Friday, August 26, 2011


What a scene playing out before me!

Sitting here in my cabin this morning I'm watching a doe with her triplet fawns. Mom is trying hard to nudge them away from having their breakfast on her! It's the time of year to begin the process of learning to eat from nature, and the mommies are attentive to their work. Because of their size, all three fawns are feeding from the soft green leaves of the underbrush. Grabbing a leaf in their small mouth, they pull hard until it rips from its branch. Once in a while they hold on to it for a moment before chewing, and it is comical to watch them walk away with the leaf sticking straight out. It looks like a green cigar!

Now, a second doe with her twins are walking by and they are doing the same thing. Teaching the young. Tails are wagging lazily keeping the bugs off their bodies, and their ears are twitching to keep anything from flying in. To watch the innocence and caring of the mothers is nothing short of heartwarming. I love how they all stick together, as if all in one family.

Squirrels chase each other around my oaks, and birds fly through the woods beside them. The deer hear the noise, but all of this seems normal. The white spots on the fawns are fading, but so far they are all keeping their tan coats. I see the little ones are tiring and are nestling themselves into the ferns. They will stay in the dappled morning sunlight for a while, then get up again to follow their moms.

Oh my, now they're back on their feet waiting for the large buck who is approaching fast through the forest. He's herding them to the water baths I set out and waits patiently while they drink their fill. Paying close attention to what surrounds him, he slowly leads his family into the deeper woods.

Five fawns, two mommies, and a buck. A graceful serenity that presents itself to me this morning. I feel blessed to witness this natural wonder most every day from my cabin window.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Turkey Talk!

I am walking toward my writing cabin as fast as I can, holding my computer in one hand and a bundle of papers in the other. A darkening sky and blowing wind accompanies me this morning, and I can hear thunder in the distance. Yanking the door open, I slip inside, closing it tightly behind me. I'm safe, dry and snug in here, I think.

Through the wall of windows I can see lightening break across the sky, jagged and powerful. Tree branches are whipping wildly against each other as the storm arrives in full force.

Ten wild turkeys are running through the ferns, heading for my pile of brush. I put it there for the ground animals to hide under during thunderstorms and blizzards. The turkeys climb on top of the mound tucking their feathers tightly to their bodies, and lower themselves on the rough dead wood. I don't think they like to get their feet wet. They preen a little, and then drop their heads.

Loud thunder...gobble gobble gobble. Louder thunder...gobble gobble gobble. With each roll of thunder comes the turkey talk. I'm guessing they don't like being interrupted from their ground scratching and pecking, but what do I know of turkey talk?

For a decade I've witnessed many storms in these woods, and the turkeys always squawk after each clap of thunder. A private joke perhaps? Laughter? I'm not sure, but it never ceases to amaze me.

Turkey talk! Who knew?

Friday, August 12, 2011

My writing friends.

I have the most amazing writer's group. We critique each other's work, write stories for our newest anthology, and laugh at our own mistakes. We've been together five years and all of us are dedicated to becoming better writers.

For example, after I've spent weeks or months writing and editing a new short story, I go back to my group with ten copies of it tucked into my briefcase. Unwillingly, I pass the stapled copies around and ask if someone would read it. Out loud! I listen. I watch the faces with curiosity while they mark up their copy of my valued work.

After the reading is finished, I reluctantly ask for comments. What they say, you don't really want to hear. You do not want to be told that the first sentence is off the mark, or that there's not enough dialog, or the protagonist is not described well. Even worse is noting that someone is writing furiously in the margins of their copy before they pass it back.

When I return home, I leave the ten copies in my bag, and don't look at them for two weeks. I don't want to read their 'additional' comments. Three weeks later, after bringing them to my writing cabin, I turn them upside down on the floor by my table. The pages talk to me as they sit at my feet with their corners flipping up in the breeze from the open wall of windows in front of me, and I feel their urging to be looked at.

Finally, enthusiastically, I grab one. Then another. Now I'm on the floor with all the copies forming a circle around me. The comments are helpful, but I wince when I see the obvious mistakes I've made.

I've a long way to go as a writer, as you can tell because this blog has not been edited by my friends, but I get better with each piece I submit to my group. I'm proud to be a member. And when it's my turn to write a comment on another writer's story, I'm honored. Really!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My cabin!

A new friend came over to visit this week, and in the process of walking around my woods I introduced her to my writing cabin. Her oooooh's and ahhhhh's, surprised me and we sat within the cabins soft walls for an hour or two. We spoke quietly with each other and watched the deer, birds, and wild turkeys play by my windows.

My cabin sits proudly on its stone foundation, one that I built with my own hands. And as I sit inside I am humbled once again by the distinct loving feeling it gives to all that enter.

Later, on the way out to her car, we walked by my tool shed and I told her how my housemate and I lived in it for six months while we built our home. Our two Maine Coon kitties came along with us for the adventure, and we lived in it until the cold and snow drove us away. This comment drew raised eyebrows and a frown, followed by disbelief. Then she laughed and said, "only you!"

Friends and family come to my home often, but few realize the agonizing efforts of construction. We built a house 'from scratch'...two women, one crazy-cool opera-singing contractor, and hammers tucked into our tool belts. The experience was exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting. I'll cherish those months and carry them in my heart forever.