Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Category: life (page 2 of 6)

Today’s haiku

Man with head buried in hand

mama never said

working with stupid asshats

could be so so hard

 

-sitting at a work meeting

Today’s haiku – three

cozy fireplace

chilly winter night

thinking of autumn journeys

ah, warm memories

 

-on looking at photos from a trip to Japan

 

starry night

stars shiver above

in a cold sapphire sky

winter wonderland

 

-on looking at the stars in clear, dry Oregon weather

 

frost road

is it frost or snow?

white patches on the roadside

solstice is coming

 

-on driving Highway 30

Today’s haiku

shopping cartsshared sighs as we wait

the checkout line doesn’t move

it’s only 12/8!

 

-from a veeeery slow line at Costco

Today’s haiku

Dog claiming skateboardman on a skateboard

holding a chuckit and leash-

delighted puppy

 

-from a lovely afternoon walk in gorgeous Oregon winter sunshine (seriously!)

Photo source: Les Chatfield

Today’s haiku – two

sasquatchSasquatch robot arm?

The Six Million Dollar Man

raises an eyebrow

 

-from the couch with season 3  of “The Six Million Dollar Man” playing

 

 

 

Japanese postinstant sekihan,

green tea, rag zori—

package from Japan

 

-in the kitchen with a package just received from a good friend in Japan

Today’s haiku

cedar branchempty sky above
lone bird darts among cedars
winter solitude

 

-from the comfort of the couch,
with a plate of pumpkin pie

Today’s haiku

tissues boxcoughing and sneezing

a mound of dirty tissues

ah, winter is here

 

from the comfort of the couch,
with a steaming mug of Lemon-Ginger tea and a full box of Kleenex

Hitting the wall

brick wall

Exposing the wall under the plaster – hits a little too close to home

I didn’t think it would happen to me. After all, I’ve been writing for around fifteen years, I’ve “won” Nanowrimo eight times, I led/taught a writing group for two years, and I regularly give talks on “How to Write a Novel in 30 Days”. Heck, I published a book! I’ve got this writing thing down.

Um, yeah, no.

Not entirely sure what happened. I started some flash fiction stories back in July thinking that would be a simple, quick kick in the butt for getting some stories written. Come on— five stories running 500 words each. Piece of cake!

Um, yeah, no.

Each of those stories went longer than 500 words. Some a little longer (1400 and 1800 words), a couple longer than that (3000 and 3200 words), and then the Big Kahuna at 8200 words.

And I don’t think I was longwinded.

Then I went to Japan and that took me way off course between the planning, packing, and coordinating with friends over there. Had a great time (despite catching a monster head cold), and was looking forward to getting back into the swing of writing things. After all, November is National Novel Writing Month, or as I was thinking, “National Short Story Writing Month”. I’ve completed the Nanowrimo challenge enough to know that I can do it, so I set a goal of writing 30 stories in 30 days. It would be a stretch for me, but I read about other people who had done it and had amazing experiences. I wanted those experiences, too!

Well, I certainly got an experience. Just not the one I was expecting.

See, I hit a wall. A very big wall. The wall writers (usually the inexperienced or not-completely-dedicated) will bemoan. The dreaded Writer’s Block.

I thought it couldn’t happen to me. I was smarter than that, more dedicated than that. From everything I had seen, “Writer’s Block” was just an excuse people give for not being able to sit their ass down and write.

That’s true, but I think there may be something more behind it.

And that would be Fear.

Ah, yes. Hello, dear friend Fear. It has been awhile.

So I am working my way through this, and will share that process as I figure it out.*

Photo source: Gabriele Diwald

 

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*Really. If I can help others who are struggling with this, then it will have been worth it. Painful, but worth it.

I’m not dead – I just went to Japan

map, passport, camera

Travel! Yay!

So you know how your life is just humming along, everything is cruising smoothly with not a care in the world, and then all of a sudden you go into overdrive?

Yeah, that was mid-September through, oh, about now.

The thing is, I kind of forgot I had a trip to Japan planned. I know you’re saying, “How could you forget you were going to Japan?”

Well, you see, life was humming along . . .

Honestly I have no freaking idea how I forgot. The best I can figure is that I had the airplane tickets and then my brain said, “Tickets!” and promptly went back to the usual state of things.

Saw a lot of this while in Japan. Except with the phone on a selfie stick.

Usually I would have been obsessing planning from the get-go: itinerary, lodgings, transportation, Buddhist temples, bookstores. This time there was pretty much none of that.

Oh, yeah, I remember now. It was mid-summer when I got the airplane tickets. You know, mid-summer. In Oregon. The one season where the sun will shine and it is absolutely delightful to hang out outside.*

So at T-minus seven days to departure, regular life got pushed aside and the focus turned to JAPAN.

My apologies for the delay in getting back to the blog. It would seem that not only did a monster head cold (which I picked up on the trip – what an awesome souvenir!) lay me low, but did you know that jet lag actually gets worse the older you get? Or maybe it’s just me. It took a few days for me to acclimate to the 16 hour time difference this direction. And I still have the lingering cold, but I had a great time catching up with friends, exploring areas of Japan I had never been to (Ninja Temple! JAXA!), and getting my Japanese language skills back.

That said, it’s good to be home. Just in time for Nanowrimo!**

Japanese tea house

I am totally going to build myself one of these in the backyard. But probably without the moat.

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*Unless there are forest fires that are blanketing the air with smoke, and you have to remain indoors because, seriously, the smoke is so bad. And do not get me started on the idjut who set off the Eagle Creek fire – WHICH IS STILL BURNING! Capital punishment would still be too light for that twerp.

**Actually, I think this year will be NaShoStoWriMo, as I will attempt to write 30 short stories in 30 days. Because a 50,000 word novel was just too easy.***

***I’m kidding about ‘easy’.

 

So the eclipse came

Natural pinhole camera effect through the Japanese maples

Partial eclipse viewable via pinhole camera effect of the trees.

And went, and I was so very wrong about “oh, 98% of totality is close enough.”

Yeah, no.

I got to watch* the eclipse from the comfort of my driveway with deck chairs, coffee, and maple bars. Actually, that’s probably how I would spend a nice summer morning regardless of Apocalyptic Doom. Or especially, in that case.**

Most of the time I spent dashing between the house (with KPTV’s live newscast—oh no! Fog has descended on Lincoln City!) and the outside.

What surprised me was that it got eerie. I expected the birds to stop chirping, but the change in sunlight quality surprised me. As the moon eclipsed the sun and started blocking the light, the sunlight seemed to turn almost blue, like a grey filter was getting applied to the world. Then the temperature quickly dropped and I had to run inside to grab a fleece jacket and wool socks. No wonder one could think the world was coming to an end! And then before I knew it***, the eclipse was over and the sunlight got warmer, the birds returned, and it was time to see about lunch.

As much as I enjoyed getting to stay home and watch the (mostly) eclipse there, now I would like to have the full-on Total Solar Eclipse Experience.****

If I can only remember where I filed the eclipse glasses . . .

 

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*”Watch” via eclipse glasses, a welding helmet, a cereal box pinhole camera, and natural pinhole cameras through the trees. Not all at one time.

**Probably with a stronger drink, though.

***Seriously. It was all of maybe one minute.

****That didn’t come out right. I meant more of a “the moon completely covers the sun and there is absolutely no sunlight” full-on TSEE.

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