Starting off 2018 right.

I’ve got this crazy plan (just don’t call it a resolution) to resume regular blogging in 2018. The plan itself is reasonable enough, I think: one biggish / major article on the 13ths of each month, and shorter, chattier notes once a week, on Mondays. This plan has been in place since –oh — sometime in September.

You’ll note it is currently the 3rd Monday in January. You’ll also note it’s the 15th.

Clearly, it hasn’t gone so well so far.


  • I’ve got an article about weird weather nearly done, so the coming February deadline is all but covered.
  • It’s Monday, and I’m actually here.
  • And I scared the hell out of my upstairs neighbor this weekend, so I’ve got a story to tell.


We’ve been having a cold snap since Christmas here in North Carolina. It’s nothing compared to the bomb cyclone that hit the upper east coast at the beginning of the month. And it’s nothing compared to every winter of my life (up until two years ago) in Minnesota. But it’s chilly. And for a day or so, we even had some snow.

One night last week, we were watching the local news for the forecast, when the weather guy flashed one of the cool nature photographs he regularly solicits from viewers. This one broke our hearts. It was of a Rufus hummingbird, looking desperately cold, perched on a snow-dusted nectar feeder. (I’m sorry, but I can’t find the picture on the newscast’s site. They only have the 2017 photo collection available so far.)

My Ogre and I have a long history with hummingbirds back in Minnesota, where we used to feed them faithfully. When we moved here, we tried setting up a feeder, but were outsmarted by the voracious ants that climbed up the support we made on the deck area outside our door. (We live on the second floor of a three-story apartment building with breezeways and individual entrances.) After some trial and error, we reluctantly conceded defeat to the hordes of sugar ants and packed away our hummingbird supplies.

The meteorologist said the snowy photo of the little Rufus had been taken the day before, in a Raleigh neighborhood not far from where we live. This was a shock. It never occurred to us that hummers would actually winter here in NC. According to the weatherman, the population that does stay around is small but persistent. And he noted that they do have a hard time finding food in January and February.

In that moment I realized I had accidentally solved the hummingbird v. ant battle while I was putting up our Christmas decorations this year.

Just as I had done with some pairs of over-sized ornaments, I could suspend two feeders of equal weight, using only fishing line, from the floorboards of the breezeway above us. The combination of the thin fishing line, the long drop from one story to the next, and a good feeder with an ant moat, should theoretically prevent ant-thievery. (In any case, the ants aren’t very active when it’s this cold. I guess we’ll see if it’s a good long-term solution when spring arrives in about a month.)

By the time we had found our feeders, made and cooled nectar, measured out an appropriate length of fishing line, and tied slender hooks on either end of the line with intricate fisherman’s knots (okay, Ogre tied the knots, I watched), it was late. Like two-thirty in the morning late. No matter.

We went out onto the breezeway — Ogre in sweats and me in a long white flannel nightgown — to put up the feeders. I ran upstairs and dropped the line down to him, making sure to arrange it so that it fell between the boards, onto the cross support, so that it couldn’t get caught by the foot of someone walking on the decking. Ogre received the hooks and attached the feeders. It worked. But. After we looked at the arrangement from a few angles, we realized we really wanted them to hang from a point a few boards away from where they were. No problem.

We detached the feeders and attempted to pull the line down. We figured, when it was free, I could just run up and drop it down again, in the correct position. We figured wrong. One hook got caught in a crack. We wiggled and tugged, but our efforts only served to wedge it in more tightly. I was going to have to go back up to the third floor, with something really long and thin that would fit between the boards, to push the hook free. Something like my longest butcher knife.

Do you have the image that greeted my neighbor yet?

In case you don’t, I’ll describe it for you: It’s past three o’clock on a Thursday night. It’s cold. It’s quiet. Everyone in the complex has been asleep for hours. I’m crouched (in my white nightgown, with my long graying hair loose and blowing in a cold, fitful wind) just outside my neighbor’s door. I’ve got a 13″ butcher knife. I’ve just freed the hook and I’m happy, so I’m brandishing my knife, in a kind of ta-dah! way, to celebrate.

Of course that’s when the door opened.

Just to be clear, we didn’t wake him with our bird-feeder project. I don’t know where he was going at that time of night, but he was fully dressed and carrying car keys. I was able to see that much before he slammed the door shut.

