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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.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Snow Angels Mud Monsters

Well, this has been a hectic ten days. I was off at Norwescon last weekend, a very fun four days and a con I like a lot for their good science and writing panels. Except this year I have dubbed it PlagueCon since every other person that hugged me and said hello then followed the hug with 'I have this awful flu'. I am going to bring a box of surgical masks next year and sell them. I could probably have paid for my hotel room this year! Of course I came home to two days to catch up on writing and students and then off to spend three days in the weather at a herding clinic. This involves standing around outside in the weather (read snow/sleet/hail/rain) until it's your turn to take your dog in on the stock and then you add mud. I paid to do this. Remember, I paid to do this. I kept reminding myself of that fact as I stood in the mud, freezing hands stuffed under the seven layers of assorted garments I was wearing, ice crystals forming on my eyelashes. Annie, my dog, was totally happy. Except when I hosed her off after she slopped out of the cattle pen looking amazingly brown for a rottie. Do you know what seven or eight big, 1000 lb steers can do to dirt when water is added? Let us just say that a high pressure spray nozzle is a good thing. Annie didn't think so. And then my wood stove quit. By quit I mean all of a sudden no draft, build a fire the smoke seeps out through the cracks and then the fire dies...NOT good. Especially not good when I'm arriving home to do chores at dark, with a core temperature that sure felt like it was about ten degrees below normal. So 'warm house' meant about 55 degrees and smoky enough to make me think about lung cancer. Sigh. It did finally occur to me that the starlings, cavity nesting little darlings (teeth clenched here) that they are, might have built a nest in my chimney while I was at Norwescon. Yeah it was so. Friday night late, the last of the blockage finally fell down the pipe and I got a draft back. The house is 70 even as I type this! Woohoo! I am thawing out. Hmm. I wonder how starlings might taste, braised with ginger, garlic, and rice wine....

Well, snow is a lot more tolerable when the house is warm. And my daffodils don't seem to mind it.


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