So today I had a doctors appointment in town – thirty minute drive and it’s just below freezing today. I admit I was running a bit late so I was going faster than I might usually (95 klics instead of 80).

I made it on time and hardly had any wait. As this was my first appointment with this doctor, it wasn’t the fastest turn around time. Height, weight, blood pressure, questions from nurse, follow up from doctor after. I got a new prescription out of the deal and walked over to the attached pharmacy to wait for my new meds.

As they had just been faxed there it took about fifteen minutes for me to get out again – maybe a bit longer.

Next, I had to cross town and pick up a few items at the grocery store. I got in the truck, put my foot on the brake, put it in reverse, turned around to back out… and saw something quite unexpected.

A hen was sitting in the back of the truck. She looked pretty resigned. I was sure she hadn’t been sitting there went I went in to the doctors appointment, as I had to do some backing up to fit the big truck in the parking space.

I was also sure it was one of ours.

So I put it in park, got out, and picked her up. Not a fuss, although she is normally one who doesn’t like to be handled.

I put her in the cab and shook my head. “If you want to go for a truck ride, it’s better to do it in the cab, sweet heart.”

So down the road, through town, I drove — with my chicken.


I got to the grocery store and told her to sit tight – she didn’t seem perturbed.

As I closed the door I pictured coming back out and seeing a mass of people and some cops all in arms because  I hadn’t rolled down the window to give the bird air. I risked it.

Finished the shopping to find the hen – just as I’d left her. I checked the back. there were little footprints in the snow – leaning to beside the big tool box thing which is under a flap of canvass. There, I discovered the reason for her being in the truck – seems she liked to lay her eggs in that private spot. She must have been in that very process on the trip there.

I imagined her surprise coming out t o see a world unlike anything she’s ever imagined – now wonder she looked so resigned.

We had a nice ride home, and because of her trip to town, she had missed lunch so I carried her from the truck, past all her buddies, into the enclosed front porch and gave her some feed. But no sooner had I pulled into the drive, when another hen was up on the truck and heading to the same spot.

Going to have to check before we go anywhere now – sigh

Little miss adventure hen is back out side now, probably telling all the other hens about the trip.


I had a section in chapter 25 of ‘Tomorrow Wendell’, that my editor wanted to see not as ‘they talked’ but the actual dialogue. Seems she really likes the interplay I manage to create between the two character in question–can’t take that as anything but praise.

She also wanted to give the bit under this section more suspense and tension.

I got the chapter back a number of days ago and had worked out all the rest of the edits but kept getting stuck on these two points. I would edit other chapters, get in the mind set, and go back to 25 rearing to go- only to stop dead and shake my head.

This morning, on a whim, I decided to tackle it another way. Instead of treating it as editing, I went at it as my morning writing session. I still have to finish up the new chapter 28 and have plenty of work to do on ‘Corrupted Souls’ but chapter 25 had really started to bother me- a chain around my neck.

It worked. Using my writing time to approach the problem, instead of my editing time, gave me the freedom to step away from the rest of the chapter and just write a scene.

I’ll have to remember this trick, for I am certain, this will not be the last time I run into a scene, in one of my books, that needs to be rewritten.

War is Begun

Posted: April 14, 2014 in Homesteading
Tags: , , , , ,

Last night, a chicken didn’t go into the coop at night. We know this because there was a ruckus outside and I found him on the ground, feathers strewn everywhere. I brought him in, and we did what we could for the wound. The chicken is still alive this morning – but not happy.

There was another chicken killed a little over a week ago, so we were already on high alert – making sure we closed the coop door as soon as the sun had set (chicken don’t go to bed in warm weather until the sun has set). The first chicken, was decapitated and gutted. We thought raccoon – yes, a hungry mother raccoon will hunt, and take down a chicken.