To his credit, he was very casual about it all when he came out a few seconds later. He didn’t even wait for me to clear the stairs before he started out for his destination again. Maybe he realized I’m the same woman he chats with when he finds me, during the day, working at my table on the deck. Maybe his curiosity about the activities of the crone on his doorstep got the better of him. Maybe his errand was just very, very important.

I do know that, despite my rushed explanation, he didn’t seem completely reassured until I was able to show him the hummingbird feeders when we reached my floor.

We wished each other a good night. He went on his way. Ogre and I finished hanging the feeders.

I haven’t seen Mr. Bates since, but I’m sure we’ll be past any lingering awkwardness by the time it’s warm enough for me to work outside again.


PS: Yes. I did just creep up to my neighbor’s doorstep so that I could lay my butcher knife on his welcome mat and snap a pic.

So, anyway. What did you do over the weekend? (Besides watching the Vikings pull off a miracle?)


Miscellanea: the pup, the book, the con, and the weird (to me) weather

I’ve gone broody. Like a hen. I am obsessing about only two things: rearing this pup and working on this novel. Both tasks are going reasonably well, even if both are more … consuming than I imagined they would be.

Re: The Pup

She’s 14 weeks old now. A full 3 weeks younger than our Dozer was when we first got him. (That explains why I have been surprised by how much more supervision she requires — and how many more trips outside she needs — than I remembered from my last pup-raising phase.) She’s nearly house-trained, I think. She’s mastered her tinkle bells. At first she was shy about the noise, but when she figured out she could punch them with a paw instead of nosing them, she got over her hesitation. She had her spay surgery day before yesterday. Did you know that a spay is really a full hysterectomy? I did not. I guess I thought it was more like a tubal ligation. I’ve been having sympathy pains ever since I found out. She’s a good puppy, but I can’t wait until she’s a dog. (Ogre and I agree that puppies and children are way more fun once they can communicate reasonably well.) We are still taking opinions about her ancestry. (Remember, she was found alone so we have no idea who the parents were.) She’s currently 15 pounds and still slender. (Keeps growing up instead of out.) What do you think she is? I keep hoping someone will recognize those ears.

Those ears. My God, those ears.

Those ears. My God, those ears.

Re: The Writing

I can’t really share a photo of my novel progress, but I am on track. (I am nearing the place where I’ll want to print it out, just so I can see the manuscript grow.) I have to work around the pup, so my daily word counts aren’t usually high, but the daily momentum is in place.

I did have to take a few days off entirely last weekend because I was helping my daughter sell her 1″ buttons at a 3-day sci fi / fantasy convention in Raleigh. (The Classic Monster Movies set was a big seller.) It was my first con, and it was great fun. I snapped a few shots of my favorite cosplay outfits, and I can share those:

Re: The Rest

The weather here in NC is still an astonishment to me. We had a winter storm a few weeks back. I feel bad that I didn’t write about the experience at the time. To a Minnesotan’s eye, it was minor. (Some icy rain. An inch or two of snow. Temps in the low 30s.) Things are really different down here though, and we were pretty much confined to the house for four days. (I’m not making fun. The roads are treacherous with ice. They brine the main roads, but they don’t have enough equipment to even attempt the neighborhoods.) On the fifth day after the storm, the temperature reached the 60s and everything just melted away in a morning. Since then it’s been lovely. Some gray days, but mostly sunny. Temps in the 50s & 60s for the most part. I usually have the windows open at least a little during the day. Honestly, it feels and looks like late April or early May.

Today, however, it’s rainy and chilly. (For some values of chilly. Okay. I just checked. It’s 51 degrees. I’ve completely lost my cold resistance already.) The pup is asleep at my feet, I have a cup of coffee at hand, and it’s time to sink back into my other world.

Training a Writer’s Dog

Happy New Year everyone!

When I last checked in, I’m sure I talked about my preparations for getting a second dog for Christmas. We felt, after our older dog’s cancer scare, that it was time to find him a companion. (Dozer is six.) After a hitch in the plans, this happy event has come to pass. We do indeed have a pup.

the new pup's baby picture

Meet Miss Harper Lee

She’s not the dog we initially chose. Sadly that one showed an aggressive streak to her foster mom before we could bring her home. (She was nearly five months old and quite capable of inflicting real harm.) The shelter group refused to place her with a “regular family” like us, and instead sent her on to a sort of rehab program they have. Then they offered us any other dog they had.

Enter Miss Harper.

She was only 10 weeks old when we got her, three weeks ago. We didn’t expect to start with such a youngling, but the little girl captured our hearts at first sight.

