I’m sitting in my writing chair, listening to John Coltrane, and watching a flock of Western tanagers invade our birdbath. It isn’t that they want a bath; they’re thirsty. And the birdbath is the local watering hole. Just about everyone who is anyone in the animal kingdom around here drinks out of it.
Change is in the air. Birds of feather are flocking together. Fall colors are lighting up our property and the surrounding countryside. And the bucks are amorous. Not so much the does. Yet. They leap out of the way whenever a buck sneaks up behind them. The does still remember what happened last year. All those promises about sticking around and helping raise the kids. Right. And even if they don’t remember, they think that the bucks should work for what they want, prove their worthiness, and wait until the mood strikes. “Foreplay, sweetie. Foreplay.”
Politically, who knows what the heck is happening. But things will resolve themselves, for better or for worse— depending on which side of America’s Great Political Divide you find yourself. The presidential race is being decided as I type this.
All this change going on has inspired me to modify my blog. With over 10 years and 1000 posts behind me, it’s time. I started Wandering through Time and Place as a creative way to promote books. But I got caught up in blogging for its own sake. It’s fun; it’s addictive. And I really like the people I’ve met along the way. It has also provided an opportunity to play with photography and go on adventures. What’s not to love about that? No regrets.
But it certainly hasn’t helped the book-writing process. In fact, between all the things involved in living from day to day, going on adventures, and knocking out posts, there hasn’t been a lot of time for my original goal. Plus, there’s another thing.
Early on, I defined my blog in the travel/adventure category. It fit with what I wanted to accomplish. Unfortunately, in “being true to my blog,” I cut out an important part of who I am. Between my experiences at Berkeley in the 60s, serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, and working as an environmental and public health advocate for most of my professional life, I developed clear ideas about the direction of the nation and the world. For the most part, I have kept them out of the blog. It’s been really hard. Sometimes I slip.
So, here’s what I am going to do.
I am currently working on two books: A revision of The Bush Devil Ate Sam (my Peace Corps memoir) and A Bear Is Standing on Me (a memoir on my 50 years of wilderness adventures). Like I did with my original Peace Corps book, I am going to blog them, one Tuesday at a time, alternating between the Bush Devil and the Bear. This will provide some much-needed focus for me, while hopefully providing you with a bit of entertainment. I’ll keep Thursdays for my travel blog.
Occasionally, I will do an opinion piece about current affairs and the future. These will always be on Sundays. This way you will know what to expect and can avoid them if you so desire. Or, join the discussion. No trolls, however. On the recent post I did on the Phoenix/Talent fire and global warming, one person commented more or less, “You don’t know what the S**T you are talking about. So shut the F**k up.” Not nice. I hit the delete button— with pleasure. Intelligent, rational discussion will always be welcome.
And now for some fall colors seen in our ‘neck of the woods’ this week. I’ll start with views around our property. The colors really are glorious. I feel like I am in Vermont.
Our 30 mile drive into Jacksonville and Medford has also been spectacular. It’s worth the trip for the fall colors alone. Count me in as a leaf-peeper. The photo at the top of this post demonstrates why. Here are some more photos from along the way.
NEXT POSTS: On Tuesday… Kick off for blogging “It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me. On Thursday… The Loneliest Road in America: Highway 50 across Nevada.
44 thoughts on “Change Is in the Air… And I Am Changing with It”
I’m still sitting here laughing at that doe on top of the roof. Not only have I never seen such a thing, it never occurred to me it would be possible. You must have the tastiest acorns in the world!
I might have got some better pictures, Linda, but first I had to make sure that Peggy had a chance to see her up there. Pretty much blew our minds.
They do love the acorns. You can always tell they are eating them by the way they crunch them in their mouths. Quite amusing. –Curt
I love the pictures you include in this post, especially the doe on the roof. Those bucks can be real pain in the fsll.
Thanks Molly. It’s always fun watching how the animals that live around here interact. It’s like having our own nature channel. But more fun! –Curt
I look forward to the revisions of your books and wish you good luck with the commentaries. It may take luck; the Internet seems devoid of rational discussion.
It’s going to be interesting, Ray. I suspect I’ll make way my way through it with a sense of humor and my delete button. 🙂 –Curt
I love your new plan, but oh, my it is ambitious! That’s a lot of revising and writing, Curt, but I know you’re up to it, and I look forward to seeing what you put out. I do hope you continue to add a few gorgeous views of the scenery in your neck of the woods like the ones you’ve included here. We’re not traveling now (unfortunately!), and your golden and red trees are a welcome sight. Wishing you all the best with your new endeavors.
Thanks so much, Rusha. The good news, from my perspective, is that I already have a lot of the work done on the books. 🙂 And not to worry, there will continue to be tales and photos from the road as well as from out home base here in Oregon. –Curt
I have purchased my ticket for the long ride ahead!
