Blowdowns and Abandoned Writing Dreams

Thank goodness for a 4×4 truck! As I’ve mentioned in at least one previous post, when we head north to our cabin, the route takes us via major highways, gravel logging roads, private dirt roads and eventually to our very primitive road.

There is no public access to our land, and therefore no road maintenance. When trees are down, or washouts happen, you know who has to deal with them.

A couple weeks before we arrived there for our summer holiday a localized tornado went through, affecting areas on a hit-and-miss basis. In some places only a tree or two went down; in others, whole stands fell over. We had to cut our way through three trees before we reached our cabin. Readymade firewood!

On our recent fall trip, the now leafless branches became art as they arched across their fallen neighbours. I’ve returned to these photos several times, noting how it was mostly the less mature growth that bent, broke or flattened in the pummeling wind. I see how tall and gangly some of the growth was — struggling to escape the crowd to reach elusive light.

The images morph into a question … whether experienced or perhaps more mature writers are better able to withstand the stresses of an uncertain future in today’s publication industry.

How often do newer writers become discouraged and decide to lay down their pens? What makes them give up on their dreams while others determine to hold on? I wonder why some writers seem more firmly rooted in the path they’ve chosen.

I’d like to hear your ideas.


Happy 176th Birthday to Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” [Mark Twain]



Oh, Bear of Little Brain That I Am!

My husband walked down the hall to his office moments ago and then returned, muttering that he had forgotten what he was going for. I sympathize because I’ve done that, too. Generally if I take myself back to what I was doing when the thought first occurred the memory will return.


There are times, however, when an important thought doesn’t find its way back into my addled brain. It’s usually one related to my writing — the perfect choice of words in dialogue, an ideal twist of plot or bit of scheming — and if I don’t make a note of it instantly, it’s gone forever. I can struggle an entire morning fiddling with phrases to try and reclaim the forgotten one, but nothing feels as right as the lost original. Oh, the frustration! “Aghhh, I’m such a bear of little brain!” I storm, retreating to the words of one of my favourite furry characters.


So when I came across a blog entry by James Chartrand titled “The Winnie the Pooh Guide to Blogging” I had to drop everything and read it. What caught my attention was his Lesson #5:


“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. “No,” said Pooh humbly, “There isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”

“Pooh never panicked when plans went astray. Life continually threw him curve balls and he never seemed surprised. Obstacles cropped up constantly, but that didn’t bother Pooh either. He expected adversity to happen. When it did, Pooh seemed almost pleased, as if he were greeting an old friend come to visit.

“That calm acceptance of life would serve bloggers [writers?] very well. When plans don’t work out, they just don’t – no big deal. You’ve come this far, and you can do it again, so there’s no point in getting stressed out until your seams split. Make a new plan and get on with it.”


Now there’s wisdom! Thanks, James.