Here Comes a Duck

She waddled up our seen-better-days driveway, 

 chatting to herself the way ducks do, and stood in a puddle, commanding our attention.
She got that and much more. 

All summer, we carried around bits of bread and cracker crumbs 
and became her best option for some decent take out.
In exchange, she followed us around the acre like a family dog providing a 
soothing backdrop of duck talk

I often wondered exactly what 
she was saying, but never could get close enough to make out 
any real words. It might have been a complaint about the 
 bread quality or the boring variety of crackers, because she 
disappeared after a few visits—on to better menus, I'm sure.

Exactly what your granny used to say, right? 
"Just when you think you know what to expect, 
here comes a duck."


Round and Round - A Marriage Allegory

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last year with a trip to Florida. 
This year we enjoyed a nice dinner and a ride in a posh Ferris wheel. 
So, if you'll indulge me, I'll "spin" an 
over-obvious parallel 
between marriage and a Ferris wheel ride. 

After paying too much money to ride, anticipation builds as you stand in line watching other riders settle into neon-lit gondolas and spin slowly up, into thick summer-evening air. Anticipation makes waiting almost unbearable, but finally, it's your turn. Someone with a badge mumbles a litany of rules and recommendations. You and your partner rush aboard,  fastening safety buckles and latches in all haste.

Revolutions which looked slow and relatively safe from the ground spin by impossibly fast.
The dazzling view and intimate seating arrangement are thrilling, although either may prove uncomfortable over the course of the ride. The free-fall sensation of the downward spin and the unpredictable swing of the car delight, excite, and cause many to cling even more tightly

Multiply the excitement (or terror) if your partner decides to jostle or even swing the cab during the ride. But, if your companion is the quiet sort, you may be challenged to celebrate simple joys: starry night gazing or a gentle handclasp. 

Too soon, it's time to exit the ride. The wheel slows as others leave their gondolas, allowing enough time for a kiss or two before arriving at the bottom for the last time. You exit on the far side of the wheel, unnoticed by glee-filled new riders, eager to begin their circular journey. 

"What's next?" your spouse asks and reaches for your hand.
"How about some ice cream to top off the night?" you reply. 
And off you wander, hand in hand, toward the next allegory-worthy adventure.


Settling into Garnet

The Japanese maples on our acre are always among the first to 
celebrate spring. Trunk and branches store and 
stoke their calling-card color all winter, and in the spring ... 

... it bursts from every stem tip—scarlet flags against a
new-blue, spring canopy.

Now the fanfare is over, and they've settled into a more sedate 
summer color, something along the lines of garnet

As many of you know, I signed a contract to publish a children's book with Familius Publishing. I'm thrilled to join this company and add "Debut Author" to my list of life titles. I'd like to give updates here on what the journey to publication has been like for me, and let you know what's coming up next. 

Here's a question I've answered before:
How did you make connections in the writing industry?
In fall, 2013, my youngest son finished eighth grade at the Simpson Home Academy and entered public high school. I cautiously tiptoed into the writing world, staying safely on the edges. My investigations led me to Word Weavers International. Through this organization and its generous leaders, I began to step out of the shadows, meet other writers, and learn about the #writinglife. 

I'd love to answer questions about what's involved in a publication journey, which is unique to every writer. Ask your question or share your own experience in the comments.

A few facts for now: 
* The working title of my book is "Family Dog." It's highly unlikely that the title will stay the same. 
* The book will be in the Spring 2021 Familius catalog but will be available a few months sooner than that. 
* I haven't met the illustrator or the editor of the book yet. 
* I paid for high-resolution photos (headshots) at Portrait Innovations. It was a painfully awkward experience, but the talented young photographer managed to get a few photos that I'm happy to have for a back-cover blurb. 

More details soon!