Tag Archives: weather

Introducing TWIG STORIES author Jo Marshall

If I may first thank you, Melanie, for being such a gracious host and sharing a little about my four book collection called Twig Stories with your friends. It’s exciting for me to know an author of Scottish descent who embraces her heritage the way you do, and learn more about your ancestors’ beautiful country, its history, and culture.

What made you decide to write children’s books?

A few years ago I first became aware of climate change impacting the wildlife and forests where I live in the Pacific Northwest in the US. My young daughter, Ali Jo, and I had recently taken a trip to British Columbia in western Canada, and witnessed entire forests dying from infestations by mountain pine beetles – insects which normally die off in the cold winters. The warmer temperatures now allowed them to multiply into swarms and attack trees by the millions. In 3rd grade Ali Jo also began studying animals in our region threatened with extinction due to a changing climate like the alpine pika, woodland caribou, wolverine, Kermode bear or ‘spirit’ bear, horned lark, and so many others. The effects of global warming were overwhelming for her and her young friends. We felt there must be a more personal approach to understanding it. We had always joked about tiny, stick creatures living in the old growth forest behind our house, and began to wonder how they might battle climate change. So we decided to create stories about these creatures we called Twigs. Naturally, we wanted to share the royalties with conservation nonprofits. It was just one way to contribute to their research and youth programs. It was very much a conspiracy of creativity by Ali Jo and me.

You incorporate environmental issues into your stories, is it difficult to do without sounding preachy?

Well, Twig Stories are primarily fun and thrilling fantasies about a boyish Twig named Leaf and his companions – other Twigs and creatures of the forest, glaciers, and prairies. There are underlying themes of caring for wildlife and unusual impacts created by climate change, but they are secondary to the exciting adventures of Twigs and animals in the wild. Any author who writes eco literature uses the natural world to tell their stories, and Twig Stories books offer this same approach. A reader’s concern about global warming and its impacts will grow only because of Leaf’s unexpected journeys into climate crisis. And if a young reader simply enjoys Leaf’s exploits without realizing anything about the underlying themes, then that is wonderful, too.

Do you write in any other genres?

No, writing children’s eco literature books keep me busy enough.

Are you currently working on a project? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m working on Leaf & Echo Peak, the fourth book in the Twig Stories collection. In this story global warming reaches its tipping point. The threatened eruption of Echo Peak warns of an extreme climate on the horizon. Yet, Twigs are resourceful and find new ways of living. Along with the plants and animals in the forest, they adapt. Echo Peak will be finished and published in 2014.

If your followers are interested, the Twig Stories books are:

Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Rushing Waters ~ front coverLeaf & the Rushing Waters ~ An outburst flood from a melting glacier traps Leaf’s family in their tree-home, so Leaf and his friend Rustle search for goliath beavers to build a mighty dam. In reality, beaver dams are natural solutions to mitigate worsening flood and drought due to unusual climate shifts.





Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Sky of Fire ~ front coverLeaf & the Sky of Fire ~ Leaf attempts a fool-hardy rescue of six Twig babes in the North Forest from swarms of mountain pine beetles, which in the real world have already destroyed entire forests in western North America. The dying trees infested by ‘barkbiters’ also create horrific wildfires.





Twig Stories ~ Leaf & the Long Ice ~ front coverLeaf & the Long Ice ~ Leaf must journey to the shrinking glacier of Echo Peak to find his runaway brothers, Buddy and Burba. During this wild, funny adventure we learn many rare creatures of the ice may go extinct without their alpine habitat. The loss of the glacier’s ice and fresh water is inevitable.





Thank you so much, Melanie. Wishing you the best of luck and great success with your exciting, e-book launch of your novel A Shadow in the Past. It’s wonderful to know you and your fans of Celtic Connexions!

Here are some links:

Twig Stories website: http://www.twigstories.com
Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jo.marshall
Facebook book page: http://facebook.com/twigstoriesbooks
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com/twigstories
Twitter & Pinterest: @TwigStories


LEAF & THE RUSHING WATERS by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Rushing-Waters-Stories-ebook/dp/B006K9NO3A/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1350875144&sr=1-1
LEAF & THE SKY OF FIRE by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Fire-Twig-Stories-ebook/dp/B004VTCCHU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1350875144&sr=1-2
LEAF & THE LONG ICE by Jo Marshall ~ http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Long-Ice-Stories-ebook/dp/B00B4I88BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1358957126&sr=1-1&keywords=leaf+%26+the+long+ice


Leaf & the Rushing Waters http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Rushing-Waters-Twig-Stories/dp/1461135788/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322030239&sr=1-1
Leaf & the Sky of Fire http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Sky-Fire-Twig-Stories/dp/145630092X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1306174492&sr=8-2
Leaf & the Long Ice http://www.amazon.com/Leaf-Long-Ice-Twig-Stories/dp/1480080888/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357668543&sr=1-1&keywords=leaf+%26+the+long+ice

EchoPkfrontcvr - croppedLeaf & Echo Peak will be out in 2014!








About the Author:

JoMarshall.PHOTOJo Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest near volcanoes and rainforests.  She spent seven years as a literacy tutor for young readers. In 1986, Jo earned a B.A. in German Language and Literature from the University of Maryland in West Berlin, and worked as a diplomatic liaison for the military command.  From 1999 to 2006, she worked in D.C. for two nonprofits as their Legal Assistant to the General Counsel – the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Oceana.  Jo is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and many conservation nonprofits. She resides in Snohomish, Washington with her family.



Is this an omen? Snowmageddon? Snowpocalypse?

I know it’s only 27th December, but is 2013 going to come in like this? March is the month that’s supposed to go out like a lion, not December. This is the first time a a very long time, that I’ve missed work because of the weather. The last time was the 1998 ice storm. Thankfully, this is snow and not the wet, heavy stuff we got on the Friday before Christmas.

The snow started shortly before we went to bed around 11:00 last night and was well and truly accumulated when the son had to leave for work around 3:00 this morning.

Hubby did go to work this morning and called me when he arrived. The motorway hadn’t been plowed from Maitland east to Prescott and the on and off ramps hadn’t been touched. Since I have to work on New Years Day, it didn’t take a great deal of persuading to get me to stay home and use today as my day in lieu.

I finally ventured outdoors after 1:00 p.m. – first out onto the back step where I took this photo.

my backyard from the top of the steps
my backyard from the top of the steps

then out front so I could get my hat and mitts out of my car which was tucked safely away in the garage. The snow up against the garage door was deep enough that I had to cut out a section so I could step over it.

driveway dec 27 2012
Son’s silver car (he got home between 9:30 and 10:00 this morning) in the partly shoveled driveway, and the shovel-width opening I cut in the snow to get into the garage

I could have been standing in the middle of the road when I took this. The snowbanks are well out into the road’s surface and cars can’t pass without one giving way by pulling over into the foot of a shoveled out driveway.

looking towards the river from the foot of our driveway
looking towards the river from the foot of our driveway

Jake was out front with the grandson and me while we took turns on the business end of the snow shovel. Earlier the dog wouldn’t set foot off the deck out back. But when I brought him in, the first place he headed was to the back door and into the yard.

Jake trying to come up the steps
Jake trying to come up the steps

Poor boy (and he’s a big boy) couldn’t get back up the steps. He stopped, circled in a number of attempts before he finally got almost all the way up the steps, then as his front feet reached the platform at the top, his back feet missed the last step and he was stranded. He’s back inside on his bed now – no worse for his experience.

We put our garbage and recycling out last night for this morning’s pickup but the garbage men haven’t come, probably can’t get out themselves so we may never see our garbage or recycling until containers until spring. Yikes!