June 27, 2012


This blog was moved some time ago.  The Craigmore Creations blog now lives at:



Please check it out!


Thank you,




Tracking the Seitaad and the Ancient Dunes of the Colorado Plateau

September 30, 2010

by Eleanor Kish, Image reproduced courtesy of Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa

In March of 2010, news was released that scientists had named a new dinosaur. Seitaad ruessi was discovered by an artist who was painting Ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs and buildings. The bones of the creature were sticking out of the petrified sand dunes that make up the red rocks known as Navajo Sandstone. The artist reported his findings to the BLM and the rest is news. A good article about the finding and release of the information can be found here. Note that the bones were found sticking out of the rocks just below an Ancestral Pueblo ruin.

The creature found is a sauropodmorph, or a smaller ancestor of the famous gigantic sauropods that roamed the earth and dominated the Jurassic scenery.

There were a few things that caught my attention about this news.
1st: Ancestors of the giant sauropods roamed the ancient desert that later became Navajo Sandstone. This desert was huge and we hardly have anything on the planet to compare it to in the modern day. The Sahara and the sands of Mauritania are the closest analogs, but that region lacks the monsoon rains that were a part of the ancient ecosystem.

I have been wrestling with the various evidence that is out there and putting together a mental picture of what the early Jurassic ecosystem of the Colorado Plateau may have looked like. Jenna, Caleb, and Ari will be time traveling there in Terra Tempo two and I want to be as accurate as the evidence allows when it comes to the depiction of the landscape they will be visiting.

The news release of Seitaad’s discovery gave me great hope that those ancient dunes were indeed alive with a diversity of life, even if the geologic evidence left behind depicts a vast ocean of sand.

Seitaad, by the way, comes from the Navajo legend of a sand monster that drags its victims under the dunes. The sauropodmorph was apparently buried under a collapsing dune.

2nd: Everett Ruess

Picture of Everett Ruess and his famous smile

Everett Ruess disappeared from Davis Gulch in the Escalante Canyon system in November of 1934. He was a poet, artist, wanderer, and eloquent writer of nature’s beauty. His story is one of a deep love of the land and an unwillingness to compromise with the societal demands of the developing world. It is also an unsolved mystery.

Ruess was unknown to me until I read the news about the dinosaur discovery. I have since been reading the book by W.L Rusho about Ruess’s life. I have decided that Everett fits the profile perfectly for being another character in Terra Tempo Two. But when he appears in the book, he will be a time traveler known as NEMO, for that is the last clue he left the world as to what happened to him.

He carved that name below this panel of petroglyphs formerly found in Davis Gulch. The petroglyphs and the Ancestral Pueblo shelter that were nearby are underwater now, drowned out by Lake Powell and the Glenn Canyon Dam. Here is what the panel looked like prior to submersion:

NEMO comes from both the Odyssey where Odysseus uses it as a pseudonym to outwit the cyclops Polyphemus, and from Jules Vern’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Ruess’s mom Stella confirmed that Everett did not like to write his real name in public.

I can’t even begin to describe how rich this all is in my mind. You have a young kid (age 20) who disappears into the mysterious canyon country in 1934, a new species of dinosaur that sheds light on the evolution of sauropods, a beast from Navajo legend that swallows you under the sand and yet another story of art lending a helping hand to the discoveries of Science. All this discovered on the trail of a time travel story being crafted around the various ecosystems of the ancient Colorado Plateau, yet colored by the modern cultures and peoples that still live in the region today.

It makes me want to pack up and go the the Escalante for some more research!



The Fall

September 22, 2010

Greetings from the first day of Autumn!  As the summer turns its face from us and the day and night balance upon the hinge of this turning point in time, I take the time to check in and chart our progress here at Craigmore Creations.  As you may know from a few blog posts back, we are working with an agency to land a New York contract for Terra Tempo.  The big houses said “no”.  They feel that the project doesn’t have the nation wide appeal that merits their attention.

I ask, “Since when do saber tooth cats, drowning mammoths, giant sloths and a huge flood not have nation wide appeal?”

Well, it’s their loss.  I grew up seeing the skyline of Manhattan from the balcony of my mom’s house and though I would like to make an impression on that little island, I know from the past 15 years since I left home, that there is a wide world this side of the Hudson.  I also know that one way to catch the attention of New York is to become something without them.

So we are planting our Heelstone solidly in Portland, Oregon.  We found a local printer to work with, Printing Today, and we are going to do the first printing of Terra Tempo as a small press.  Craigmore Creations will officially be a small publishing house!

And we’re not just publishing Blunderbuss Wanderlust and Terra Tempo.  We’ve put a call out for other creators to join in the fun and we will begin work in October on bunch of new projects: two picture books, a comic strip, a informative column, and another full length graphic novel series.   I look forward to 2011, for it will be a productive year!

