Wednesday, December 28, 2016
In the meantime, I'm working on selecting the photos that I'll include in the book, and, if he's still working on it after I've selected, then I'll work on captions as well. I've started work on the cover, but I can't get very far on that until I choose the cover photos.
I wish I could use photos of the beautiful lakes I hiked by on day 3, but that day was particularly smoky. I will include some of them in the book, but they aren't clean enough to use for the cover image. I definitely want a nice mountain shot for the front cover, preferably one that shows a nice "Sawtooth" type mountain.
For the back cover, I'm thinking of a shot with water. Perhaps Fern Falls, but the time of day that I passed those meant that those shots weren't lit the way I'd prefer. If I were going to photograph them, I'd want to be there in the late afternoon, with the sun shining on the water and not into my camera lens.
There were more blurry shots than I realized this time. The pressure of hiking long distances in a tight time frame made me a little more careless with the shutter. I sometimes re-took a blurry shot, but more often I didn't - I'm sure it was a good idea at the time, but I do regret being so hasty now.
Well, I do forgive myself for the haste. I remember the pain in my feet. Even in good boots, they got swollen and sore and complained. And they were just the loudest among the complainers of my body. I pushed myself hard on that trip.
I did get a lot of good pictures. It's not going to be easy to winnow them down for the book. I know I can at least eliminate all the blurry ones, but that won't be enough of a bar. I took over 1000 photos! Only one way to do it - I better get to work.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Whatever excuse I might give myself, the draft is not yet complete, though I am well into day 5 - the last day. Writing about it still makes me smile. I love looking at the pictures. I go back through my memories and chide my past self for not taking pictures of parts that I now find I wish I had recorded - the nearly invisible trail up to Observation Peak, for example. At the junction where I crossed it, the trail was indistinguishable from a rut, but I didn't take any pictures of it.
I know that I'm going to have to bring a good deal of focus and concentration to my writing this next week. I would very much like to be done, or nearly done, by New Years. It would be best if I could finish before and keep the book in the same year as the trip was done, but I can handle it if that doesn't happen. I'm not the best at resisting procrastination, especially when my husband tempts me away from my work computer with movies and hikes. Perhaps I'll enlist his help in this scheme.
He has recently decided that to help us eat less sweets, all sweets come with penalty laps. I decide how many laps his treats may be bought for and he decides my price. For example, a pastry left over from an office party can be bought for four laps. A small piece of chocolate only costs two laps. So far, it's been an effective deterrent from eating extra sweets. It isn't that the laps run will balance out the calories from the treat, but that the thought of having to do laps prevents us from eating them - sometimes.
So maybe I'll have to do a similar plan for my writing work over the break - something like, one hour at the writing desk equals one movie. And the television viewing would get more expensive as the week went on, forcing me to spend yet more time at the desk - like 2 hours - in order to watch just one 44 minute episode of Deep Space Nine with Ambrose.
I might have something here!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
For a variety of reasons, I will not be taking a class next semester. The main reason is so that I have time to plan and prepare for doing a solo trip in the early spring rather than late summer, but there are others. I've taken a class every full fall and spring semester since I started working at my current job. I consider it to be a bit of a waste not to take advantage of the reduced tuition that is an employee benefit, but I think I've finally reached scholastic burnout.
I want more time to devote to my own interests, more time to spend with my husband without worrying about whether I have assignments due or need to study. Classes take up a lot of brain space for me, and I want to reclaim it, maybe let it lie fallow for a season and see how I feel about more classes next year.
I do want to continue to study the Spanish language and try to gain a level of fluency, but I'm not convinced by this class that taking college courses is the best way to do that. I'm not sure what the best way would be. My husband has recommended watching commercials; he says that a number of immigrants to America that he knew learned English that way. But they were also living in a country where English was spoken.
