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All Streams Gather Light

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In the afternoon
Rio Grande or unnamed trickle
All streams gather light.

It is good to be home, even if the vistas aren't as grand. It's home, and this little trickle holds all the magic of the Big River, though I might have to turn over some rocks to find it. Ohio welcomed us with warm temperatures and sunny skies, and I got some nice hikes in with Chet before hunting season started. Opening day was Monday, and we awoke to salvos of shots. You really have to live it to understand it. Hunting season always hits just as I'm getting into the rhythm of daily winter hikes, and I have to sit on the sidelines until most of the people from Cleveland and Youngstown have spent their ammunition on thin air, tree trunks, and each other. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! When you hear four shots in a row, you know he didn't get the buck. And you wonder what it would be like to be caught in that hare-brained crossfire. Yes, we have 80 acres in our sanctuary, and another 85 that are posted by our neighbors, but you can take that and a dollar and it won't get you a cup of coffee. So I sit it out, and fume, and wait for the goobers to go home so I can have my Loop back.

Today: big. Put the kids on the bus for the first time in almost three weeks this morning. Ahhh. We've been living with them around the clock, even sleeping with them the entire time in New Mexico, and it has been a lovely family bonding experience, but I am ready for some semi-solitude. Live radio interview with Marion Roach on Martha Stewart's Sirius radio channel at noon today. If you get it in your car, tune in! Marion has been reading excerpts from the book on a segment of her show titled "The Naturalist's Datebook," and she'll be interviewing me about exploring nature with kids, and journaling.

Yesterday, a holiday book roundup by Ketzel Levine went up on the NPR web site. She highlighted thirteen books as the best gift books of 2006. Letters from Eden is one of them. Interestingly, she say this about having chosen it:

"What I didn't know -- much to my embarrassment -- was that author Julie Zickefoose is often heard on NPR's All Things Considered. So in choosing her bucolic bedside reader, I'm pushing nothing beyond a truly charming book -- written in the same soft language she uses in her on-air pieces, and made irresistible by her drawings. Wait for page 157, where a squabbling Carolina wren writhes on its back like a kid having a tantrum, or page 53, where a spirited phoebe alights in a watercolor dream."

Ms. Levine, whose radio broadcasts from the garden and the wilds have delighted me for years, couldn't have given me a nicer gift. I don't know what gods of good fortune, or what little bird at NPR placed the book in her hands, but there you have it, and you have a very happy Zick, more than a little agog that Ketzel found LFE and thought it worthy of including in her roundup. Trying to hold myself in from writing her and slobbering all over her with puppylike gratitude. Wouldn't be cool.

Last night, Bill and the kids and I walked into the brand spanking new Borders store in Parkersburg WV, at 9:30 p.m. We found LFE, All Things Reconsidered (the anthology of Roger Tory Peterson's writings that Bill edited), and Identify Yourself (the bird ID book Bill and I put together two years ago) on its shelves. All Houghton Mifflin titles, and all there, not because we pushed them, but because they were there. Whee! We gathered up the books and took them to the counter and asked to see a manager about having a book signing there. The manager had gone to high school with Bill, so it looks like it will happen. And we found out that she's planning to have live music in the cafe on Fridays, so we may have picked up a Singing Writer's acoustic gig at the same time.

I'm sounding suspiciously like the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion here, so I'll quit. Still have mountains to dig out from our trip, and I somehow have to turn this house from a troll's den to a showplace by Friday, when a local reporter is coming out for an interview about the book. No wonder I prefer phone interviews! I can sit there in my skeevy jammies surrounded by squalor, and sound proper, put-together, and perfectly appointed. Kind of like blogging--semi-anonymous, with only the pictures I want you to see. No live video feeds forthcoming from the Random House of Piled-up Stuff anytime soon.


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