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Luangwa River

Luangwa River

Friday, July 29, 2005


Friday already, a work night coming up, you probably dont know of course, but my work week is weekend nights in 12 hour shifts. So this past week I worked some overtime during the week and wrote a couple of pieces as well. Both of this week's stories are posted on my writing blog , . Weather is lovely , wish I were here,as they say,postcard style.
Pig and goat have been play-fighting, lots of pushing and head butting and jumping around.Pig Eric has finally ventured out of his safe house, and is now freely roaming the back field, rooting and getting muddy as a pig should. Sudden leap in confidence level, as until this week he stayed resolutely inside, ignoring the open door despite Bob the goat trotting in and out.
This years hatchlings,bantams and guineas , are now roaming in a tight flock together whenever I let them out. Which is only when I know I'll be here to shut them up again come evening. Too many raiding predators around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

earning author

Well, looks like I have reached a milestone of sorts, as yesterday I received my first ever payment for writing. A website that specialises in abstracts, called, paid me $100US for abstracts I wrote for them, about 6,000 to 7,000 words altogether, or close to one and a half a cents a word.If I could get that for everything I wrote it would be on the way to making a living from writing, especially since I'm typing faster now.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Been doing a fair bit of writing lately - see "swaz"blog for some of it - and so too busy to put much into this blog. Wrote 20 abstracts for a web site that offered $5 each for abstracts,now I'm waiting to see if they will actually pay up.If not at least it was practice writing to a deadline. Also sent a couple of pieces off for publication.
Over the weekend it rained like crazy here while I was away, television news was showing pictures of flooding in nearby Exeter and you can see mud on the grass at the back left by the run-off from the cow pasture next door. The ground was too dry to let the water soak in, it just hit the ground and ran. The goose eggs that were being cared for by the brown goose are scattered all over, the water must have gone through her nest with a fair bit of velocity. There is even mud on the floor of the pheasant's shack, which is a good eight or nine inches above ground level.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

summer heat

Baking hot out in the day, with a nice smog rolling over from Ohio again; definitely rather have a plague of passenger pigeons, wouldnt you ? Corn in the fields is too dry, the leaves look like sugar cane, they are narrow and partly rolled up to slow down transpiration. Hollyhocks that were 5 or 6 feet this time last year are about half that ,I dont water them, or at least I havent been til now.
Bob the goat has grown quite a bit, doesnt seem able to get through or over the fence lately, the loose single strand on top did the trick. When he rears up and tries to put weight on it, it sways and he cant get a good purchase to haul the rest of himself by. Filled up a small pond over by the row of cedars, the water is settling out, and so far no leaks. Tomorrow I'll look for some plants for it, lilies and maybe some water hyacinth, with a few irises and so on for the fringe. Officially it is for "stock watering " which means the geese, but they arent going to be spending too much time there, unless, mind you, they hatch some goslings, in which case they can use it for a nursery pond.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Busy week

Trying to enjoy summer,play golf, get a pond going , that is , dug and lined, then filled with water and so on,looking after various chicks (feathered ) and have found myself with several writing projects at once. A site that specialises in abstracts is offering money upfront for anything submitted next Tuesday, in blocks of ten, so I'm busy skimming books I've read previously and writing abstracts of them. Not that fast a process for me, probably on a dollars per hour basis not good at all, but it is money for writing, I need practice writing to a deadline too. Also have put in bids for some other writing work, lets see what happens there. If money starts to come in I can justify ( to myself ) buying a notebook or laptop -- which would mean not having to sit here and type at this desk or transcribe scrawled longhand, I could write anywhere. Well maybe I'll convince myself to buy one soon anyway. There is the Mac /PC decision too, this computer is a Mac, which is great, but doesnt have Word , which is a handicap, as a lot of others use it. Yes I know you can get Word for Mac, but I can probably get it as a bonus extra on a new portable --

Monday, July 04, 2005


Summer is here for sure, things are moving through their yearly cycle - hollyhocks starting to bloom by the edge of the lawn, elderberry bushes covered in white foam (should I try making wine again this year ? ) and the cock Lady Amherst pheasant has lost all his tail feathers, though the hen is still laying. She eats her own eggs if you dont get them very soon after they are laid, which is why the last person sold the pair of them I guess. So far only one chick hatched from the few eggs I saved, and only one gosling , the couple of times the power has been out hasnt helped there; eggs need a steady temperature . The good side of that is not having too much to feed and care for through next winter, suppose I could sell some if there were too many, but not yet anyway. Grass seed on that bare area they dug up is sprouting patchily, the heavy rain washed a lot of seed into the lower areas , leaving bare spots , have to do it again perhaps next week when I can see properly where its needed.Just about normal for stuff I plant, good thing I dont have to depend on growing things for a living.