Her supervision and training have been INCREDIBLY time-consuming. (Do you have any idea how tiny a ten week old puppy bladder is?) For housebreaking purposes, we are primarily using the umbilical leash method. In essence this means that she’s attached to one of us (usually me) whenever she’s having a wakeful time. We do crate her for meals and overnight. Occasionally, she naps in there too …

… but only occasionally.

Harper and Dozer

Harper and Dozer

Between Harper and a two-week Christmas visit from my son’s girlfriend, ALL of my writing time in December disappeared. (Along with my time for housekeeping, sleeping, eating while sitting down, etc.)

But it’s getting better. She’s coming along nicely. We’ve worked out a schedule, finally, that allows me a bit of time at the keyboard in exchange for long “writerly” walks that wear her out. Granted, these are short writing sessions, but I’m okay with that.

It takes time to learn how to be a writer’s dog.

Luckily, she has a good teacher. Dozer just showed her how it’s done, by laying down on one of my feet, under the desk. After studying him for a moment, she’s claimed the other one.

Time to crack open that novel project I haven’t even looked at for almost a month and get back to it.

Relaxed in an endless autumn.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the keyboard lately, working on my carnival novel. (It’s still going well!)  Today, though, I took a break so that I could spend the afternoon with my (adult) kids. We had a tasty lunch in a retro diner, did some Christmas shopping, and finished up with a walk at a local park.

I hadn’t yet found a good image for this week’s photo challenge prompt, so I was going to skip it (again.) Then I saw this swing, in this light, on this brisk but lovely afternoon. Just before the sun dropped below the treeline, I snapped the following picture … I had my response to the prompt: RELAX.


I’m pretty sure I’ve never before been this relaxed on the eighth of December.

In my former life, as a Minnesota woman, I would already be anxious about the weather by now.  Even in those rare years when winter conditions were delayed by a long, mild autumn, my delight in the season was muted by my dread of the coming snow and cold and ice. By December, I was almost always deep in the season of  treacherous paths and chilled bones … which meant I was also deep in the season  of regular anxiety attacks, though I didn’t recognize them as such at the time.

I didn’t realize, until I experienced the unfolding of my first North Carolina autumn, just how much that winter-dread was affecting my life.

What I can tell you so far is this, in North Carolina:

  • December feels likes late October.
  • November felt like late September.
  • October felt like … September too, just the earlier part of it.
  • September felt like late August.
  • (And August wasn’t any worse that a normal Minnesota August.)

I’ll let you know when “winter” arrives.

EDIT: December 9th

My Facebook told me I had a “memory” today. (That means it wanted to show me something I’d written on this day in a past year.) My memory was from 2009, and it’s connected to this 2016 post. (Caution, there’s a dark turn ahead.)

My dad didn’t have a lot of time to leave me things before he died. A record player, a bike, a little money that I used to buy my first car – all gone now. What lingers are the other bequests. A self-imposed identity as a writer, an unslakeable thirst, and a terror of winter driving.

It is a ridiculous fear. His death wasn’t caused by a car accident. Drunk beyond understanding, he drove along a deserted road until he neatly pulled over, then he wandered into a featureless field where he either got lost or tired. He laid down and he died.

How does such an event translate to my paralyzing phobia about driving, especially after dark, in the winter? I figured it out today, I think. Or I figured out another layer of it. My dad died because he made a foolish mistake. He was not in control of what he was doing.

That happens to me all the time. I might drive angry or sad. I might be in a hurry. I might take that slippery curve just a little too quickly. Or I might drive too slowly, too cautiously, and another driver might get impatient with me and make a foolish mistake of his own.

All of that is true year round, of course. So why do winter roads make me panic? Because winter is a cruel, merciless bitch. Roads are more treacherous. Lane markings and signs disappear. (Erasing the clues that tell me that I’m not screwing up.) The consequences of a mistake, even a tiny error in judgement, can too easily become lethal.

Had it not been the coldest night of 1977, he would have survived that night’s mistake. Had he laid down in a field of grass rather than in snow drifts, his loss of self-control would have been pathetic, but not fatal. And I wouldn’t hate this vicious season quite so much.


Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.


BFQ Diary #3: A Fall Failure … Kinda.

So the month of NaNoWriMo has passed. I did not write 50,000 words in November. Worse yet, I did not finish a complete rough draft of a novel in autumn, which was my actual goal. (Otherwise known as my Boss-Fight Quest, as you may recall.) Assuredly, by these metrics, I have failed.


