Well, Hello! Longtime no See.

I have been living on coffee, brown rice and dates, madly typing with two (sore) fingers this week, and have hardly budged from my keyboard. I have not gotten out much at all in  the last two months either, except to get a little fresh air or exercise (or do what I absolutely must) in order to meet a book deadline of April 1. No fooling. Although it took my editor and I until a few minutes ago to call it a wrap. For now, anyway. I'm not popping champagne, yet. For me, each publication, from a column to a book is a miracle. (Speaking of literary miracles, read John Straley's new novel Cold Storage, Alaska. It is so good. A comedy, a love story, a true to life small-town Alaska tale, plus there's a great dog in it. I loved it. I wish I wrote that book.)  I will believe my new book is done when it is in my hand, about a year from now, if all stays on schedule in the increasingly unpredictable world of  publishing. It's called Finding the Good, and is about how writing obituaries and rearing a big family has taught me-- and  is still teaching me-- to look for and find the good in people and situations that aren't at first glance so great.  It's a practice. And a process. And it's habit forming, because once you choose to see the  world this way, it is so obvious how well it works-- making both others and yourself happy, or if you are an optimist like I am, happier.  Which means at the very least I've become a better person writing it, so there's that. Also, now it is time-- and I have time-- to clean my desk. (I wait til a project is complete for good luck and in case there's a note somewhere on it I will need) and wash the coffee cups, walk the dog, ride my bike, attend a library committee meeting,  go to choir practice and sit down and enjoy a meal afterward at the Fireweed, which is now open for the summer. Also, I have time for the noon "Tater Talk" all about growing spuds, at the Sheldon Museum tomorrow 12-1 (you can bring lunch). There's a KHNS wine-tasting fundraiser tomorrow at 7pm in the Chilkat Center, the Venturer Scouts Outback trip fundraising dinner and auction is Saturday night at 6:00, and Sunday at 7:00 the Arts Council presents the sweet folk duo of  Mandy and Dave. So much to do, and so much time to do it in.  If  I find my camera battery charger underneath all the drafts on my desk, I'll  take a few pictures of the melting snow for you, and my neighbor's efforts to scrape and chip the glacier off his driveway  using a little red tractor. Time flies when you are having fun.

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