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Bummer!

Great blue heron photo by Mike Siegel

So Mike came over to take some photos of the house for a magazine article. He’s a talented photographer, and here’s one of his recent images. I love this shot because it shows how truly blue a blue heron is.

great blue heron on my beach

great blue heron on my beach

In contrast, here’s a shot of a heron on my beach. Nice lines, but you can’t see how blue it truly is.

This heron seems to be territorial because I see it here a lot. It’s the most patient of hunters, standing as still as a statue for the longest time before it strikes.

Sonny finds a way to escape Barkis.

Sonny finds a way to escape Barkis.

There’s a heron statue in my pool. Here’s a shot of Sonny, who swims over to the rock to escape Barkis, who refuses to get wet.

The tall ships are all over Puget Sound. A lovely one passed by our house. There’s a slide show here.

Spotted next to a building site, being cleared for yet more projects:

Developer gets thumbs down

It’s unbelievably beautiful here. I’m kinda with the spray-painters. According to George Carlin, the biggest advantage to living on the waterfront is that you only have a**holes on three sides of you instead of four. Here’s what I consider the biggest advantage:

ferry at sunset, photo by Jay

I sent this snap to a friend to convince him to bring his family for a visit this summer. Taken from my beach:

morning on Puget Sound

Not sure why I thought of this but I like the thought:

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
Sigmund Freud

Here’s a rainbow over Blake Island, which I can see from my beach: 

Here it is, zoomed in:

And finally, here it is, reflected in the water. I love Rainbow Season, which also happens to be the name of one of my favorite romance novels.

 

I prepare to leave the litter.YO! Barkis is one year old today! Happy birthday to my shiny boy! Here are a few highlights of the Year of the Dog:

Barkis discovers the beach

The beach is scary. Run away!Here he is a year ago …

…getting more handsome every day…

sun worshiper(sometimes I’m naughty)

 

 

 

…. I’m in Canine Good Citizen Class

I\'m on my kitchen rug, waiting for a treat..

 … I love the beach!

…and I climb trees so I can look out to sea…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE! Woof, from Barkis.

 

 

Today’s guest blog is by my friend and fellow writer/editor, Lori. You can meet her, Aubrey and Pam, and many other literary luminaries at the upcoming conference.

Aubrey, Lori, PamThe last weekend in April used to signify my daughter’s birthday was approaching. Now it means the annual Field’s End Writers’ Conference. Aubrey’s birthday is still at the tail end of April; we just have a new way of celebrating it. Last year was our first Field’s End experience. We stayed the night at the Clearwater Casino Resort – a treat for us. Not only did we get meaningful girl time, but Aubrey was especially delighted with the hotel’s accoutrements. We still have the fun cell phone video clips of Aubrey showing off the hotel room. The spinning chair in front of the vanity was particularly exciting.

At the actual conference, Aubrey was initially cowed at being the only young person in a roomful of adults. But the Field’s End participants are a very friendly lot, so Aubrey soon relaxed. We were lucky enough to land at tables with speakers Garth Stein and Robert Dugoni. They helped draw out Aubrey – and everyone else. Bob Dugoni “escorted” Aubrey to the first break-out session. Her workshop tastes ran differently than mine, and she evidently didn’t feel the need to cling to my side the entire day. When we did get together, I was impressed with how well she sat still. An entire day is a long time – thank goodness for Malachy McCourt! Even though she couldn’t remember how to pronounce his name, she asked me recently if he would be there again. Aubrey took away ideas from each speaker, but it was Mr. McCourt’s presentation she found most enthralling. No surprise! Later we had a grand time purchasing books and getting authors’ autographs and personalized messages. What a delight to see Aubrey bloom into a young woman and a creative presence. There are many, many things we learned that day and which remain part of who we are a year later. This year Aubrey told me that she would like to go back to Field’s End for her birthday (and she gets that this means not much else in the way of birthday presents!). So register, we did.

Aubrey’s writing interests are strong and deep, although she’s still not sure she wants to be a writer. But as some of the Field’s End participants reminded us, a writer is not something you become, it’s something you are. Thus, Aubrey is a writer, and a good one. She’s taking honors classes this year (sixth grade) and scored 100 percent on her most recent Reading WASL. Her Writing WASL score was close behind. She counts attending the Young Authors Conference at Skagit Valley College nearly every year during elementary school as one of her writing-related accomplishments. Children’s book author George Shannon is a frequent presenter, so she was excited to “know somebody” at Field’s End last year!My mom, Pam, has never thought of herself as a writer, but she is certainly skilled. She chose (was there much of a choice in those days?!) to be a mom, wife and homemaker. While I was at the UW, she earned her A.A. from Everett Community College. I always knew she was an excellent proofreader and organizer, if you will, of written materials, but I recently realized that she’s also a talented writer. She can deftly describe her own and other people’s feelings and motivations. Mom would disagree (LOL). Once she decides to believe in her skill and channel it to a specific project of her own, look out! For now, she is helping to research and write a book with her brother.

I’m actually writing the children’s chapter-book version of the same story. Although I’m an on-again, off-again kind of fiction writer, I’m still very committed to this story. My preference is to fix and organize words rather than to originate them. That’s the editor in me. My mom recently showed me a progress report from my first-grade teacher. I wanted to be a nurse, teacher, hairstylist and editor. How crazy is that? What six-year-old kid knows what an editor is? I evidently figured it out, and it has stuck with me. My mom plans to join us this year. Aubrey’s okay with sharing a bed with me, although I offered to have her and Grandma bunk together because Grandma’s skinnier than I am and will take up less room. We’ll see what happens.

It’s not long now until we return to the garden of the gods at Kiana Lodge, host to the Field’s End Writers’ Conference. I should ask Aubrey how many days until our adventure begins. She’ll know. Aubrey & Lori at the Field’s End conference

You know you want to be here.In 1977 the British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian‘s phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer’s terminology. The success of April Fool!this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.

Read the full article about San Serriffe.

Source: www.museumofhoaxes.com

“…having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

—Hermann Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

A carrier passed by our house this week.

carrier on a sunny morning in springtime

I wonder where they’re off to…I hope they all come back safe and sound.

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