And... done.

What a difference a week makes. Just seven days ago I returned from vacation -- a nice little respite from an otherwise busy patch of summer reading visits and the nearly final stretch of a quite overdue book illustration project.

Seven days ago I was refreshed and ready to go. Ready to dive back into my work - to put the final touches on Beluga Whales and then wade gracefully into my new book with Sterling and the fast-approaching fall high school xc season. Hmph. The best laid plans.

On Wednesday afternoon about 1pm, a wildfire started in the Twisp River area - about 8 miles south of my home near Winthrop, WA. One more fire added to an already boiling-over cauldron of activity here in eastern Washington. While my home and family remained -- and continue to remain -- generally out of harms way, there is, once again, a widespread impact to these events that will resonate for many months to come. In this case too, a tragic loss of three young lives that tends to put everything into even greater perspective.

And so. With some personal stress finally relieved by the generator-powered, evacuation-notice-bedamned completion of Beluga Whales, Grizzly Tales, my heart goes out to all that are much more in the thick of it than I.

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