Tell Me, Dear Reader…

baxterclare Baxter's Blog & News 1 Comment

My wife mentions a blog this morning and it gets me to thinking it’s been a long time  since I’ve written one. Then I get an email from Bywater Books announcing the blog hop I agreed to participate in has begun. Oka-ay, guess I know what I’m doing today.

First, though, a question to the reader – dear blog reader, tell me what you want to know. What are you looking for when you take the time to visit a blog and read it? You who have so little time, yet choose to spend it with me, what can I do for you? How can I (choose all that apply) entertain, inform, inspire, edify? What humble crumbs might I offer?

Entertain, is it? How about news that my wife and I are living through an El Niño winter in a 1988 travel trailer with no shower, two large dogs and a big, fat cat.

(Yes, there is an orange cat behind the dog but Tim has sadly gone on to his next incarnation. We look forward to having him back soon. Maybe he will return as a mischievous kitten when we get our new home.)

Since Thanksgiving we’ve been thinking that our house being rebuilt after the fire will be done “in a week or two.” Naiveté or critical wishful thinking, I’m not sure. But really, I’m pretty sure it’ll be done soon, a week or two. Definitely by ChristmasNew Years, Valentine’s Day…

Information you want? I went off on a long-weekend retreat in January and started a new book – whoa, easy Franco fans. Sorry, not her yet. She’s still stewing in the mountains. This new, fragile love is non-fiction – part memoir, part natural history. A grown-up Spirit of the Valley, set in the ubiquitous California chaparral instead of an oak savannah.

What if it’s inspiration you seek? What little can I impart? I’ll tell you what works for me. When I wake up I am warm, dry and (usually) not in pain. A lot of people can’t say that, and my first thought every morning is, good God, how lucky am I? Take stock of the little blessings you overlook – cereal and a cupboard to keep it in; hands that automatically do your bidding (yesterday I watched a homeless, armless guy trying to drink a cup of hot chocolate); the simple, unequivocal love of a cat, dog or houseplant. (Don’t believe me about the plant? Concentrate hateful thoughts on it for a month and see what happens.)

Edification is a little harder. What to teach or instruct, and can I even? I hope so. I’ve been asked to lead two LGBT workshops for the 2016 Central Coast Writer’s Conference. (More details to follow. ) What can I impart other than the most basic and crucial tasks of any writer- dream; read what you admire; tell the truth; and damn it, just sit down and write. That’s probably the hardest work right there – getting your big/fat or little/skinny butt in a chair and typing away. Go to town! Have fun. Go wild! Go crazy! No one’s watching. Or should be at this point. The start of a project is exclusively for you and your dreams. Later, so much later, after you’ve got all those dreams, or much of them, spelled out in 12-point Garamond, then you can start sharing and bravely inviting critique. But the most important of the journey, is just starting.


I didn’t know what I was going to blog about this morning, but I opened my laptop and took the first step. Here is where it’s led us. And dear reader, we’ve so many more steps to take together. Where would you like to go next?








Comments 1

  1. I hear you Sister. We are blessed to have what we have. Carpe Diem- thanks for the inspiration to develop, cultivate, & create a “life worth living”. There is so much to create, to think about, to write & explore.
    Face the beautifully blank canvas with joy & appreciation for the novel the unknown, the “unchartered waters” of your creativity, and maybe most importantly- ” enjoy the journey”! Love & Peace-

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