Arctic Prep

Today I handed in a draft of a new book to my editor. Feels good.

Next thing on my agenda: Prepping for my artist residency on a tall ship in the Arctic! I leave next week. Here's the situation:

No problem, right? I'll pack this weekend and have a few days next week for the last-minute scramble as I suddenly remember a whole slew of things I need to do before I fly to Svalbard. While I'm aboard the ship, I won't be able to blog, but I'll be storing up pictures and stories to share for when I get back. And that's the news from here. Oh, also, this blog post is dedicated to the Cleveland Browns. :o)

In Which I Embark on My Life's Grandest Adventure ♥ ♥ A Day in Pictures

We set out very early...

and drove through the fog.

The sun rose before us.

I was wearing pretty great socks.

Our destination was Quechee, Vermont.

It was pretty foggy there too.

Oh look! It's Kevin's sister, Heather!
And something interesting in the background...

What's that guy doing?

Dude, weird basket.

Did you know that when a hot air balloon is being inflated, you can walk inside it?

In fact, it's like a stained-glass cathedral in there. (Without the patriarchy! ^_^)

Reader, I married him.

Happy siblings.

Happy married-for-ten-minutes-so-far people.

Of course, that's not all, right?

But it was still awfully foggy...

and hot air balloons aren't safe in fog...

unless they're on a tether!

We did a tethered ride, safely attached to the ground.

Afterwards, our fabulous pilot, Chris Ritland, toasted us with the balloonist's blessing...

I cut the amazing orange cake Heather had made...

And as is traditional, the married couple fed wedding cake to their hot air balloon pilot.

Of course, one thing was missing from our day. So, about two weeks later, we went back to Quechee...

On an unfoggy, perfect-weather, untethered-ride day.

And we flew.

Trees look amazing from this distance, and at this speed.

That dot in the river is the reflection of our balloon!

When I told my friend Judy Blundell about our hot air balloon elopement, she said, "Marriage is an untethered ride."

We're ready.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Click on any picture above to embiggen. I especially recommend the panamoric shot from our flight.

Thanks to our wonderful photographer, Em Pogozelski at Pogo Photo (and her dad! ^_^), for all the elopement location pictures. We recommend her enthusiastically!

Thanks also to our hot air balloon pilot, Chris Ritland of Quechee Balloon Rides (and Tom and Diane!), who was so accommodating and made everything perfect for us. We can't recommend him highly enough. Tom took the pictures of us in the balloon on our untethered-ride day. Kevin and I took the pictures from the ride itself.

Thanks also to Karenna Maraj, our local indie jeweler who made my jade engagement ring and our wedding rings. We adore our rings and recommend her wholeheartedly too.

Thanks to you, too, for taking our adventure into your hearts, dear readers. Be well!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Graceling turns 10 in the U.K., Australia, and N.Z. too :o)

Look what just arrived in the mail. My UK/Australia/NZ tenth anniversary edition, from Gollancz, is ready to release on September 20! I knew about the new colors and classic look, but I didn't know about the hint of map in the background, or that was it was going to be a hardcover. I'm so pleased. Happy birthday, Katsa!