Checking In


Life. It goes too fast. Where have I been for two months? That’s like two years in blogging time.

…In Colorado recording an audio book of Hit By a Farm, which will be out next spring from DogEar Audio.

…Dealing with a wonky heart thing that turned out to be non-life-threatening premature atrial beats. Thank goodness they’ve settled down so it doesn’t feel as if my heart is trying to beat its way out of my chest. Very distracting.

…Writing, writing, writing. Turned in the final draft of my new memoir, called Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Acres, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet. Turned in the next draft of my children’s novel, Barn Boot Blues. Good heavens. When am I going to stop writing about this farm?

The current Sheepish cover is great—black, with lime green title, author name in hot pink, and subtitle in orange. There’s a white sheep wearing a lime green knit cap and scarf. Very funny. I’d post it, but the Sales people haven’t approved it yet (and I can’t figure out how to convert a pdf file into a jpg.)

Also, don’t get me started on Sales and Marketing—my editor likes the cover and the art director likes it, but Sales and Marketing people run the publishing industry now. If Sales doesn’t approve the cover, I might have to throw an Author Fit. I’m not really sure what that might look like, but it won’t be pretty. I wonder if there’s an online Author Guide to Throwing a Fit.

…Taking care of the farm while Melissa went hunting for a weekend. Unfortunately she came back with a bad head cold, which might affect her plans to go hunting again next week. Good news is our hunting dog Molly is shaping up nicely, and LOVES to be in the woods tracking down birds.

…Naming the ram. Our ram (thanks for all the suggestions) has ended up with this name:

Inigo Montoya. (“You killed my father. Prepare to die.”)

If this name has no meaning for you, run (don’t walk) to your library and check out the movie (or the book), The Princess Bride.

…Naming the new male duck. Melissa chose Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister of India.

Seriously. Heck of a name with which to saddle a duck. I call him Mr. Bodgepie. When Melissa bought him, his wings had been clipped. So for two months he just waddled around the farm. But yesterday I heard what sounded like a child running around on our roof. Concerned because our steep roof is not the safest of playgrounds, I went to investigate.

Mr. Bodgepie has discovered his wings. Hard to get mad at him for that.

Fall has come, and has been lovely.

Some sheep in some early-morning fog:

And a bird story….

Because we have a bank of windows on the south side of our house, birds often fly into them. Almost all of them fly away, and a few drop like stones, killed instantly. But whenever Melissa hears that telltale ‘thunk,’ she runs outside to see if she can help. If the bird is still alive, she’ll put it safely in a tree or on a post so it can catch its breath. Or she’ll put the bird, in this case a cedar waxwing, on her finger until it’s ready to fly again.

I love happy endings.

11 thoughts on “

  1. So good to see a post from you again! I know you’re (both) busy but you can’t just drop off the face of the farm like that. Even a short post now and then will reassure all of us that you are still there! (Do I sound like a mother? Yeah, it’s a problem I have. Just ask my daughter.)

  2. Welcome back! Can’t wait until I can purchase the book and hope your cover sees the light of day, it sounds great!

    The photo of the sheep in the fog – BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Glad to hear all is relatively well at your farm. I love the idea of listening to “hit by a farm”, I love that book! (I’d read it again but a friend still has my copy.) Also excited to hear about your upcoming books, all sound so great! Hope they let you do the cover you described, sounds delightful.
    Enjoy this wonderful autumn!!

  4. LOVE reading your posts!

    Have you considered putting decals on the windows the birds fly into? I looked online and Window Alert make some that are practically invisible from the inside…

  5. Well it is about time we got a check-in Ms. Friend! 🙂 I thought maybe the bees got you after all…

    Glad to hear about new books in the works, and also non-life-threatening heart things, but my heart goes out to you to have to deal with the scariness and yuckiness of it.

    Oh you lucky to see a Cedar Waxwing…we wait for them every year with fingers crossed. We planted a Hawthorne because they love the berries. So far no action this year yet.

    You’ll have to name one of your lambs “the six fingered man.”

  6. The six-fingered man! Ha! I love that! (and for those of you who don’t get the reference, once again, watch The Princess Bride.)

    Thanks, everyone, I’m back in the saddle again. Next week I’m posting photos of a very freakish bird transformation.

  7. So happy you are back. Just when I finally found you, you dissapeared. I love the book Hit By A Farm and will certainly look for it in audio! LOVE your writing!

  8. I love hearing about your issues with the cover art. As a designer, I understand completely the issues with the sales and marketing department. Did you throw an “Author Fit?” Don’t let *them* push you around!

  9. Catherine, I was just catching up on your blog. Love the ram’s name!! I used to love to chant “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”, that and “Twuuu Wuv…” Makes me giggle everytime I see that priests face saying it. Sad thing is my friend Bridget despises Princess Bride. I made her watch it a few years ago and threaten to make her watch it again since she OBVIOUSLY didn’t get it the first time around. She says “she doesn’t like silly movies” (argh!). I can’t seem to convince her that there is SO much more to it than the sillyness. This from a woman that can sit thru days of Monk and 2 & A Half Men marathons. Oh well!

    Great blog post!

  10. Thanks, Emme. Yes, I stood up and I think I’ve won the battle. It’s a really fun cover… will post when I get a copy of the final.

    Woolgrower, I’m afraid your friend Bridget is a lost cause. “The Princess Bride” isn’t just a movie, it’s part of our culture. That she hasn’t watched the movie is… Inconceivable!

    Have fun storming the castle….

  11. Hi Catherine, I’m so happy to have stumbled onto your blog and found your delightful farm adventures!
    I’m currently still a farmgirl wannabe with all my farm dreams on paper, so getting to experience the farm life vicariously thru this virtual keyhole is quite a thrill and enlightening beyond measure.
    I’m also a writer and can appreciate your insights into the writer’s life and your fantastic insights into the publishing world. It’s exciting to see that you’ve finished and are in that phase! Don’t htink for a moment that your subject matter is getting old…LOL
    (right now I live in the ‘complete manuscripts world where I fight the infernal internal editor).
    Thanks for sharing.

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