Monthly Archives: July 2015

Writing and the New Life

It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally setting into a work process here in Enterprise. The biggest challenge is finding the time I need to write while doing the other stuff we want to do. I finally had to reach the place where I realized that some of those other activities were more time-dependent than the writing. Writing can go anywhere (unless I’m editing a novel, and then that’s a bit more complex) and be done anytime in this new life where I’m not beating my brains trying to solve kid learning problems.

It also helps to have a nice office setup. The smallest bedroom in this house is my office (and when I say small, I mean small by US standards. A queen mattress effectively takes up the whole room). Still, I’ve managed to set up a computer desk area where the desktop lives with a side desk working area, a vertical filing cabinet, a second desk for editing/hand work/jewelry design, a couple of supply storage cubbies, and four bookshelves. Once I got the office set up, the brain cleared out and I could write.

Timing is a bigger challenge. Some activities such as fishing or woodcutting are time-dependent. But I’ve figured out other ways to handle them. Woodcutting is an excellent writing opportunity. Right now we have to get up and hustle out to the woods early in the morning due to fire restrictions which require that all chainsaws shut down at 1 pm (otherwise known as “hoot owl” logging). We leave the house to drive about twenty miles to where our permit lets us cut. The ideal is to have a location scouted out where we can cut several loads worth according to Forest Service restrictions—dead trees, can’t be any green needles, no ponderosa pine live or dead, no whitebark pine (but we’re not cutting at that altitude). That means we’re cutting lodgepole and red fir mostly, with the occasional prized tamarack (Western larch).

When I don’t have a sprained ankle, my primary job in the woodcutting endeavor is helping load the pickup. DH does all the chainsaw work, so my secondary job is to be around in case of problems. Granted, the most I could do is administer first aid, then haul him into the truck and drive as fast as I dared for help because there’s no cell service in the woods, but that’s the way things go. It helps that he’s experienced and careful.

While he’s cutting up wood, then, I have time to sit somewhere with notepad and pen to scribble out work. Between dust and sawdust I don’t really want to haul the laptop out to the woods, and this way I don’t have to worry about charging. I’ve found that the pickup tailgate makes a nice workplace, along with assorted dead logs on the side of the ridge (usually the forbidden ponderosa pine).

I’ve completed planning on one story, revisions on another, and cranked out the rough draft of an essay while doing this. The breaks to load the truck end up falling in the right sequence to keep the creative juices flowing, and the occasional interruptions to look at wildlife such as the fledgling Northern Goshawks near our first multiple load site turn out to be quick breaks.

Happy sigh.

Comments Off on Writing and the New Life

Filed under Farpoint, writer life

Bad Horse Falls…or why I’ve been silent

Wow. It’s been over a month since my last posting. Not for lack of interest, simply because there’s been a lot of travel between Enterprise and PDX, which means less-than-optimal access to the LiveJournal blog mirror when I’m not in Enterprise. Then, when I’m in Enterprise, I’ve been going great guns…okay, I was going great guns until July 11th. Since then I’ve been hobbling around.

What happened? Well, Mocha and I went to a show at the Fairgrounds on a dreary, drizzly day. We didn’t realize how slick the footing in the arena was, so when we went out to do our first large fast circle in reining, Mocha was ready to run hard. Except that she slipped and we fell hard and fast on our right sides. It was one of the quickest falls I’ve ever had on horseback. Usually there’s a moment of Wil-E-Coyote hang time giving me a moment to relax before hitting the ground. Not this time. Wham. Hard. One minute we were going about 20-25 mph, the next we were on the ground, with about half my lower leg under Mocha. Near as I can figure, I got partially thrown out of the saddle, which was good.

The aftereffects? Let’s just say we were both lucky. Mocha and I both sprang up at the same time. She trotted off with a “what the hell just hit me?” bewildered look and I hobbled around hollering “I’m all right!” as I headed for her, relieved that she wasn’t limping. At least I could put weight on my right leg so I knew it wasn’t broken, just a bad sprain. BTDT. The judge caught Mocha, told me I was DQed (hit the ground), and I climbed up on Mocha to ride back to the trailer. No way I could make it back on my own and we both needed that short session in the saddle to help banish any future riding worries.

Back at the trailer, I pulled off my show boots and wrenched on my lacer packer boots because I knew they would give that ankle more support. Hubby helped me untack Mocha while she stuck her nose in the trailer opening, clearly ready to go home. She loaded nicely for him and was thrilled to get back to her home and pen.

Three weeks later, we’re both still achy and sore. I’ve been on her twice, working at a walk because she’s still stiff and needs light work to help get past the issues. The first week and a half with the ankle was difficult and painful, but having had an even worse sprain in my past, I kinda knew how to manage this one. Even so, I’m at the stage where the darn thing just plain aches at times and there’s not much to do for it.

But it could have been worse. Looking at the pattern of mud I had to knock out of the saddle skirts and the pattern of mud on stirrups, boots, and helmet, I don’t even want to think about what sort of contortions my leg went through when we hit the dirt. I’m just grateful I didn’t break something, and that I don’t have osteoporosis which would have made that more possible. Mocha is gimpy and sore, but she works out of it so we’re back to reconditioning and rebuilding strained muscles. At least she’s happy with her new home now.

Anyway. I am going to start experimenting with writing posts in batches, and scheduling when they go up. It’s a Grand Experiment made crazier by the vagaries of the LJ-WordPress interface. We will see how that works.

Comments Off on Bad Horse Falls…or why I’ve been silent

Filed under personal life stuff