desert dreaming & Ellen Meloy

Can I first say that a Luka Bloom song just came on to the music channel entertaining me at the moment…I’ve adored Luka Bloom’s music since grad school. Probably because he’s a darned romantic, like me. Well, and it’s good music, too!

Anyway. So I was cruising around on my hotmail last night, looking askance at the 30 or so emails sitting in my in-box still awaiting some response or other (sigh…), and saw the Ellen Meloy Fund attachment, and thought, Oh yeah! You meant to apply to that. It’s due…oh. Oh, dear. It’s due December 31. As in, Monday! Hmm. And, because of my tendency toward slackerness in saving files prior to the original laptop crash, I have to rewrite part of a piece I’ve been slowly, sporadically working on for two years, almost. I plan on using that piece, along with another (recently rejected by terrain.org, nothing personal, natch, although the rejection letter said I had “nothing new” to offer in the way of desert lit–excuse me, but I doubt skin walkers are all that common in desert lit), and I need to work on it, oh, today and tomorrow. I was planning on skiing tomorrow, but considering that I’m still in pain from my day of skiing on Thursday with friend Robin (well, she went and hit all the powder stashes in her super-cool teles on her own, while I suffered an impatient and rude instructor in a ski “improvement” class along with other hapless students), and I have another deadline on Wednesday, and I also return to the temporary day job on Wednesday, I’m thinking perhaps skiing tomorrow is out. Until New Year’s Day, when I definitely plan on ringing in the new year on the snow!

Anyhoo. So. Have I mentioned Ellen Meloy in here before? Maybe, can’t keep track. She was an amazingly good writer, based in Bluff, Utah, close to my dear “homeland” of Wayne County. Her books included Raven’s Exile, Last Cheater’s Waltz, The Anthropology of Turquoise, and Eating Stone, which was published posthumously after she died of a terribly sudden heart attack at her home three years ago. She was a guest teacher at a writing workshop at Robber’s Roost Bookstore back in 2002, when I was managing it, and I’d planned on attending. However, after working about every frigging day for a month, when I had the weekend to myself, I decided to bag the workshop, which of course took place mainly at the bookstore, and I wanted as far away as possible from my workplace at the moment. Meloy had just published Turquoise, and I’d bought a copy, but of course didn’t get it signed since I didn’t attend the workshop. And I never got it signed. Or got to hear her read.

Lesson? Carpe diem, of course.

At any rate, when I discovered the competition, back in September or so, I thought, Excellent! Sounds perfect for me! Love the desert, want to write about it, and I do have some unique ideas about it. I think. And I have ages before I have to apply.

Typical words for me.

I am, however, dreaming about the desert a bit of late. Finally had time to breathe, after all the madness of the past few months, and can settle down a bit. It’s been close to two months, and I am in withdrawals from my fabulous redrock country. I have a poster of Capitol Reef National Park on the wall above my closet, and the glorious deep russety red colors draw my eye every morning, and every afternoon when the light almost hits it through my west window. And it is wonderful and unique and special and remarkable and a whole host of other adjectives. The whole of the desert, I mean. Especially the magic that happens in it.

Ahh. Okay. I need to get writing! At least I have a hard copy of that piece I didn’t have saved anywhere else… The old-fashioned back-up system: paper & ink! 😉

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