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Decades ago, when I toed the line at various 5 and 10ks, I really wanted to win the race. Not overall, though that did happen a time or two. I wanted instead to be the first woman, or at least win my age group. Sometimes I did. Mostly, I didn't. This later morphed into racing against time. It didn't matter so much what other people did anymore. I just wanted to reach or beat a certain time. 

I still remember that combination of nervousness, fear, and anticipation as I mingled around the starting line. Some races are indelibly burnt into my memory: The 13.1 race to Robie Creek, up... Read More...

February.

Deep heart of winter.

Lake finally freezes over. I step on the ice, holding my skates. The ice grumbles restlessly beneath me. It is alive. Out a bit farther I see a large hole marked with caution tape. Footprints in the light skim of snow lead up to it. I immediately make up a story: Someone fell in! That is what it looks like and it is enough to keep me off the ice. It's not ready yet. Or, as we used to say on Mackinac Island: the ice hasn't made yet.

As if someone was baking it.

Firewood. So much firewood. But is is enough? I eye the dwindling pile... Read More...

Tonight found me browsing #MSWL (manuscript wish list) one more time. I am shopping the novel because I believe in it. That's all that matters, right? Even if it never gets published, I still believe in it. When I look at my other three books, I am incredibly grateful that someone took a chance on them. Lightning needs that chance.

I've been poring through my old file cabinets and getting rid of a flurry of old things. All sorts of gems showed up: a love letter from "the one who got away", (but really "the one I let go"), divorce papers from the one I should have let go, emo poetry... Read More...

I haven't written in here for quite a while. There are reasons. I am feeling a bit discouraged by the whole writing endeavor. It's a cumulative thing. Let me list the ways.

"Can I borrow your copy of (insert book name here)?" Please, buy the book!

"I'm waiting for the book on loan at the library." Libraries are great, I know, but you can afford to buy the book!

"Here's my list of recommended reading" (My book isn't on my friend's facebook post)

"Here's the books I gave five stars to" (My book isn't on this list of my friend's stars)

"You haven't made back... Read More...

I recently went to my first live event for my books in two years. I'm not going to lie. It felt deeply weird. So many people! Crowds of people. Masked people, and everyone had to be vaccinated or have a negative test, so I wasn't too worried about Covid as much as I was worried about so many people! I'm out of practice.

I felt like Spruce, our pandemic puppy, who didn't get a lot of socialization. As a result he views people, especially loud children, with suspicion. On the other hand, Frost, the other pandemic puppy, is overjoyed when she sees new people. A true extrovert dog, she... Read More...

I feel like I've sort of given up on writing. I am not pushing my books, I haven't done any events (but we really can't right now anyway. My county is back in a mask mandate and nobody wants to gather), and I haven't sent out any queries or done any writing. I might be done? I don't know. I don't think so, but there aren't enough hours to do everything. Instead, a friend and I went hiking at Mount Rainier National Park. Our backpacking trip was six days, the longest hike I've done since 2019 (the last normal year). It was so peaceful to be away from email, work, responsibilities, and the... Read More...

I was hiking with a good friend. She would never knowingly say anything hurtful. But she said, "Your other books weren't pageturners, but this new one is." I have to admit, I didn't say anything at the time. After all, everyone has an opinion, people don't need to like my books. I don't set out to write "pageturners" even. So why does this still bother me? It does. I think there are sometimes better ways to say things.

Take another example. I was by strange circumstance, camping with some near strangers. We were chatting away. One of the younger ones (late 20s), said, "I haven't... Read More...

Returning from a hike with the dogs, I noticed a smoke column in the distance. The fire was blowing up, as evidenced by the height and boiling cumulus type cloud above it. I feel the same mimxed emotions I always have, but different. I loved being a firefighter. I mean, I really loved it, more than anyone else I know. It was years ago, but that doesn't matter. Does it matter for any memory, how long ago it was? It hasn't been tinged with rose-colored glasses. I remember it all.

I mostly worked on the line, not at camp, though I did end up doing some radio stuff later on. That wasn't... Read More...

I sent out a query letter! Just a couple of days ago I was wondering if I was going to give up on writing altogether. It isn't a profit making venture. People don't want to buy books--they will go to great lengths to get one from the library or borrow one. You would never do that for a work of art. It gets discouraging.

Also, my novel queries have gone nowhere. I think I am facing a major revision. So I thought, is it time to stop? Do something else? Stop feeling guilty when I see my computer?

But I couldn't resist and took up my seasonal work in the national parks collection... Read More...

After lots of complaining, I finally got my Covid shots. As I was expecting, because I have a really strong immune system, I was sick for a couple of days. But that is better than getting Covid. All around the land here, nobody is wearing masks. I could go on about the risk of that in a county with only 44% of people wanting the vaccine. But that makes me too ragey so I won't go on.

My life isn't my own anymore, which you won't understand until you are taking care of someone. Friends are great, but friends don't come at all hours to help. They have their own situations. My days pass... Read More...

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