This birds wounds are – odd. It could  have been, whatever went for him missed the crucial spot, hitting between his wings instead of the neck. But there is also the chance it might have been an aerial assault – the wound from an attempt to pick it up and carry it away. Only one bird hunts at night, an owl. It would have to  be one hell of a big owl to attempt taking a chicken.

Not knowing what is doing this – from a fox, to a coon, to an owl – or even if the two attacks are related, makes it hard to develop a battle strategy.

Right now, all we can do is hope all the birds get in the coop early enough to lock them up safe through the night. But, more drastic measures might have to be employed  – if we can figure the culprit.

My editor over at Xchyler Publishing, has finished going through the entirety of ‘Tomorrow Wendell’ and although there was nothing ‘wrong’, we have finally come to a ‘problem’.

Yesterday, she brought up the fact that the 28th chapter (there being only 29) was too similar to an earlier one. The creatures attacking were different, but their mode of entry for attack, and how it played out,  was too reminiscent of a previous chapter.

Big Problem.

What did my editor ask, with a sort of apology for doing so . . . ‘Can you rewrite it, and make it completely different?’


At first, my mind screamed – No! How! But! – then I stopped the tidal-pool of my thoughts. Could I?

A small perverse part of my brain chimed in then – It certainty would be a challenge, old boy.

Writers are masochists, you see.

I explained to my editor, that the first hurdle would be finding another existing mythological creature, that was associated with the taking of souls. Not as easy as you might think. It had to be something that was a group, not a singular entity. It had to be something I could actually work with, and it had to be different in physiological structure, so as to not take the same route of attack.


It wasn’t like I hadn’t done this research the first time around.

But – I could see the point my editor was making, and that perverse part of my brain was giddy with delight.

So, it began. The search.

Eventually I found something – something very different. Something I might just be able to take to my Muse and ask, ‘Can you work with this?’

Now, I’m a seat of the pants writer. My plot flows organically, I can force it. So it was important that my Muse liked what I presented, or I would get not a single word down.

I took a long hot bath, and hoped for images to start coming to my mind – thanks to my Muse. They did. I was having a problem with using the suggested mode of entry, which was becoming a stumbling block, until my Muse suggested we turn the suggestion on it’s head – rather literally. Once that obstacle was removed, the possibilities flowed easier.

So this morning, I rewrote the end of the 27th chapter, which was where the attacking creatures were first introduced. It went well, I think I can make 28 happen. I wait now, for feed back on 27, to know if I should move forward.

Luckily, we are ahead of schedule – or so I am told. Until I hear back, I guess I’ll edit the chapters up to 28 that await my input. . . because we writers, you see, are masochists.


I seem to be at a place in my mental health balance where I am walking a tightrope. I feel the tug of irrationality pulling me one way, but I also don’t want to go back on my 250 ml of Apo-Divalproex. In the long over-view, I normally do not need to be on them at this time. Usually this is the calm after a long storm. However, two years ago, I never got to the point where I could drop off the 250 ml. So it is possible I am going to need to go back on them.

This thought doesn’t exactly fill me with elation. If it’s what has to happen, then it will, but I would prefer if I didn’t. I enjoy being able to reduce the meds. I feel a little better about my own self-control when I am on a lower dose–not that my control is stronger, just a feeling of being more in control of my own life. It’s a hard thing to describe, unless you live your life depending on medication to govern your mind. Being off the 250 ml, when I can, gives me a sense of relaxing, that is purely placebo but I’ll take a sugar pill – I like sweets.

I will watch myself over the coarse of the next few days and gauge which way the wind is blowing. I hope this is just a blip.

NOTE: My Psychiatrist is well aware of the fact that I raise and lower my medication by 250 ml when I feel it is appropriate. We have worked together to find a system that works for me and he trusts me to do this small adjustment (with my wife as a check point). DO NOT SELF-ADJUST your medication unless you and your doctor feel completely confident in this happening. Mine is a special case, in many ways, and what works for me is not necessarily going to work for you.