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Writing Ruminations

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

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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 11, 2007

Rain Dance

I drove up to Olympia to help put on a herding trial with the herding club I belong to. It was a fun weekend, we worked out butts off, entrants and their dogs worked, had fun, were elated and disappointed, depending on the run. But the herding world is mostly very friendly and supportive, so it was more fun than tears, even if things didn’t go well. (Hey, mix spooky sheep, an excited dog, nervous handler and things often go…well…in unexpected directions. Literally.) We stayed in a motel because if I’m going to work in the freezing wind and rain all day putting something like this on, I am NOT sleeping in my unheated van, thank you! Annie had never done this and was all eyes as we went upstairs to the second floor, down a hall full of parents with kids stopping over on the way home from Gramma’s. Obadiah did all this with his breeder earning his championship so he ignored the kids, bounced into the motel room, and instantly hopped onto a bed. ‘This one’s mine!’ Annie was still mooning over the kids with those nice, nose-height faces just asking to be licked...pleading even!

The skies didn’t open up until Sunday afternoon, so final awards were presented in a barn full of wet dogs and wet handlers. Which smelled worse? Well, we all smelled like wet sheep by then, so who’s counting?

On the way home in the downpour, my beloved and elderly Eurovan sloshed across the Glen Jackson bridge over the Columbia, drenched by sixteen-wheeler walls of spray and kindly waited until I was close to the first exit before the driver’s side wiper quite working. Ulp. Do you know what you can see at night in the pouring rain with no wiper and headlights coming at you? Yep. Precisely nothing.

I got off fast and pulled over. The nut holding the arm to the spindle was loose. And I did not have a socket set with me. All I needed was a 13 mm socket. One small technological glitch and all kinds of things fall apart. It was late Sunday night. What’s open? So I drove home, leaning WAY over (ouch, my back is sore) to see through the wiped passenger side glass on the well lighted 122nd Ave with a bright white bike lane newly painted (thank you Portland!). I DO have a 13 mm socket in my glove box now.

Ah, we do live in a technological house of cards, don’t we? No electricity and what stops working? No socket wrench and that simple spindle and nut are not going to work (no, the pliers couldn’t grip it – it was set into a recess just larger than the nut). We DO live precarious lives don’t we? Keeps life interesting, eh?

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