Nov 1 2017

I am now the proud possessor of:

Rosemary

— a coffee-stained copy of Mary Oliver’s Upstream.

 

Oh, and a cool tote from the Wallingford Library.

The library itself is now the proud possessor of a check from me for a brand-new copy of Mary Oliver’s Upstream. And a tote.

Yep.  There was a book, a cup of coffee, a slightly rickety table in the woods, and my elbow.  All four met in unfortunate circumstance.  I have to blame the elbow; there’s just no other explanation.

I bought the tote because I felt that the library was not charging me enough for replacing the book.  I wanted to give them more money, to assuage my vast guilt.

On the upside, I now own the book. Plus: hey, tote!

In other news:

Now that the third floor is nearly as deserted in the day as it is at night, I’ve taken to pacing the hall as I think.  Last night, as I paced past the conference room, I once again admired their gigantic dry-erase whiteboard.  And by “admired” I mean “seethed with envy over.”

In my own office, I’ve tacked up huge  sheets of dry-erase-style contact paper, to allow me to scrawl deep thoughts and work through twisty structural problems in multiple colors.  At least, in theory that’s why it’s there.  But alas, the contact paper does not work as well as an actual whiteboard.   While it’s true that I can write on it, and erase it,  I can only dry-erase in a 10-second window.  After that, I have to spray on an ammonia-based solvent and use a sponge.  This puts a crimp in one’s spontaneity.

And as I grumbled to myself, pacing back toward my office, it suddenly hit me:

I work at night.  There’s nobody here!

So, I made a big pot of tea, grabbed my laptop and my dry-erase markers and:

 

As long as I erase before I leave, I’m cool.

The billboard company never technically had exclusive use of the conference room. But it was next to their offices, and they were often gathered in it.  So, I simply got it in my head that I don’t use the conference room.  Plus, there’s a whole fishbowl aspect to it, with one glass wall, and its location among all the offices of the sales force.

But now, they are gone.  It’s just Dave and me.  And that one programmer dude who’s never around.

Plus — I work at night.  Mostly.

Strategically blurred to prevent spoilers.

That was the night of the crazy rain and wind.   There’s something particularly lovely about drinking strong tea after midnight, rain and wind banging on the windows, dreaming up crazy solutions to near-intractable problems, while scrawling wildly on 6 by 4 whiteboard.

Of course, lest I take myself too seriously, there was this guy:

Left over from one of their charity promotions… I do hope they find him a good home.

Hope you enjoyed your Hallowe’en! I did — although I never did make it to the town’s justifiably famous Trail of Terror.  I’ve always wanted to try it just once… too late now.

 

Next up: More about the local library, about which not enough good things can be said.


Sep 14 2017

Yo, Canada. Also: I read poetry.

Rosemary

I’ve been having a bit of back-and-forth with Createspace and Amazon.ca, occasioned by my astonishment at finding that the Canadian price of the paperback of The Steerswoman on Amazon.ca was more than twice the price on Amazon.com!  Even allowing for the exchange rate!

As it turns out, the issue was that Amazon.ca is not yet itself selling the book — it’s just listing it for sale through Amazon.ca, but by third parties.   Other booksellers, that is; and these guys are buying it from sources in the US, importing it, and passing on all that extra cost to you, the purchaser.

But don’t worry; within a few days, Amazon.ca will itself be selling the book, and its price should drop to some reasonable amount.  I’ll be keeping my eye on it, and I’ll post a note here in my blog, when I see it happening.

In other news, still doing the hair-tearing part of writing…

In other other news: I’m reading Mary Oliver‘s collection of essays, Upstream.  I do not understand how this writer escaped my notice until so recently — she’s certainly been around long enough for me to have come across her.  And yet, somehow, I didn’t.

 

From the title essay:

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

I stumble across things, writers that I wish I’d known about years ago…

From “Sleeping in the Forest”:

“All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.”

 

The more I read of her, the more I find this sort of clarity of perception as being — how shall I say it?  Very steerswomanly.  To be that aware, and that observative, and that curious and questing.

From “Worm Moon”:

“In March the earth remembers its own name
Everywhere, the plates of snow are cracking.
The rivers begin to sing. In the sky
the winter stars are sliding away; new stars
appear as, later, small blades of grain
will shine in the dark fields.

And the name of every place
is joyful.”

It was Terri Windling who directed me toward Mary Oliver, through her blog, “Myth and Moor.”  Terri’s blog is, by the way,  a wonderful resource for thoughts about art, and creativity.   I’ve got it on my blog feed, so that I never miss a post.

My exploration of Mary Oliver’s writing has just begun, and I’m taking it slowly — you need to read poetry slowly.   We’ll see what comes up as I read more…