This week I’m participating in the Wild Child Publishing event:
Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freyas Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.
- Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two Freya’s Bower)
- An awesome swag package that includes:
- Wild Child T-shirt and mug
- Wild Child and Freya’s Bower bags
- Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
- An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
- A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic “Up The Creek” (lovingly used)
- One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
- Book trading cards
- Signed Dangerous Waters poster
- of “Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud”
- winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
- A Yankee Candle
I suppose I’m like a lot of people, and really enjoy watching or hearing trains. The trains in the Columbia River Gorge in particular have always drawn me. In part because of the many stories my father has of taking the train to Oregon every summer to visit his grandparents. They’d leave as soon as school got out, and return just before it began again and he found those summers wondrous, including the trains. So the year in Hood River I was excited to live on such a major shipping route. I used to stop on my walks along Starvation Creek trail and watch the train through the leaves when it passed by. I tried to take some pictures, but I never could get a good shot of them.
There is a sort of musical quality to the train whistle but it’s a diminished questioning sort of chord that leaves a person hanging. I suppose that’s part of it’s magic. Although as my mother said, the question it’s really asking is, will you get hit by the train or not? Still, it’s sort of romantic and symbolic, and so, as Paul Simon says, “Everyone loves the sound of a train in the distance.”
However, since moving to Salem, I’ve discovered they can be quite rude up close. Now, I was aware that Salem, like Hood River was on a major shipping route. Last time we’d lived here, we’d heard plenty of trains, especially on warm nights with the windows open. Those fall evenings just warm enough you can still have the window open and enjoy the breeze while all wrapped up in a polar fleece drinking tea.
Well, I got a wake up call, literally. At three am or so, I was startled away by a noise that was anything but distant. “Errrrr! Errrrr!” Like a foghorn in my backyard. The train wasn’t in the distance, it was in my bedroom. Too startled to do anything else other than roll over and go back to sleepy, I vaguely thought of that twilight zone where the ghost train smashes through the grandfather’s bedroom at the end, wrecking the house.
These Salem trains are out to get me. It’s a plot. I’m surrounded. I didn’t think I was really any closer to the tracks than the last time we lived here, but either 1) I am or 2) the wind blows just right (or wrong depending on your point of view) or 3) trains are a lot ruder than they used to be. Unlike the good old days where trains stayed questioning in the distance begging us to consider things could be better, they’re honking loudly in my window, telling me to get a move on it.
I’d better get going, because I think the question they’re asking is will that next novel of mine get done or will it get hit by a train.
My Wild Child book suitable for ages 9 and up in reading level, although you could probably read it aloud to a younger kid just fine:
Reina’s brother Austyn has been declared the Child Warrior, but he’s only six. What’s a big sister to do?
Allowed to accompany her brother, Reina discovers they’re in deeper trouble than she thought-the Gold Wizard isn’t shaping up to be the guide he’s supposed to be and the Red Wizard’s harpies and snakewolves are on their trail. If anyone’s going to find a way to track down the elusive Sword of Chivalry for Austyn and get him into the Red Wizard’s castle to fulfill whatever it is the obscure prophecy insists must be done, it’s got to be Reina.