When you live in the Rocky Mountains snow can come at times most people wouldn’t believe. Thirty inches of snow on May 18 is as dramatic as it sounds. Even more so when it is the wet, heavy kind that bends trees and turns into the consistency of cement on the driveway where the tall pines keep it from melting. The loss of power for over 24 hours came with it.
I know many people don’t understand the advantages of a late May storm. So let me explain. First of all, its exquisite. The snow on trees and mountain peaks is a sight not to be taken for granted. The resourcefulness required when no electricity also means no water makes us stronger. We enjoyed uninterrupted conversation and laughs. The other piece of a May storm that everyone can appreciate: it melts away quickly.
Two things I think about often are friendship and writing. For me, they are both important and an integral part of each day.
Since moving 1000 miles from an incredible group of friends, I’ve been working on nurturing long-distance and new friendships and writing fiction; for me they have become intertwined. I’m grateful for friends who support my writing, for friends who keep in touch by writing in various forms and for the joy I discover through writing.
As a fiction writer, I’ve created characters that are like friends. No, I’m not crazy. What I mean is they are fully formed people who come to mind in different situations I encounter. This is part of my creative process and it’s comforting, just like a good friend.
I’ve been waiting to revise until I can truly look at my book as a reader and not a writer. The process of going back and forth between being a writer and being a reader is important work and challenging. My beta readers have been valuable in the writing process and there have been revisions along the way already. This is a big step; taking from the beginning.
I read 2 quotes that resonate with me. Neil Gaiman said “… when you’re ready, pick it up and read it as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer.”
The other, by Don Roff, which is the inspiration for the picture, “When you print out your manuscript and read it, marking up with a pen, it sometimes feels like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime.”
- My manuscript is printed.
- My eyes are ready.
- My color-coded pens are lined up.
Wish me luck!
“I miss my friends!” Yesterday I stopped by a store on Pearl Street that reminded me of a store from my days living in Glencoe. I asked the woman helping me if they were a franchise because I remembered a store “Shoefly” with the same logo. She said, “No, that was us! We moved here ten years ago.” Small World! Then I was talking with her husband and mentioned our North Shore/Chicago connection. His first words when talking about leaving Chicago: “I miss my friends.” YES! Which are the same words I’ve said so many times whenever anyone asks me what I miss about moving. And a few restaurants, We agreed we miss those too.
Earth Day and what it represents has always been important to me. My love of flora and fauna goes back to my earliest memories. I have both learned and taught about the interdependent web of life on our planet.
Living in the Rocky Mountains has allowed me an even better vantage for admiring the beauty of Mother Earth, the moon, stars and other planets in our solar system. I’m able to see more stars than ever before. I’ve watched Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Mars dance above the mountain peaks. And now, I have a new word with which to describe the amazing feeling of my new experiences.
As a lifelong Cubs fan, I’ve learned many important lessons. I’ve learned patience (Wait until next year!) I’ve learned sometimes rain is just what you need (Game 7 World Series.) I’ve learned miracles do happen (2016 season!) I’ve learned to enjoy the gentle rhythm of baseball and how to relax. I’ve learned that there are no bad days at Wrigley Field. And yesterday I was reminded of another phrase I have lived by: Never give up! Thank Addison Russell for the home run and the lesson! ⚾️🐻💙😎
Someone close to me once said I am easily entertained. I’m not sure if it was a compliment but I took it as one. I’m truly never bored and am always looking for beauty or inspiration wherever I go. My imagination is strong; probably the reason I enjoy being with children and writing fiction. Last week I posted these 4 pictures of clouds on Facebook asking friends to weigh in on what they saw. I was not disappointed by the quantity or quality of responses. Most friends agreed that the top left was a seahorse and bottom left was some type of bird – penguin, chick, rooster, hummingbird, etc. The other 2 had a wider variety of ideas including many people thinking the top right was their dog or a mother kissing a child. The sweetness of ideas made me happy that so many others who didn’t see these clouds in person were able to enjoy the game of imagining what they were. Thanks to all who stopped to use their imaginations and share their ideas.
Today’s sign of spring were butterflies everywhere. They have inspired writers for centuries.
One of my favorites is: “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has enough time.” – by Rabindranath Tagore
I have always enjoyed the moon; seeing it change each night. But if you’ve never seen it away from the light pollution of the city, do yourself a favor and make that happen. Living in the Rocky Mountains offers never ending beauty on a daily basis. The glow of the moon each night, the way the light fills my room, is magic.
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”
I’m always happy to read something that opens my world to knowing people I wouldn’t necessarily meet in my own life. Yet I am also equally enchanted by characters who remind me of people I know well. Either way, it’s enriching.
The email I received last week from a publisher that said, I love your manuscript. I’m the mother of two and as soon as I started reading it, I could picture myself reading this to my children.” This is deeply gratifying and also makes me want to create a series of books about Aliana and her family.