Monkey Mind

Buck and I bundled up for a woods walk yesterday. Brilliant sunshine, paper cut wind, and temperatures right at freezing in the mid-afternoon. When we lived in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville for a few years, I loved putting on a turtleneck, jeans, two pairs of socks, hiking boots, and a heavy hoodie to go hike the mountains. But now that we're back in flatland Florida, I expect my winters to go a certain way, and found myself kicking a pine cone as we walked down the fire line and muttering:  papaya, avocado, mango, tank top, shorts. 

"What did you say?" Buck said. 

"Papaya, avocado, mango, tank top, shorts, Costa Rica, banana daiquiri." 

"Did you say Costa Rica?"

"Uh huh."

"What about the monkeys?"

"Oh, man, I forgot. So, when do you think the weather's going to warm up?"

Meanwhile, back at the house, I've been writing but not blogging, taking a kick-butt online fiction class, pacing the floor, talking on the phone and reading. Pretty eclectic reading list:

Literary Nonfiction: Learning by Example by Patsy Sims

Anticancer: a New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

Acedia & Me: a Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life by Kathleen Norris

Hooked: write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go by Les Edgerton

2010 Writer's Market Deluxe Edition

2010 Guide to Literary Agents

Plot: elements of fiction writing by Ansen Dibell

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard

River Teeth: a Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

Fourth Genre

Ninth Letter (friend Sarah Einstein has a seriously fine story in the Fall/Winter issue called "Mot."  It is courageous and tender. It blew me away.)

Paris Review

All the Lavish in Common by Allan Peterson

Prick of the Spindle: Fiction Open Competition, No. 1, Fall 2009

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson

And I have been missing Scotland, especially the tiny Isle of Arran. I'll leave you with two photos from several years ago. One is Buck and me with our Arran friends, Charles and Lynn Fforde. The other is the tiny, sweet post office in the village of Broddick on Arran.

The restaurant was Charles and Lynn's venture into restauranteering, and was called The Claddagh.

 Brodick post office
The red door, oval sign, and hanging flowers radiate good cheer, and so, on that note, I'll say good night and sweet dreams.

3 thoughts on “Monkey Mind

  1. My monkey mind chatter goes like this: Siesta Key, Crescent Beach powdery sand under my barefeet, hazlenut coffee with a elevated gulf view, my husband and son and me living the good life, reading on the beachside deck amidst many like me-all present in body but souls all absent to the distant places via our volumes in hand…
    (Looking forward to March when our dreams will come true).


  2. ‘paper-cut knife’, awesome!
    I bet the sky over the Isle of Arran is gray now and the winter cold too…
    What’s the thing about monkeys?
    You’ve got some reading list!
    A couple of books that helped me through cancer: Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Cabot Zinn (the mindfulness ideas help shift perspective), Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil (for the optimistic view on how our bodies heal). Later I read The Journey Through Cancer: An Oncologist’s Seven-Level Program for Healing and Transforming the Whole Person by Jeremy Geffen. I appreciated his emphasis on the whole person and integrating alternative disciplines.


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