I am writing again. I have figured out how to find the time and energy I need to make words happen, even as I continue to settle into my life in North Carolina.

During the month of November, I pretty much set aside everything I deemed negotiable — things like housekeeping and social media maintenance, for example — in favor of a new approach. I split my waking time into thirds, as follows: 1/3 taking care of my self and my loved ones, 1/3 having fun and relaxing, and 1/3 working on the novel. (Plus, I’ve been sleeping regularly … up to eight hours at a time!) This approach worked. (Even if it didn’t lead to prodigious, NaNoWriMo-style output.)

This autumn, I helped my daughter sell her buttons at a couple of events, including the Raleigh Pagan Pride Festival. Our family picked out, and are preparing for, a puppy who will come home to us in a three weeks. I went to the NC State Fair. (That was a two-for. Both fun and work, because I wanted to do some research for the novel setting.) And now plans are underway to have a real Christmas, for the first time in years.

I also wrote about a third of a novel. (One that is shaping up pretty damn well, I think.)

In these last few days of fall, 2016, I feel balanced and healthy. My relationships are happy. My home environment is … fine. (Better than fine, really. Even good. Just not immaculate.)

So. As the “winter” season begins, I’m going to stay with this plan. I’ll have to make few tweaks of course. I am going to have to dust, sooner or later. And, as usual, I’m resolving to being more faithful to the blog and my other social media connections. I hope to do some on-topic posts in coming weeks, but for now I’ll settle for checking in with you and sharing a bit of what I wrote in autumn.

I hope you are all well, and living the lives you want to live.

P.S. Please remember, this is from a first draft.

Excerpt from ‘the carnival novel’. (As it is currently known.)

The wind lifted the hair off his hot nape, bringing with it a fresh burst of his prey’s scent. Under layers of sweet and powdery perfumes, the animal smell — the betaille smell — of her was dank. She reeked of long-dried excretions, of gently rotting teeth, of pinprick wounds now scabbed over.

For more than an hour, she’d been posing off to the side of midway traffic, smoking cigarettes, making herself available. Despite the sultry evening, she was wearing a jacket with long sleeves and many pockets. All the better to hide a pharmacy, he thought, scowling. Below the hem of the coat, a few inches of denim-clad thigh showed above tall boots. Best to cover up as much scarred and pasty skin as possible, eh Chère? He noted the boots were flats. She’d be able to run.

The night was loud with the sounds of the carnival, but it was no trouble for him to sift through the noise and hear the patter she directed at teenagers as they passed. “I love your skirt,” she’d call out. Or “Hey, where’d you get that foot long?” If the marks engaged with her, she’d chat some, maybe offer a cigarette, before asking, “Looking to get hooked up?” Or, “Need some party supplies?”

The kids couldn’t see the sloven woman — the salope — beneath her fresh-from-the-mall clothing. A shoplifter too, yeah. They couldn’t see the underside of her shiny, long, false nails were crusted with dirt and food and flakes of skin. To them she was a girl, like them, except a bit more edgy. Just a pretty pichouette, in a fashionably distressed jacket, offering to sell them a little fun.

Maybe if she only peddled the mari, he would leave her be. True, she was stealing money better spent on the carnival’s attractions, but about that he could look the other way. After all, some of her marks had come to the carnival only to score their pot. Whatever dollars were spent on the midway by such as them was a windfall, a side effect of the “munchies” her herb inspired. If mari were all she sold, he could forgive the trespass. Mais non, this one sold all the poisons, all the pills and powders and rocks. And some of the children she pitched were so young they had yet to grow hair under their clothes.

Now she was selling capsules, each a one, to a trio of muscular young men wearing matching jerseys. The were laughing and posturing for her, daring her to come ride the Freefall with them. He tensed as she looked up at the blazing neon tower they pointed at, worried she might slip away from him, escorted by the fortuitous herd of near-innocents.

His shoulders relaxed when she put them off, telling them to come back around for her later, making sure to touch each boy as she made her excuses. Was she a putain too? If so she was spoiled meat. He could smell her sickness from where he crouched.

Finally the pack of boys left her. As soon as they turned away, her flirtatious pout fled her face and she licked her thin lips. With narrow, feral eyes she looked up and down the strip. Assured that no one was paying attention to her, she turned her back to the flow of people and swiftly organized the cash the boys had pressed into her hands. She tucked a single bill deep into her front pocket then slipped the rest down the front of her pants, careful to snug the wad up against her crotch.

