The Season of Dead Squirrels

Autumn makes her mark. The leaves turn, and the breeze blows the golden ones off the quaking aspen outside my window.


Do you ever come up with a great story title? But no story to go along with it, yet you know a story’s lurking beneath the title? Or is this only me?

For the last three years the fall season has popped a title into my head. A title for a short with no story attached to it yet. I like this title for some reason. Hopefully its story will come to me one of these years.

The title? “The Season of Dead Squirrels”.

Might come off macabre, but it’s not meant to be. It feels sad to me, a little poignant. Melancholy. I don’t know what it is about the helter-skelter squirrels at this time of year, gathering and hiding their nuts and not taking care with traffic.

I picture a woman in a tidy little mid-century ranch in the hilly neighborhood three minutes east of me. It’s an autumnal story, literally and metaphorically. That’s all I know so far.

A simple day today. Here are a couple more images.

The adjacent property. Sometimes I forget that I live within the Portland city limits.

 Wanna guess which of my pets is the alpha?

Friday ‘Fess Up + Four = Friday Five #4

(What is this? A combination of two Friday memes: the literate kitten’s invitation to ‘fess up to our crimes and misdemeanors against our writing efforts and a “friday five,” in which we list five random things about our week…)

1. ‘Fessing up: Not a stellar week, but I accept my distractibility because I’m a first-time dog owner. Monday and Tuesday were all doggy vigilance because I was told Luna was housetrained, and then the first thing she did when I introduced her to her new home was poop on the carpet. Go figure.

Sooo, the first part of the week was all about taking her out every time she appeared restless or looked at me funny (which, come to find out, is just how she looks).

Wednesday, I relaxed, and I’ve since discovered that Luna can hold her stuff for 12 hours — now, of course, I worry that she’s holding it in for too long. Won’t she get a bladder or urinary tract infection?

However, her bladder of steel means that I can stumble to my computer as usual. Luna is content to stare at me for awhile and then curl up in the cat bed to further snooze the morning away. I wrote 15 pages. I’ll get another five in this weekend so I can call it 20 for the week.

2. But what about my cat, Trio, you ask? He’s fine, except for an uncharacteristic need to sleep against my thigh, under my covers. He’s not a cuddler by nature, and, frankly, I need space when I sleep. It’s been the week of little sleep and afternoon naps, but I’ll allow him his neediness for a few weeks.

3. Random crush of the week: Half-watching television the other night, I caught a commercial for a new fall show called “Eleventh Hour.” It caught my eye because it stars yet another film actor making the move to the small screen: Rufus Sewell. Rufus! I’ve liked this actor since forever; dare I say I’m a “fan”? I won’t go that far, but I’m a sucker for an underrated (on our side of the pond) British actor with one sexy, droopy eyelid.

4. This week I realized that I’m reading more historical novels than usual. I love the historical notes many novelists include as postscripts. Not only do they confirm that the authors did their research, but I also learn a little something I probably should have learned in school. The older I get, the more history interests me — and if I can get a dose through fiction, all the better! I’m currently reading The Mercy Seller by Brenda Rickman Vantrease.

 5. Photo of the week: In Vancouver, B.C., a few years back — a company team-building trip. That’s my manuscript on the hotel’s desk. I worked on it, eh-hem, when I probably should have been communing with my colleagues…