Tag Archives: Texas

Rattlesnake at Nadiana’s door

We have an email chat line in our neighborhood, and news gets around pretty fast. This is what showed up today: a photo of the rattlesnake that tried to get into Nadiana’s house, lying dead on her doormat.

Nadiana’s daughter discovered the snake this morning when she opened the front door and almost stepped on it. Nadiana killed it with a hoe. Shannon lent the hoe and took the photo.

Jacki chimed in that her husband ran over a small rattler with the lawn mower a couple of weeks ago. Never noticed until the next time he walked by, when it was lying there in four pieces. Didn’t last long, though: by the end of the day, the fire ants had eaten every bit.

Other neighbors are complaining that Shannon didn’t save the rattlesnake so they could add it to their chili at our next neighborhood chili cook-off.

The Hill Country is a whole ‘nother place.

Soap? Nope: Looks Like Indie Publishing to Me

Blanco, Texas: Market Day, Nov. 19, 2011

Farmers’ markets–those little local carnivals of fresh bread, brown eggs and dewy lettuce–are surging. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. jumped from more than 6,000 in 2010 to more than 7,000 in 2011. That’s a 17% increase.

A new business model is emerging. People are changing their identity from being primarily employees of others, and primarily consumers of the products that keep the international trade world afloat. They’re reshaping their economic soul to become creators of products.

Have you been to a farmer’s market lately? The variety and creativity of the products are amazing. Like the variety and creativity of the ebook market.

People are trading with each other. Taking matters into their own hands to reach customers directly. Not only setting up on the courthouse lawn, but using personal contacts and the Internet to make a living.

This is also just like what’s happening in publishing.

For example, here’s this “author’s” site:

Try to see it as your indie author’s blog home page or Amazon page. There’s the name. The logline. The URL. An overview of the “books.”

Maybe it’s interesting, so you check it out more closely.

Look at all those “same but different” soaps. This author writes a series.

What’s that on the left?

Two more series. Obviously romantica. Hmm, seems like one series is mini-romantica. YA? How nouveau. Do you think this author is spreading herself too thin?

Jehosophat! What’s she doing? Not just single title soaps and liquid soaps, she’s gone and written hand-dyed wool and silk as well! Not to mention the knitted caps.

For traditional marketing purposes, she’d have to get a second name. Maybe “Yarnmarked.” Do you think anyone would guess she’s the same writer?

It’s a good thing she’s got this indie market.

It’s a good thing for us all.

Thank you, Soapmarked.com!

By S.J. Driscoll

The other world

Another world intersects with our city world of work, cars, media, shopping.

Our ancestors knew it. Few of us do.

This other world isn’t supernatural. It’s not in another dimension.

It’s where we came from. It’s still here, but we left.

So sometimes it comes to visit.

The squirrel steals the figs off our fig tree. The armadillo roots up our newly planted rosebush. The deer eat our young crepe myrtle down to the roots. The feral sow, with her thirty-six piglets, feeds in our garbage can. The coyote pack, which we hear at night howling at the edge of sleep–howling until the neighborhood dogs yelp in envy–the coyotes disappear our cat. The panther, en route from Colorado to Mexico, growls at us out of the brush at the side of the road when we take our evening walk.

They’re just saying hello. They’re saying, we’re here whether or not you acknowledge us.

They’re saying, come out of your house.

A deer trail angles across our front yard. When we first moved here, we were shocked every time the deer passed through. It was as if someone’s herd of cows was roaming free, browsing on our grass. Fawns are born twenty feet from our front door. They and their mothers bed down at night on our side lawn.

Now, when I go into the city, I’m ill at ease. Something’s missing. Everyone’s human. Where are the other beings?

There’s a legend in this area that a herd of bison once escaped through a break in a fence. A whole herd of bison. No one ever found them.

They’re here, though, living down in Devil’s Hollow. If we hide in one of the caves tonight, we’ll see them pass by.

The old oak

This is the view from my desk: the middle of the old live oak. Because of the drought and the devastating fires in Bastrop, two days ago some friends thinned its branches away from our house. It was wrenching to see the old limbs drop, but the rain came and the tree is fine. Now my view includes a tiny triangle of the far ridge.

My third desk

The photo at the beginning of this blog shows my work desk and my writing desk in my office. Now I now have a first draft desk, too, in our converted garage, where I can turn my notes into a first draft in longhand. While writing early in the morning, I can look out into the woods to see the deer crossing the yard and the squirrel raiding the fig tree.