During the writing of Out of the Blue Valise I planned my dream trip—an African safari. Then I discovered I had cancer—again. When my dreams and hopes began imploding, I assigned the adventure to my characters who rescued me one word at a time. After treatment, I quelled my desire to interact with a real live hippo and rhino by taking a behind the scenes tour at the Portland Zoo.
Here I feed apples to a black rhino under the expert eye of Jeb Barsh—famous for teaching Rama the elephant to paint. (www.theramaexhibition.org) Moved by the conservation work the zoo was doing, I became a conservation circle member. Meeting the giraffes and penguins are next on my list. It may not be The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, but I mean to gobble up every opportunity life offers —with gratitude.