I hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day weekend and the launch into summer. The long weekend has given me a little time to work on my manuscripts, as well as get some work done around the house. Both give me a great sense of accomplishment.
I also want to acknowledge the reason for the holiday--the memory of veteran heroes, both living and fallen. We owe so much to their sacrifice. I can never offer enough thanks for their service.
We Have a WHAT in the Neighborhood?
For over twenty years, I've lived on a ranch in the desert southwest--a little patch of high plains and pinon-dotted foothills "where the llano estacado rolls up to the Southern Rockies." This is the ol' stomping grounds of the likes of Billy the Kid, Kit Carson and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
So I was a little shocked, to say the least, when I recently learned that we may be sharing our space with some very unexpected neighbors. Bigfoot!
This recent local news story caused quite a stir (although the news anchors obviously aren't convinced)! I can understand the surprise. Most people have thought this elusive creature lived in dense pine forests and impenetrable swamps. The truth is that Bigfoot-like creatures are prevalent in Navajo lore and are often spotted on barren ridges and rocky foothills in my state.
Two of the mountain ranges mentioned in the above story are the Ortiz and the Sandias. Just for the record, the Ortiz are just to our north--I commute through this range every day--and the Sandias are just to our west.
In other words, our little rancho is located in Bigfoot Central.
I snapped a few photos of the Ortiz during my commute to and from work:
A smokey view of the Ortiz Range (heading north)
One of the Ortiz passes (headed south)
We made a drive up to Sandia Crest after dinner Friday night so I could post a few pics of this supposed Bigfoot habitat:
Mid-way up the Sandia Crest
Sandia Crest habitat at twilight
Bigfoot Crossing??? Nahhhh.
And these are the mountains in our "backyard"--the San Pedros--which are connected to the Ortiz and lay just to the east of the Sandias.
The San Pedro Range
Sandia Range as seen from the San Pedro pass
After someone caught compelling footage of what is believed to be a Sasquatch on a thermal imagery camera in the Jemez forest, the production crew of the Finding Bigfoot television series made a visit to conduct research in the area.
Here's part of the episode that was filmed in New Mexico:
Do I believe Bigfoot exists?
I'm not sure. There has certainly been a lot of circumstantial evidence and "sightings" over the years of some sort of massive creature. But I have to wonder--like the skeptic in the footage above--if they're out there, why haven't we ever recovered something physical that could verify their existence--a body, a bone, even a tooth?
If such evidence ever turns up, then something truly profound will occur. Bigfoot will move from the arena of the "paranormal cryptozoology" into "scientific find." And that really gives me goosebumps!
Paranormal vs. Science Fiction
All of this Bigfoot hullabaloo has me pondering my fourth novel, with the working title of Chimera. This tale isn't about a Bigfoot, but it does involve something the characters believe might have been unleashed in the forests of northern Michigan. It's an entity that was created by scientific research--though it's not some escapee from a secret lab. (That's been done to death).
While working on my story about a year ago, I made a very chilling discovery. The premise of my wholly fictional story is documented to have actually happened! In fact, it's a phenomenon that's recognized by one major religion where it holds the same level of credibility that demonic possession has to the Catholic faith.
So this has created a bit of a dilemma for me. Will my story be classified as Science Fiction Romance or is it Paranormal Romance?
The Argument for Science Fiction (Romance): The title subject exists as a result of scientific research and becomes an unknown entity when the scientist loses control of the experiment. The existence of such a phenomenon has been documented, though not by the mainstream scientific community.
The Argument for Paranormal (Romance): The title subject's existence can't be proven except by questionable circumstantial evidence (footprints and sightings, much like Bigfoot). It might exist only in the character's minds. It's real to them, but there's no proof the subject is actually tangible.
Tell me what you think. Would Chimera be better described as Science Fiction Romance, or Paranormal Romance, or a crossover mash up of the two? Have you ever heard of Paranormal SF Romance?
My heart goes out to all the tornado victims and survivors in Oklahoma. Seeing videos of the devastation and hearing stories of those who lived through the disaster illustrates what a horrific act of nature this superstorm was.
Oklahoma RWA or OKRWA, probably best known for their Finally A Bride (FAB) contest, is based in the general area, so here's hoping none of their members were severely impacted by the storm.
@Donna I enjoyed reading your take on the new Star Trek installment. One thing can be said for the new generation films--nothing can be assumed or predicted.
@Sharon After just having read Ghost Planet (for the nth time), I enjoyed it just as much as my previous trips to Ardagh I. The RITAS are coming up fast. Best wishes for the awards!
@Pippa Loved your article on what a muse is...or isn't. Mine is temperamental, persnickety and, at times, elusive. Oh wait. She's me! LOL Here's to always having more stories in your head than you ever have time to write.