialto Theater on Monday night, and to another sold-out lunch at the Ranch on Tuesday.  She is the daughter of Tony Hillerman, author of 18 mysteries set on the Navaho reservation in New Mexico.  Her first novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, includes characters Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn that her father created, while moving a female Navaho police officer, Bernadette Manuelito, onto center stage.  The book was enthusiastically received by the Loveland Community.  It received the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America in 2014.

Anne’s parting comment when leaving Sylvan Dale:

“You guys are such a generous, professional, thoughtful bunch. I didn’t know what to expect at the ranch, and even if I had, you would have exceeded my preconceptions tenfold.  It was especially nice to be in a place where we could relax and be taken care of.  I have recommended your outfit highly to my brother and sister-in-law and will continue to sing your praises far and wide.”

Cool Writing Exercise from Author Kent Meyers

Kent Meyers

Kent Meyers

Instead of using abstract words like “hate” or “fear” in your writing, try drawing a image of it instead. Then write a detailed description of the image without using the abstract word. This was one of the writing exercises offered by author Kent Meyers at an October 11 workshop sponsored by the Loveland Library. For example, “fear” might be depicted as a black hole at the end of a gun barrel.

Here’s the off-the-cuff image I came up with for “anger”:  “his hands took on a life of their own, fluttering demons, the first finger on the right hand jabbing ever closer to her face, the fingers on his left clenching and unclenching until, closing into a fist, it crashed into the door frame beside her.”  Fun to play with words like this.

Meyers’ book, The Work of Wolves, was the Loveland Loves to Read selection for 2016.  A terrific story, which Linda and I recommend.  Four boys from different backgrounds–a horse trainer, a German tourist, and two Native Americans–grapple with a cruel act of vengeance by a rich landowner, and discover their true selves in the process of doing the work of wolves.  work-of-wolves