We have a new website in the works, too.  It should be live by October.  I’ve seen the previews of it and I’m excited for everyone to be able to see it.  Also, we have been working on an animated trailer for Terra Tempo.  Ashley Burke has joined forces with Craigmore Creations and will bring the work to life in a two minute movie style trailer.  Gideon Fruedman is laying down the music track with his unmatchable Cello-Bop style that is sure to shake the foundation of any ice dam.

Stay tuned!



Blunderbuss Wanderlust

August 4, 2010

Victor in the Tertiary

It started on the drive back from Wondercon in San Francisco. There was going to be a lull in between Terra Tempo One and Terra Tempo Two and there was the matter of needing to practice with the material for Terra Tempo Two. I asked Chris to do a series of drawings for each of the geologic time periods. He asked if we could make it into a story. And so it was born…

Blunderbuss Wanderlust: Being an Account of the Temporal Travels of Colonel Victor Von Vector and the Eras of His Ways.

The good Colonel has a time travel inducing blunderbuss gun that when he shoots, the recoil sends him on a journey from time period to time period, era to era.

Well, we were not going to just do a simple project…no, no…we had to make it a challenge. So it was written in Shakespearian sonnets.

The resulting work is whimsical, fun, and entertaining and if you pay attention to the drawings and the words, you may just learn something about the Earth’s history.

The book size of 6 by 9 inches fits perfectly on the back seat of most household toilets, but it also looks great on any coffee table.

Check out http://www.victorvonvector.com to get a sample fo the book and get a feel for how it looks! Then you can go to our online store and buy a copy. They make great gifts and are fun for the whole family.

Thank you,



It’s Out of Our Hands Now

July 6, 2010

The cover of Terra Tempo

Today we sent seven copies of Terra Tempo to our agent Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She’s going to go to bat for us this summer and aim for the fences with some great names in publishing. It wouldn’t be prudent to go rattling off those names just yet, but we here at Craigmore Creations are pleased.

It’s been great to watch this project grow. From the initial seed of thought and inspiration, to the assembling of the team, to the many drafts, to anticipation of goals being realized! It’s quite a process.

I wish Terra Tempo well and pray that it find the right publishing house to settle in to! We’ve all worked hard on it and now it’s out in the world, off to make a name.

Here in Portland, we’re busy with Terra Tempo Two. Chris has been putting more detail into the illustrations and as a team, Erica, Chris and I have hit our stride. This next project will be awe inspiring, full of creatures from the Cambrian to the Cretaceous!

Good Luck to Mary and Terra Tempo! We’re cheering for you as we plow ahead with the next installation of the series!



June 9, 2010

Yesterday we went on a field trip out to Horse Thief Butte and the surrounding area. I had left my didgeridoo out there over the weekend and needed to retrieve it. Erica and Chris had never seen Horse Thief before so I figured that it would  be a good field trip for the three of us to take.

Below the butte and across the lake are the petroglyphs, one of them being of the Thunderbird. It was nice to see it on the rocks. We’re going to schedule a trip for the guided walk that allows access to the other petroglyphs and pictographs that are still in their natural locations.

In 1956, when the John Day Dam was completed, thousands of petroglyphs were submerged under the advancing waters of the dam swollen river.

This area was the great gathering grounds for tribes of the entire Columbia River Drainage. Goods were traded from all over the region and in this great market place a person could acquire items from all over North America that were moved along the various trade routes that had existed since time out of mind.

Today, the area is quite. There is a small campground at the lake and ample fish to be caught. Nearby is Marshal’s Winery…a must visit for anyone passing through. Ron Johnson is very personable and funny and he makes excellent wine.

The Missoula Flood made it mark here, carving out the buttes and scouring the terrain. This legacy of beauty has not been destroyed by the Dam, but gone are Celilo Falls and the Long Narrows, both important fishing grounds.


Desert Winds

May 19, 2010

We were out of the office from April 26th to May 6th on our Southwest Research Adventure. On that trip we visited Albuquerque, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Impact Crater, The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Natural Bridges, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, and more! One thing I can say about this region is the colors are amazing!

Book Two of Terra Tempo will be a treat to color.

We’ve been writing the story since we’ve been back. There will be more plot twists and some bad guys are entering the story to give our time traveling kids a chase!

The geologic story of the Colorado Plateau is rich. All of those colors in the rocks come from millions of years of sediments deposited and then millions of years more of erosion selectively uncovering landforms and revealing the beauty beneath.

The picture is from our horseback riding tour through Monument Valley. Our guide Robbie was awesome. If you are ever in the region, go on a tour with Black’s (928) 429 0637. Our whole experience with them was great!

We created a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Terra-Tempo/114989925189106

I’m working on being more regular with the blogging. Sometimes it’s difficult when there is so much going on and sometimes it’s a challenge when there is not much going on at all. But we’re entering a busy phase and there will be exciting news to come over the course of the summer.

Be well,