West view, Morning, January 2015

West view, Morning, January 2015

The Four Seasons


The second-floor  window looks west over a moon-lit landscape, black forest the border to snow-swept fields intensifying the moon’s reflected light.  Just above the SW horizon Mercury and Venus lie close.  The nights have been clear and thus the snow fields make full moon last longer than its allotted week.

When I go out to put wood into the outdoor furnace in early morning, the spruce and tamarack plantations are photo-negative black and snow-topped white. Can it be 30 years already since I began to replant those rock-filled glacial farm fields into trees?y

Tree tops west of the house catching the sunrise.

Tree tops west of the house catching the sunrise.

We are upgrading the farmhouse. I make slow progress redoing the downstairs bathroom; old plumbing is mystifying to my dyslexic eye, so I have become buddies with Jim at the hardware store.  Five trips to Merrill.

This is the problem. Old farms and farmhouses have many tasks; those undone flit like bats through my brain when I want to write a novel scene. The mental effort required to construct a kitchen back splash is the same mental effort required to compose a subtle and emotion-filled dialogue, both equal to 1/252nd of the finished task.

In the mornings I will write The Executioner’s Son one scene at a time, one paragraph at a time if I must.  In the afternoon I will upgrade my web site. In the evenings I will finish the bathroom, one task at a time.

The kitchen will wait until April.



For friends and family who fret the world will end in CO2 rather than Rapture, I bring you a modicum of peace. To date, the 80 thousand trees I’ve planted over thirty years have sequestered 30,000 tons of CO2 to date and are projected to sequester 100,000 tons in their ninety-year projected lifetime. There, don’t you feel better?