Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello, Goodbye.

So here it is, the last day of 2008. And while I'm sitting here looking out my window at the snow coming down, I thought I'd reflect a bit on the year that's coming to a close:

Here are some of my memorable ski-related moments, from 2008:

  • Meeting and skiing with members of TheSkiDiva.com at Solitude during Diva Week in Utah;

  • Meeting and skiing with tmembers of TheSkiDiva.com during Okemo Diva Day;

  • Breaking a personal record of ski days, with 63 days for the '07-'08 season. This meant LOTS of fun days on the snow;

  • Nearly destroying my nearly new Queen Attivas at Magic Mountain (hey, it was memorable, all right!). I took a huge chunk out of the base, but was able to get it repaired;

  • Getting to try next year's skis at the industry demo days at Stratton in February. I felt like a kid in a candy store! You can see my reviews here and here.

  • Getting TheSkiDiva sign on Good Morning America, when the show came to Vermont;

  • Expanding the site to include an E-store for great TheSkiDiva.com gear, a directory of women's ski resources, and a new home page with ski news and member pix;

  • Publishing TheSkiDiva.com Cooks!, a cookbook with recipes submitted by forum members. If you'd like a copy, go here;

  • Getting a publisher for my ski-related mystery, tentatively called DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY, and coming from St. Martin's Press in January, 2010; You can find out more about it here.

  • Passing 1,000 members in TheSkiDiva.com.

  • Here's hoping that 2009 brings us all more terrific ski memories. And here's wishing you a safe, happy, and healthy new year.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the online home especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Booting up!


    To celebrate my recent book deal, I did what any self respecting Ski Diva would do: I celebrated by getting myself some new gear.

    What did I get, you ask? New ski boots, of course!

    My old boots were getting packed out, so I headed for my favorite local bootfitter, Shon Racicot, at Bootpro in Ludlow, VT, for some help. After making a careful examination of my feet and stance, Shon suggested the boot he felt would do the best job: the Atomic Hawx. I tried them on, and even though I really liked what I was feeling, I thought to myself, "This is far too easy. NO ONE gets boots this fast." So I set out on a "bootquest" of sorts, visiting a number of ski shops in the area to try on boots from a variety of manufacturers. But no matter how many I tried, I kept coming back to the same thing: none of them worked for me like the Atomic Hawx. So back I went to Shon.

    Here's some info I found that describes the Atomic Hawx:

    New concept that allows forefoot flexibility through special gills at front of boot that gives better balance, better transmission, more performance for less effort. Less pressure and force on the metatarsal area for superb comfort. The New I-Flex technology puts your stance in a more upright position and with the new Elastic I-Flex Zone it goes to absorb vibrations and unintentional forces to the skis. A new I-Flex Chassis is a mixture of flexible plastics in varying thicknesses for improved comfort, precise fit and performance. Softer components around the cuff and instep area makes the Hawx putting on/taking off easier and gives a more precise fit. .

    All I can say is that I've skied on these boots seven times with zero issues. That's right -- none. Which is amazing in a new ski boot. They're actually a full size smaller than my previous boots. And while the fit is snugger -- a good thing in a ski boot -- there are no hot spots or pressure points. The snugger fit gives me a better feel for my skis and permits better response to the movements of my feet and ankles. The result: better edging, better control, better skiing.

    I can't say if these boots would work for you. The important thing in a ski boot is fit, fit, and again, fit. And to get the best possible fit, don't just buy boots off the shelf from some big box store. Make sure to visit someone who really knows ski boots, like Shon. Your feet will appreciate it. I know mine do.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the online home especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    I just got a book deal!


    Many of you know that my husband, Jon Clinch, is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning novel, Finn.

    Well, he's not the only writer in the family anymore. I just sold a ski-related mystery novel, DOUBLE BLACK, to Thomas Dunne, an imprint of St. Martins Press. It'll be published in January, 2010, and it's part of a two book deal that'll include a yet-unwritten sequel to the first.

    Here's a synopsis:

    In DOUBLE BLACK, Boston’s twenty-something Stacey Curtis ditches her cheating fiance and heads for a Vermont ski town. She’s looking for the life she’s always dreamed about, but she stumbles instead into financial intrigue, bitter family warfare, and murder. Populated with quirky characters, loaded with New England atmosphere, and starring a young woman with nerve, spunk, and a sense of humor about it all, DOUBLE BLACK is an exciting run down some treacherous mountain trails.

    Here's the first line of the book:

    “When Stacey Curtis found the dead man in the bed, she knew it was time to get her own apartment.”

    I am sooooo excited about this. If you don't mind my saying so, it's a fun book that I really think all of you are going to enjoy. And while it contains plenty of skiing and ski-related stuff, I think it's something that just about anyone will like.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the online home especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    The "R" Word.

    Not that "R" word -- the one that has to do with precipitation. The other "R" word -- the one they've been bandying about on the news lately. Recession.

    It's official. We're in one. And I don't have to tell you: skiing isn't cheap. So how can you still participate in your favorite sport, while minimizing the financial pain?

    Here are some tips, suggested by members of TheSkiDiva.com:

  • Get a season pass: The initial outlay is large, but if you ski a lot at the same mountain, it can considerably reduce your cost per day. A season's pass can have other benefits, too. Some provide discounts on lift tickets at other resorts, nearby lodging, and on-mountain retail locations.

  • Bring your lunch: Food at the mountain can cost nearly as much as a pass. So bring something that costs less, tastes better, and is much healthier for you: food from your own kitchen.

  • Get a job: The cheapest way to ski yet. Work at the mountain, and they'll give you a season's pass. You'll even earn a few bucks in the process.

  • Carpool to the hill: Yes, gas prices have come down. But the last time I checked, gas still wasn't free. Drive with a friend.

  • Join a club: If you don't live close to a mountain, join a club that has a house or lodge. Weekend rates are far cheaper than the cost of hotel and sometimes even include meals and a cook -- which can make life very nice after a day of skiing.

  • Buy ahead off site: Sometimes you can get a deal on a day ticket if you buy before you go, either from the resort's web site or at designated ski and outdoor shops. It's not a huge discount, but it'll save you a few bucks.

  • Pick a card: Some resorts offer their own discount cards. At Mt. Snow, for example, a "Fan Fare" card costs $99, and gives you 50% off during the week, 25% off weekends and 10% off on holidays.

  • Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the online home especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.