I've tried watching television in Spanish, but I inevitably lose the train of conversation as soon as I hear a word I don't know. I run into a similar situation with trying to read books in Spanish, even books that I've read in English before. And, because Spanish words sometimes have objects appended to verbs, the Kindle dictionary lookup can't always tell me what the word is because it won't look up the root word, just the whole word. Which is nonsense, according to the included dictionary.
Maybe I need to buy a dictionary that I can use in the Kindle; that way if the highlight word for lookup feature fails me, I can go to the other dictionary and figure it out based on what I know of roots. Or I could just read at the computer with a dictionary open. But that takes much of the enjoyment of reading out of the equation for me.
One thing class did do for me was give me an incentive to focus on learning the language. I'll have to see whether I can keep some form of that focus without the class to prod me to practice.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I think the main reason that it's easy to write about my trip is that it makes me happy. The trip was hard. Hard on my body and hard on my mind. But the memories make me smile, even the memories of the pain and the difficulties. And especially the memories of the incredible views, the solitude of nature and the animals I spotted in passing (no bears!).
Creating these books started as a project to share the trail with my mom, and the rest of my family, who probably don't understand this whole backpacking thing any better than I did before I started it. It seems a little silly to travel with your legs over the course of days what you could travel in a car in an hour or so. But there are no cars allowed where I like to travel, and the world looks different when you travel 1 to 3 miles per hour instead of 30 to 70.
I appreciate the conveniences in my apartment so much more after I've been deprived of hot, running water, toilets, refrigeration, chairs and beds. And as I sit in my apartment, typing up the adventure of that trip, I appreciate what I purchase with the lack of conveniences.
I purchase confidence, accomplishment, breathtaking views, new experiences, challenges and summits, and the feeling of surmounting those.
It's an exchange I'll take. Sometimes I even think about taking it further, haring off to live somewhere less convenient, where the winters bring feet of snow and the summers mean hard work. Maybe someday. For now, I'll remember my summer experiences during the winters. I'll plan my next year's journeys. And I'll keep writing.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
This year's solo had quite a few aspects that differentiated it from previous years. It was the first time I was hiking on trails I'd never walked before. I had never before hiked so many miles per day before. And I'd never had to deal with the challenge of meeting up with my husband for a resupply and then leaving him again the next day.
Prior years, I'd write the trip in a single document. This year I'm creating a document for each day and letting my husband read them as I finish. I think this method will help me keep moving, by allowing me to show my progress as I go.
I'm also adding captions to pictures as I think of them, which I hope will help once I get to the adding pictures stage. That won't happen until all the words are written. I look through the day's photos as I write, but I don't insert them into the document. The story of the trip needs to stand on its own first.
The plan is to make some good progress over this Thanksgiving break on the write up so that by the time the Christmas break rolls around I'm, at the very least, working on inserting pictures and formatting the book. I'll do my best to get it finished before the new year, but I won't panic if that doesn't end up happening.
I'll just keep working until I'm finished and write the best book that I can.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Not just one story, but two stories so far have received that treatment, from two different markets.
The first one was actually preceded by a very hopeful email informing me that my story had made it past the first cut, into rarefied territory. It would take up to an additional month to hear the decision, but at least I knew that it had gone somewhere, that it wasn't just slushed out of hand.
"They" say you shouldn't take form rejections personally, and I try not to, but after a while they get depressing. I have no idea what exactly has been "wrong" with my story to garner such a bland response. It's a signal that my story is in that large pile of rejects that aren't "worthy" of an additional response.
And yet, a personalized rejection is still a rejection. At first, I wasn't happy to be seeing yet another rejection. Sure, my story had made it past the first round of consideration, and that was great. And the editors liked my story, which was also great. But they didn't want to buy it, and that... was not so great.
But then I received the second rejection with notes, on a different story, submitted to a different market. Again, the first reaction was that crushing sense of defeat, but that probably had as much to do with the fact that I really needed to eat as anything else (hard workout, followed by shopping - I needed lunch). It was in the shower, washing the salt from my skin, that I came to the understanding that the feedback was in fact a very good sign, despite the rejection.
