King of the Hill

Walking out the door one morning, I heard a chorus of cooing. Looking around, I located the source of the birdsong on the roof of the neighboring house. A trio of birds was amicably roosting. One of them was clearly the king—or queen, as the case may be.

It brought to mind playing “King of the Hill” when I was growing up. A group of neighborhood friends would find a mound or hill, and whoever got to the top first would try to maintain their position—unfortunately, by pushing opponents back down.

As an adult, my only “opponent” is me. I compete against myself. Sometimes I’m “queen of the hill,” other times I’m in a slipped-down position, waiting for the right moment to recapture the hill.

If you were playing king/queen of the hill, what’s your current position?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Gone Camping

We’re currently camping at the Garden Valley Airstrip. It’s a popular fly-in picnic and camping spot for experienced pilots because of the mountainous location next to the Payette River and the excellent maintenance of the grass landing strip by the Idaho Division of Aeronautics. 

The camping facilities include shelters, tables, fire-pits, flush toilets (hallelujah!), and hot showers. It’s a great place to get a lot of reading and writing done.

I’ve turned comments off for this post because internet connections are iffy at best up here. But I wanted to share a glimpse of this beautiful location with you. Enjoy!

© lauriebuchanan.com

Line of Sight

When I hopped out of the truck in Sisters, Oregon to take this photograph, my immediate thought was “line of sight.” I wanted to write about unobstructed vision, and how very few things we actually see that way. Easy peasy, right? Not!

I started my online research. As a suspense/thriller novelist (#seanmcphersonnovels), I already knew about line of sight as it relates to firearms.

I didn’t know about:

Line of sight in electromagnetic radiation

Line of sight between missile and target

Line of sight as it relates to mental illness, particularly schizophrenia

Line of sight in the world of gaming (who can see what)

Line of sight in mathematics (projective geometry)

Line of sight as it relates to the production of pipelines

Line of sight in art is when an artist uses a horizontal line that runs across the paper or canvas to represent the viewer’s eye level and delineate where the sky meets the ground

Who knew?! Clearly, line of sight is more than meets the eye.

What do you see clearly?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Getting it Done

Fastidious by nature, I’m one of those people who thrives on lists—especially checking items off.

Humor, laughter, and having fun is of equal significance to me. When it comes to getting things done, I want it to be as much fun as possible.

Instead of a “to do” list, I have a Ta-Dah! list. This tiny shift in perspective makes me feel like I can take on anything. 

How do you accomplish the must-dos on your list?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Planned Spontaneity

Among the many cool sights we saw during our road trip to Montana in July were two fascinating trees:

One tree is growing near the Bitterroot River and has two ninety-degree angles in its trunk. This tree seems to have specific ideas about what it wants to do and where it wants to go—up, out, and up again. 

The other tree is growing in Hell’s Half Acre, and its trunk is swirling every which way. This tree appears to be spontaneous—ready to go every which way.

I’m a cross between both tree styles—I enjoy planned spontaneity. Approximately seventy-percent of what I do is pre-planned. The remaining thirty-percent I block in my planner as free time and spontaneously decide how I’ll use it. 

How about you? What’s your style?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Cairns

While walking Willa in the Laura Moore Cunningham Memorial Arboretum, I saw this small cairn. 

Used by people around the globe, cairns—a human-made stack of stones—serve many different purposes:

Utilitarian: to mark a path, territory, or specific site

Spiritual: inviting passersby to stop and reflect

Ceremonial: when placed within a circle of enclosing stones

Memorial: when friends and family members voice a fond remembrance of a loved one while adding a stone

Symbolic: the uses are endless including love, prayer, and artistic expression

In Scotland, it’s traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns grow ever larger. An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn — “I’ll put a stone on your cairn.”

Have you ever built a cairn?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Little Free Libraries

We’re fortunate to live in-between two Little Free Libraries. They’re situated about a half-mile apart. 

All I have to do is walk a quarter-mile in either direction. It’s like having a blind date with a book—you never know what will turn up!

My favorite book find so far is The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

Do you live near a Little Free Library? If yes, what’s your favorite book find so far?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Let there be Light – Not Heat

There are five windows in my writing studio: three of them face east (for the most part), and two of them face north. 

The east-facing windows used to let in heat—a lot of it! That is, until Len installed a translucent film designed to let in light, but not heat. We left the north-facing windows alone as lush trees shade them, and they provide an inspirational view.

There are many things we want/need, but not too much of. The first thing that comes to mind is food. We need it to stay alive and most of us enjoy it. I, for one, consider myself a “foodie.” But too much of it—without exercise—and we gain weight.

What is it that you want/need, but Goldilocks style—in just the right amount?

© lauriebuchanan.com

The Shortest Distance

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. At least that’s what I was taught in school. I didn’t know about the exception:

“A straight line isn’t always the shortest distance between two points. The shortest distance between two points depends on the geometry of the object/surface in question. For flat surfaces, a line is indeed the shortest distance, but for spherical surfaces, like Earth, great-circle distances actually represent the true shortest distance.”

Perhaps it’s not about the two points, but HOW we move between them. 

Depending on the distance, walking is my favorite mode of transportation, (no less than six miles per day). 

If we take the truck, it means we’re on a road trip, and you have to love that! 

In the Fiat? I’m running errands in town. 

On our bikes, or in the plane? We’re enjoying a goof-off day.

What about you? What’s your favorite way to get between Point A and Point B?

© lauriebuchanan.com