Posted by Alexandra Jump on January 24, 2010
Last weekend I went riding (as in snow mobile) with Zoe and Andy Skelton. Andy just so happens to be a Word Press dude and writes the code for the blogging program, so any opportunity to pick his brain about my little old blog was welcome.
He suggested that I keep the Black Ram Farm blog up. Yes Chris Baumann, you are correct and I was wrong. Andy said that since I am still getting a lot of traffic on this site, to keep it somewhat active and as I begin the publishing phase of writing, to keep most of the content up and then once the book is actually out there, to then leave snippets up.
Last night I was having pizza with Anne and Bill Hogan over in Shelburne. Anne has edited several children’s books and Bob has a pretty good mind about business. He liked the idea of the published version of Black Ram Farm (and Mr. Toes finds a Home) and thought it best to find a publisher rather than self publishing. Lesley Alexandra Jump Baumann, heads up, you are gonna have to get the Mr. Toes sketches going!
So now out to the universe: I am looking for a publisher to publish and market my book. Any help would be appreciated.
So now in a quandary about Owl Tavern. Maintaining one blog is enough and I do like the new name and new direction. So for now I will be keeping farm and fiber related things on this blog and all other, not so relevant or potentially boring writings about my little life up on the other blog.
Blogging schedule: 2-3 posts per blog weekly, rotating from blog to blog depending on how interesting life is. This should be fun
Posted in pondering, transition, writing | Tagged: Andy Skelton, blogging, publishing, wordpress, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alexandra Jump on November 29, 2009
I have kept a private journal for years. I think I started somewhere in Jr. High and the earliest on I have managed to hold on to was written back in 1981. My first entry in that book was Tuesday, July 28th. It was the day before the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles. I was in the summer between my sophomore and junior year at Proctor. That journal takes me thought that fall, then pages ripped out. Lost.
Several of my journals are missing pages, pieces of my life that I, perhaps at one point, thought best to forget, or perhaps not share with others.
The small green trunk was my grandmother’s and she kept her journals and mementos in it, tucked into the bottom of the closet in her dressing room. At one point I asked her for the trunk and the contents when she passed. I was given the trunk, but empty. The contents of her journals burned. Perhaps those were her wishes too, but I miss the opportunity to have known her while she was in her 20′s, 30′s or 40′s though her words.
I am going though my journals and finding bits and pieces of my marriage that I had forgotten. The problem with memory, is that it is often selective, and mine is very poor. The other day I was talking with Lulu about movies and she said, “hey you would really like the Blind Side”. I said, ” oh Lulu, I just saw 2012 and it was fantastic, I saw it just the other day, you would really like it”
“Mum” she said “I saw it with you, remember?”
Well, welcome to my lupie kind of brain. Especially under stress or a flare up, I am apt to forget all sorts of things. So my plan is to go though the journals and transcribe them into a digital file. Save them on a hard drive and have a hard copy as well. Could be fun to revisit some of the past 20 odd years, could be painful. Could just give me some insight and more of a roadmap to the journey I am on now.
Posted in pondering, writing | Tagged: journaling, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alexandra Jump on November 15, 2009
I love watching Deadwood. One of my all time favorite shows. When it first came out, I would watch an episode a couple of times in order to understand what the world was going on and half the time, re-watching to try and understand the language. There are wonderful characters, all really flawed. Our dog Jewel is really named after one of them. I sent the first years complete episode out to Jim and Mim in Jamestown North Dakota, they had not seen it yet. I have the second season on DVD and am loving it.
What is upsetting is when someone with some clout pulls the series, in the middle. Deadwood never made it past mid-season of year three. Big mistake for HBO, I canceled my account. Other good shows that have a glimmer of some promise are also truncated for unknown reasons. Ian McShane jumped over to Kings, and it was canceled just when it was going well. I saw Gravity this summer and it was pretty good, and just when you are getting into it, poof, it too is gone. So I have now discovered TV on my lap-top. ABC.Com, CBS, Hulu and the like. So I really don’t need a TV service anymore. Kinda of liberating to say the least.
The problem I am confronted with is trying to write, without the background of the boob-tube. Radio suffices at work, but I like hearing words spoken when I write. The need to multi-task my senses while I concentrate is most likely my brain needing stimulation in one area so that the words will come out correctly. Dyslexic adaptation. I also like to knit while I have to listen to stuff in meetings. Just sitting still, I wander. I can listen to classical music without fidgeting, and wandering is what your mind is supposed to do in that situation. Sometimes I see colors when I listen to symphonies. I can’t read and pay attention to what someone is saying at the same time. My ears and eyes don’t work that way. But if I am using my hands, then I can listen well. Most folks around town have come to accept that about me and don’t give me too much flack about it. Work too allows me to have the radio on while I work.
Now I am under deadline for a story to go into the January-February edition of Livin’ the Vermont Way. I am writing about Emilie’s buddy Mike Dolan. Story is due today, and given that it is 8 at night, I have a couple more hours to finish it up. Putting myself under pressure also helps me to focus my thoughts. I doubt my editor Kyle appreciates that last-minute, here you go, but so far he has been wonderfully patient.
