I have been in Montana for this past week, with children and grandchildren...and laptop...thinking I would get some work done (WRONG) while they were all off riding, etc...but instead it is all I can do to answer my email each morning.

One email yesterday alerted me to the fact that THE WILLOUGHBYS will be #5 on the New York Times best-seller list on 7/27 (they calculate these things well in advance). Hence the doctored photo I'm attaching here, ho ho.

This is such a fabulous part of the country. My German family--Margret, Juergen, and Nadine (my only granddaughter, age 14)--- had never been in the Northwest before, and they are astounded at the natural beauty as well as the wildlife.  

Oddly, yesterday my son Ben was out riding in the mountains with a wrangler/guide, who got a walkie-talkie call alerting him (her?) to the fact that a movie was being filmed in the area and there was a fake Bigfoot roaming around as part of it. Sure enough, they rounded a bend, and there was Bigfoot running across a meadow.. They had to beat it out of there because of the danger of the horses being spooked by such a startling phenomenon. 

Today Ben, Margret, Nadine, and Juergen are all on an all-day ride down in Yellowstone. So I am tending the two little boys who are tired of riding at this point...if they had their way, we would be white-water rafting again. We did that day before yesterday. But Ol' Grandma is not up for a re-run of the white-knuckle experience. One of the people in our raft (there were seven of us), fell out while shooting some rapids and though I was sorry for him (he was quickly rescued) I was glad it was a Kansas City orthodontist and not one of the two little boys from Maine for whom I was responsible.

We are staying at a guest ranch and one of the guests....an orthopedic surgeon from Antwerp, Belgium who is vacationing here with his wife and daughter....says he remembers my Anastasia books...in their Flemish translation... being popular when he was a boy...  All his female contemporaries were reading them. Him? "I just read about pirates," he said.

Here's son Ben and his two boys on a canoe trip:

Canoe trip#5