In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Buzzards at the Cemetery

We made a delivery to friends in North Monroe, New Hampshire, this morning, then headed home on the "scenic route" -- which immediately had me slowing the van and stopping in the middle of the road, to watch the unusual sight of a large turkey buzzard perched on top of some "road kill" (a crushed and furry heap of smashed animal) and refusing to move. I wanted to take a photo but Dave was concerned that we were a target for other cars arriving, so I let the car roll slowly forward, and with a clearly resentful shrug, the buzzard left its prey and allowed us to pass. I parked just beyond the spot as I realized what I was seeing where the buzzard had landed: THREE enormous turkey buzzards sitting together on the stones of the North Monroe cemetery, waiting for another chance to consume their meal.

As I eased the car door open, stepped out, and closed the door most of the way, more buzzards landed in the field on the other side of the road. I have never seen such a large group of turkey buzzards -- I usually see them as two to four in a group, wheeling in the sky. What was drawing them?

Next I realized that between the flock of birds of prey and the road, a small fox sat with its ears twitching. Fox kit (young one)? Or mama? I think probably the mama, since it watched the road intently. I raised the camera and caught a photo, but clearly was one threat too many, as the fox then stood up and trotted toward the road bank -- and vanished. Must be the fox den was under the edge of the road.

So, what was holding the flock of buzzards in place? It can't have been the small tattered mound on the road. It was barely enough for one buzzard to consume. I'm thinking cow ... the field is part of a dairy farm, and either a cow went down, or a calf didn't survive the birthing process and is tucked under the green growth where I can't see it, but the turkey buzzards can.

The birds perched on the cemetery stones became restless; you can see one here, toward the right, wings raised. I decided we should move on, and let them get back to bird business.

What an unusual morning!

And that is how writers get distracted. But fear not: Sue Tester and I finished our "semifinal" draft of Charlie's Place a week ago, and my editor at the publishing house is taking a look. Two more sets of revisions to complete, before I can let myself launch into writing The Fire Curse. Chug, chug, chug, puff. I think I can ...