She looked up suddenly, a stray chienne who’d caught an alarming odor. She peered into the darkness, trying to decide if there was something or someone to fear between the generators he was using as cover. He held his ground, motionless. If her human vision was better, she would have made direct eye contact with him, but to her there could be nothing more than a glint of reddish light reflecting from his eyes. Spooked even so, she backed out into the traffic behind her, then allowed the stream to carry her eastward. She glanced back to her squatter’s territory twice before the crowd swallowed her. Trust one predator to know when another was around.

Staying to the alleys, he kept pace with her as she strolled along the midway, not always bothering to keep her in his sight; he would not lose her trace now. He contented himself with occasional glimpses of her long blond ponytail and that jacket. Within five minutes, with the invisible pressure of him muted by distance, she had stopped checking over her shoulder.

He drew close again when she paused to buy a lemonade and a pretzel. A local boy, temporarily hired to work behind the counter, was just as vulnerable to her surface beauty as any mark. But — he was pleased to see — his cousin Salvatore’s son, who was running the booth tonight, was not fooled. His face twitched in disgust when he caught a whiff of her. When the local went to pump extra cheese into a second cup for her, T-Salvatore stopped his hand with a disapproving glare that forbid the lagniappe.

She moved on. By the time she dropped her plastic lemonade cup into a garbage can, her loose-hipped, easy saunter told him that she was feeling confident again. He wondered if she’d circle back to the corner where he’d discovered her or choose a new location to hawk her wares.

Instead of doing either, she made her way to a bank of portable toilets that lined the eastern edge of the fairgrounds. There was no crowd here, where there was nothing bright and flashy to make one linger, but plenty of stink to hurry one away. She moved toward the end of the line, where strung up lights did little more than blunt the darkness pressing in from the rough fields around the fairgrounds. To the north, beyond the fields, on the far horizon, was a black line of timber. A welcome breeze wafted the clean, wild scent of pines to him as he watched the girl check three boxes, before she chose to go into the second from last. He smiled.


BFQ Diary #2: Something Old and Something New

Something New: Anticipating Hurricane Matthew

So, there’s this hurricane. Named Matthew. And he might pay a visit to Raleigh in a few days. Scenarios vary, and it’s still quite possible that he’ll veer out over the Atlantic, but the speculation and discussion about his approach is making it hard for me to concentrate on my Boss-Fight Quest. (Said quest being to finish the first draft of a novel within one season, deadline Nov. 30.)

About a month ago — over the Labor Day Weekend, just as I was getting rolling on my draft — Hermine brushed the coast of North Carolina, but it was almost a non-event here in the center of the state. In Raleigh we got a lot of steady rain for about two and a half days. It was good writing weather.

At her strongest, Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane, but she had been downgraded to a “post tropical storm” by the time she tickled the Carolinas on her way north. (I don’t mean to minimize. The Outer Banks took some damage, but even that wasn’t too bad according to the news.)

Hurricane Matthew appears to be a different kind of beast. He intensified from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 hurricane in just 24 hours. Now he’s settled down to a Cat 4 and is ravaging the Caribbean. He’s expected to weaken to a Cat 2 before Friday night or Saturday, when he will arrive in or near my state. The TV meteorologists are in their glory. The governor (boo-hiss, for other reasons) has declared a State of Emergency for Central and Eastern NC.  It’s all making me … ansty. It’s hard to relax and drop down into my work. Hell, it’s hard to sit in a chair.

Okay, that’s an understatement; let me try again: If I had a visible meter on my forehead, its indicator needle would be frantically sweeping back and forth across the dial, from “nervous*” to “thrilled.**

To be clear, those theoretical meter labels should be translated thusly:

  • * Ohhell we could lose power, and windows could shatter, and Very Important Plans could be disrupted, and we could run out of bread, and …
  • ** Ohmygod this could be the most awe-inspiring storm I’ve ever frolicked in!!

A few minutes ago, I opted to make a quick visit to the store, even though my daughter and I will go on our regularly scheduled grocery shopping trip tomorrow. I needed to find out if a run on milk and bread and bottled water has begun yet. It has not. All the shelves and cases are well-stocked. The atmosphere is calm. Everything is normal. I bought bread … and an unneeded gallon of chocolate milk. (I don’t buy bottled water, because the tap water here is fine, but I figure having a spare empty gallon jug around sometime on Friday won’t be a bad thing.)

The trip helped. A little. At least it relieved enough of my antsiness so that I can sit here now, to a write this BFQ Diary entry.

