Monday Musings: Wildlife, Writing Life, and My Chili Dog

We live in what is definitely a suburban area. It has grown a lot since we moved up here. More houses, more traffic, more airplanes to and from the airport. With all of that, I sometimes forget that we also have a lot of wildlife around us, as well. Yes, we have birds, both the typical backyard visitors that I love seeing come to the feeders, and hawks. I saw a pair of vultures perched on a house up the street a few months ago. Haven’t seen a raccoon in a while, but we used to have those. I smell the skunks, and have occasionally seen one in the yard. Last year, we had a coyote just standing in the backyard. Last week, while walking the dog, I got to see a fox at a fairly close distance. We were heading up the hill after turning off our street. The yard boundaries there are trees and undergrowth, and most of the property is bounded by wooded areas. The fox was, I think, going to cross the road, but as soon as he saw us, he turned and ran back where he came from. They are such pretty animals, with their delicate pointed snouts and tall ears, and that bushy tail. I believe it was a gray fox, like the one in the picture. From what I have read, they are common in southern New Hampshire. I just wish it had stayed long enough for me to get a picture.

Writing is going. I started trying to pull together a novel that I have in rough (and I do mean ROUGH) draft form, and discovered that I had three versions of it saved in three different places. Oh, joy. I was able to just toss one of them, because reading through the first couple chapters, I knew that was a really old one, and lots had changed. So, I printed out one of the two left, and started comparing the two versions. Found a few changes but not really a lot. Merged in the stuff that needed adding, and started another read-through. Oh, yes- I remember now. The timeline is completely messed up. Thank heaven for yWriter’s ability to print just the short chapter descriptions! I did that, laid out the sheets on the table, and started highlighting and drawing arrows and other marks in the attempt to put it together so the progression works out. This is basically what I was looking at when done, only on three sheets of paper:


I was able to make sense out of it when I got back to the computer, too! And, again, thank you to yWriter for its storyboard feature, so I was able to just drag-and-drop scenes into their new order without having to cut-and-paste boatloads of text. Now, I think I can actually start editing and revising. And people think we writers just sit here, and the words come out all pretty and perfect right away. Not so much, thank you.

We took Lambeau to the MA State Chili Cook Off at the beginning of the month. Once again, he was a very good boy. He stayed pretty settled for most of the day, just lounging by his crate behind my scorekeeper’s table, and waiting for everyone to come by and fuss over him. He made many new friends, and that is always a joy for him. He whined a bit the few times I left the tent and didn’t take him, but he’s not overly fussy. I always make sure to give him a bit of attention when I get back so he knows I haven’t deserted him. He did do a lot of just running at top speed in the yard on Sunday. Not surprising. He got more mental stimulation on Saturday at the cook off, and I am sure needed to get some of the physical energy out. He’s turning out to be a pretty good dog. Not perfect, but we are working on things that need improvement.

That is what has been going on in my world. Onward to another week!


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A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.






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A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final envinronmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.