Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This morning, Walt took a bunch of photographs of a cardinal feeding on bird seed he sprinkled in the flower boxes on the deck. I have tried to capture this same bird, but by the time I get the camera out, it's airborne and I've been too busy to hang around waiting for its return.

Despite a host of unforeseen things this year, I'm ending the year feeling rather triumphant, especially when I look at the champagne cork ornament dangling from the Christmas tree.

I finally finished the nonfiction adult book I was reading and now I'm working on a presentation in conjunction with the AMC. Today, I made a prop for the presentation and reviewed their slides for the first time. I still have a few minor things to finish up and then I've got to figure out how I'm putting it all together.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Yesterday, I went to the local pharmacy to get my 2011 writing calendar, a free Hallmark calendar that they hid behind the counter and made me ask for. Today, I filled it by looking up conference dates as well as contest, grant, fellowship and critique deadlines. I also made another entry about three weeks before a deadline. "Mail xxx."

If something is due early in the month there' s nothing like that sinking feeling you get when you flip the page and realize you have no time to mail it. The little calendar is an inexpensive indispensable tool.

I was also at the same pharmacy on the 23rd. I was a bit dazed when I left. The clerk was on the phone with the police asking the other clerk if he saw the car. The conversation went something like this:
"Were you robbed?"
"Was I in the store at the time?" (eyes surely popping out of my head)
"No, it was a while ago."

How long would you wait to call the police after being robbed? Needless to say the calendar I picked up that day is nowhere to be found.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today, I am posting a photograph of my backyard where I grew up. This field is considered wetlands. In the spring, the meadow is filled with the sound of songbirds.

In some soggy years there was enough frozen water to ice skate on. When the cows came up to the fence, we'd feed them clumps of grass. On hot summer days, I caught snakes with my brothers. They slithered in the grass and startled the heck out of us.

I have been exceptionally busy lately, but I'm really happy that I've finished fact-checking one piece of writing. I've also been busy chiseling away reading and highlighting a NF resource. Today, I met with my writing friends and enjoyed their company while also reviewing their stuff.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

As one of the speakers at the Connecticut Envirothon was talking, all eyes and attention shifted to the praying mantis on his pant leg. He stopped what he was saying to examine the little fellow. Even with the best laid plans, there can still be surprises. Yep, I know that well.

Earlier this week I sat through an AMC webinar about climate change. I like the fact that they don't mind if you tailor the talk, hide some slides, add some slides, add some creativity, make it fun.....

Yesterday, I received the final edits for my chemistry article on climate change and reviewed them. Some of my words were sacrificed for a half page eye-opening graphic title. I really liked the first page, the font color and type and the photographs selected. The whole issue is really relevant to the times and it would be nice if it got a broader audience.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My daughter Julia is a junior in high school and has been itching to go look at colleges. I asked her to choose between February or April vacation because many of her choices are out of state. She chose February. Yesterday I was delighted to receive some literature from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It just so happens that their annual conference is in a state we plan to visit and is during school vacation week. I also noticed they offer free Family Science Days on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th. Why that works for me! If the colleges are nearby and the weather is good, I'd absolutely love to combine college hunting and portions of a science conference. I'm sure she'll be equally excited. Cough. Sputter. Choke.