.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

My Photo
Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Space Weather

The 'mushroom rains' have arrived here in Oregon. I had a lovely dish of sauteed coral mushrooms this morning for breakfast, and plan to go hunting for shaggy parasols and shaggy manes this weekend. But the weather above the atmosphere, while less productive of mushrooms, perhaps (although you never know what might be buried in that meteorite that actually makes it down to the ground), is more interesting. If you don't have mushroom rain right now, watch for the Orionid meteor shower this weekend. These are pieces of our old friend Haley's comet, come 'round again to entertain the sleepless. Saturday morning, just before dawn (which is actually a civilized hour, sort of, this time of year) is the best time to view. And old Sol has sneezed again. A great big coronal hole has opened up on the sun's atmosphere and the solar wind has blown through, to join the fall winds here on Earth and maybe bring some auroras our way. So you might get to see northern lights instead of meteors, but oh well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hot Future

Interestingly enough on the global warming front, business seems to be taking the lead in trying hard to change a future forecast that is looking increasingly grim. The October 9 Financial Times, hardly a bastion of cutting edge science and technology news, ran an entire special section on the reaction of the global business community to an increasing likelyhood of flood, drought, and hurricanes. Clearly, carbon trading, for good or ill, is in our future. And some interesting new growth industries are getting started...think decontaminating sewage and polluted groundwater so that we can drink it safely.

On the 'my future is coming to pass now' front, one focus is on using brackish -- part saline -- water for irrigating crops, since farming uses about70 times as much water as household water use. Sigh. For a more comprehensive environmental look at what that means, read Water Rites when it's out.

But clearly, agriculture is going to come under a lot of pressure to cease growing highly 'thirsty' crops in dry parts of the country. Hello Texas and California!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Shine On Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon shines tonight...the full moon closest to the fall equinox. And this year, because the moon is a perigee, and is closest to the earth in its orbit. So if it's not raining in YOUR neck of the woods, go look.

Certainly, the sheep are taking full advantage of the late night floodlight. Not sure I could call it harvest, but when I introduced Bruce, the St. Croix ram into the flock a day or so ago, he has certainly been working toward next year's lamb crop. Poor guy. St. Croix are tall and white -- hair sheep, not woolies -- with a huge white lion's mane and a short, dense coat. He looked at my two big woolly black-faced Suffolk ewes and his puzzlement was clear. What ARE they? They smell like sheep but...

Then he got a sniff of the other end and realized they were coming into heat. Black faces? Wool? Who cares? It's fall.

Sex. The great equalizer of all mere cosmetic appearances...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fall light and unpacking

It' s officially fall today. About seven PM, I turned the lights on. It was just gray enough outside that the warm yellow glow made the house feel cozy and closed in. After a summer of open windows, of house and outdoors as one, that makes it fall. The inside environment no longer merges with outdoors. The windows are closed. The First Fire will surely take place in the woodstove within the next week or so...well maybe later if we have the warm, golden fall they predict.

I unpacked all the things I brought from my parents' house today. My father died three years ago and my stepmom is moving into an assisted living place. So I hauled the hand woodworking tools home, the table saw, the many cans of nails, screws, nuts, bolts that this Depression child hoarded. Well, I'm his daughter. I have my own cans of pried out nails, old hinges. Hey, it's how I have managed to raise two kids on what I make as a writer. So I added his hoard to mine. We're set for buiding things for a long time, we are.

I also brought over the hammered brass shields that my grandfather was given by the aboriginal tribes in the Sumatran jungles, the small household god from India, the cow incense burner, also from India, that my grandmother owned. The ancient metal teapot and burner from Sumatra, used by the very old 'straights-born' Chinese to brew small cups of very strong tea.

Some of these are probably valuable antiques. Other things are junk. They are, of course, all fraught with memory.

It's fall. The light is warm inside.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cool Site Interview

I ran into Beryl and Angela, the originators of WOW: Women on Writing, a very cool and ambitious new website for fans and writers both. The asked for an interview and I was more than happy to oblige. I must say, as someone who has conducted a lot of interviews, as both a nonfiction writer and a fiction writer, as well as someone who has been interviewed quite a few times, they did one of the best interviews I've been part of. Thoughtful, comprehensive, and they followed it up with a great phone chat later on.

Do check out WOW: Women on Writing, and you can read my interview while it's up. They have a flash fiction contest going on right now, by the way. Cash prizes even!

Check it out!