Monday, May 2, 2016

When Writers Are Most Likely to Tumble...

A few minutes ago, I posted pics from a little desert hike I did earlier today. As usual, on my hikes, going down was the most hair-raising part. So far on my many hikes, I've not really fallen, although I am afraid I will. (I need a walking stick!) I certainly slip and slide a lot on my way down, and that desert hike was worse than those I am used to in Virginia/the Portland, Ore., area. More dry and rocky trails here. Anyway, my mind wandered rather than contemplate me falling off a cliff in slow motion. It wandered to how going down a hike is much like writing after you have finished your first draft.
One pic from my hike today


Writing your first draft: you're excited much of the time. You move quickly, in spurts, eager to see what is around the next bend. You can't wait to get to the top. Whether it's a simple mountain hike or climbing Everest, getting to the top is a huge accomplishment. So is finishing a first draft.

But guess what? Getting down is harder much of the time. For example, many, if not most, Everest deaths have occurred after climbers reached the top or had to turn around. Here's how it ties into writing. You're most likely not done after your first draft. Sure, it's possible that a magic pink unicorn helicopter will show up and whisk you off your Everest. It's somewhat more possible that you've written a masterpiece on your first attempt and can breeze from now on. In the huge majority of cases, though, what happens now determines the future of your book (or your health). Rock falls. Avalanches. Getting lost. Being robbed. Getting bitten by a snake. Becoming insecure about plot points. Clinging onto your wordy darlings, certain that you're on the right path--when you're miles and miles off course. Deciding whether to self-publish or to submit to publishers. Many times, rounds of editing and revisions.

Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Take breaks. Know ahead of time what you might be doing. Go with someone knowledgeable until you gain more experience. You get the picture.

And if you do fall? If you do trip like a clumsy mofo and roll and roll and scrape your knees and your legs and your arms and get dusty? Well, shoot. Get up and shake yourself off. But while you're down there, enjoy the view as much as you can (despite the pain). I bet it's gorgeous.

 

  

 

Proof That I Live in the Desert

Well, it's official. I've convinced myself. I live in the desert! ;) One of my new favorite places in Ellensburg is the Umtanum Recreation site. I took a little hike there today. I did not go as far as I would have liked to, due to being massively out of shape. Still, I did decently and got awesome pics. Here they are!























Friday, April 29, 2016

Japanese Garden in Ellensburg -- Another Favorite Place

Yesterday, I posted about Dick and Jane's Spot. Today, I headed out to another of my favorite places in Ellensburg, the Japanese garden on the campus of Central Washington University. The garden is a perfect place to spend a few minutes or a few hours of tranquility. Today was chilly and windy (Ellensburg is always windy!), and I am excited to return to the garden in a few weeks to see the changes.



















Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dick and Jane's Spot

My new town of Ellensburg has a lot of cool places. The coolest is arguably Dick and Jane's Spot. Lots of recycled art creatively deployed in a tiny space! I thought I'd share some pics.