Our friends know that we have a couple of bone shelves in our house. They are collections of stuff like antlers, petrified wood, old bottles, driftwood, rocks, fossils, and okay, a couple of skulls. Nobody you know, I promise.
A couple of years ago I found out that my friend Steve Mooser (president of the SCBWI) is also into bone shelves. And, he attends the annual flea market in Quartzsite, Arizona, where a rock addict can purchase a lot of very cool stuff from about 2,000 vendors! He offered to pick up a few rocks for me (!). I told him I particularly liked creepy stuff. Here is one of the fossils he sent to me from the 2012 event:
I’m not sure what it is, but creepy for sure! I figure some kind of trilobite. Which brings me to the reason for this post. Fossils have always been something that intrigued me, starting when I was a kid digging in the sandstone around Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and squealing when I found anything that looked like a little piece of ancient history. Just imagine standing on a hot dry rocky hillside on an August day and discovering signs that the spot you are sweating on used to be underwater. I thought that was awesome. I still do.
This week I heard from an editor who I’d contacted a few years ago about a nonfiction article. She was kind in her response and promised to be in touch at some point, and I’m very happy that she didn’t forget me! She asked if I wanted to write an article about fossils. Okay, it’s more specific than that, but I can’t say much else about it other than I’m VERY EXCITED. For one thing, I get to share some of the joy I have about fossils with young readers, kids who may never get the chance to dig around in the sandstone in West Virginia or have a friend who sends them cool rocks. Will they even care what’s preserved in those rocks or how they got there? I’ll hopefully encourage them to care – that’s going to be my job as the writer.
Okay while I’m sharing the excitement, here’s one of our skulls. This beaver makes a lovely display for my moms old turquoise and coral necklaces, don’t you think?
Yah, it’s a little creepy.
April 2013 Update: Here is the cover for the piece I wrote for National Geographic Extreme Explorer about ancient giants. I’m busy working on another article for them!