I’m officially a fan of CreateSpace. It’s a free service (unless you sign up for paid support) that allows you to publish books through their print-on-demand system, sell them on Amazon.com and CreateSpace, and make them accessible to bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions. It was great for me as a kick-in-the-pants to develop and organize some of my writing, learn a little about stuff like layout and ISBNs, and see a finished product that is a real book (the quality is surprisingly good)! My book of poems, it is enough to see your hand by, is now out in the world!
You know it’s gonna be in the Top Three when you walk a few steps from your campsite and see this (first photo), and while you’re sitting there getting your mind boggled someone comes along like this (second photo) and says, “I brought you coffee.”
In an unpaved 18-site campground in Tahoe National Forest, my first tent-camping session of 2015 commenced with small rain squalls (anticipated). Site #5, noted “good” on a quick drive-through two years previous, turned out to be “supremely awesome.” Just yards from a creek that served as our water source (with an upstream aspen-lined view), set back from the rest of the campground, trees perfectly situated for first-rate tarping of table, tent, and fireside… We celebrated with Reuben sandwiches, cheese-crisped and piping hot out of the pie iron; a bottle of Cidre Noir from a new favorite, Devoto Orchards; and perfectly fire-roasted corn-on-the-cob. This is what they call “definitely not roughing it.”
The next two days featured visitation of six lakes (including paddling on two), western tanagers, a hammock drift in the aspens, and cheesy grits with leftover vodka sauce and fire-roasted onions and mushrooms and sausages — which did not serve to lessen the euphoria.
We were ushered out by a charmingly growly sky, a concluding tiny-lake paddle, and a sighting of the most beautiful Land Cruiser known to man (“Yeah, it’s a member of the family… bought it 35 years ago.”).
On the last day of 2014, I helped three little girls bury a found dead bird, ate stinky cheese on crackers with afternoon sun warming my face and the red-brown bricks behind me, welcomed my Grandpa home from a dramatic but brief hospital stay, and was asked to describe my personal Follows-You-Around Ghost (to which I replied, “I don’t know, but maybe it’s like a cross between a really fat chicken, a tree, and a lizard,” to which the eight-year-old replied, “Lainey, you’re going to have to draw a picture of that because I don’t know what you’re talking about” — see below). At the moment 2015 quietly overtook the old year at 122.45789° W, I was prancing around a large collection of flaming wood (see HighLight) with a small collection of spit-sparkles in hand while the moon lowered through pines and bright orange embers mixed with stars.
A minor character of Poe’s.
A peaceful, dusky moment at what-lake-is-this-again?