Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Kids and Cats

Well...... I've been having a great week. We went to Eureka on the 23rd. My daughter's birthday was the 20th and Joshua's was on the 24th. My daughter had friends over this weekend (Sarah and M.). I'm still doing the Artist's Way morning pages every day - usually sitting out in the south meadow enjoying the sunshine. The cats play in the tall grasses nearby and Mairi, our border collie, comes close to guard me.

Today I saw Sabrina trying to quietly get some rest in a bed she made for herself in the grass, and along came Mocha and spied on her, then took a flying leap at her from a distance of about four feet. I was surprised at his pouncing skill. Sabrina let him know that his sudden appearance in her territory was unwelcome.

Watching the cats is like a microcosm of human adult life. I identify so much with my two female cats, Sabrina and Aretha. They are also the oldest cats - we brought them with us from the Bay Area. Neither of them wants much to do with the boy cats. Sabrina has mellowed very slightly in the last two years. Aretha has become more independent while Sabrina wants to spend a lot of time indoors.... sleeping.

Okay, enough cat talk. I took some great pictures of the kids on our Eureka trip. One is of my daughter playing in the fountain there. The fountain was one of my best memories of the trip, because my daughter became like a little girl again, she had so much fun playing there. Sad to say, I'm losing her to teenage years (she just turned 13 and has an attitude to match) and now am trying to relate to her in ways we are unaccustomed to.

I took a photo of Aaron a few days ago in our south meadow. Lately he has been asking me to take photo shoots of him. This time he was getting me to snap pictures as he rode his bike. At the end he put down his bike to pet the cat and I got the best picture of all.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Classes: Weather Spotting and It's Your Business

Wednesday night I went to a Weather Spotting Class and now I'm a trained weather spotter for the National Weather Service office in Medford, Oregon! About eight of us were trained and signed up for the job. It was fun and I learned a lot about summer thunder storms.

On Thurday night we had the last "It's Your Business" class ... it was a lot of fun listening to and giving presentations about what we learned and what our next steps are in forming our businesses. I've decided to start a webdesign business believe it or not. It will be Klamath Design and the website won't be up for another month but I'm already busy making websites for the Chamber of Commerce here. In exchange they gave me the software I've been needing to start this business. I'm also doing other things besides webdesign but that is what I like doing best.

Of course I'm still writing my novels and I'm also putting up an author website that will hopefully help me sell my stuff.

In other news - my daughter's birthday is tomorrow! We got her a karaoke machine and are paying for her to have a pizza party downtown with a few friends.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Working Through The Artists Way Again

I wrote a new song for the first time in years. I was so inspired... :) I've started working through The Artists Way again - its a great book for artists, by Julia Cameron. This time I'm doing it with an online group of women, mainly webdesign people.

Anyhow, part of working through the book is to write "morning pages"... three journal pages... each day. Yesterday the morning pages brought up some intense feelings I've been stuffing... having to do with pain inflicted by a family member and more pain inflicted by other family members who support the first one in her cruelty to me. I just can't take it anymore! After many years of this BS I've decided to take action... because I have no choice. They will never understand how I feel unless the same thing happens to them.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Happy Camp History Research for my Novel

When I woke up this morning ... first thing, I picked up a copy of the Siskiyou County Pioneer - the historical society's annual publication.

The one I own (the ONLY one I own) is about the history of bootlegging and prostitution in the county, the 1994 edition of the Pioneer. The reason I bought it was... because I have in mind to write a children's book about this area.. taking place in about 1920. I'm trying to get a good grasp on what the culture of that era was. Still I have so many questions. Were there telephones in Happy Camp then? If so, were they just on this side of the Klamath River or were they on the other side too? Were there any wild horses then? Were bootleggers out here very concerned about being caught? How many elementary schools were there in 1920 in this area, and where exactly were they?

Sure, I could make up a lot of stuff and probably most people would never know the difference, but do I want to do that or do I want the absolute facts? How deeply must a historical novelist dig in order to find factual data for a good novel? Somehow, it is much easier to write a fantasy... and that's why my first novel IS a fantasy... at the time I didn't want to stop to research because I knew I was going to write that novel in a hurry. (It took 17 days to write 50,152 words, and since it is a children's novel, that's more than enough.)

At night now I'm reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott... I just love that book. It is strong on both humor and good writer's information. I like it better than the book I read last month - Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, though that's one of the classics for writers.

Keith stayed up all night last night. Now he looks so tired. He says he couldn't sleep... like he really tried.

(later...) Now it is noon and he is resting. He said he planned to wake up in an hour and I told him I wouldn't wake him up. We'll see what happens.

All I've done so far this morning is write this and read my email. I have too much email coming and and must delete most of it. I just scan for information except on the lists I own, and the web design lists - I try to get as much information out of those as possible.

Update: My novel, River Girl, was published in 2011.