Something Old: This week’s photo prompt is ‘NOSTALGIA’

Nostalgia for me right now is more like déjà vu than like reminiscing. It’s being pleasantly surprised when a new experience arouses familiar emotions, emotions that were once inspired by something very different.

Here in NC there are not as many natural bodies of water present in daily life as there were in MN. (Land of 10,000 Lakes and the Mississippi and the pond my old apartment overlooked.) I know North Carolina has lakes and rivers too, but they aren’t yet within my personal driving territory. What I have now is the Atlantic Ocean. As spectacular as the sea is, it’s only a rare treat for me, because it’s a three-hour drive away.

I’ve been missing water badly.

This week, I went to a local park. There’s a bit of water there, in the form of a small drainage pond fed by some culverts, but, even though it’s pretty enough, it just hasn’t been inspiring the same feelings I had while gazing into the waters in MN.


Still, I’ve gone back to the park several times. And each time I’ve noticed this magnificent rock that lies just off the boardwalk that winds through the dense wood.


This time, I finally decided to kick off my shoes and clamber up.  (Yes, I’m in a skirt; luckily there was no one around to flash.)


Which was fun, because I like boulders too. Then I turned around to see the view from my new vantage point.

At that moment the sun peeked out from behind intermittent clouds and the breeze picked up, making the leaves flutter and the shadows dance. That’s when my nostalgia hit. The peace and joy I felt was just as good as it used to be when I was sitting on a bank overlooking the Mississippi. Maybe even better, because now I know I’m really home.

EDIT: As I wandered the nostalgia responses, I found a reference to this song, which I’d entirely forgotten:

Talk about nostalgia! As a 10 year old, I spent a lot of time pouring over my sister’s collection of 45s from her youth. I remember listening to this one over and over while I was babysitting my nephew; he loved it when I’d pick him up and wildly whirl him around the room in my arms. And now I have tears in my eyes … ah, nostalgia.


Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Here are links to some of my favorite entries for the NOSTALGIA prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse the entries, so feel free to check back.)

Missing Mongolia | If you Only Stay Little | Just look at that bread! | 1963, captured beautifully. | A sheep queen. | Dreams of Childhood | Dad’s Tools |

My Boss-Fight Quest Diary — Inaugural Entry.

I’m giving myself 15 25 minutes to write this post, then I’m heading down to the pool. It will not be perfect, and I’m not going to spend time trying to make it so. (Yeah. We’ll see if I can actually live with that.)

Long term followers have figured out by now that, this year, I’m not doing things the way I usually do. I honestly don’t yet know if I’ll be doing any Halloween-centric posts in 2016. It’s weird, I know, but my heart is in my fictional world right now, and deeply resistant to creating evergreen-style blog content.

That said, I really miss blogging, so I think I’m going to use this space, for a little while anyway, as a personal diary, more than a professional platform. I’m going to write about the journey I’m on, the one in which I finish a full, first draft manuscript in a single season. This is my boss-fight, as my son would say, and it’s worth journaling.

I’m going to loosen up on the structure here at The Paranormalist, and write more often, more briefly, and about whatever is going on in my life on a given day. Thinking too big and being too concerned with theme has already prevented me from sharing some events that might have made good posts. (Recently I sold one inch buttons from a gypsy tent at a pagan festival. Our 15 year old cat died very suddenly, and I think he lovingly haunted us for a couple of days. We’ve had our first brush with a hurricane. I finished a kick-ass detailed outline for a novel that I’m going to write the first draft of by the end of November.  (See, I’m not going to go back and fix that grammar.)

This week’s WordPress photo prompt is “Quest.” Since Friday, I’ve been thinking about what majestic and intriguing photo I might already have, or could take, to symbolize this quest I’m on to make a full and rich life here in North Carolina. And that has gotten me precisely nowhere. I’ve locked up.

The truth is, my most concrete quest right now is my fiction work. It’s what I think about through the day, before I fall asleep, and the moment I wake up. And this is what it looks like right now:


So, I’m going to take that notebook, outline, and my laptop down to the pool  — which is likely to be deserted now that people here think it’s autumn, and too cold to swim — and I’m going to get back to work.

PS: As a MN native, I can tell you that it feels a LITTLE like fall. It is NOT too cold. And if this long range prediction, based on past history is any indication, I’m about to have the longest, most beautiful autumn of my life.


Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Here’s where I will link to some of my favorite entries for the QUEST prompt  from others:

(I’ll add some when I’ve had time to browse the entries, so feel free to check back.)