A Blessed Squall, a Happy Dog, and China

Crimson is the definitely the word of the day, for me anyway. Crimson is a Chinese color and a lot of it has been loaded into my car already. Even the Home on the Range boombox is red. The BIG READING is today and I still haven’t made it all the way through — aloud — the passages I’ll be reading from As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder. I found that to make the reading work I had to take some of the chapters and work them so they would fit together as a reading of the appropriate length. Having a time limit and two stories is a lesson in compression. The weird thing about being a writer is you will always find that you could have written every single sentence better. The weird thing about THAT is that until you’ve written — and learned what you will learn about writing from having written — you couldn’t have done that.

As a visual person, I’d like to share photos, but I don’t want to lug a monitor and all that stuff to the museum, so I’m recycling the poster I made two years ago.

Crimson is a Chinese color and a lot of it has been loaded into my car already. Even the Home on the Range boombox is red. But will I be? The question — as always — is what to wear. The Chinese jacket? It’s really fucking cold today. -20c/+5F There’s never any way of knowing WHEN winter will hit here in the Back of Beyond, and I took a chance.

Winter… Yesterday afternoon I got one of those feelings that I should get out to the Refuge RIGHT NOW. I got Bear, we got in Bella, we headed out driving toward a wall of grey cloud. Oh yeah. “Oh Bear!” I said, knowing that we might get lucky out there. The moment we arrived, it started to snow. The Refuge was under a squall. I took Bear on her favorite trail, a little trail we haven’t been able to take since last winter. She was so happy and it was so cold. A person needs to get in shape for cold, I know that. Until you’ve been out in it a few times it’s not that much fun, but OK. I have a good jacket. The wind blew in my face, Bear checked out all the scents, I watched the sky, the squall passed. The Canada geese — blown south by the storm — had found the front pond which is still open water. I was happy to see them. The sky changed rapidly, beautifully. Maybe it’s enough to say, “a good time was had by all.”

I hope I can write that tomorrow of the reading this afternoon and added photos from the events I’ll be reading this afternoon.

23 thoughts on “A Blessed Squall, a Happy Dog, and China

  1. I hope the reading goes well, and people come out in spite of the cold. They need to be like Bear and embrace the cold. And snow?! Yay for Bear! ❄⛄☃

    • Thank you! I think people will come — maybe 8 or 10 which is a decent crowd here. As long as the roads are clear people are pretty chill (ha ha) about cold weather. Bear would like you to know that it was only a confectioner’s sugar dusting of snow, but she loved it ❤

  2. I wish air could be there for the reading. Thank you for sharing the poster. I learned a lot reading it and could “fill” in kind of behind pictures (good ex? 😉 I love the pictures. The map you sent to your Mom was so helpful. What a gift to enter a country at the time you did. Although I wasn’t even 20 yet I remembered Tiananmen protest and massacre. I can imagine the beauty of the jacket in real time (it looks so good on you). Your Christmas tree~are those crocheted stars? Tell Bear Finn and I happy he saw a dusting of snow and you both enjoyed your necessary visit! Finn and I stayed huddled in my bathroom a bit as straight-line winds and tornadoes touched in our area. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but I’m saddened by the deaths in other states. I read that 3 miles from me 4 homes were damaged leaving 15 displaced. I’m nestled and tucked in to my little downtown (my backyard is a bluff)~ not good for flooding, but safer for tornadoes. I’ll be thinking of you at your reading. Crimson~it’s a beautiful word and color! Love and hugs from me and Finn ❤️🤗❄️🐶🙏🏻

  3. Congrats on getting to stand with Bear in a snow squall! We have had high winds and vicious fog yesterday and today. Sparky attempted to put some ornaments in the crabapple tree in the front and had to chase one across the yard. It looks a little silly with 2 ornaments but the rest will have to wait until the wind relaxes… You have touched on my kryptonite – rewriting. I tend to write a poem and then edit the life out of it. That is part of the reason I haven’t published. I select a poem and then rewrite and rewrite until it dies….

    Hope you have a big turnout for your reading!!

    • As with everything, it’s important to know when to stop. 😉 The thing about writing/editing is that to some extent it’s a matter of personal taste. Some of the critics of my books want a lot more to-me-irrelevant description. A certain sector of the audience of historical fiction is all about that kind of thing which I really hate. “The buttonholes on the back of her bodice were delineated with bright orange-red silk thread of the same crimson hue as her cheeks when Lord What’shisname approached her at the ball where she had worn the green/gold shot silk gown made from the antique Indian silk found in the long-lost wooden trunk in her grandmother’s dark and musty attic. ” That kind of thing. When I get a negative critique that compares my work to something they like better, I go see what they like and invariably that’s what it is. People have different reasons for reading. I don’t think when we’re writing we think about the reader that much and maybe we shouldn’t.

      There is also no reason at all to publish (your poetry IS published on your blog) unless a writer feels they have an audience or a message that has to belong to more than just him/her self. I have “published” a dozen books but most of them are just for me or me and maybe one or two readers. I love that I can do that, make a beautiful product I can share if I wish.

      Anyway, I finally made it all the way through what I’m reading today… 😀

  4. I’m SO glad you and Bear have had a taste of snow! It sounds like a lovely day, although I’m not one for cold ~ ~ ~
    Good luck with the reading this afternoon — I loved the book, and am sure the reading will go across well with a small audience!

  5. Break a leg!

    On Sat, Dec 11, 2021 at 8:55 AM Women’s Wilderness Legend: Living the Metaphor wrote:

    > Martha Kennedy posted: ” Crimson is the definitely the word of the day, > for me anyway. Crimson is a Chinese color and a lot of it has been loaded > into my car already. Even the Home on the Range boombox is red. The BIG > READING is today and I still haven’t made it all the way thro” >

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