Saturday, February 03, 2007

Reader, Writer, 10 O'clock scholar

So, I attended the writer's 'retreat' today and thought I would marshal my thoughts here. There were 9 of us, all women of middle-ish age (I guess), and we all introduced ourselves, said what we wanted from the effort. Everyone mentioned what she was reading, or was inspired by, except me. I recognized none of their authors, although I might have read a review of one of them, but I didn't think telling them I was currently reading Dean Koontz (Brother Odd) would foster the image I was pretending to have. That's of being literate, without mentioning that I never voluntarily read anything other than for pure entertainment and/or escapism. Well, not counting Newsweek and Time, since I never watch the news on TV because they go too fast for me. The poetry we were given to read did what poetry always does for me--nothing much. To me, poetry is like marzipan; it tastes good, but in the end your mouth is empty and you've left thinking, is that IT? Some poetry is OK, but it doesn't go far enough for me, I want more story, details. I feel the same about short stories; even if my favorite author writes them, I never read them. So I think I'll forget the bi-monthly workshops, but still I got what I wanted from this session, which is the inspiration to get cracking again on my science fantasy novel. I never seemed to have the time to really make progress when I was a worker bee. Now that I am a Lady of Leisure, I can't use that excuse any more. Great literature it isn't, but I like to think it's a decent enough tale.

Monday is supposed to be Countertop Day, but I'll believe it when they carry it in the house and not before.

Now the 10 degree wind is howling around the house, revealing every ill-fitted doorjamb and leaky window seal. The outdoor cats are all in the garage huddled around the heater or under the rugs/blankets etc. The horses are in the barn wearing their winter woolies. They have liquid water twice a day for at least some time; I tell them to drink fast. Several years ago we had a water pipe burst in the house and had to shut off the water at the main valve. We attempted to melt snow for the horses to drink, but do you know how much snow it takes to get 15 gallons of water? Twice a day? In the end, we turned the water back on and held buckets under the split pipe for them, until a plumber could slog out to repair it. If someone had stopped by with a horse trailer and $50, they would have been gone, that winter.

I made bread last night (and it's all gone today). I ended up letting it rise inside a pre-warmed oven, because there are drafts in the kitchen from, weirdly enough, the attic. All my dishes and glasses are pre-chilled; if only we were drinking champagne or eating bouillabaisse or gazpacho. My old gas stove had pilot lights instead of sparking lighters, so the oven would be just right for bread. And yes, I know the new way is safer, and environmentally sounder, etc. etc., but I still wish we had an old one. It was also just the thing to hold your hands over after being outside.

All in all, it's hard to envision global warming today.

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