And I intend on having you sit next to me on the journey, Andrew. –Curt
I, too, started my blog to promote my books. That’s what “they” said, “You need to blog.” Well, eight years later, I cannot say that I’ve sold any books with it, but I’ve joined several “communities,” beekeepers, gardeners, homesteaders, writers, new junkies–essentially people with whom I share slices of my life, in exchange for slices of theirs. I now blog for bloggings sake–a bit of a relief, because I was never comfortable pimping my books on my blog readers. It felt way too much like a Tupperware party. Enjoy your new trajectory and keep us posted on how it turns out.
Maybe if we had a few million followers, AV. Grin. But the odds of that are smaller than the traditional publishing route. In ways, I feel like we were sold a bill of goods. No regrets, as I said, however. Blogging has proven to be a great experience. I do the things I enjoy doing without any hassles. And as you pointed out, the sharing is special. –Curt
Curt, we’ve greatly enjoyed following your travels and adventures for several years now after a good friend introduced us to your “Wandering” posts. We love your new plans and will be looking forward to reading your Tuesday book blogs, Thursday travel blogs, as well as your opinion pieces. Your posts never fail to brighten our day and are constant reminders of all of the things that were and still are important in our lives!
Thanks so much, Claire. It’s thoughts like yours that makes the work that goes into producing these tales worthwhile. Appreciated. –Curt
nice to read this post from you and I certainly look forward to your books and most of all for the “A Bear Is Standing on Me” book.
Thanks. Alway glad to have you along. I’m kicking off Bear on Tuesday. –Curt
Thanks for the beautiful pictures. And every tree has turned orange here and leaves everywhere. I, too, have had many birds this year. Would love to see the deer and other animals. This old lady has made it one more year and has had many blessings. Keep safe. Your Makemson cousin!!!!!
Ann, I’m assuming? 🙂 And one more year makes a lot. So glad you are still out there counting your blessings. Take care my friend. Peggy and Bone say hello. –Curt
It may be time to get another birdbath to handle the large influx of wildlife that congregates at your local watering hole.
Then Peggy and I wouldn’t have to fill it three times a day. 🙂
I love it when a plan comes together!
Well done, Curt. All the best with your new ventures especially your upcoming books. It’s wonderful how you managed to combine, adventure, photography and a community of admirers making friends along the way.
Thank’s Gerard. I have enjoyed the whole experience, but it is making friends along the way that has been the most rewarding. –Curt
Ha! I love the picture with the robins having their little meeting there 🙂 And your memoirs sound very interesting, I will be looking forward to reading them in bits and pieces as you take your blog in this new direction! 🙂
That was quite a gathering. 🙂 I’m excited about the memoirs, MB. I’ve had a lot of fun working on them. Adventure, humor, and a touch of reality. –Curt
I too have been blogging for 10 years principally as a travel blog. I still have about 6 or 7 more travel stories to tell from our trips to India early this year, Japan last year, and Vancouver and area outings that I’ve not yet shared. After that I’m not sure what I’ll do. By that time maybe we’ll be off travelling again tho I doubt it. Anyway, I love your new format and very much look forward to reading both Bush Devil and Bear each week. Also – beautiful photos of the fall colours!
Thanks, Alison. No problems with content here. I’ve hardly touched our summer trip around the US. And I have enough in both books to take up a year. I am pretty sure that you and Don will figure out some way to hit the road! Head off to the Yukon! 🙂 –Curt
I lived in the Yukon for nearly 10 years. Not in a hurry to do it again lol.
Love the doe on the roof. Lucky you noticed her. Your plan sounds great.
It’s a good thing that my writing chair looks out on all of the action. Peggy sat in it the other day when I was taking a nap and said, “I don’t know how you ever get anything done!” –Curt
Can you help me with camera
I trust you liked the photos! Photography is one of those things that improves with experience. Digital cameras provide lots and lots of opportunities to practice. Photograph things from different angles and in different light. See what you like and do it again. –Curt
That is a lot of deer shenanigans going on Curt! I applaud you for making the change to your blog that is a better fit. I’ll look forward to seeing the new approach.
Thanks, Sue. The changes have me excited. It was time. –Curt
So nice of you to provide a safe zone for the does! And acorns for desert! 😂
Laughing. The doe was an opportunist. “Since I am already up here…” 🙂
You have the most gorgeous visitors. Great photos but our fave has got to be the doe on the roof! Exciting changes — we’re looking forward to them.
The doe was special. And we laughed that she decided to eat acorns when she had climbed up to escape the buck. That’s being pragmatic. 🙂 Thanks on the changes. I’m excited. –Curt
I kept wondering how is going with your new book; I didn’t know you’re going to revise the Bush Devil. Blogging can be very time consuming LOL
All the best with your books, can’t wait to hear more stories😊
Blogging a book goes against tradition, Christie, but it is way to tell stories. The Bush Devil stories from the time I was in Liberia will remain primarily the same. Most of the updating will have to do with the time after I left. Thanks! –Curt
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