30 September

Help! Book Due. The Writer’s Life.

by Jon Katz
Book Due
Book Due

I need help.

I messaged my freelance editor Rosemary Ahern today and told her I needed her to help me finish my book, “Talking To Animals,” due out next year from Simon & Schuster and due next month to my editor there. I love this book, I have been working on it for 15 years, it seems richer, better and more timely to me every day.

I think it is hard for me to actually let go of it, finish it and send it off.

I told Rosemary I need her to give me a deadline, which she did, gracious person that she is.

I told her that I needed for Fate to be less cute and for the sheep go a way.

I need Maria to be less fun to be with, or interesting to talk to,

or sexy in her multi-colored layers and hoodies and odd bracelets and pins.

I need the world to stop being interesting.

And for Blue Star Equiculture to be dull.

I need the New York Carriage Horses  to stop talking to me in the middle of the night.

I need Donald Trump to shut up and stop fussing with his hair.

I need my writing class to be less inspiring and creative.

I need the Round House Cafe to serve boring and tasteless food.

And for my friend Scott to get mad at me for a few days.

And for Battenkill Books to take a vacation.

I need Red to stop mooning at me for walks.

And the donkeys to stop braying at me through the window.

I need to not see anything I want to take a photo of.

I need for the blog to not be so hungry, or so much fun to write on.

I need for people to stop sending me messages telling me what to do.

Or what a cruel and irresponsible person I am. Or giving me advice I don’t want.

I need for the animal rights movement to be less hateful and cruel,

just for a few days.

I need the weather to turn ugly, cold and rainy for a few days.

I can’t do all of these things, said Rosemary, but I’d like to see the next chapter by Monday.

So I need encouragement and support and understanding so I can finish my book.

I seem to need help with that.

So be it.

I have written 28 books, I have never been late with one. I have a plan, I will rise early over the next

few weeks and not even look at my blog until I have a chapter finished. I will keep the world at bay.


30 September

Chores In A Storm

by Jon Katz
Apples In A Storm
Apples In A Storm

Intense and stormy fall weather arrived yesterday, it poured all night, blew open a bedroom window and sent lamps, glasses, devices flying all over the floor. Fate slept at the foot of our bed and was still for a full three hours, a  record time. She has never been out of the crate at night before.

The wind blew all night and all day, there were heavy rains until early afternoon, reports of hurricanes headed our way, leaves blowing all over the place, and wind-blown apples flying off the apple tree, almost all of them gone now. This is my favorite weather, I got one good round of sheep-herding in during the rain. Dog and sheep were  restless in the wind.

Chloe was soaked through and through, she was out grazing in the rain, the donkeys came out to meet Maria and me for the afternoon chores and daily apple and carrot feeding. Maria was her usual artistic self, Dickensian fingerless gloves and hoodie.

Tonight, the first fire of the post-summer season, by no means the last. We have some serious weather, wind and rains days ahead, the forecast predicts clear and sunny skies for the Open House. Glad the hurricane decided to let us have it in peace.

30 September

Navigating. Women That Make Me Smile.

by Jon Katz

One of the many things I loved about the late Lenore was her ability to make people smile. Some of my favorite online photos came from people who hung Lenore’s photo up on the wall of their surgical suites so they would smile when they went in, and smile when they came out.

People adore Red, but Fate makes them smile. Her pirate eye, her curious, rascally nature. Everywhere she goes, even on people she jumps on with muddy paws, she leaves a trail of smiles. She is a smile dog, a Joy Dog. This afternoon, in the cold, rain and shrieking winds, we went for a walk up a nearby hill. I pulled over to get some photos of some turning leaves, Fate jumped into the front seat and tried to climb out and join me.

She was intensely curious, and upset that something was happening she was not a part of. Maria, all hooded up in the cold, sat behind her, mysterious. Two women that make me smile.

30 September

How It’s Done

by Jon Katz
How It's Done
How It’s Done

Fate works hard to learn how to herd sheep, sometimes I look up in the pasture and see her studying Red intently. Perhaps she wants to see how it’s done. Red does his work effortlessly, gracefully. There are no mixed signals with Red, no drama or confusion, no excessive arousal or excitement. He never does more than he should or less.

He never frightens a sheep or harms one, never runs them for no reason or uses more force or persuasion that necessary. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how easy it is to work with Red, and how much grace he has for the work he does. Fate could not have a better teacher or inspiration, sometimes I think she knows it.

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