How convenient – today is World Wildlife Day AND Day of Unplugging. What better way to celebrate both than to get away from electronic devices and venture into the great outdoors to commune with creatures in the wilds. (At a safe distance, of course.)
I’m fortunate in that I live outside town, and a small town at that, and we regularly have wildlife come to the door. Not really, but pretty darn close.
This is one of the resident deer. This mama brought her twins to visit last spring and I got to watch them grow over the summer. Now the young ‘uns hang out with the rest of the juveniles in a gang of about a dozen. I fear for my garden.
A small tribe of red squirrels lives in the evergreen forest surrounding my house. Though I see individuals scampering through the glade on a daily basis, I’ve yet to get a good photo. So here is one I nabbed from Unsplash.
I’ve seen hare tracks but haven’t seen the critter.
The variety of bird life is reduced somewhat this time of year but the hardy bird-folk are lovely to see. Sea gulls, of course, but also bald eagles, red tail hawks, blue jays, yellow shafted flickers, and nuthatches can all be seen from my office windows. I especially enjoy watching the crows play in the wind blowing in off the ocean.
What sorts of wild life can you see from your windows?
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Photo of red squirrel by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash
Most writers have a favorite writing method. For instance, some swear by Scrivener (me), while others write in Word or Google docs. Some prefer to draft longhand (me as well depending on my mood), using fountain pens with purple ink and notebooks.
Many of us have a favorite writing book, too. I have three shelves devoted to craft books that have helped me understand storytelling, and demystify several aspects of writing. Today I'm helping to usher a new writing guide into the world: The Emotion Thesaurus (Second Edition).
You may have heard of The Emotion Thesaurus before, or even own a copy. The original's lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 unique emotions made brainstorming character expressions and reactions so much easier, and were immensely helpful in the editing process. It deservedly became a bestseller.
Now, there's a bigger, better second edition. Huzzah! Angela and Becca have added 55 NEW emotions such as Euphoria, Vindicated, and Schadenfreude. So many new ways to mess with our characters! (And that's not all that's new, either...the book is almost twice the size as the original. More words and ideas with which to play.)
Anyway, if you're interested in checking it out, and you really should be, you can read some of the reviews on Goodreads or find information here.
But that’s not all...are you ready for this?
Wish you could attend a free writing retreat, go to a conference, snag a seat at a workshop, or have your professional membership to a writing organization paid for? Of course you do!
Well, at Writers Helping Writers, one lucky winner will get one of the above, up to a $500 US value. How cool is that?!?
This is the giveaway of a lifetime, so hurry over to enter!
I'm unsure why tomorrow is declared Drink Wine Day in the US of A. Why is tomorrow so special? It can't have anything to do with the harvest, me thinks. Perhaps it's a way to fight the mid-winter doldrums. I think you'd stand a better chance of raising spirits (ha!) with a Chocolate Day, or a Eat Cake While Wearing Jammies Day, but maybe that's just me.
Here's the link to the official DWD website if you want to check it out. Yummy looking wine cocktail recipes in the side-bar that I may have to investigate further.
In other news, I baked these blueberry muffins yesterday. The recipe is my go-to muffin recipe from Alton Brown. I adapted it by using one cup of frozen blueberries from the stash in my deep freezer. I buy many pounds of wild blueberries every summer and divvy them up into one cup portions, which are a convenient amount for most recipes.
Yes, the recipe makes a dozen muffins, and yes, there is one missing from the photo. That's because it was in my tummy as soon as it was cool enough to eat. Son1 and his partner arrived about an hour later and each ate a muffin as an afternoon treat. Breakfast this morning took care of a few more. I think I'll be baking another batch fairly soon.
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Anyone else feel like January lasted longer than 31 days? This past week was eleven days long, I swear.
Someone needs to reorganize the calendar. Making January one of the long months was just plain mean. Unconscionable.
Not only are we coming down from the high of holiday festivities, we’re expected to ring in the New Year with resolutions and similar promises to do better and be better. Only to face thirty-one loooong days in which to castigate ourselves for failing in those resolutions.
All of that aside, moving the calendar labels around won’t make a bit of difference. The weather will be lousy regardless of the name or number you ascribe to the day. January 15th or Febtember 1st, it’ll be cold with a 60% chance of flurries, a high of -3C falling to -11C overnight, and I’ll still eat more cookies than I should.
Yesterday was Ground Hog Day, as I’m sure you were all made aware by round the clock coverage of what Phil did when he was yanked unceremoniously from his cozy den. For us here in Nova Scotia, we have our own ground squirrel, Shubenacadie Sam, to make the seasonal prediction. Based on what he encountered yesterday, we can look forward to six more weeks of winter. Well, of course we can, it’s only the start of February. We’ll have winter until April at least. Harrumph. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
But who can stay crabby when looking at this cheeky fellow?
Time for a lovely cup of hot cocoa to chase away the chills. What do you drink as a warming pick-me-up?
Photo by Hosea Georgeson on Unsplash
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