And, in both cases, the feedback was helpful. It confirmed that my stories are approaching what these particular editors are looking for, even if they haven't quite reached it. And it's helping me keep the stories "in the mail" and circulating. It's pushing me to do something with all the stories I wrote over the summer, not just the two I had initially started submitting.
So I've got one more circulating and I'm going to self publish two others. I'm going to keep working, keep moving forward and continue improving until I get something other than even the nicest of rejections.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
What I remember of the Division III match-up was simple metal bleachers, not much bigger than the ones at my brother's park district baseballs games. I remember a grassy field that extended under said bleachers. I remember walking around, bored, because I didn't know the rules of the game and I didn't want to know. I watched my cousin when he punted without understanding that punting was not a good thing for his team to be doing.
And so, when I attended the Boise State versus San Jose State game on Saturday, it was an entirely different kind of experience.
There was no grassy field to be seen. Instead, Albertsons Stadium hid the famous blue turf from view until I passed through the security line, complete with metal detectors and the possibility of additional screenings by wand wielding security officials. Past that point, I couldn't see anything but concrete until I climbed a set of stairs.
The main concourse reminded me of being a hockey game; food and drink were available and there were plenty of restrooms. But it was all open air, and I imagined it could be quite a miserable experience in the cold and the rain. I could see glimpses of the field, but it was clear that this was not the place from which one was supposed to view the game.
To get to my seat, I had to climb yet more stairs, and then more stairs. I was only a few rows down from the very top of the seating area under the Stueckle Sky Center, and my legs felt every narrow concrete step. The steps felt extra narrow because I had taken the precaution of wearing my hiking boots to keep my feet warm. They add an inch to my height and at least two inches to my foot length.
I arrived at my seat about a half an hour before the game started and I just stared. At the people still making their ways to seats, at the teams practicing on the blue turf below, at the marching band gathering and the large American flag being held across the field in preparation for the anthem.
The field looked so small from up there, as if 100 yards were 100 feet instead. And, after I got to see the exciting ritual of the hammer wielding home team entering the field and the marching band playing the anthem, when the game actually started, it still seemed small. The players on each team seemed to move down the field at incredibly fast rates.
And yet, the game itself seemed to go incredibly slowly. Thanks to my backpacking inflatable seat cushion, my rear wasn't freezing on the metal bleacher bench, but by the middle of the second quarter my bladder was starting a war with my desire a) to see everything that was happening in the game and b) not to have to climb those stairs again.
That other long ago game was an afternoon game, and I remember that we stayed for the whole game. This game started after 8 pm and it took an incredible effort to make it past half time (which I wanted to see for the marching band). I watched one more drive after that and gave up to ride my bike home after 10 pm. As luck would have it, Boise State got a touchdown on that drive and I was able to head out on a high note.
I had a good time at the game. It turns out that knowing the rules contributes a great deal more to the enjoyment of a football game than simply knowing the punter.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
I've been very low energy the last week or so. It's hard to get to the writing desk and work on the various projects that I have going. I'm keeping up with work, school, exercise and the 30 day diet challenge that I'm halfway through.
I'm not keeping up with the writing of my solo trip as much as I want to, but after having so many weeks sick in September and October I'm a little more confident that once I'm past this slump I'll be able to get the work done that I want to get done. And there won't be any classes over the week of Thanksgiving, so as long as there's not too much homework, I should be able to get some serious writing done while I'm off work for the holiday.
I'm not as far into the writing of the solo trip as I wanted to be at the beginning of November, but I believe I can catch up and still get the book out at my customary time of December/January. I'm trying to write captions as I go, when they occur to me, saved on the photos themselves in the metadata (my husband's idea). That should help speed up the process once I'm ready to start putting words and photos together into the master file. I also did a lot of work on the look of the cover last year that I'm not going to try and change this year.
