Travel’s Magic Portal

If I were asked to describe, in a word—two at the most—my recent travel to France and Ireland, magical would compete with wonder-filled. Wonderful hasn’t the capacity. I was away for seventeen days, and not until I returned did a single mishap threaten the absolute perfection of this trip. But it was only a threat; the piece of luggage was located and had not been left between here and Dublin after all. Glitch-free travel! Alright—one bellyache from downing a Guinness too quickly, when it was time to load up and get back on the road to the next attraction. . . (Try black current syrup with it the next time you have a pint. . .) Continue reading

I’ll Meet You There

IMG_0872With June comes the much-anticipated, annual Old Settlers Picnic at nearby Devils Tower National Monument. My husband and I serve on the board of the Natural History Association, and this is one of our summer highlights, when we’re not watering, weeding and working at our respective interests. The monument itself was created in 1906 by President Teddy Roosevelt, by the newly minted Antiquities Act. It is the nation’s first National Monument. (read more) Continue reading

And Yon Twelve-winded Sky

We live in interesting times. This is purported to be an old Chinese curse. May it not be. In this vein, crisis, in Chinese, is made from the ideograms for danger, and, opportunity. In taking up the April thread of springtime and its vagaries (thus avoiding other subjects)~we have in the Hills, so far, avoided a killing frost. Tomorrow is supposedly our last frost date–i.e., the danger of vulnerable apple blossoms being blasted by a freeze is officially moot. So far, so good. So many analogies to draw among the myriad possibilities . . . in these interesting times. . . (tap title for rest)

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Today is the Feast of Easter. Viriditas or, The Greening. We just returned from a visit to see our grandchildren and son, who live 800 miles away. We soaked up their dear presence. We were away for only seven days, wherein I  looked at my writing only once or twice, their being the Great Distraction that warrants my attention. So when I returned to my writing hut for a morning of work, I was mortified that I couldn’t recall which folder held one of my computer files. I finally found it, but still… Lesson learned. And it is this: since embarking on this writing life (read Voyage) in January ’15, I have taken very few days off. Even on official “vacation,” I worked mornings, to experience how a different setting might feed the work. And it does. (How could it not? Pecking away, with the Pacific Ocean pounding before you? and nothing but sand in between?) A bit trickier when conversations and concerns pull, like a grandchild on your pant leg. “NeNe, NeNe, NeNe…” So, no contest. Nor a problem. It’s like rising in the middle of the night to comfort a child. You simply do it, for love. Or, don’t do it; in this case, work.

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Spring Forward

Living on a rural homestead in Wyoming continues to exercise body, mind and spirit. I hung laundry outdoors today, after walking up from my writing hut (where I write–not the hut!). Shoots of tulip and jonquil measure three inches. Spring means snow squalls and biting wind in these parts. We don’t expect constant warmth until mid-May; we do expect blizzards earlier in the month. May the apple crop avoid being blasted again this year. This is not friendly apple-growing country–if dedicated to one’s sole livelihood; the weather gods laugh. But garlic and shallots do well. Roots revel. Herbs endeavor. And rabbits do what rabbits do.
Meanwhile, my “retired” educator husband prunes the orchard, clears winter debris, grinds tree trimmings to mulch–to name a few chores–and stays busy. It’s always something. Hundreds of cut twigs ring the trees, waiting to be gathered–my job. Like pick-up sticks, they fall in I Ching patterns, and I must ignore the possible significance.
Eddy, the aging Jack Russell terrier, spends hours criss-crossing yard, field and wood; sniffing out rabbits, squirrels, mice and old deer bones. She requires help to reach the soft chair cushion in the den–which begs the inference: how long may I be granted to do this thing, write and live on this most lovely land, before needing assistance? How long before a winter freeze blasts me?  It’s a cusp thing.
My birthday coincides with the spring equinox, so this cusp thing plays havoc with intentions, wise or otherwise. It seems as good a time as any for relaunching a blog. One with my name attached. So I may be found (and possibly read), expression being the better part of hesitation (yes, yes, I know, not always). I have read the posts of similarly timid authors, and have discovered strength in numbers. That said. . .
I have completed the writing of two novels. The first (begun in January 2015) is now (March 2017) with an editor, and the second is undergoing revision. They represent two-thirds of a proposed trilogy, or quartet. The Country of Senga, my pitch reads, is “a generational story of loss, ambivalence, resilience, wild grace, passion and triumph.” (The stuff of saga.) Moving from 1960s western North Carolina, to contemporary Wyoming Black Hills, it’s a migratory tale exploring a slew of life’s mysteries. The working title of the second is Senga’s Stars, and centers on travel–to and from the past; love, and ultimately, belonging. A red thread of magic realism binds the three . . . or four.
I plan to post the occasional excerpt or, snippet, from these, from previous work, and offer “field notes,” and other observations. Perhaps a music video, if I can sort the technicalities.
Finally, welcome, and thank you for the visit. I wish everyone the best, especially good health.