Bears and Books

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

I’m a day late with this because I’ve been running into bears. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I have been out of touch and internet deprived for the last few days up in one of those cabins perched on a mountainside slope in the Smokies. And I did see a bear. Right on the front porch of the cabin we rented. The bear was after the garbage and when he didn’t find anything to his liking, he came over to peer in through the glass doors to see if he should hang around and wait for something tasty to be carried out to the trash cans. We tried to take pictures through the glass doors, but the cameras failed us or perhaps the dark defeated us. This photo is a free photo attributed to pdphoto.org. Our half grown bear was disgusted with our lack of garbage and all the staring out the windows and ambled off down the hillside. I’m sure he was back today after we left to check out the garbage again. The cabin owner is going to have to get new and improved garbage cans.
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We’ve been to this same cabin three years in a row. We feel a sense of ownership for it. But alas it’s up for sale. We priced it, but it was a bit out of our range for a partial week trip once a year. Like from here to Mars out of our range!! Money aside, it’s a fact that all us sisters-in-law get along great now, but joint ownership of a cabin in the mountains might upset our peaceful relationships. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to own a cabin on top a mountain?
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I’m talking to a writers group tomorrow and then the Kentucky Book Fair is coming up Saturday. That’s always a day of fun for writers and readers alike. I’m hoping I’ll have time to Christmas shop some books. Especially for me!! If you can’t buy yourself a book for Christmas, what can you buy? Actually I prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to think too much about Christmas. So Christmas can wait until December – except for the books I’m going to buy at the book fair to give away at Christmas.
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I’m talking about plot and character to the writers group tomorrow. I know we’ll have fun and maybe I’ll learn enough that when I get back in front of my desk, the words will spill out and my story will come clearer.
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November is when a lot of writers do this program where they keep a count of their words and they try to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to have to do that. I do need to start writing so many words a day, but 50,000 in a month is insane for me. And I doubt what I wrote would be worth reading. Of course the idea is to let the story all spill out and then do some – uh, more like a lot of editing. It is good to let the story spill out without jumping into criticism overdrive. A lot of bad writing can be fixed if you go back and pick up the pieces.
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I read an article about the novel in a month plan. This writer suggested that readers are the ones we should be boosting. That it would be better to pledge to read so many books in a month instead of spilling a flood of mediocre words on the page. I do believe that reading is vital to a writer. We learn as we read and not just the facts of the page but the natural feel of putting words together to tell a story. I will ever be grateful for my highschool years when I was able to read and read and read.
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And I do appreciate people who read. If you make it to Frankfort to the Book Fair, please come by and say hello. I would love to meet you in such a wonderful atmosphere of books. You can meet 210 writers!! There might even be a bear or two hanging around – a Berenstein bear or maybe a writer who sat up all night doing his words for that November novel and is now as grouchy as an old bear.