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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

...I ride an old Paint and I lead an old Dan
Goin' to Montana to throw the houlihan
Feed them in the coulees, then water in the draw
Their tails are all matted and their backs are all raw...

I love this song. And I am pleased and proud to be going to Missoula, Montana this winter, where I’ll be the Bill Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Environmental Studies Department, teaching one graduate workshop, writing in Missoula coffee shops, and snow-shoeing from my front door.

...Old Bill Jones had a daughter and a son
Son went to college and his daughter went wrong
His wife got killed in a free-for-all fight
Still he keeps singing from morning 'til night...

My husband and I met at the MFA program in Missoula in 1978, fell in love, graduated, married, and moved to southwestern New Mexico to be “back to the landers,” believing that our personal connection to nature was the cutting edge of a new environmentalism and land ethic. We had a too-big garden, too many goats, two homebirths—a daughter and a son—and too much goat cheese in the refrigerator. Our illusion that we could live off the land lasted two weeks, or maybe a little longer. Eventually we got jobs. Now we’ve been some 35 years in this watershed.

...When I die take my saddle from the wall
Put it onto my pony, lead him out of his stall
Tie my bones on his back and turn our faces to the west
We'll ride the prairies that we love the best...

Every day I am stunned, knocked out, by some bit of beauty in the place where I live. The clouds, a coyote, a burning bush. Half the time, I turn away, thinking about lunch or listening to the talk show running endlessly in my head. Half the time, I go into worship. 

...Ride around, little dogies, ride around them real slow
For the fiery and snuffy are raring to go...

How grand to be returning now to Montana. The fiery and snuffy are raring to go.