Friday, September 19, 2014

My Sketchcrawl Adventure... and Win a FREE e-book!

My friend, author Mary Pax, is having another book launch!  

I'm super excited to be participating, since I enjoy her writing. It's a strange combination of urban fantasy/contemporary sci-fi/paranormal adventure/ and even steampunk. Weird is a good word for it! 

Mary has generously provided a FREE set of e-books (Books 1 & 2 of The Rifters series) to one of my lucky commenters here. I'll announce the winner on October 1st (last day to comment and be included in the drawing: Sept 30th).

The new series is called The Rifters, and Book 1 launched on Sept 8th. Here is the LINK to Mary's website, where you can read Chapter One of The Rifters; it also has links to Amazon and other sources. As of this writing, The Rifters e-book is FREE at Amazon, Smashword and others! Cool deal, yes?? 

I've read several stories by Mary Pax, and enjoyed every one. I always end up shaking my head, thinking "how in the world does she think this stuff up??!" 

I have a lot to share, so will be posting thumbnail pics from my sketchbook. Just click on them to enlarge... don't wanna crash anyones pc, with so many images to load, ha!

Without further ado, here is our "Book Launch Vacation":

(Spoiler alert: 
forget what the Settler Tourism Department says... 
there ARE weird happenings around Settler, Oregon!)

I'm one of the lucky ones. I live in Southern Oregon. The infamous town of Settler, Oregon is within a days driving for me, being up north from my town. Since my husband is a photographer, we drove up to the Caslow County Fair and Expo at the end of August. Jim wanted to take photos of the high desert country, and maybe Swit Lake if he had time before sundown. 
Me? I did a SketchCrawl.** That's where you take your sketchbook and painting/sketching paraphanalia and just hike out to... wherever. Last time we visited Settler, Francine at the Settler Mercantile let it slip that the rumors were TRUE about "otherworldly beasts" being spotted near Settler. 

We found out for ourselves this time! I had hoped to stumble on some Beasties to draw. Was thinking... "Wouldn't that be cool?? If I survive the encounter, that is! Mwa ha ha, sure wish they were for real."  Careful what you wish for!

Well, we DID make it home in one piece, and I am so excited to share images from our "vacation".

I really DID get to see some of the rumored "other worldly beasts". Honestly, I thought it was just "marketing hype" for the tourists, ya know?? But after Jim dropped me off so he and Joey (our Mini-schnauzer) could go exploring on their own, I took my time poking around. It was an overcast afternoon, so not too hot.

There were boulders to sit on and sketch, but it was almost dusk when the adventure REALLY started. That's when the beasties ventured out!! 

Enough jabbering... below are pics from my 5.5 x 8 inch sketchbook. Some were rough... I was trying to draw fast, the light was fading. So a few of the color touches were added from memory once we made it back home. But wow, it was amazing to see what really lives in Settler, Oregon. You've GOT to visit Settler for yourself. Honestly, if you love "weird", you'll have a blast!

You can click the pics to enlarge. I didn't caption these; they are in order, so you could read each journal entry if you'd like to know about the sketch following it.

And a few of the photos Jim took:

He thought this was funny...

Morning glow on a pansy...

And they were functional!!

Taken right before the sun came up...

He said he noticed a lot of strange things around Settler, this being one of them...

Yikes, Jim almost ran nose to nose with this guy...

He said he had a hard climb to get this view of Swit Lake, but it was worth it...

Even some of the plant life there is weird...

He stumbled upon this old house right at sunset...

A full moon!

I wonder if that full moon might explain some of the weirdness, including these strange lights he saw??

Well, what can I tell ya... I now know where Weird lives. 

Hoped you enjoyed the visuals from our vacation, and I know you will enjoy this new book series from Mary Pax. And don't forget to leave a comment by Sept 30th so I can put you into the drawing for a FREE set of e-books!

Happy painting - and reading,


**The town of Settler, Oregon is a figment of author M Pax's     imagination, as is my account of our vacation, my Sketchcrawl, and my encounters with the Beasties. Oh yes, the sketches are real!! But they were drawn right here in my own safe little studio, with Joey barking and Vevie and Butterfly meowing to be petted or fed. They are the only carnivores around here, and they don't glow green. ;-)

Edited to add:  The drawing is now closed. Thanks for looking at my sketchbook... hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Wow, Loretta. You had quite a trip to Settler. The drawings are so wonderful. I'm glad you didn't run into a live beastie. What an awesomely cool journal. It's definitely a world I want to jump into... the world of your drawings. And Jim's photos are stunning. Wow, again.

    1. Thank you Mary. So glad you enjoyed it. Can't wait to go back again next summer to Settler.

  2. Your journal is fantastic! I love the cover and all the drawings. You are very talented. I also loved the view of Swit lake you husband took. Must have been quite a trek to get there. As for the eerie green glow...I can't wait to see it again! I'm curious like that. And, the residents there are even more curious. I wonder if I stay long enough if I'll turn out like them. Haha.

    AKA ~ Flame

  3. Thank you, Flame, for your kind words!
    It was a great "vacation." Yep, the residents were, indeed, very curious. :-D

  4. What an interesting vacation you two had. Between the poppies, which reminded me of Dorthy and the Wizard of Oz, and the weird snapshot of that pointy thing, I'm sure you'll be talking about it for a long time to come. I enjoyed the slideshow and want to read the book Mary wrote. (PS: am I eligible to be in the drawing? After all, I am your sister. Hmm...)

    1. Abso-toot-ly, Karen, you are in the drawing... any commenters are welcome. :-)
      And that was exactly what the poppy field reminded me of, too.

  5. Your talent ALWAYS delights me! I love the doodling in the dark and my favorite pic of hubby's is the Lake through the rock view!

    1. Thank you, Jules. And it was so funny. After I posted that photo of the Lake, my Hubby cringed when he saw it. I had cropped it crooked, to look like the water would run out sideways, ha ha.