The Winged Life

  He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy He who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise.                —-William Blake   I’ve been pining. Every day, I wake and think of some distant thing to lash myself too:  PR events related to the paperback release of Rough Beauty (radio and print interviews, new website and blog, readings); an end of summer…

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The Hard Prayer

For this post, I excerpt the prologue of my memoir, Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, out in paperback on June 4th.  The passage details the cabin fire that claimed all my possessions and most of my writing two months before I turned 40 in the Spring of 2004.  The challenges of high altitude spring have been much on my mind as my corner of the Rockies has expierenced…

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Finding My Place

For years, I could see the Indian Peaks from the deck of the little cabin.  My life was oriented east-west.  The sun rose at my back and set in front of me.  And the mountains to the west—always the west along the Front Range of Colorado—anchored me in the middle of a compass.  “The mountains are west,” we say to tourists and new-combers trying to figure out where they are. When I moved to Milwaukee…

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Tilting Toward Embrace

On the coldest morning of the season, when the day dawns just above zero and the expected high is only 5 degrees; on the same day when the windchill will plunge to the minus double digits, and I’ll drive home through pockets of swirling snow so thick, the road disappears, River begins to blow out his coat.  It began as a net of fur coating my hand whenever I pulled on his ears and ruffled…

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Late Bloomer

A reader recently called Rough Beauty—a fairy tale.  She was not being kind.  At first I laughed.  Anyone who knows me knows I am no princess; not once have I been a damsel in distress.  The course of my life has been a dirty mess, traversing the scarred landscape of family and fire, the misery of isolation and working too much for too little.  I could go on, but you get the picture. And yet, I’ve…

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