A Writer’s Ripening – and answers to a conservation planning survey

My mom asked me a few days ago, "How do you create a piece of writing at 4 am?" I said, “I dunno, it just comes to me after I ripen.” We use the word, “ripen” around here to loosely describe our granddaughter’s napping regime. When she wakes up, hopefully on her own, she has a ritual of cuddling and a ripening process that allows her to morph back into a sweet, little package of joy. No ripening time means stressful times ahead! Ripening for a 57 year old Pop Pop is a bit more subdued and at times, quite random. So random in fact, that inspiration can infiltrate almost at a moment’s notice. Take this morning at 3:10 am. I checked to make sure the water was still dripping - pipe protection from the below-zero temperature - checked to see if there was any new snow, and then, since I was already up, maybe I could create something. When my little desk light turns on in the wee hours, it illuminates memories of my brother, Scot - a pillow made from his favorite Carhart jacket and a deeply moving picture of a buck I took the day I delivered my brother’s eulogy. Then I situate my chair, and my eyes traverse the wall of accomplishment plaques, family photos, an American flag, my old Waterville High football jersey and a blackboard that contains Hadley’s majestic mermaid drawing. Behind me is my book shelf and next to me is a mash-up pile of story ideas, yellow notepads, grazing charts, projects completed and work to be done. It’s my sanctuary, as

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