unicorn quest

Creative writing, bicycling, wild west living, volunteer work, crafts, literature, religion and philosophy, all delivered to you by a 40 year old aspiring writer with Rosanna-Rosannadanna hair and glasses!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Gertie Sleeps In Posted by Hello

Early Morning

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn: 6 am. Why? Maybe because I've had a cold and have been sleeping a lot. I paced around, looking at the sunrise over the snowy mountains, wondering what to do with these precious hours.

Then I called my local bakery. "What time do you open?" "6 am." "What time do you have cinnamon rolls baked?" "In about 20 minutes."

I grabbed my novel portfolio, pens, yellow stickies, and was out the door.

When I got there, Trent was loudly clanging the bell, similar to a ship's bell, and shouting that the cinnamon rolls were out of the oven.

This is what a real writer does: when she pops awake early, she does not watch tv, soak in the bathtub, or start catching up on email. (Believe me, I've done all of the above.) Ideally, she writes.

I've met an awful lot of people who want to write a book someday. One person's mother told me he'd written the prologue to his book, but nothing else. "It's a beautiful prologue," she said.

Another person who wanted to write a science fiction novel told me he had the first sentence. He recited it for me. It was an intriguing opening sentence. Alas, that's as far as he ever got.

A dear friend of mine, an excellent writer, who makes her living hashing out articles for a retirement community paper ( sample headline--Duck Crisis on the Golf Course!) has actually finished two books in manuscript form, but refuses to send them out.

A "real" writer not only gets to type "the end", which I did after page 550, but revises the book until it is ready for publication, writes a synopsis, cover letter, pitch, and whatever else is needed, and actually sends it out to the publisher.

Having had poems published by literary journals, I can tell you there is no greater joy than opening an envelope to find the words "Acceptance Letter" at the top of the page. The first time it happened, my sister and I jumped up and down in our livingroom as if we'd just won a game show!

To all you aspiring writers out there--don't give up--just get up earlier!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Edmonton Bagpipers Posted by Hello

Snowy St Pat's in Butte

Slushy snow fell this St Patrick's Day in Butte, but it didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm. This is my second year in Butte, and in my opinion the local celebration is like a cross between Mardi Gras and Spring Break.

Historic Uptown was the scene for the parade, and for much frolicking by kids and adults decked out in every kind of glittery, wild and crazy outfit. There were kids sporting green hair, green wigs, loads of green shiny beads, dogs dressed in green scarves, college students wearing giant beer mug hats, and even a moose with a green lei.

The high spots of the parade and the day were of course the performances by the Edmonton Pipers. As they put it in an interview, they save their pennies all year long to come here, and in Butte they are treated "like rock stars." I caught them at the Gold Rush, and it was so crowded the drummers could barely lift their arms. The drummer nearest me had red white and blue sticks, in honor of this yearly visit.

I have to admit I myself was wearing a plastic green hat with a "halo," made of glittery green shamrocks and streams of ribbons, and I also had plenty of the green and gold beads around my neck.

I wound down the evening with a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner at a friend's house, and then karaoke at the Eagles Lodge. The college students who'd visited us last year were back, karaokeing with a vengeance, and as one of them said, "we brought reinforcements." One of their number wore a camouflage patterned kilt, and they all sported neon flashing buttons shaped like male and female genitalia.

Long live St Pat's in Butte!

Anaconda Bagpipers Posted by Hello

Moose on the Loose Posted by Hello

Festive Step Dancers Posted by Hello

St Patrick's Elf Posted by Hello