the uprooting

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I imagine the mint went first,
followed closely by the flares
of the nasturtiums, and the phlox

the day of the uprooting

the delphiniums would have been
crushed, curls of pearl and sky,
into the soil that fed the roses

when the garden was pulled

yet strange that the winter sage
was left alone beside the rue
beneath the emptied trellis

© Sarah Whiteley

Yesterday marked 7 years since I first started ebbtide. 7 years since I made the conscious decision to begin writing again in an attempt to reclaim the creative side of myself that I felt was being pushed aside or squashed by the everyday. 7 years of readers, of sharing, of emerging friendships which could not have happened without this blog.

And so thank you to all of you who have passed through this little corner of the world, whether you’ve left a mark or not. Thank you for the support and the kindness and the critiques over the years. This place has been my succor and my salvation in many ways. And I am beyond appreciative for the positive changes that have come about as a result. So thank you.

uncommon company

coyote-img_5508

uncommon company

comes cawing

-purple gracing black-

knocks politely

on the wood,

awaits his

morning snack

****Crow Update****

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and perhaps it’s overdue?

Coyote and his mate (now called Magda) had no surviving offspring from the spring’s hatch. There’s really no telling what happened but I noticed more hawks than usual in the neighborhood, so that may very well be it. Of course, we have raccoons as well, who will think nothing of eating crow eggs, or even hatchlings.

We’re headed into the gathering time for the winter roost, and so I’ve got several crows who come along on walks with the dogs currently. But the two that are most present right now are Coyote and Knock-Knock. And it has been my pleasure most weekends to spend some time sitting on the porch with both of them. Coyote especially sits quite close on the porch railing and seems to like to hold a “conversation” with me. I keep trying to capture the little chortling and deep guttural noises he makes at me on camera – he makes them from deep in his throat and actually bends his neck so that his beak is nearly on his chest when he does the gutterals. I’m determined to get that on video one of these days!

I’ve been sitting out on the porch with the laptop, getting ready for NaNoWriMo and diving headfirst into research. I’ve noticed that if I’m not paying enough attention to Coyote, he will very boldly walk up along the railing behind me and knock his beak against the wood very loudly. The first time he did it, he startled the you-know-what out of me as I hadn’t even realized he was there.

Coyote has also started to show an interest in the toys Freyja brings outside with her. Yesterday, he tugged her blue stuffed dog across the parking lot while Freyja looked on. She didn’t seem too concerned that a crow was inspecting her toy – she’s so used to them now.

I never tire of these strange “friends” and their antics. I don’t even mind the occasional loss of a swiped lighter if it means I get to continue to observe them from perhaps just a little closer than most people have the opportunity to do so.

The Definition of Insanity… NaNoWriMo 2015!

Insanity

Greetings from a somewhat protracted, but much needed hiatus!

As some of you may know, LIFE threw a few prickly challenges my way earlier in the year and it became difficult at times to keep up with some of the day-to-day necessities of living, let alone find the energy and emotional/mental capacity to write anything.

After 7 months of hiatus, a mental rest, and much heart-healing, I think I’m ready to find my way back again. To heck with dipping the toes in to see how chilly that water is – I’ve always been a “deep end” kind of gal. So what better way to reclaim my writing chops than to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015?

(What better way also to end up rocking myself in a corner wrapped in a tattered quilt with countless empty coffee cups surrounding me, mumbling “just 100 more words, just 100 more words” to no one in particular?)

Super excited to already have two writing buddies signed up for this November and if anyone else wishes to (or is crazy enough to) come along for the ride, drop me a note and I’ll be sure to add you as an additional buddy (aka crazy person).

50,000 words, here I come!

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

Another Giveaway!

The crows are nesting, the violets are blooming, the dogwood is budding, and I spent part of my Saturday reading on the porch in a glorious bit of sunshine.

It’s Spring! At least it is here in the great Pacific Northwest. And I’ve decided to do another giveaway of my chapbook No Direction But Home in order to celebrate.

