Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Memorial to a Coffee Cup

Looks like the forecast implied in Margaret's Sept. 10 post was an omen.  AC no longer open after 1:00, so we won't be having Tuesday afternoon meetings there any more.  Somewhere else?  Doesn't look like there's enthusiasm for that.  Nor for posting to this "writer's blog."  Two months have gone by.  [See my comment added to Margaret's post.]
Meanwhile I've done lots of writing since then.  While still working on my book, I've been keeping up with my blog, except for an interruption during the first part of November, and my writing there consists largely of extemporaneous 1st drafts of things that may end up in the book.  My presentation of a reading about beetles given in Genesee a few weeks ago was also a 1st draft that has already been much expanded.  For a look at my other 1st drafts, check out the blog at blackoaknaturalist.
Did anyone notice I'm holding the coffee cup with my left hand?  What's up with that?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quincy Writers Hangout

It's been awhile since Quincy writers hung out at the Alley Cat on a Tuesday afternoon. I'm calling it tomorrow. I'll be there around 3 pm. Where will you be? Come down for a cup of coffee. Support the Cat. I fear they'll close if we don't. They need more business!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another Author Among Us!!!!

I've spent thousands of hours pursuing certain flowers, bugs and other natural wonders, and poring over scientific as well as popular literature about them.  Even then, what I submit here comes down to pushing a button.  Likewise with our friend Mike Reagan.  Many many hours of research, inspiration, worry, self-doubt, pride, collaboration, fits of privacy, occasionally trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, until finally, the push of a button.  Mike pushed the button today and "The Alienation of Akram" is a completed novel on its way to market.  Working closely with Mike this past year, especially in the home stretch, has been an honor and a privilege, even if we don't always agree on where to use commas. ,,,,,,,,,,,,, So there, Mike! 
Congratulations.  This has been a great experience. 
Now, the two beetles shown above are begging me to tell their story.  Tentative title: The Tetraopes Papers.  Following Mike's example, I hope I can stay motivated to actually get it written down.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Drama Among the Milkweeds

If you saw what I saw this past week while wandering among the milkweeds, you'd think these photos represent more than 1,000 words apiece.  Click on each one for a closer view.  The Monarch Butterflies are darting around in pairs, but, evidently some have been busy longer than I realized because I found this well-developed caterpillar munching on milkweed flowers.  The second photo is of Green Lacewing eggs on the leaf of another kind of milkweed.  When they hatch, they devour aphids which have already gathered on this plant (just one is visible on the stem to the right, although plenty are visible in the first photo).  In the vicinity of Oakland Camp I have been following the drama on five different kinds of milkweeds.  If you like bugs, you can follow the drama in more detail on my blog over the past couple of weeks.  blackoaknaturalist

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hello Summer!

I spotted one of these on the first day of summer.  It's called Farewell to spring, Clarkia dudleyana, in the Evening Primrose family.  Named after explorer William Clark and a botanist named Dudley.  For a look at what I've been writing lately, check out my blog at blackoaknaturalist.  This blog is like a diary or extemporaneous journal from which I choose material for more developed, illustrated essays.
Still hoping to end up with a book of essays titled A Crack in the Sidewalk.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Almost another month has passed.  Time for me to contribute another 1,000 words.  This is Checker Bloom, a pretty springtime symbol flowering along the Butterfly Valley Road. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Vetch as Kvetch

Something pretty to fill the dead space.  Here's my 1,000 words. For more writing, go to blackoaknaturalist.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Writerly Advice

Last spring poet Zack Rogow came to speak with us. Here's his blog filled with writerly advice! Check it out. http://zackrogow.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Date a Writer


Funny blog post!

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Regards to Myself

There's a point when the paper stacks you have piled up against the wall get so thick that they compress back into the trees from whence they came.

I'm sure at least a thousand times a semester somebody reminds me of how much of a kindness it is to the self to stay on top of things, and every semester, my brain reboots and the stacks continue to grow.

It was when I sacrificed an entire class to answer the summons of my phone that it occurred to me that NOT procrastinating was never going to occur to me. I told myself that the best work I did was work under intense pressure, but I curtly replied to myself that in order for this to be true, there would have to actually BE work.

I did not like that I had said this to me, and we didn't speak for the rest of the day.

I cannot find my walls, or my floors, or that article that was supposed to be due yesterday. I no longer see papers and articles as things to be read; I see them as informational decorations that can be stored on shelves as eye candy for the intellectual brain. I blame my librarian instinct to categorize on the amount of paper hoarding I do, because blaming myself would only start another one of those damn arguments with me again.

Monday, January 30, 2012


So my writer workshop had a quick writing assignment today on the concept of "Irresponsible." (Cue up the Law & Order music). These are our stories...expect one from M-L, Linda, and Hannah as well.

I was invited to weigh in this week on a new marketing campaign of a Planned Parenthood in New England. Mothers around the country seemed to agree that while PPs new marketing campaign was very youth focused and hip--playing to what we expect teenagers are like these days--that the campaign faultered in not stressing the negative consequences of abortion--like a college degree, less poverty, more resources for the kids you do have, etc. The campaign, of course, was focused on health and never once mentioned the big Scarlet A word. But as the group was mainly a pro-life group the conversation immediately went to reckless teenage girls and their wanton sexuality.

There weren't many facts involved in the responses. Just a whole lot of Jesus and a little bit of "saw this propaganda film and they said...blah, blah, blah."

When you are the only pro-choice woman in a room and you mention that what's really being discussed is whether or not a zygote should be enjoying a parasitic relationship with the potential host mother, everyone steps away from you. You've suddenly gone from being a warm loving homemaking mom to an irresponsible harlot--or worse--a scientist.

This is really not an argument about 'killing unborn' children with taxpayer money (though PP has not been able to use Fed fundings directly for such for as long as I've been having sex). This is about striking a proper tone of contrition. Those without contrition are irresponsible monsters.

I try to remind my cohorts about the irony of the position. Historically, most abortions were performed on married mothers often going through the 'change of life.' Where is that in the marketing? Where is that in our teenage harlots and sex fiend fantasies? Married women. Mothers. My age. Irresponsibly we miss the wayward clues of perimenopausal ovulation and hormonal spikes.

And as usual we are a demographic that does not exist.