Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rocky Mountain Highs and Lows

We flew into Denver on Sunday for a family vacation in the Colorado mountains. We love it here! We had a couple bouts of altitude sickness (or "alcohol sickness" as Karly named it??) the first two days (who thought it was a good idea to go from sea level to a hotel at 9,600 feet?).

Except for a few scrapes and my sunburned neck, all is well now. We're tucked into the Switzerland-esque town called Ouray for a couple days, surrounded by red-tinted cliffs and snow-glazed peaks. We took the girls on their first real four-wheeling trip today up to Yankee Boy Basin to see the waterfalls and wildflowers and several ghost towns. Kiki loved all the bumps though Karly wasn't so sure when the truck "leaned." Jon said we had to be careful not to go over a cliff, and Karly said, "But if we do, it's no biggie. We'll just get hurt and then we'll all go to heaven."

Here are some pix from our first two days. I love tiptoeing through these old houses and mines and wonder... Of course, with two young kids, we're now stomping through these decrepit old homes, but it's even more fun to marvel with them...and then go have some ice cream when we're done. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Karly's Parade Debut

Here are a couple pix of Karly riding on her first parade float this weekend (yep, that's me making a fashion statement in the lab coat). Besides waving and smiling at all the people who smiled and waved back at her, her favorite part was pelting the crowds with candy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Talking with a friend last night, I learned that Brazil is on the verge of passing a law to criminalize anyone who speaks against or questions the practice of homosexuality. Here's a recent article about this measure:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lost Lake Hike

This weekend we hiked around Lost Lake, a three-mile path in the shadow of Mt. Hood. The weather was perfect, and the girls had fun skipping rocks, stomping across snow-packed trails (in July!), and wading in the icy water. Our latest pix:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dancing around the World

Have you seen this YouTube video of "Matt"--a guy who spent fourteen months traveling and dancing with people around the world? For some reason, I got all teary watching it though I don't think it's supposed to make you cry... :)

Where the Heck is Matt? (Mel's edited title)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Scrivener--Writing Software

Usually I hate trying out new software--especially when I'm attempting to create, say, a novel. I get frustrated and distracted and quickly click back to reliable Microsoft Word where I can just write.

But I signed a contract for my next novel last week (hooray!), and I was searching for some way to organize all my research, character profiles, notes, etc. So I tried out Scrivener, the new writing software for Macs, and I have to tell you that I LOVE it. It's so easy to use with a great tutorial that showed me how to create index cards for my scenes and characters, easily compile both my synopsis and my manuscript draft, and then reorder my chapters/scenes with a few clicks. I can also color-code all my POVs and tag my research with Web site links and photos. All very cool things for a novelist. :)

If you're searching for writing software but don't have a Mac, here's a list for you. But if you're a writer (and you're on a Mac), you can try Scrivener for free for thirty days. Highly recommended!