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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (3) December 6, 2016

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  • The sound of violins out yonder where the blue begins
  • Candlelight candlelight for no reason, eating fresh fruit when it’s in season
  • A meadow in the mist where someone’s waiting to be kissed

Northern Tyranny December 5, 2016

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A few days ago, as I was getting the last bit of copy together for the quarterly journal I edit, I began thinking about how odd it is that quarterly issues are often named for seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall/autumn) and how limiting that is—I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to have readers in another hemisphere, where it is not that season at all?

Then Mali posted again today, in part, about the tyranny of northern traditions this time of year (and she refers back to this post as well). And I am back to wondering why we don’t simply call the issue Volume 43, Number 1, which we do, instead of feeling the need to also call it Winter 2017?

This isn’t simply a northern tradition, is it, Mali? I assume Summer 2017 quarterly journals are about to drop in New Zealand come January.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (2) December 4, 2016

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  • Bill Evans
  • Rose-breasted grosbeaks
  • Lava lamps

Lester Left Town December 3, 2016

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You know when you get a song stuck in your head and you’re trying to remember what it’s called, and you’re pretty sure it’s Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers who are bouncing around in your brain, but it’s making you crazy that you can’t think of the name of that number, so you have to physically find the recording to figure out that it’s “Lester Left Town,” and even though you’ve played that track hundreds of times it’s now clear that you could never have told anyone the title of that tune? That.

Flowery WTF December 2, 2016

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Twenty years ago, I wrote a back-cover book blurb that showed up this way: “[Title] takes us down overgrown paths in search of an answer, reawakening our drive to pursue the question.” When I wrote it, I knew what I meant, but seeing it on the back of my physical copy, I thought, “WTF does that mean?” and was embarrassed by it. Today I feel like it’s OK, I know what I meant, other people knew what I meant. Maybe. Tomorrow I might be confused again.

I thought of that blurb because I just sent this sentence out into the world to be laid out in pages (it still has time to be edited): “As snowflakes begin to fly, so too do tied creations off vises, each its own small dream of some future wild happiness.” The reader has to do a little work there, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But fly fishing sure can make a gal write some crazy shit.

A Mali Anniversary December 1, 2016

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My friend Mali wrote her first blog post ten years ago today. I wrote my first blog post ten months to the day before hers. I am almost as many months older than she, coincidentally. But not quite.

Mali joined a group of writers who were writing about one person each day for a year, restricting word count to the number of years one had been on the planet. We were both forty-four.

Today she wrote about her anniversary, and the project, and our friendly group.

In April, I sent her a string of birds, and today I’m thrilled that she posted a photo of them, living in New Zealand. I stole it and am sharing it here (copyright Mali).

p1010229-vermont-birds-cr

New Zealand is a dream.

I have found it hard to even want to write anything of late. I am busy, and the world is depressing. But I’ll keep at it occasionally because of Mali and our friends. May we all get together in person soon.

Dream Skirt November 23, 2016

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My sister and I were shopping and getting impatient with it. We were on our way out of the store when a skirt caught my eye. It was black leather, and it lit up—that is, its flashing lights were part of its appeal. I pointed it out to my sister, then checked the tag. It was her size. It was the only one.

The salesperson told us that it was filled with dark rum. Even better!

She took it to the dressing room to try it on.

Voles November 23, 2016

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The other night I read, in a book about the brain, that voles are monogamous. This made me feel strangely worse about the ones that are showing up in our basement mousetraps. But maybe they are moles. I make Tim take them out, so I don’t look too closely. In looking it up now, it looks like they are likely moles, or possibly shrews. I do not know if moles or shrews are monogamous. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to kill anyone’s loved one, let alone the one-and-only.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things October 28, 2016

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  • The boudin noir at Le Comptoir in Paris
  • Waking up in the wee hours because an owl insists upon it
  • The lyrics
    Told me love was too plebeian
    Told me you were through with me and

5BY3: Quarterly Report September 30, 2016

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Ah, a slow birding year. Unless I see a new bird before midnight, I’ve added only nine. One right here in Oklahoma City: a great-tailed grackle. (Oh, and that’s a new state for me: Oklahoma.)

Carolina wren, Louisiana waterthrush, black-and-white warbler, green heron, red-breasted nuthatch, yellow-rumped warbler, brown creeper, merlin, great-tailed grackle.

Year-to-date count at this quarter: 113. (2012: 110. 2013: 173 [which turned out to be that year’s total]. 2014: 116. 2015: 124.)