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Back Home, Without My Novel

Background and White Noise

I heard something this morning I hadn’t heard in two weeks.


Our apartment faces a street that isn’t super busy, except a few times a day. At some point this morning, when I was laying awake for the tenth or eleventh time, I heard a trash truck or UPS truck drive by, followed by a motorcycle and several cars.


The Brush Creek Ranch didn’t have much of that. Even though there were some trucks and 4-wheel drive sports vehicles that went by, even though there was this one day where they were hauling gravel and rolling it, just outside my studio, there wasn’t the early morning and late night sound of random cars going by.


<img class="size-full wp-image-950 lazyload" title="desk" src="" alt="" width="500" height="375" /> For two weeks I had this lovely spot all to myself. Thanks to the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, this was my writer’s studio for the duration of the two-week residency. What a wonderful place to work.

In Wyoming, isolated as we were from even the sparse population centers, whenever there was a vehicle within earshot, it had a meaning, a purpose. It wasn’t just a random car driving by, completely isolated and separate from my life. But here, hundreds, maybe thousands of cars drive by every day and only a small number of them have any relationship to my life beyond sharing their engine noise, their loud music, their impatient horn. How quickly they become background to my work, my life.

I’m glad to be home. I’m sad to have left Brush Creek. I had a great trip, and I’ll be posting more about it in the days and weeks to come.

Little Lost Sheep

My checked luggage was not available to me when I landed in Tampa early this morning. Mostly, if we consider such things by volume, that means I am without a whole bunch of dirty clothes.

It’s the less obvious things I’m missing most. My CPAP breathing machine, for example. The one that allows me to, you know, sleep without waking up every few minutes because my body forgets to breath involuntarily. That’s kind of a biggie. If for some reason the bags were never returned, I would have to replace the CPAP very, very soon. I hope there is some emergency loaner program or something, because another night without sleep and I’ll be hurting.

The other thing that’s missing is my novel. Pretty much all of it. Yes, there is a digital version that is somewhat complete, and another, older version, but there are no digital copies of the revision notes I made prior to leaving for Wyoming OR the 100 or so pages I wrote the last two weeks. There are pages and pages of notes and revision strategies in that missing bag.

It makes me a little sick to my stomach. Hopefully, this afternoon, my wayward sheep will come home.

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