The writing itself isn't difficult. In fact, when I get my butt in the seat and settle into writing, it goes surprisingly quickly. I'm trying to be more conscious of the trip as a personal journey and not just a series of places and things. I came up with various theme statements for each day and I'm keeping them in mind as I write, considering how they relate and which ones relate best. I'm also trying to be less stringent in how I tell the story; chronological order is great, but I'm not going to be wed to it if I see a way that a different order would better serve the tale.
Reviewing the pictures as I go along brings me back to the steps of that journey, the smells of the woods, the tastes of the energy bars, the sounds of water flowing and birds tweeting. I remember the bruise on my back from the metal bench at Willow Creek Campground and the bruises on my shins from an ill-advised, missed box jump a few days before the trip began. The pictures themselves become windows to the wider view in my memory.
I just have to focus on how nice it is to think about that trip and then maybe I'll get my butt in the chair a little more frequently.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
But now I'm taking Spanish (my mom has forgotten most of hers), and I'm starting to have some difficulty. I tested into Spanish 201 by using the Duolingo app, so I don't have as much of a grounding in the basics of some verb forms as I'd like. And I've never taken a college level Spanish class before so I don't know if my class is typical or not. We don't use the (expensive, online only) textbook very much at all, and though the class is supposed to be conducted solely in Spanish, the instructor breaks down multiple times a class into English either because she doesn't know the Spanish or the class is looking at her with baffled incomprehension on our faces.
Also, and I write this knowing I have a history of being annoyed by the verbal tics of instructors, she uses the English word, "kay" a lot (short for okay), which confuses the heck out of me because it sounds just like the Spanish word, "que."
I do well enough on the tests and homework assignments, but I cannot seem to have a conversation with anyone in Spanish without stammering, hesitating, and losing track of what we're talking about. I hear one unfamiliar word and lose everything after. Or I can't understand someone's accent, or I just don't know the words that I want to use, or how to express what I want to express.
I have to translate what I'm saying before I say it. I have to translate what others are saying before I understand it. And I don't know how to get past that.
The present subjunctive wasn't too hard to learn, but the imperfect subjunctive is formed using the third person plural of the preterite. And I've never, ever learned the preterite. I've barely even heard of it.
So I'm simultaneously frustrated and excited by class at this point. There's so much that I don't know and it bothers me. But as I continue to work with Duolingo, I can see what I've learned by rote using the app starting to make sense with what I learned in class. If all I had to do was translate, like with Latin, then I'd be doing fine.
But Spanish is a living language, and I'm being evaluated not only on how well I can write or read it, but also on how well I can speak and listen to it. I'm trying to find that switch in my brain to start myself thinking in Spanish, but I don't know where it is or how to flip it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Of course, I'm also studying Spanish, and quickly feeling like I'm losing all confidence that I gained from the Duolingo app. The app was good to get me to a point of being able to understand and converse, but in class we're starting to learn the imperfect subjunctive, which depends on knowing the preterite to form and knowing both imperfect and preterite to use in a complete sentence.
On the plus side, I'm continuing to grasp what I see on Duolingo better when I do daily practice sessions. But I still don't feel like I have a solid grasp on preterite or imperfect. And when I don't feel like I know what I'm doing, then I get frustrated.
And I've also started a nutrition challenge through my cross fit gym. 30 days of going low carb. The mere thought is terrifying. I like carbs. I like bread. A lot. But I'm going to try and see what I can do in those 30 days. I've got a starting weight, a goal, and, most importantly, I've got my husband on board. He won't be going as strict as I will, but he will be cooking meals that fit into my challenge and supporting me through the inevitable sugar withdrawal.
I'll just use the solo hike write up to distract me from how frustrated I am in Spanish class, studying Spanish to distract me from my sugar withdrawal and my withdrawal symptoms to distract me from how late I am in starting the solo hike write up.
It's all going to work out...
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
But excuses are easy to come by. It's work that is the difficult part. So I started that work over the weekend, sending out two short stories. I should get a quick rejection for one and a slower rejection for the other at which point I'll figure out another place to send each of them. Eventually, I'll put them up either on this blog or for sale, depending on how I feel about them at the time.
