My Brilliant, Beautiful Sister
Wendy Barker, my oldest sister, a brilliant and beautiful poet who was beloved by thousands, died last week on March 11th. She was 80 years old, and still writing. She had been ill, but was scheduled to leave the hospital that day. She had a heart attack in the middle of the night. I had planned to lead with a training and behavior post that I have half finished, mentioning Wendy under the usual farm-related "Meanwhile." I couldn't. Here is a poem from her newest book, Weave, published by BKMK Press: All the faces on the canvas, and all the moving fleshy faces facing the ones flat and framed on the walls, the living faces shifting to a glimpse of a hooked nose, Read More
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First Draft of Novel Done! Whee!
Finishing a first draft of any book is a big deal, even though every experienced author knows there is tons and tons of work to do. That is not an understatement. I'd say it'll be one and a half to two years before this sees the light of day. But, still. I started playing with this five years ago, took two years off during the worst of the pandemic, and picked it up about a year ago. I've taken a week off from writing, but will get back to it tomorrow. I'll be doing some tweaking and minor revisions, then, in about two weeks, send it off to my agent, and a dedicated group of friends who have been helping me along the way. And then, phase two begins. Structure? Pacing? How Read More
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Dogs in Translation: A new book with over 1,300 photographs?! Wowser.
My first dog training class, in 1968, involved my adolescent Saint Bernard and an ex-marine instructor who hung a Basenji off a choke chain for not sitting when told. Me and my dog walked out. Years later, in the 80's, I became interested in dog training and took a friend's dog to classes for the experience. Both classes focused on the "commands" we were to give our dogs, and how to punish them if they didn't respond correctly. No one mentioned paying attention to a dog's posture and expression as a way to be a better dog trainer. Oh, how far we've come! I remember, when I began teaching family dog training classes in the early 90's, how surprised people were when I asked them Read More
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