I'm thrilled to be hosting my friend M. Pax today as part of her blog tour to promote her new book The Backworlds. If you haven't already checked out the Backworlds, don't wait any longer! It's a wonderful book and Mary is a great writer. Thank you for being here, Mary!
Misadventures of a City Gal in the Wilderness
By origin, I’m an East Coast city gal. I grew up in Western New York near the border of Canada. I lived many years in New York City and Washington, DC.
Then I met the Husband Unit whose origins are in Colorado. We moved out west to Oregon. A decision I don’t ever regret. Portland is still a city, but once you leave the urban boundaries … well, I was in shock the first couple of years.
Places where there aren’t any people? Roads without pavement and cars? Trees taller than a skyscraper? Sea lions, otters, bald eagles, elk, and antelope. Seriously? I thought antelope lived in Africa. Now that Home on the Range song makes sense.
We moved to Central Oregon four years ago. The wilderness starts two blocks to the left. Honest. I’m talking about vast stretches of sage and brush, and few signs of civilization.
I volunteer at an observatory every summer, which is thirty miles east of town. Really out in nowhereville. A place where there are no other cars on the road. Where you can see no other people. There are no street lights. Places that are so quiet (because there are no other people), you can hear the Earth hum.
One night up at the observatory, we had a troop of boy scouts. Two of the boys forgot their flashlight, so I volunteered to walk them back to their tent. After all, it was only across the road. STUPID! City people should never walk around in the wilderness and especially not in the dark. I couldn’t find my way back … yeah, just across the road. The trees blocked the lights from the observatory, and I quickly got turned around. I knocked on a camper’s tent and asked for help. They kindly walked me to the outhouse. From there I could find the observatory.
Last year (my 4th summer at the observatory), we were hanging out in the residence as usual. It was a cloudy night, so we never set up. We had no visitors. No chance of seeing a star. I’ve walked between the manager’s house and the parking lot hundreds of times and it’s maybe 30 yards at the most.
Because of the cloud cover, there was no moonlight, no starlight. You have no idea just how dark that is. My flashlight was in the car with the rest of my gear. Doing me no good. I thought I was walking straight. Yeah, straight into a tree. Ow. Then I found myself in bramble. In desperation, I beeped my car. It was amazing to me how far off course I was in just a few steps. Dark like that is really disorienting.
Have you had any wilderness misadventures?
The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.
Free on Smashwords & Feedbooks. Will be free on Amazon in a few weeks.
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About the author:
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.