Write with Me at The BRAINERY workshop!


Would you like to write a few stories this summer and work with me for ten weeks?  The Brainery Workshop has several spots still open to work with me or Valerie Valdes in times that are convenient for you!

EVERYTHING IS ONLINE.  So you can participate no matter WHERE you are in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection.

We get together once a week and work on your stories.  We also go through Ursula K. LeGuin’s workshop guide, Steering the Craft, and we use the Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremey Zerfoss’ Wonderbook.  We’ll also be reading stories from Lightspeed and other magazines.

Come join a small group online—using GoToMeeting and WetInk–to create a great place for writing!

Want to know more?:  Follow this link to the BRAINERY WORKSHOP.

The Cure for What Ails Ya: Garden Harvest in the Yukon


The Pen is Mightier With Veggies
The Pen is Mightier With Veggies

Had a great crop this year, and it’s not done.  We just started harvesting.  Wow.  The vegetables are big.  So I decided to showcase the vegetables next to objects you’d recognize….my pen, a bottle of T-3s, my truck.  


The one next to the bottle made me think about the difference between something that comes out of the ground and something that comes out of a bottle.  I like ’em both, but I think if I had more fresh garden vegetables that soon I wouldn’t need anything else. 

The garden was a work of art this year.  I am so proud of the labor that went into it, into weeding, into caring for it.  The carrots are big and sweet, the potatoes rich.  And the greens they grow so high…

Yes, the Greens They Grow So High
Yes, the Greens They Grow So High



I learned a lot from growing the garden.  The patience.  The time involved on your hands and knees rooting out the chickweed.  Sweating in the Yukon sun.  These are mini-accomplishments, like trophies.  And it’s a nice thing to do in the Yukon on these long summer days inside a quick and dirty summer–10 weeks, maybe.  We had so much sun this summer.  If you were thinking about leaving the Yukon after the last three summers, this summer wooed you back.

Harvest on a Red Truck
Harvest on a Red Truck



I’m gonna fix a sheep stew tomorrow–fresh Dall Sheep that was walking around last week (I did not shoot it, but I did help cut it up)–and fresh vegetables.  A lot of work went into that stew and I’ll remember the two guys who trekked across the mountains in gale-force winds and rain to get this sheep to my kitchen.  And I’ll remember the hours I spent in the garden waiting for the vegetables to get big enough to leave the garden and enter my kitchen.  

And I’ll say to myself—hey, this cures whatever ails me–this summer stew.  

Fresh Vegetables with Tylenol 3s

Every Clear Day From Now On is a Gift

If you are like me, you cursed the lousy summer we had this year in the Yukon.  Okay, maybe you didn’t curse it.  But I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit shortchanged.  It’s because of my expectations for Summer– dazzling summers here.  We know.  We expect that.  We live through the winter to get that summer.  We had two weeks of summer—14 days, I think.  Only 3 in a row.

But now, my tune is changing.  The last few days, I haven’t been expecting good weather—I’ve been anticipating that slide into Winter.  And I’ve been pleased at every day that thwarts that.  Like today.  All it takes is the sun to be shining, and I’m thrilled that it made it out.

Funny how it isn’t that the sunny days are more frequent, or that there is less rain than in the summer.  Really it’s just a continuation of the Yukon Summer as a long British movie …BUT my expectations for summer and for fall are completely different.  I expected more out of summer, and was disappointed.  Now that I’ve accepted my fate, that Winter will be here soon, I’m delighted when my expectations are NOT met.  That Fall has some nice warm days for us.

So I’ve been out picking berries, cutting wood, eating lunch in the forest, enjoying the surprise gifts I don’t deserve and shouldn’t expect.  It’s a kind of Weather Grace.  Next year, maybe I’ll expect the summer to be lousy and then I can be as pleasantly surprised by the weather’s good behavior when it happens.

Change yourself, change the weather.  Hmmm.  That’s an idea.  At least, the yellow is brighter that way.