Friday, September 27, 2013

Lake Waramaug State Park

Moonrise in a pink sky, Mount Tom Pond, Litchfield
I applied for and was accepted as a teacher's assistant for the Climate Literacy class at the University of British Columbia.  Thirteen TAs from Australia, Thailand, India, Germany, Vancouver, the United States, and possibly other locations, were enlisted to help.  Even though class doesn't start until September 30th, I've already fielded one question.  About fifty students have introduced themselves in the discussion forum.

Although it takes time to browse the threads, I am enjoying reading comments from all over the globe.  It is rewarding knowing that I'm contributing to the students' greater understanding of climate change.
Eating a "quacker"
October is shaping up to be a very busy month.  On October 6th, I'm going to a school-visits presentation by Alexis O'Neil, a school-visits guru and excellent presenter.  On October 19th, I'm going to New Media Day, another SCBWI event.  The third week in October may give me some anxiety with a first-time platelet donation, a trip to Boston, and notification about something.  It has the potential to be an awful week and it has the potential to be a great week.  So, I'm not allowing myself to think about it.

Lake Waramaug, Kent Connecticut
I've been making inroads.  I've learned it's a lot more work to get the water wheel moving again once you let it stop.   Today, I finished up a lovely piece of literary science.

It wasn't until I looked at my photos that I noticed Goose C484.
Last week, I spent the day at Lake Waramaug with my friend Carol.  We sat by the shore admiring the beauty of the lake and watching the wildlife waddle way too close.  She read while I wrote.  I would have loved to have kayaked on the glassy lake, but the rentals were closed for the season.  On the ride home, the harvest moon was stunning, shining over the pond.

Our stomping grounds on the shore of Lake Waramaug

Friday, September 20, 2013

Story ideas continue to stream in faster than I can tackle them.  The urge to write a blog post seems to stem more from photographs I want to share than from writing related news.

Faulkner's Island Lighthouse
This past week I received a couple of nice emails:

From the Climate Literacy class I took:

"I'm writing to invite you to apply to become a Community TA for the next run of Climate Literacy, which will begin on September 30th.  If you're reading this email, it means that you were one of the very top students in the class, as measured by a mixture of class performance and forum contribution. In a class so large this is quite an accomplishment."

From Denise McConduit:

"I checked out your website and I was amazed at the good environmental work you are doing! Just bringing awareness about climate change, wildlife and nature is so worthwhile."

Two weeks ago, I drove down to the shore, hoping to take a boat out to Faulkner's Island Lighthouse, which is only open one weekend per year.  When I got to the marina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency was debating whether to take the aluminum boat out in three foot swells.  Although high seas sounded quite exciting, the open house was eventually canceled completely.  On that cloudless day, I sat on the rocks, watching the seagulls and taking photographs.       

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Writing Chair

Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
Last month, I shipped out a whole bunch of things.  After tallying everything up, it turns out, I churned out the same amount as when I wrote science passages in the fall of 2012.  It will likely be a long while before I hear back about any of these.

This month, we gutted the family room.  It was long overdue.  We've been painting and painting and painting and painting the dark paneling, and it's still not painted.  Walt used a sledgehammer on the couch.  He said I spend a lot of time in that room writing and I should think about getting a couch and/or chair with that in mind.  So, like Goldilocks, I've been sitting in all kinds of chairs and sofas, testing them out.

That got me thinking about what makes a good writing chair.  Outside my Adirondack chair has wonderfully wide arms and comfortable seating.  I can't see myself writing in a stiff backed formal chair.  Some couches and chairs are meant for tall people; the cushions are so deep that your feet dangle in mid air.  Other seating is hard or butt ugly.  We settled on a couple of cushy recliners with wide padded arms.  I can't wait to sit in my new writing chair!

Cooked chicken dangling from a spider web
Last week, I was outside writing.  Every time I looked up, I noticed this spider.  I decided to try an experiment and see what the spider would do if I dropped some cooked chicken in its web.  Initially, the spider ran up the web and hid under a shingle, so I think beef would have been a better choice.   I wondered if the spider would wrap up the chicken or if it would try to clean up its web.  After a few hours, the dog came outside, smelled the chicken, poked her nose in the web and destroyed it.  So much for my experiment.