Taking time to pause during these challenging days when travel is restricted, I am fortunate to live in a province that combines great and vast prairies with the imposing Rocky Mountains. I have been working on the editing of my second novel, What We May Be.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

From What We May Be: Bettina and I had known each other since second grade, and we were in tenth grade now. I remember noticing her that first year we were in the same class, one day soon after the start of the school year. She stood apart from the rest of us, shivering on a cool, sunless autumn afternoon as we gathered around a pond collecting water samples for science class. She held herself like she didn’t need the rest of us, like she could stand on her own. She wasn’t angry or upset, and I remember she had a dark blue hat, a tam, I think they call it, and she wore a pinstriped dress that wasn’t made for a Canadian fall day, a day when all the other girls wore leggings or jeans. Holding her arms straight down by her side, she didn’t even try to warm herself; she didn’t try to stop the shivering. I went up to her and asked if she was all right, but she didn’t say anything, nothing at all, just shook her head. And so I rejoined our classmates hovering at the edge of the pond, shrieking and pointing at tiny frogs which remained perfectly still in the freezing water, eyes unblinking at the outrageous and thoughtless children come to examine them. But my eyes saw only Bettina.