Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch NM

I was a guest speaker this weekend with Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA NOC and my coauthor for the "Vanessa Pierson spy-thrillers." We were invited to talk to a smart, witty group of journalists at the New Mexico Press Women's annual conference, "The Power of Storytelling." This year's event was held at Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, NM. Famed painter, Georgia O'Keefe, visited Ghost Ranch  in 1934; she was so drawn by the astounding natural beauty she spent many summers in residence, painting the countryside and soaking up the solitude. Eventually she managed to purchase a few acres and a house from then-owners Arthur Pack and Carol Stanley. Today, visitors may hike around many of O'Keefe's favorite subjects. This trip, my friend and I climbed for an hour to take this photo of Chimney Rock. A striking flat-topped mountain rises at the southern boundary of the ranch; Pedernal is the subject of many of O'Keefe's paintings. "It's my private mountain," O'Keefe said. "God told me if I painted it often enough I could have it."