The Writer Elkhound tracks the flight of crows – j. laster

The Writer Elkhound is telling me that spring is on the way. Spring implies hope and a kind of jauntiness, a willingness to let old winter bygones be bygones.

However, we are now collectively in that strange position of wondering what is going to happen next. I say strange but really the entirety of human experience is made up of unknowns, question marks, dire warnings or no warning at all.

Another landscape suggested within a frosted window – j. laster

I recall a childhood favorite of mine Dune, by Frank Herbert and summon a line from that seminal science fiction classic. Fear is a mindkiller.

Hate is viral. Fear is pandemic. Ignorance is anything but bliss.

Following recommended guidelines and ignoring the ramblings of a leader who demonstrates the three traits listed above, I expect bad and hope for better.

– j. laster

And truth be told, I am deep in the throes of a new story. Not quite ready to jump in: I still have final revisions to make on the novel I completed this winter. Oh, but the story is brewing away, bubbling under the lid and soon I will have no choice but to begin. Again.

The spiral staircase of a nautilus – j. laster

Beginning again is perhaps my mantra. I do, after all, find a deep harmonious allure to the shell of a nautilus. So I traverse familiar territory again and again. However, each circle is wider, the insight more expansive. The cumulative kilometers shape old ideas in new ways and create new forms from old clay.

The blur of beauty – j. laster

Adding a label to a three ring notebook, pausing to sketch in a journal, rummaging through odd bits and pieces of dialogue and putting together a geological construct of the places I will be writing my way through in the coming months: are all ways to prepare for the beginning of a new story.

Earthquake – reshaped landscape: home neighborhood, 1964 – family album

Research includes: the drift of language, the use of argot, the cultural geography and the mineral substrata that shape the society that clings to the bedrock of a place, rudimentary maps, mutation and the impacts of isolation from the whole of humanity. I am writing about a future place and the future people who live and toil and die and dream there.

A forest of shadow, formed in the crucible of fire – j. laster

Research also entails compiling a playlist, aka a worklist of music – mostly ambient, edgy and at times soaringly spectacular.

Raven takes flight – j. laster

So, there it is: a syllabus for solitude.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
j. laster

In the meantime, the Writer Elkhound arranges her bones and chew toys, then leaps into the air with enough exuberance for both of us.

Wishing each of us vigilance and fortitude –

One comment on “SOS: Saving Ourselves

  • Congratulations on completing the last book and starting the new one. It’s fun to watch you enjoy the process. Give the family our best wishes! Stay safe.

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