One of them is a story that I really like. I feel like it was a level up kind of story for me, but that doesn't mean it will sell. And I have to accept that it not selling does not mean that I did not write a better story. It just means I haven't reached the level that I want to reach yet. Or I haven't gotten my story to the right market. Maybe a little of both.
I was hoping to have finished my write up of the Chamberlain Basin trip before October started, but I fell ill again at the tail end of September and did not reach that goal. I'm looking forward to starting work on my next Hike with Me book. I have some ideas about what I can do to make it better than the Hike with Me books I've written already.
One of those ideas is to think of what the theme of each day of the trip is before writing the account of it. I may or may not use this theme as a chapter title, but I think having something like that will allow my writing to be more cohesive and tell a better story about that journey. I'm having fun thinking about what each day should be called if it were a song or what the title of that "episode" should be. I've got 4 different sets of titles for each of the 5 days so far. Maybe I'll use more than one of them and subdivide the days into multiple chapters each.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
And you know what that means...
More shenanigans with the launching of the latest update of the NHL app!
I will give them some credit. The NHL decided to allow live streaming of select pre-season games. Now, the pre-season in itself is not, in and of itself, all that exciting, except for the fact that it's hockey and it means regular season starts soon. But this was a wise move, in that it allowed all the hockey dorks to start screaming about the bugs well before the regular season began.
And, of course, there are bugs.
As the owner of a 3rd gen AppleTV, I had a very special time the last few days trying to figure out how to view the pre-season games that were a part of my paid subscription package. First disappointment: although the pre-season started on the 25th, the special streamed games didn't start until the 30th. Second disappointment: my NHL app refused to allow me to access the "Today's Games/Scores" section. You know, the part where you actually get to select games for streaming. Third disappointment: the Teams section of the app gave me an actual error message rather than any information about the teams.
To be fair, though who wants to be fair, I was able to stream games on my phone. Sure, the screen is a fraction of the size of my television and the sound quality leaves something to be desired, but I could, technically, get what I had paid for.
And, on Friday, just to be extra special, the vaunted new Support Forum went directly to an error page. So much for reporting my issues there.
So I spent several days exchanging half a dozen emails with NHL Support. The essence of the conversation always came down to them telling me to re-install my NHL app and me telling them that the 3rd gen AppleTV does not have that option, to which they responded, why don't you just download the latest version from the app store? When I got fed up enough to reply with "There is no app store." I got some weird instructions to change my Audio/Video settings from Auto to Standard, which makes almost no sense.
So I decided to check and see if the Support Forum was up and running.
Turns out, there are a lot of people experiencing the exact issue that I was, and getting the exact same runaround from NHL Support.
The difference was, some of them had figured out that if you log out of your account, then you can select a game to watch, which prompts you to sign in. So you can view one game, but if you'd like to switch, then you have to log out again. A workaround, but not a solution.
Still, it was better than what I had and I'm happy to have found it. Sure would have been nice if the NHL Support people were aware of that workaround and told me about it in one of those myriad emails.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
So when I was approaching the last stoplight on my route, I pushed my pace. Two blocks away, the light went green, and I wasn't sure I could make it. The line of cars moved through the intersection and I was half a block away.
The approaching left turners had a flashing yellow light and first one, and then another, entered the gap between the last car ahead of me and my speeding bike. No problem, there was room, as long as the next vehicle, a truck, didn't follow suit and not see me coming.
And, to be honest, the second car to turn left actually cut me off. I had to slow a little bit to avoid running into him, because he chose not to yield on his flashing yellow when I had the green.
As I pumped the brakes to avoid a collision, I mumbled a insult under my breath. There's no way the driver could have heard me; his windows were rolled up.
And, for some reason, I saw him turning to look at me as I approached. For one brief moment our eyes met, and he flipped me the bird.
