Welcome to Love of Place. Most of my work celebrates our connection to the natural world.

Most recently, my Knocking on Heaven's Door is the winner in the category of science fiction in the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards and in the category of fiction in the 2016 Arizona Authors Association Awards. A number of reviewers have been enthusiastic, including the website Geeks of Doom, which makes me smile. Not many people know me as a geek of doom! But I am happy to embrace the complexity of my personality.

I'm also so pleased that Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World has been awarded the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, as well as the 2014 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction from Women Writing the West.

My historical fantasy Teresa of the New World won the 2015 Arizona Authors Association Award for best Children's Literature and was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Children's Literature, the WILLA Award for Children's Literature, and the May Sarton Award for Children's Literature.

These are nice landmarks in a writer's life. I would be writing regardless--but, still, whew. It's good to have some encouragement.

Feel free to contact me at http://www.sharmanaptrussell.com or through my author Facebook page, Sharman Apt Russell.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Colder months, fewer butterflies. I always feel I didn’t appreciate them enough. A bag of goo--a painted clown--become a monarch, its wet wings still unfolding. Metamorphosis! The enactment of myth. And we who live by myth, who live in fear of change and death, are privileged to see this transformation over and over, a common thing, an everyday thing. A living myth.

It doesn’t surprise me, really, that when the Hindu god Brahma watched caterpillars change into pupae and then butterflies in his garden, he conceived of the idea of reincarnation; that the Greeks use the word psyche for both soul and butterfly; that ancient images on Egyptian sarcophagi show butterflies surrounding the dead; that in Ireland, in 1680, a law forbade the killing of white butterflies because they were the souls of children; that during World War II, Jewish inmates in concentration camps carved butterflies into their prison walls; that in China in the 1990s single white butterflies were found in the cells of executed convicts recently converted to Buddhism; that butterflies are said to be the tears of the Virgin Mary, that migrating sulfurs are pilgrims on their way to Mecca.

Cold nights, and I always think: I should have paid more attention to butterflies.

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