“So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.”
John Bunyan, 1678, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1
Archive for November, 2009
“So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.”
This is National Novel Writing Month, and I thought I would unofficially participate. Now, I’m not saying I think I could actually write a whole quality novel in 30 days, but I am interested in the general idea of writing that fast. I am an obsessive editor–when I write something I constantly go back and edit, edit, edit. As you can imagine, it really makes for slow writing. So the idea of writing 50,000 words in a month is very interesting to me. I thought I would participate and just write, without editing or even thinking. Just write. I mean, that’s the whole idea, right?
So, in order to make the 50,000 word goal I would have to have 26,000 by today. I have 1,373. And I wrote those words on November 1.
Over the past few years Jason and I have been slowly removing as many chemicals from our environment as possible. (Confession: It is mostly me, but Jason has been a good sport about it). I make my own household cleaners—cheaper and more effective than the store-bought stuff—and we’ve switched to chlorine-free paper products, fragrance- and chemical-free cosmetics and laundry soap, etc. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. We are controlling the parts of our lives that we can, with noticeable positive results.
The other day Jason decided, for some unknown reason, to use some of his mostly-full-bottle of cologne. He used just as much as he used to in our pre-enlightened days. Then we got into the car to run some errands. It was a matter of minutes before Jason had his window cracked, and I cracked mine a few minutes after that. He had a headache and I was sneezing…just from a few innocent squirts of cologne.
When we lived in Iowa City, nasty headaches and sneezing were the norm for me. I took Claritin or Sudafed on a regular basis, thinking it was just allergies.
I haven’t taken those drugs in around two years now. I no longer have allergies. I am convinced that my “allergies” were just reactions to everyday chemicals that covered my body from head to toe and infested the air in my home and car. Lesson learned.
By the way, half full perfume and cologne bottles make excellent dust collectors.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Mark Twain via Grandpa Swearingen, so many years ago
My parents have several acres of land a comfortable distance outside of town. It is such a beautiful place, crowded with elderly oak giants and spindly aspen, the creek lined with maple and cedar. There are two major clearings on this property because, until two years ago, the area was used for cattle grazing. The cow pies are gone, and the waist-high feed grass cut, but it is still a peaceful space in this busy world.
Dead oak branches (and I’m talking branches that are at least a foot in circumference) make a great slow burning campfire, perfect for roasting some marshmallows. We spent the evening there last night, my parents, Jason and I. The burned sugar and fireside chat was all so wonderful, but I think the best part was what I saw in the sky: little twinkling stars. Living in the city, it is easy to forget about those tiny pinpricks in the sky. Sure, we can still see the brightest of the bright; but out there in the middle of nowhere you are reminded of the amazing quantity of glowing orbs. And the Milky Way…I always forget about that. Last night I saw it clear as day.
When washed-out night skies are the norm in suburbia, I believe it’s safe to say that our priorities are seriously out of whack.
I am a writer, therefore I have cats. It’s a given. Just like a carpenter has a hammer, a kid has a cell phone, an apple picker has whatever he has. A writer always has a cat. I must be a genius writer because I have three cats (too many, by the way).
My cats just don’t dig this Daylight Saving Time thing. They hate it so much, they refuse to understand it. I’ve explained it to them over and over again—you have to wait an hour to eat now. You see Daylight Saving Time just ended and that means I had to turn the clocks back an hour. That’s just the way it works. It wasn’t my choice. Don’t worry; it all ends up the same. There are still only six hours between your meals. You just have to wait an extra hour once. Then the schedule will be the same. And so on.
Oh, I’ve said it a hundred times if I’ve said it once. And they still refuse to understand. So obtuse.