Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Lings Have Arrived!

We knew that there had to be some lings on the way, because the ducks were visiting in smaller numbers and tended to be separated by sex - males coming in bunches and then females coming in bunches. What we didn't expect was that our sole pair of visiting geese would be the bringers of the season's first set of lings.

We've learned caution from the ducks, so Ambrose's first picture was through the blinds. 

But the geese have always been a bit bolder, less inclined to run from scary things happening inside the apartment. 

For once, I'm glad the geese were not easy to scare away, because I wasn't here to witness the cuteness. 

If I had been home, I would have tried to get some up close zoom pictures of the adorable little goslings. 

Alright, I suppose Ambrose did a pretty good job getting those lings. So cute!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rejection and Challenge

At long last, the rejection came in for that story I eventually inquired on. I'm not surprised that it was rejected. The surprise would be actually selling a story at this point. I know I have to improve as a writer, but I also have to consider that what I write, my style, isn't what the editors of the magazines that I've been submitting to are looking for. That doesn't make the stories bad, necessarily.

Of course, I do need to continue to get stories out for sale, and to write stories. I haven't been devoting time to writing because of prep for my solo trip the first week of May and because there's a lot going on at work. Busy at work is better than bored at work, but I'd like to find a happy medium some day.

I'm glad that I didn't have as much of an emotional reaction to the rejection as I usually do. My skin must be thickening up. I mean, I did have hope for this one. From another magazine, it actually got a personal rejection instead of a form letter. So there was something to it that appealed to more than just me.

I'm letting what I learned in the depth workshop percolate, but I need to get some practice in as well. There's a story that I started before the workshop and then started tearing up because I thought I'd written past the ending. I want to go back and re-do the beginning with better depth and then figure out the ending and be done with it, though I haven't a clue what market it would be good for. I might just publish it standalone for sale and see how that goes. But it needs to be finished first. And I have the starts from the depth workshop to continue off on.

After my solo trip, I need to get back to writing, back to the challenge. 600 words a day from May 8 through September 8, 300 on backpacking days. I know I can write that much or more in a day if I carve out the time for it. So I will.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Duck Fight!

Sometimes I think my husband spends too much money on bird seed and critter feed. And also that he sometimes spreads it too indulgently and on perceived demand.

But we have been getting quite a diverse crowd of birds. We'll see doves and redwinged blackbirds. Squirrels, including a momma squirrel with two growing little ones. The occasional pair of geese and plenty of ducks, of both the mallard and wood varieties.

Just watching them feed can be a calming experience.

But then come mornings like yesterday, when we can spend a quite moment together enjoying the antics of the ducks.

 na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na duck fight!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gotta Laugh

My in-laws were visiting Boise, driving my husband and I to a restaurant so we could eat dinner and catch up. I often forget to leave my phone ringer on, because I get in the habit of silencing it at work, but on this particular evening it was on. And when it rang, I saw the call was from my mother and only hesitated a moment before answering.

She had called to ask me what my phone number was.

Not some other phone number, like a home phone or work phone. The phone number that she had just called.

I was taken aback by her request and had to repeat it enough times that everyone in the car realized what she was asking (no one ever figured out why). When I got off the phone with her, we all had a good laugh.

There's really no other option. My in-laws understood that my mom has problems with memory and common sense; the laughter wasn't malicious. It was the kind of laugh that stops you from thinking about things that would otherwise make you cry.

The other night, she called me again - only this time, she didn't mean to. And in the days following, I found myself relaying the conversation we had to several people in social situations. Because I found it highly amusing. The conversation went pretty much like this:

"Hello?" I said.
"Hello?" she said.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hello?" she said. "Who is this?"
"Whoever you called."
She laughed.
"I don't know who I called. That's why I asked. I was trying to get Peter, but I guess I didn't."
"Well, you came close. You got his daughter. How are you, Mom?" I said.

When she asked who it was, I could have just answered her straight. I mean, I did know who she had called. A part of me thought she would recognize my voice if I just kept talking long enough. But I also wanted to make a joke of it. A funny story to tell myself so I wouldn't cry on the phone when she ultimately couldn't recognize my voice.

I prefer to laugh at these things, to repurpose tragedy into comedy as a coping mechanism. It helps that my mom is a pretty good comedic audience, by which I mean it's really easy to make her laugh. The words don't even need to be a joke as long as the tone is right.

She laughs. I laugh. I tell the story enough times to make it more a story than something that actually happened. It's just a funny story, a tale, a legend, distant and unconnected to my life except by laughter.