Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Last night I went to Border's to write. I read somewhere it is good to write in different locations. Their de-caf coffee did not impress and conversation distracted me. A professorial-sounding fellow with bad teeth, plastic-framed glasses and greasy-gray hair Shemp-folded over his bald spot tutored a lithe, sinewy, runner-looking 19-year-old man-boy on the finer points of molecular biology. "The dark ages were caused by a lack of crop rotation," is all I remember from professor's oration. The rest was gibberish about free radicals and ions. Tonight I try the library.

MY SO-CALLED WRITING LIFE... Work continues in earnest editing trail chapter information for a guidebook about the Ice Age Trail. Sunday I finished two chapters and today received two more, which I plan to finish by the end of the week. This is volunteer work, but will give me editing credentials in a published book, a first. I am also contributing an article or two. I continue to work on short stories about the Appalachian Trail. My goal is to have 6 finished stories to put together in a chapbook to distribute at Trail Days. I'd ultimately like to have 14 stories for a full-fledged book. Fiction is tougher than journalism. I haven't fleshed out a good system for putting stories together like I have with non-fiction. It's so easy with the latter. Search, search, search for information. Talk to as many experts as possible. Gather your information in one place and arrange it in order of most to least importance. Fiction? Whew! That's a toughie. Maybe that's why I love it so. It's a real challenge. I continue to write poetry, but only as the muse strikes, averaging one or two "good" poems a month. Same with song lyrics. I practice my guitar every day.

Bottom line: I make no money off my words. The magazine market beckons. We'll see.

TRICK KNEE

During soccer instruction to second graders today I aggravated my trick left knee. I don't know what it is I do, but every once in a while I twist my left leg and it sends me to the floor writhing in pain. I'm still able to walk on it afterwards, but it is sore the rest of the day. I bummed it last during trail work in November, and before that, dancing around the fire at Trail Days in May. My legs never failed me. Neither my knee. But, damn, this is close. Each time it is scary and painful. I'd go to my doctor, if I had one, or if I had health insurance.

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