Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simple morning joy

November 13, 2012

This morning, before dawn, the wind carried in the sound of  hoot owl off in the woods. I paused to listen, wondering how many more times this country joy will come to me in our changing world. 

I stood on my cold patio listening to the low, seeking call and laughed at my aging "puppy" - a black Labrador Retriever who’s been by my side for going on twelve years. He listened, too, but he didn't like what he heard. Maybe the dog knows the owls are descended from raptors and raptors ate his distant kin. Just a thought.

For those of you living in more populated areas, what we call hoot owls are Great Horned Owls and what we call screech owls are Eastern Screech Owls. The little screech owls (picture) are more common in my woods and I'm sure the dog would have gone on about his morning business if they'd been calling.

Autumn is fading on my mountainside. Most of the leaves have fallen from the maples and mighty oaks, and the skies are graying. Squirrels are everywhere gathering what acorns the deer didn’t eat. The spicy scent of fall, that mélange of drying leaves, mowed lawns, and harvested fields, has given way to acrid wood smoke. The sound of busy chain saws drifts on strong winds as our neighbors hurry to build their woodpiles.

I usually have a lot of energy this time of year. Ideas for stories come faster than I’ll ever be able to write them, but I do try. After what seems like an incredibly long stretch, I have two books coming out within weeks of each other. I certainly didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

The first is entitled, “Doors of Time,” and is about two high school friends who reunite as adults. “Doors of Time” will be part of the This Old Gang of Mine PAX along with stories from Clare London, Stevie Wood, Sean Michael and Aislin Kerry. If you want to read an excerpt, check out the page on my website. The page is under construction, but the excerpt is there. Look for “Doors of Time” in mid-December.

The second story, “Desert Snow,” will be out the first weekend of January. Is it about snow? Nope. It’s about two guys who meet at the Palm Springs White Party. Palm Springs - desert. White Party - everyone dresses in white but is still unique. Get it? I thought it witty but I’m just the author so what do I really know? Here again, check out the page on my website, also under construction at the time I type this.

So that’s all there is for this time around. Thanksgiving is a bit more than a week away. It's the Season of Cheesecake. Hide the scales. 


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