Saddle Up for Adventure #5
Today we are going to meet another author who is part of the Tales From Big Country box set. Leigh Podgorski has mingled with Hollywood, having married an actor/director. She’s won numerous awards and even worked on documentaries. Let’s saddle up and meet this wonderful author who is everyone’s cup of tea!
I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a #2 pencil against a pad of blue-lined yellow paper. My first inspiration was Jingles, the Happy Cobbler though I can’t say how inspired my kindergarten class was by my reading of the story.
I am amazed by the diversity of the Earth, by her cultures and her mythologies, her symbolisms and her colors that spring so incessantly from that stream, as Joseph Campbell writes, that bubbles up from the deepest reaches of our collective unconscious to influence and inform and ultimately to unify the universes that flow within and without us.
I have been fortunate enough to interview Elisabeth Kubler Ross and Cahuilla elder Katherine Siva Saubel and to turn their words into plays, and with Katherine into a documentary.
I suppose I write because it is the way I explain the world to myself; it is the way I discover the world, and the way, hopefully, I can pass a small piece of it on. And I write because it is also a fantastic escape valve. A writer can make the world turn out anyway she likes. In the end, I write because I cannot not write. For me, writing is my life’s blood. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, too!
Child of the Western Frontier: Tales from Big Country
Rayne Falken, devastated by the death of her mother, leaves the East Coast for the majestic wild beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley. There, she encounters Zander Quinn, and soon falls in love. A few months later, Rayne finds work at the Soaring Eagle Ranch, hired by Matthias Stalking Grey Wolf, the ranch’s owner. Electricity sparks between Grey Wolf and Rayne, no matter how hard she tries to suppress it. But secrets lay hidden in this mysterious land and the people in Rayne’s new world. The love triangle among the three grows explosive. The turbulence causes discoveries not only of the heart, but of the soul as the drama unfolds in this land of unparalleled beauty.
Who is your favorite western hero or movie and why?
Come on, Lee Marvin as Kid Shelleen in Cat Ballou. “Half of this belongs to the horse.” There are so many wonderful Westerns. So many that tear your heart out. So many proud and honorable men and women—though not nearly as many as those. But Cat Ballou was a rollicking good time, strong man Lee Marvin played that character full out, and goodness—what about that fabulous horse!If you could have dinner with anyone in the past who would it be and why?
Invariably, I answer this question with Jesus, as so many people do. And, oh, yes, how I would cherish moments alone with Him. Recently, however, as this question has come up, and I’ve contemplated it deeply, my answer has changed. I would love to have dinner with Mary Magdalene. Oh, the knowledge that woman holds. She represents the essence of women-hood. Monumental and erased. What a dream that would be.
Where is one of your favorite western locations. Explain.
I don’t think you can beat Monument Valley. The first time I rode through the Valley, in a ‘Stang (in not on) I had to lift my jaw from the car floor. I then asked my boy- friend: “Who carved these?” He threw me a look and had no words. Well, neither did I. Monument Valley is transcendent. Other-worldly. It is that way on a blazing August afternoon in a Mustang w/ no air-conditioning. On a moonlit night, just make sure you’re anchored down. Breathless.
What is your favorite western park, activity or state? Colorado, and especially, the Roaring Fork Valley—that is from Basalt, Colorado to Aspen. Thanks to the Internet, I have recently reconnected with friends who dwelled there with me in the early 70’s. One of them put me in touch w/ the Internet group: Aspen in the 60’s and 70’s. Oh, my! How we re-live those times. Some return every year, some never left, some—like me—honor this magnificent land with our words. I am planning on extending my story for our collaboration into a series. The next book will cover the historic mining in this colorful wondrous state.
Besides being a writer what would be your dream job?
Marine Biologist. Sail on the Jacque Cousteau. Dive to the bottom of the sea. Swim with the dolphins and the Orcas. Make the oceans safe for all our sea creatures and for humanity.
What fictional character would you most like to meet?
Huckleberry Finn. For over half a century, Huck has remained my favorite fictional character. I would love to spend a couple of days with Huck and Jim floating down the Mississippi River and fool-osophizing. I do not believe you can find two purer souls in all the world or in literature. Or two greater teachers.