Yes, the guy who cut me off in traffic, taking his car in front of my through the intersection when he had the lowly flashing yellow and I had the good to go green, decided that my presence was offensive enough to his sensibilities that he had to demonstrate his displeasure - silently, since his windows were rolled up and I wouldn't have heard him if he said something.
I rode on, beating the rain home and thinking about the incident. He was in the wrong. I was the one who should have flipped him off. I didn't take it personally that he flipped me off, but I couldn't help but laugh at the circumstances and his clearly poor knowledge of the proper order of things.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Naturally, I dragged my husband along with me. I sold it to him as a nice walk to see an old book, but he spent much of the walk insisting that he had no idea what we were going to see.
The book itself was under glass in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, as can be expected for a book nearly 400 years old, one of only 233 extant copies. It was laid open to Hamlet's "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy, and I was glad to arrive early enough that it wasn't crowded so I could take the time to read that section. I will admit, I struggled with the font, but it was a worthy struggle.
Photography was allowed as long as there was no flash, so I had Ambrose take my picture to prove my presence near the book itself. And I took a couple pictures of the book by itself.
|I was there, within inches of setting off the alarms on the First Folio's case.|
|The book was kept around 65.3 degrees in its case.|
But I have now read from a copy of the First Folio and I'm too much of a Johnnie not to appreciate that.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
I also challenged myself to write a short story almost every week. My goal was to complete 14 short stories, and 4 novel or novella length works. In that goal, I fell short, completing only 5 short stories, 1 microfiction and 2 longer works. That is, I believe, what Dean Wesley Smith calls failing to success, because without the challenge in place, I would have completed none of those works.
I had a more vague goal about publication, and I'll put the blame for the lack of completion on the vagueness of the goal. I was so focused on writing that I didn't focus as much on publication or submission. As I transition into the fall, I'll put more energies in that direction.
I also challenged myself to be accountable for my words, and in that I succeeded. I posted my words every day that I was home and posted recaps when I got back from my backpacking trips.
Overall, I call the challenge a success. I finished a work that I'd started years ago; I created several new works of fiction. I proved to myself that I can make time for writing if I really want to. I wrote over 65,000 words during this challenge, and I have one more work that is still in progress. Because of this challenge, I'm committed to finishing it, to continue writing fiction every day and recording the word counts, if only for myself.
This fall, I have a goal of completing my next Hike with Me book, which will get the bulk of my writing attention once I finish writing up the Chamberlain Basin hike I took with my husband. But I won't abandon fiction completely. I have a mighty streak of fiction writing, and I don't really want to break it. Writing fiction became easier as the weeks wore on. Where I struggled to complete my 500 in less than two hours in the first month, by the last month, I was able to finish that minimum in less than 30 minutes. Not something I want to lose.
Although I'm pretty sure I annoyed my husband more than a few times this summer with my need to complete my words, I am glad to have started and finished this challenge. I may just do it again next year.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Literally, yes, there are many worse things.
Figuratively, I wish to propose that there is not, having been in that situation this past weekend.
It was supposed to be the weekend that I got back on track with my exercise, having rested a full week after my last backpacking adventure. Instead, I was hardly able to walk to go shopping, let alone go to the gym or Crossfit. Instead of getting all of my work done and more, I got just enough done.
Somehow, I managed to get a cut on the top of my head, most likely from a collision with the trunk door on Friday night after shopping. Although I remember the bump, I didn't realize that it was a cut until Sunday when I noticed that the itchy spot on my head was shedding red bits, which my husband confirmed was a scab.
I slept and slept and still managed to feel tired. I guess it's possible that it isn't an illness, but is instead caused by general being worn out from all the backpacking. But it did feel like an illness, in that just being tired doesn't usually make me feel like I'm losing my breath while shopping.
I got through work on Friday by the skin of my teeth and spent the two days that I was supposed to be able to use for my own ideas and desires moaning and groaning and being generally useless.
