Friday, June 26, 2009

I've Switched!

I'm moving my blog to WordPress: (www.topofworld.wordpress.com) I just like it about a thousand times better, so sorry for the inconvenience to all of you who faithfully follow my blog. (yes, all three of you.) I will be reposting some of my "greatest moments" from this blog over there, so watch for them! Oh, and I just posted the Midnight Sun, so check it out, check-it-outers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I almost got killed by a bear on the way home from writer's conference...

Well, sort of.

I saw a lot of wildlife in Homer. A lot. For example, there was this obnoxious cackling bird that was really grating me as I walked into my first workshop. It reminded me of that dang raven (which really is just a euphemism for obnoxious crow) who hangs out in my driveway and wakes me up every morning, except this bird was, (and yes it is possible,) even louder. I didn't know seabirds could be this loud, as a matter of fact, so I looked up to find this remarkable loud-mouthed gull, and saw instead an American Bald Eagle hacking it's lungs out like there was some salmon entrail stuck in it's throat. And then I thought,
"What an amazing bird!" Perspective.


(This was not the actual eagle. I didn't have my camera at that moment. This eagle was captured on film on the boat cruise. This one's prettier, though. Ever seen an eagle trying to clear phlegm? Not cute. Or pretty. Or magestic, or grand, or patriotic, or any of those other words we use to describe our national fowl.)

Later that first night, in my amazing hotel room at the end of the Spit, I looked out my window as I laid in my bed and what did I see? The cutest little beach otter swimming by me. He hung out by my beach a lot. This photo is of the hotel where I stayed, just to prove that we really were at "Lands End". I stayed in one of the little condos on the far left of the page. But back to the otter. We became good friends throughout the week. I even took a video of him. He was a little far out there and really hard to see on this tiny little video format, but I thought he was super cute. I've never really seen an otter "motor" like this before. BTW, this was shot at 10:58 pm, no joke. There's a reason it's called the land of the midnight sun. Setting


video


The cruise was a mecca of wildlife, also. We did not go out far enough to see whales, but we did see a myriad of otters...at one point I counted 45 otters, not counting babies, in one raft. We passed several rafts of them, and all the mamas and babies together reminded me to love one an otter, and it was about at this point that one of my new friends and authors, Kirby Larson, as well as several other out-of-state writer and editor types begged me to email pictures since I had the most impressive camera. I knew there was a reason I lug that thing around! Networking.


And of course, the puffins. I must admit, I'm the most proud of these, photography wise, but I'm going to restrain myself to one, considering I'm sort of getting away from the subject. (I'll put a photo box in a future posting...) So...wait for it, wait for it... here is my symbolic taking off in my writing career. I had to say it. Bold.


But I didn't see a single moose, and I didn't see a single bear.

It was time to go home, and so I left, along the way I encountered the biggest beast of all:I didn't have the courage to "inquire inside" to find out her price. The Business of Writing

I continued on my merry way, and then I noticed a problem. There were several cars at a complete standstill in the middle of the 2 lane highway, half a mile to the Kenai/Russian River Ferry pullout. I braked, I stopped. I heard a horn honk. I saw a man exit a red truck. I was concerned he was having car trouble. A car waited for a break in traffic and swerved around him. I thought, "How insensitive can you be?" Then I moved forward and looked to my right and there was the bear. I would have taken a picture, but I've already been run over once this year, so I didn't find it appropriate to get out of my car and further hold up traffic to take pictures of what, frankly, is one of the uglier bears I've seen in this state. See my header for a better specimen. There are no original ideas. The writing just needs to be good enough.

So I signaled left. I craned my neck not toward the bear, but out my window to try and make sure I wasn't going to get plowed head-on. I was just easing out when the mini-van maniac mom driver whipped around me, nearly taking my head off. I wonder if she ever learned to take turns in kindergarten. More likely she just learned how to drive in Alaska. But then, what I really wonder is, did she see the bear? Process

But I did see my first true-blue Alaskan Bear Road block. Life is good.

(If I was from Virginia I probably would have been run over. Because I would have been photographing that light-colored, matted, molting ugly specimen of a brown bear. But I didn't.) Because in the end, all I want to do is Write On.

A note about my "process"


This basically sums up writer's conference for me. My bag, my manuscript, my "Open Mic" form, my suitcase, my new books signed by my new favorite author. Oh yeah, and my candy and my mess. Good times!

Juxtaposition


I watch them share.

They share in their jeans, Carharts or otherwise. They share in a drink, plastic cup of beer or otherwise. They share in their highly appropriate shoes, designed for the express purpose of not slipping on the rocky shore, rubber fishing boots or otherwise. They share in lungful of bonfire smoke near midnight on the shore of the Spit that might as well be exhaust ingested outside a savvy New York Agent’s Manhattan office for all the good that sharing has done for the writer, and for the agent, who, after the driftwood burns out share nothing but a good story, which has been written well enough, (which is to say), a stomachful of ash

Thursday, May 14, 2009

She has long n' lovely locks. Now what?

My first (semi) Successful French Braid
After I got run over by a car last July, one of my old neighborhood friends somehow found my blog. A new friendship was started; a sort of an electronic, catching up through pictures and oh-so-witty bantering through comment windows. It was the sort of comradery between two gals that can only be understood by those who have know the thrill of the comments number moving from 3 to 4.

In the meantime, my four year old daughter Lily kept growing, and so did her lovely brown hair. It is long, and thick, and long, and lovely, and long. It falls below her waist, and it is healthy and shiny and so loverly.

So now I am presented with a problem. I don't know how to do hair. My own hair as a child was short, brittle, thin and gross. Neither of my sisters was inclined to let me play with their hair. (Can't imagine why...) Both my older daughters have cute, but short, bobs. Sure, I can brush out Lily's hair and pull it back into a ponytail, or even a daring "half-up"on occasion, but outside of the baby "top knot" that was about the extent of my skills.

Then I noticed that my friend, Kori, was doing a blog called The Story of a Princess and Her Hair , which featured her daughter sporting amazing hairstyles, including step-by-step instructions to get it done. (There is a contest to win a professional flat iron on her site: read the "curling hair with a flat iron" post and click on the contest link for instructions to enter.)

I looked at the pictures. I read the instructions. Unfortunately, my arms didn't work due to my accident, and I couldn't even BRUSH my 4 year olds hair, let alone dare a half-up. (Dale did though, don't worry!)

I had to bide my time, and wait for my arms to work.

Finally, the day arrived that I could brush out her hair without having to take a Tylenol. I could finally take on...(dun, dun, DUNN!!) the French Braid.

The first attempt was not too awful. I'm getting better as I go. And now, I feel confident, armed with my brush and mad braiding skills, to take on some of the cute styles on her blog so that she can have, without a doubt, the CUTEST HAIR IN KINDERGARTEN! Which is what life is all about, right?

Now if I could just get her to hold still....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grandma, I Love You!

Even though you are far away in Mexico, we still wanted to say happy Mother's Day to you!

video

Elliotte wanted to join in, but she was busy:


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mr. Quimby

Okay, his first name isn't mister, but maybe it should be. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures. Ignore my shaggy-doo in the bottom one! See his darling blue eyes and cute pink nose? Just what Dale wanted. Happy Mother's Day to ME!!