Have other authors with several books in print been asked this?  I imagine so, because I am frequently asked the question.  I used to toss off an answer, giving the name of whatever book might be featured at the time, or:

“Oh, my latest book is always my favorite.”

“None of them, really. I find favorite passages or events I especially enjoy in each one.”

“I don’t have an answer. It’s kind of like being asked which–of your children–is the favorite.”

And so on.

Truth be told, for much of the time I really hadn’t sat down to decide if I had a favorite, and if so, which one.

Now I know.  It’s “DEAR EARTH: A Love Letter from Spring Hollow,” my only non-fiction book thus far.

Why?  Because this story is really a love letter, not only to a real place, but to my husband.  It’s the story of our life over many years, beginning as we escaped to the northern USA and Canadian parks, seacoasts, and wild places during our yearly August vacation. A yearning for wild places developed in our hearts, and experiences during vacation stayed in our thoughts throughout 49 weeks of the year while we worked at formal jobs in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Then we bought land in Arkansas.  It was to be for retirement, but the first weekend after we became land holders, we got in our old van and headed for our Ozarks hills and hollows.  Our land had a year-around spring and a tiny losing creek.  We named the place–you guessed it–“Spring Hollow” and we continued visiting Spring Hollow–a hundred and twenty-five miles from our home in Tulsa–on most Saturdays.

Working on weekends over a couple of years, we built a two-room cabin on our land and began staying over night.  It was more home to us than our brick house in the city.  We saw so many new things — learned so much about the natural world around us at Spring Hollow.  Our hearts were at Spring Hollow 24/7 as they say.

Eventually we simply quit our jobs in the city, sold our city home, and moved to Spring Hollow.  Didn’t know what work we’d find, or what was coming but, for once, we followed our hearts and not our heads. We have now lived at Spring Hollow for twenty-five years.

In all ways, DEAR EARTH is truly a love letter.  Response from many, many readers tells me others have understood this, and it has meant almost as much to them as it does to John and me, though they have never seen the place, and only know it through my writing.  Some have become repeat book buyers, with the record being held by one woman who ended up buying seventeen copies to give away.

Nice to know so many people share a love that has long been such a big part of our lives. I remain  grateful that John and I had the strength to move forward to this place and create our home.

Spring Hollow will always be a part of us, no matter what the future holds.





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