Here's hoping that next weekend brings a little more in the way of productivity and less in the way of sneezing.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
I'm not entirely sure, because I was working on an old project and it turned out that I had put a section in the file twice so I had to remove it. And I need to find yet another file for this story, because I know I had another section written.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
But it is only this past weekend that I finally had an experience that made me feel like a true resident of this rustic western state.
Many years ago, I had a brief job working at Warm Lake Lodge, a facility established on the shore of Warm Lake in 1911. I cleaned cabins for all of a week and a half before I had to return to Boise in an ambulance after a nasty case of either a 24 hour flu or food poisoning. When I worked there, I had a supervisor, naturally.
I thought, when I thought about her, that she would still be working there.
Last week, my husband and I were driving back from the parking lot at the trailhead of Big Creek, on the edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. We stopped at the city of Yellow Pine, a thriving area boasting a population of 32 and at least 5 eateries. We ate breakfast at the Silver Dollar Grill and then went to the espresso shop for milkshakes (it was almost noon and we had a long drive coming up).
Inside the espresso place, there were three young women and one woman behind the counter. I asked about taking cards and we learned to our dismay that they did not. Luckily, I had a bit of cash, just enough for one milkshake. So I left Ambrose in the car and went inside.
Now, I thought that I heard one of the young women call the woman "Sundee" but I wasn't entirely sure. So I stood there in silence as she made me a strawberry milkshake. But then I noticed a collage photo near the cash register; it had some cute pictures and was labeled "Martin 2016."
So I had to ask if she was Sundee Martin who used to work at Warm Lake Lodge, and who, for a brief time, supervised me.
She remembered me, too, and came around the counter to give me a hug.
And I left with a delightful milkshake and a big grin. Because I found someone that I knew, in the smallest of towns, who I met in a place not even big enough to be a town.
Not only did I get to see that someone I knew was doing well, but somehow the meeting struck me as such a quintessential Idaho experience and made the state feel more like my home.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016
The 13th and the 19th were partial days with a 250 word goal; the other days were backpacking days with 100 word goals. Backpacking in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness was intense and exhausting.
We're totally going back.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
No. The time is not yet right. Patience, it counseled itself.
***To be continued...
Friday, August 12, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
And yet, I would get up. I would get my butt on the trail and start hiking. My energy never felt particularly low; I was sore in my body, but not tired. It was a strange way to feel.
I think now that I was somehow holding all my tiredness at bay. I was able to convince my body that it only needed to go a few days with less than ideal sleep and constant motion during the day.
And now that I've stopped moving. Now that I'm sleeping in a bed next to my husband at night and working at a desk all day.
I find myself exhausted.
Perhaps, I need some recovery.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Monday, August 8, 2016
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Saturday, August 6, 2016
I finished my two stories on Sunday the 31st, so I started something totally new on my solo trip. And next I want to go back and finish some more of my old stuff as well as working on this new one. I don't know what I'm going to end up with by the end of this challenge, but I've already found success in finishing stories - and writing every day.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
I'm writing to entertain myself, but I'm also writing to entertain him. He's my first reader, and I trust his opinion. If he told me that I shouldn't publish something, then I wouldn't. If he tells me that I should, then it's going to go up, no matter how nervous I feel about it or what I think of the work.
I'm not creating as much work as I wanted to with my current challenge, but I am constantly creating. I'm writing way more than I would have without the challenge. Even though I spent a lot of time preparing for my solo trip in the couple weeks, I always made time for the fiction goal. Actually, I had to curb my fiction writing in order to make time for the solo prep.
When this posts, I'll be on that solo trip. The third day. The plan is that I'll be starting my shortest day of 11 miles toward Benedict Lake.
As I write this, I still feel nervous about the trip. It's hard to believe that I'm undertaking such a long trip on my own. When I've told co-workers about it, I've gotten reactions that vary from admiration to confusion.
But the central question is, why would you do that?
And I think that I do it to answer that question. The solo hike is the question, and undertaking it is the only way to find the answer.