by Gayle M. Irwin
I’m coming off an extremely busy month writing-wise, and none were for myself (unless you count financially ). Ironically, all the articles were due the same day: February 22. I completed seven short stories which I submitted to Prairie Rose Publications for consideration in their upcoming pet anthology, “Pawprints on my Heart.” I wrote three articles for Our Town Casper (I usually write 3 or 4 each month for this regular “gig”), and I wrote three articles for a publication for which I was sought called Advancement – it’s a newsletter/magazine for the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Medical Center Foundation. This was a new venture for me, brought my way from the same publishing company of WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric News) and Crossroads, both of which I’ve written for during the past three to four years. Persistence and reliability can pay off!
In between all these endeavors, I still had my “day job,” working part-time at a medical clinic (and going through implementing a new electronic medical records program) and speaking in schools (I had six different school visits this month). I also interviewed and wrote more Vietnam veterans stories for the Casper Star Tribune/Casper Journal. Additionally, as you all likely know, my Cody dog crossed the rainbow bridge in latter January, so I was (still am, I guess) grieving. And, I took an extended weekend to visit my parents in Montana, at which I finally finished the first draft of my children’s dog rescue book, titled Jasmine’s Journey: The Story of a Rescue Dog.
I’ve had a busy season personally just as the winter season seems to be winding down in our neck of the woods. This weekend we are to see temperatures rise to nearly 60 degrees. Buds are appearing on the apple tree out back, sprigs of green grass are breaking through the hardened earth-clay, and the tundra of snow and ice that hadn’t faded since December has now vanished (except the snow on the nearby mountain ranges, but that’s okay – the snow needs to stay in the higher elevations for a few more months). As nature awakens from its sleepy dormancy, I’m in need of some physical, and mental, dormancy.
I am tired, and I need to rest. So, this weekend I’ll be at my friends’ ranch north of Casper that I talked about in an earlier post. Yes, I’ll likely do some writing as I did in January, especially in Jasmine’s Journey and another children’s story I’m working on called Bobcat Goes to School (I’m hoping this will be published in the children’s section of our local paper in the fall, just as two of my other children’s stories were featured last fall and winter). But, one of the big goals of going to the ranch this time is not a writing retreat, it’s a resting retreat (and time to visit with my dear friends!). My hubby is supposed to join me, although he has a work-related project on Saturday afternoon, so we’ll drive to our friends’ ranch separately. Our dog Mary will be there as well – our friends enjoy dogs even though they don’t have one of their own (they have several cats, mostly barn/rodent-catching cats), but one that’s indoor-outdoor – we’ll see how the cat and Mary do when they meet! I know what she’ll do when she sees the llamas — WOOF, WOOF!
I’m looking forward to the rest retreat, to being out in nature around the ranch (maybe the sandhill cranes will make an early-season appearance!), and to sharing time with people I love and respect. Preparing for the new season, both in nature (spring) and in my life (more new opportunities are forthcoming – I’ll reveal those in my next post). So, as this post goes live, I’ll be resting/retreating at a lovely ranch along the Powder River of central Wyoming. I hope all of you are enjoying a delightful weekend, and that this season, and those to come, in your life will be filled with all good things!
Take a deep breath, my friends – there is a time for all seasons, busy ones, challenging ones, joyful and restful ones. What season are you in now and what season are you expecting in the near future?
Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, Cody’s Cabin: Life in a Pine Forest, and two dog devotion books: Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God and Devotions for Dog Lovers 2: Sage Advice. She is also a contributing writer to five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. She has a passion for pets and volunteers for and donates a percentage of her writing revenues to several animal welfare organizations. Her speaking engagements include presentations for children and adults about the lessons people can learn from pets. Visit her website at www.gaylemirwin.com.