360 Degrees

Last night, I gave up on the hiking book. I’ve published five OTHER books using Createspace, and they did NOT fuck up those covers, but EVERY cover I’ve put on the hiking book, Createspace has defiled. I’ve complained, tried different designs, done everything I could think of since it’s the inside that matters most, but in this case…

And the inside. I thumbed through one of the ten horrifically ugly copies I had ordered as Christmas presents for people, and found two mistakes, just at random.

As I went to sleep last night I decided it was just fucking hopeless and maybe the book is not meant to be a slender paper back volume. Maybe it’s supposed to be something else or maybe it’s not supposed to be at all.

cover My Everest 12:8.001

RIP Hiking Book


IN OTHER NEWS, the temperatures have arrived at their early winter manic state; 2 F degrees at night, 45 F in the day. It’s gorgeous if the wind isn’t blowing. My professional trainers (Dusty T and Polar Bear Yeti T Dog) took me out yesterday for a long walk. They were determined to test my abilities and we went farther than we have been going.

“You’re not going to get anywhere if you always do the same thing!” said Dusty T. Dog who hates change. I was completely startled by that; first, talking dogs don’t exist, and second, Dusty would never say that.

“It’s the voices,” I say to myself in one of those voices. Still, sometimes we give ourselves good advice.

The trail is a rough dirt road on which only BLM vehicles are allowed. It’s in one section of the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area. Dusty wears his hunting vest like a magic cloak although there is no one there in the middle of the day in hunting season. The slough, a marshy collection of lakes coming off the big ditch and the river, is a nesting area for geese in spring and it is closed to people from early March to my dad’s birthday in July. I watch the ground. It’s uneven enough that I could trip on something. There are some HUGE human footprints, but not many.

There’s a north wind and I wear the Hellnarian Icelandic wool cap I bought in Bogarnes at the supermarket after going to the Settlement Center to see the exhibit of Egil’s Saga. Those must have been the days. Little Egil, six years old, in trouble with his dad for getting drunk at a party.

Truth be told, the walk is boring. It’s flat. There is nothing but dried cattails, tall grass and distant bare cottonwoods to look at. And, I have to pay attention. BUT, the light this time of year is exquisite and mysterious. It lies almost flat against the ground. A herd of Angus cattle in the pasture to the south are silhouetted against it, but they’d be cattle of color anyway. A hawk flies low over the pasture. A couple of magpies fly past against the wind. I think the cranes have finally left the valley.

At .75 miles, I turn around. My goal is 1.5. Nothing, but not that easy with arthritis all over the damned place. My NEXT goal is FARTHER. I’m aiming for 3 mile walks two or three times a week.

In every respect, I have a ways to go.

Rio Grande State Wildlife Area



10 thoughts on “360 Degrees

  1. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble with your book. I’d think discouraging and frustrating would be the order of the day. You are a wonder. Living with arthritis, I know how rough it can be to take two steps or get up off of a chair. I admire you. That is saying worlds, because I don’t admire many. Few. A handful in fact.

    • I figured out what to do with the book. It was never meant to be sold, anyway, so I’m putting a postcard inside that explains the books flaws. I realize its flaws make it an even more accurate reflection of its writer. It’s autobiographical in even MORE dimensions this way… Thank you. If I’m admirable at all (and I don’t know about that) stamina and faith are lessons I learned from my dad who had MS. I take no credit.

      • I have 2 friends with MS, so I know how difficult that is to live with. I know the drill with stamina and in my case determination. I wasn’t going to be beaten! I had to win. In order to survive. Stubborn is my middle name, so my kids tell me. Without it, I wouldn’t have survived.

      • Yep. Determination is very important. I think I’ve also found a really good doctor who supports and advises. I’m pretty happy about that. It’s made this less lonely and hopeless. โค

      • I’m truly delighted for you, Martha. Truly. I understand loneliness (even in a crowd) but any medical thing we go through feels like the loneliest experience.

  2. I bet you will redo your book again. It sounds really good, too. You write so wonderfully about your dogs. Breathe deeply, walk in that beautiful light … and it will work out.

    • You know, I am giving it one more shot AND I put together a post card to go in whatever flawed book results from the last try. I thought about flaws, and how I’m very flawed (one thing I’ve had to contend with with the book) and the cover is somewhat out of my control. I thought about the place that is central to the book — and it’s flawed, very flawed both objectively and from my point of view when I lived there — but I had a role in saving it from ever being developed. Flaws and all, I did that. I feel OK about now. Anyone who gets the book will get a postcard with, I hope, a good image of the hill and a little note.

      And I thought more about flaws. If Bear hadn’t had blue eyes (a flaw) I wouldn’t have her. If Dusty hadn’t been so desperately insecure (flawed) I wouldn’t have him. If Monte Vista had a viable economy, I couldn’t live here. So, it led to a kind of epiphany for me.

      You never know. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค Glad you got home safe and sound.

  3. Sorry, that you’re having problems …with your book! Hope Createspace…straightens it out! Love the way…. you interject, what your dogs might be thinking or saying, if they could talk! If only!!!!! I have a maltese mix. I can relate. Health issues suck, for sure! And…….
    I enjoy your writing!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I figured out the book. I’m flawed, it’s flawed, the place I’ve written about is flawed, my dogs are flawed, the whole mess is flawed. I’m going with the flaws. It’s amazing how well dogs DO communicate with us, don’t you think?

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