Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Coffee Talk: Supermoons & other Tales





Good morning! I decided to roll out another new segment of my blog, and I'm calling it Coffee Talk. I'm sure it will be like Recipe of the Week, and not necessarily be a weekly thing. That's okay, things don't have to be done rigidly in The Write Life, right? Right! Anyway, it is coffee talk because every morning that I work on the Write Life, I drink coffee. I also wax poetic, or erratically at times, so why not call it Coffee Talk? I'll talk about a variety of things as well as specific topics as well, just depends. We'll have coffee, we'll talk. Okay, I'll be talking, you'll be listening...so to speak. 


First off, did you check out the Supermoon that was out Sunday night and Monday night? You had to have seen it! In fact, it's been so big, and so bright, that you can see it during the day:


A photo I took of the Supermoon on Tuesday morning.


Last night, I was visiting a friend, and the Supermoon was still very visible. It's not quite as full as it was at full wax, but it was still pretty impressive nonetheless:


The Supermoon on Tuesday evening.


It's probably this first picture I've taken of the moon that didn't completely suck. Seriously, if you've ever tried taking a picture of the moon, you know the struggle. I'm not sure how long one can expect to see the moon in this awesome form, but if you're looking up at the sky this morning, or this evening, I bet it will be there. For more night sky happenings this month, check out the post I made earlier this month.

This last weekend, I was busy (again) on Saturday doing the weekly podcast that I run out of my house, and so I didn't end up getting outside like I had wanted. We usually do the podcast on Sunday evening, but my best friend went to South Africa and I had to pick him up from the airport at the same time as we usually run the podcast. 

Sunday though, when the boys were at work, Nature Girl and I decided we needed to get outside. I really wanted to go somewhere different, and so I remembered Lewis and Clark Monument over in Council Bluffs. I can vaguely remember hiking the mountain bike trails there once, but it was so long ago, that I figured it would be like going somewhere new. 

Lewis and Clark Monument sits on top of the Loess Hills as they make their way through the city. If affords sweeping views of the landscape, and you can clearly see Nebraska and Iowa as you stand there (as is the case with the Iowa Mountains in general). 


Nature Girl blows her bubbles from on top of the world at Lewis and Clark Monument in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

While we did walk the peak trail, we had to stop as the remaining ones are all mountain bike trails, which are treacherous to hike. My balance isn't as great as it used to be either, and, while I tried, gave up. Even Nature Girl was a bit nervous. We instead went into the trailhead we saw for the forest area of the park, and we walked along that for awhile. It's not a pleasant walk per se because, unlike most managed forests, they do not do any controlled burning. Controlled burning allows a nature area to keep the overgrowth at bay while allowing for easy growth of new fauna in Spring.

We decided to move on and kept following the road that leads to and away from the monument. We ended up in Crescent, Iowa, and since we weren't done with nature just yet, decided to make a pit stop at Hitchcock Nature Center. We leisurely walked along the boardwalk blowing bubbles, and then walked along a bit of the nature trail. 

All in all, it was a gorgeous day and we got a few miles in of nice walking.

The boardwalk trail at Hitchcock Nature Center in Crescent, Iowa.


The other day, I found out about a short story contest for horror stories. I went ahead and started writing a story for that. This year has proven to be a difficult year for me to write (at least up until recently). I'd been having trouble being inspired, and I felt weary of writing. I still kept at it, albeit super-slowly, but I just wasn't feeling the creative pull that I usually had. This seemed to be coming from within me, as I hadn't felt very compelled to be productive at much of anything.

Well, after my massive hiking weekend, I really got myself out of that slump, and I've been back to my normal self in my daily life, routine, and The Write Life. I've not only picked up steam on The Box, but I wrote the first page of the book that will follow it (I got hit with a great idea for the story so went ahead and put it down while I still had in fresh in mind). Combine that with the short story I've started, and baby, I'm back! 

Indeed, I feel renewed overall. I feel energized, inspired, and creative. I have to admit, that I'm more than glad that the slump is over. It begins to wear on your confidence when you sit around doing nothing most of the time, and are not being the creative, productive, and outgoing person that you usually are. Even worse, you wonder if it's a permanent state, and that is a frightening thought. My mood then, has really been given a boost.

I've picked up this steam during NaNoWriMo, and while I'm pretty sure I won't finish The Box during this novel-writing month, I'll at least be close! Last year, I finished The Station during NaNoWriMo, so I did what many people set out to do. Are you writing the next great novel during NaNoWriMo? 


Well, my coffee mug is nearly empty (again), and it's time for me to get some writing in before I get ready for work. I hope you enjoyed Coffee Talk, and I'll be back on Friday with a new post. 

-H.A.



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