January: Foxes, Open Windows, and Rain


Well, it’s been awhile. As per usual I make lots of big promises to myself to blog as often as possible and then find myself, for example, swooning over netflix reruns of Downton Abbey and procrastinating on knitting projects.

Cynically, I decided to spurn all new year’s resolutions this year, thinking that if I didn’t make the promises to myself they couldn’t be broken. However, in spite of far too many hours spent playing video games in 2013, I’ve also realized that I am capable of cleaning the apartment, maintaining something that can be truly labeled organization and not merely a semblance of, and playing things besides video games (such as AGRICOLA, the best boardgame and Christmas present a person could ask for). I am unemployed. I have plenty of time. I can keep one promise.

So, dear readers, please help me maintain this one little resolution: a heart-crossed pledge to write. A motion to write in many many motions, from the relatively flat typing that turns my hands to leaping spiders, to the mad scribbles in the moleskine, to the soon-to-come pattering of a typewriter (currently being resurrected in a wonderful Cambridge shop).

I am encouraged to write by many things, but especially by some friends of mine who have recently published books – Carrot Quinn’s Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train, Erin Therrien’s Wild Dyes:Natural Dyeing in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, and Lisa Taylor’s upcoming collection of poems, Necessary Silence. It is good to have the work of these people reminding me that it is good to do something whilst sitting besides wasting time.

I am also inspired by the upsurge of ecological scenes unfolding before me both here and in my native Milwaukee, where I stayed for ten days during the turn of the year.

Some of these scenes yanking at my writerly desire are charming, like the fox that I saw running through the night beside the kite shop at Bradford Beach. Others are bizarre, such as reports of turkeys chasing down the residents of Brookline (a suburb sidled up beside Boston), and still more are blissfully unsettling, like the Reggaeton and air, 60 degrees at least, that is sighing through my open windows in this, the middle of January.

But, reader. A list is only a list. I am staring at myself and demanding more. If I seem to need nagging you may nag at me, and I ask you do so. In return you get to ask me for things. Tell me what you’d like to read about, what you’d like me to learn and investigate. If you are bored or brightened by this blog tell me, and I’ll do what I can to make it better. I’ll write, anyway, at least once every two weeks. I think that I made this promise in October but now I’m in the universe of the unemployed, leaving me hours and days and weeks to devote to sentences here and in my much greater work that I’m hoping to publish sooner than later. There will be bits of pieces of it here as time goes by, and any feedback about it will always be welcome.

Anyway, here’s a belated mason jar of champagne raised to a new year. I’ll keep my promises and hope you’ll keep coming back for more.

wild turkey!

Image credits: nj.com and wildwonders.com. 

16 responses

  1. Hurrah that you’re back to the blog, Jenny! I envy you your lovely fox sighting. Down here in NYC, Staten Islanders have had similar experiences with being terrorized by turkey, which seems pretty hilarious from the outside. You must let me know if you’re ever heading toward Manhattan, so we can go for a walk together and look for animals.

    • Thank you, Melissa! I would absolutely love to take a stroll with you through the city! I will be down in your neck of the woods at some point this winter to see some urban wilderness and also to visit my aunt in New Jersey. I will most certainly let you know when I’m making my plans! Thanks so much for the offer – it will be lovely to meet you in person.

      The whole turkey thing is indeed hilarious and hard to believe. But they really can do some damage – my partner’s brother has a story about the paint job on his boss’s car being obliterated by a tom who thought his reflection was a male competitor. Have you heard any especially crazy stories of turkey mayhem?

      PS: Here’s an excellent interview with the Brookline animal control officer on “All Things Considered” a few years back. A true gem. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15604152

  2. Thanks for visiting 🙂 I’ll have stop by frequently and make sure you have new posts – apparently I’m good at pestering 😛 Good luck with the writing! I’m going to enjoy catching up on all your stories.

  3. Glad to see you are back! Ah, the wonderful world of unemployment. Took me more than a year but I’m now out of that situation. All the best to you in determining your next step. I don’t have any writing suggestions – your readers will delight as you keep us guessing what’s next!

    • Hello! Thanks for the welcome back 🙂

      I’m glad that you are employed again! Luckily I am not completely unemployed – besides my writing I also have a very tiny job with an interior landscaper downtown, as well as some work getting ready for the coming season at the garden center. I won’t be on full-time again until March, though, which really is a sort of blessing.

      Thank you as well for the encouragement. I always aim to delight!

    • Many thanks, Lori! Aren’t those images wonderful? I was so pleased when I found them.

      Hey – guess who is getting a spinning wheel next week?? I’m finally taking the plunge, most likely on a Kromski Sonata. So excited!!

  4. I am glad you found me, and can help you with your resolution by commenting (knowing how much I like comments myself). So. Hello. Tell me more about the animals you see. My local birds are beginning to think of pairing up. And my new year’s resolution is to smile more.

    • Hello Clare! Lovely to see you here. I will certainly be posting much more about the animals that have been gracing my presence. Lately there have been cardinals, downy woodpeckers, crows, red-tailed hawks, chickadees, and, as ever, plenty of squirrels and house sparrows. I am currently house-sitting for my partner’s parents and am enjoying gazing at the bird feeder where nearly all of these creatures converge (including some patiently voracious cats).

      Thanks for coming by! I’m glad that you’re smiling.

  5. I also had some “down time” (unemployment) last year and I ironically found it harder to write. Having nothing to do really killed my creative streak.

    It’s weird. I’d love to be able to quit my job and become a full time writer, but I wonder if I would be able to write if I was fully committed.

    But enough about little old me. I love your writing style so I will nag you to write AT LEAST once a fortnight (if not once a week).

    • Creeped,

      I know exactly what you mean about inactivity nipping creativity in the bud. I am doing my best to stay busy and curious and filled with things to write about. It is hard, though, to devote the time that is needed to my various writing projects, especially when all of youtube and twitter are calling out to me. But it’s necessary to spend that time with my practice, and I look forward to nailing down a reasonable, just-ambitious-enough writing schedule in the following months. We’ll see how it goes!

      I think that, despite the challenges, if one knows their passion they can achieve a certain success with it. It just takes a lot of time. Endless gobs of it. We need to decide what and who we give our gobs to. I, for one, need to stop feeding mine to the bottomless maw of twitter and focus more on metaphors and less sloppy copies.

      Anyhow, I’m so pleased that you’ve found your way over here and am happy that you’ll be coming back soon to nag at me. You’re welcome anytime 🙂

  6. Loving that fox picture! I know the feeling of wanting to write more, I’ve been doing the same thing since the new year. Unfortunately my computer isn’t cooperating. Apparently it doesn’t like to be spit up on by the baby :/. I’ve found mini posts from my phone do the trick sometimes. Good luck!

    • Ha, I suppose keyboards weren’t meant for spit-up. Mini posts though! I always forget that I can do that. Thanks for the reminder 😀 And thanks as well for following! I’ll write more you, cross my heart.

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