This time, the giveaway is being hosted by Goodreads.com, which if you’re not a part of I highly recommend joining. If you’re an author, it’s a great tool to help promote your book. If you’re an avid reader, it’s a wonderful way to find reviews, new releases, follow authors you enjoy, and just generally wallow in bookish heaven.

You can enter the giveaway through March 17th by clicking below or by clicking on the Goodreads Giveaway link in the right sidebar.

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Best of luck and happy reading! And if Spring hasn’t gotten to your neck of the woods yet – don’t worry, it’s coming!

January Goes

My piano has always been a means of communicating and processing my emotions. Playing has carried me through some very tough times. When words fail me, sometimes this is the only voice I feel I have. And I’m extremely grateful I have this outlet. Hope you enjoy the newest composition!

January Goes

Somebunny’s Shifting Gears

Blue Bunny

I’ve been finding it difficult to juggle writing for the blog vs. writing for a possible new chapbook (hence the rather sporadic posts lately). So I’ve decided to give myself a break this year. For 2015 (or at least for most of it), I’ve decided to use the blog as more of a poet’s journal and actual finished pieces will be few and far between. Instead I’ll share some of the WIPs and little snippets I jot down which eventually become poems. And of course, little watercolor sketches and photos here and there. I think this will take some of the pressure off and I’ll be able to focus a bit more on finished pieces for the chapbook.

Oh yes – and do say hello to Moby over there on the left. Val, who is a lovely artist living in Wales, offered the name as a joke and it sort of stuck. Moby was originally going to be added to the pile of charity donations which will be boxed up and sent off to brighten up some little one’s day, but I felt his limbs might be too easily pulled off (poor Moby) so he’s been left on a friend’s doorstep with the below note. I think he’ll very much enjoy his new home.

Have a beautiful 2015, my friends!

Note

A Word of Cheer

“A little smile, a word of cheer,
A bit of love from someone near,
A little gift from one held dear,
Best wishes for the coming year.

These make a merry christmas!”

–John Greenleaf Whittier

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Blessed Season of Light to all my followers, readers, fellow writers and artists and keepers of joy.

I’ve updated my music track list (to the right) to include some arrangements of Christmas pieces I’ve done over the years. I hope you’ll enjoy…

and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

camellia

quick update

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My nailbeds are a lovely blueish purple right now. The building has steam radiators which are controlled from the boiler room with a timer, the timing of which is still apparently being worked out. The dogs are curled up in the bed and Angus has taken to sleeping in a ball with his tail over his nose – very fox-like – in order to keep warm.

I’m about to pull on socks and shoes and my coat before I head down the hill to the library and return Denise Levertov’s collected works. I haven’t finished it, but it’s due soon and I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist in case some lovely family member needs an idea for a birthday present next year.

I discovered recently that she actually transplated herself to Seattle at some point in her life and is buried in the cemetery where I often take long, peaceful walks. A couple weeks ago, I made it a mission to find her headstone and managed it quite quickly as it has a very distinctive sculpture on top of it. She’s not far at all from Princess Angeline’s (Chief Seattle’s daughter) resting place and she’s very close indeed to my favorite tree in the cemetery – a massive copper beech with the most wonderful purple-y russet leaves.

I’ve begun to do some temp office work while I figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. The uncertainty is a bit stressful as there are other forces at play which will determine what happens in the next 6 months. But change is stressful and I knew that would be the case. We’ll make it through.

The crows have missed their daily treats – I usually leave before they’re awake and get home after dark. On Friday, Coyote happened to spy me while I was waiting for my morning bus. He rushed over, stood at my feet, and scolded me for my absence. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything in my pockets to offer him, so he went away disappointed. But not before attracting the attention of the other people waiting on the arrival of a bus. Yeah – crazy crow lady reputation justified.

I’ve been squeezing in time to write and do my little watercolor sketches, though I prefer daylight for the latter so I’m afraid painting will be a weekend endeavor for now.

Off to the library! And then home to a hot, hot shower to thaw feet and fingers.

Be well!

tufted titmouse