Deadwood is running on the background and the house is quiet. Time to proof this blog and finish off the piece on Mike.
Posted in humor, writing | Tagged: deadwood, dyslexia, hulu, kings, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alexandra Jump on October 26, 2009
This isn’t really about Steve. It is about me writing about Steve and his soap in the next issue of Livin’ the Vermont Way.
I talked with Kyle today over at Elk Publishers, home of Livin’ the Vermont way. The next edition arrived in the office and I have been so flippin’ nervous. I love meeting cool people and writing about them. It is such a trip that folks will talk to me, a complete stranger and basically tell me their life’s story. And, and, and you find out that most people have really neat stories and so you set out to write about them and share those really cool things with a bunch of random magazine readers, most you have no idea who they are and then, all of a sudden it hits you. The person you wrote about will read what you wrote.
God I worry that they won’t like what I have said and now I have said it in print and I can’t delete it and I can’t really take it back. It is especially nerve-wracking when the person is really a good soul. A one in a hundred that you feel lucky that you have met.
I liked Steve right from the get go. So I did something I generally never do… I let him get a sneak peek at the story, cus he is in training in Louisiana with the Vermont National Guard and I am not sure I can get hard copy to him there. So when I talked with Kyle, he said he would send a bunch of copies to Steve’s wife and would email him and get his address and would send him some copies down there too. AND Kyle is going to give Steve a subscription and will send it to Afghanistan so Steve and his buddies can be Livin’ the Vermont Way while they are gone.
Here is the gist, Steve learned to make soap while he was stationed away from his family and he makes really good soap. I would post of picture of him, but I am not sure that is an OK thing to do on a blog, given that he is about to take off, into war. So you all will just have to connect with Elk Publishers and order your own copy to see what he looks like. Which you all should anyhow, because it is a good read.
And while they are gone, all those men and women who have volunteered to go, I am hoping that the homemade soup I got from Steve will last. Steve emailed me today and said that he liked the profile I did on him, so I am thrilled and relieved. I hope you guys will like it too. Oh, PS, by the way, if you want some of his soap, drop me a line and I will see if there is any more around for sale. I am sure his family would appreciate the business.
UPDATE: email Steve well wishes and inquires on soap at:
email@example.com sooner rather than later, as he will be shipping out soon.
Posted in places, vermont people, writing | Tagged: 2nd home soaps, Elk Publishers, livin' the vermont way, steven gagner, vermont, vermont deployment, Vermont national guard, writing | 4 Comments »
Posted by Alexandra Jump on August 21, 2009
” My feet take me up the road to the gate, and through it. Just inside the gate the road forks. I ignore the Ridge House road and choose instead the narrow dirt road that climbs around the hill to the right. John Wightman, whose cottage sits at the end of it, died fifteen years ago. He will not be up to protest my walking in his ruts. It is a road I have walked hundreds of times, a lovely lost tunnel through the trees, busy this morning with birds and little shy rustling things, my favorite road anywhere. “
Wallace Stegner ~ Crossing to Safety, 1897
Yesterday late, I headed up the hill to the Sugar House. My lifetime friend Patty and I had a plan to meet before she heads home for the summer. We fall into the rhythm of a friendship that began as children and has lasted though the decades. No secrets between us, as what would be the point? Sadly we only see each other a few times a year, as she is now a “summer person” again.
My Nana’s house is just before it, right after the brook and down to the left. Above both of us is Wallace Stegner’s home, now belonging to Patty’s family. Page and Lynn Stegner‘s house is just before us by the reservoir.
This is the place where I can just be.
I have always loved he Sugar House; has a loft inside and a huge ladder leading up to it and a secret bunk room behind the kitchen and a secret path leading up to the back way to Barr Hill. I though that house was much more fun then Nana’s. Although my children would argue the opposite.
Back in the early days, my grandparents Arthur and Emilie Perry, Wallace Stegner and the Gray’s all bought a single property that was once a farm. My grandparents had a little slice of a lot, with a small beach down in the gap. The Gray’s have the lion’s share of the land, most of it now in the Barr Hill Nature Preserve. But still, the paths from Nana’s to Page’s to Wallace’s to the Gray’s house and to Barr Hill are all there. They were all life time friends, as were all of their children and now the grandchildren, my generation, too. The next generation is coming along with the same experiences and routines of summer. Hunting for Gnomes in the woods, picnics on Barr Hill, swimming lessons at the beach, midnight swims ~ sans suits on star lit nights.
Patty and I had a lovey time talking, laughing, and dining, then headed over to Mimi’s for a late summer, star lit skinny dip. Simply delicious. Mimi’s house is on the lake and she too has deep roots in Greensboro, several generations back. We all fall right into the pattern and rhythm that is generations deep.
It was so difficult to pull myself away after the dip and the warm chamomile licorice tea. I have pulled my old copy of Crossing to Safety out again and will do another read. Wallace puts into words my strongest feelings.
“There it was, there it is, the place where during the best time of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.”
Nana's View for Lulu
Posted in friends, places, pondering, vermont people, writing | Tagged: Arthur Perry, barr hill, Caspian Lake, Crossing to Safety, Emilie Perry, friendship, greensboro vt, Lynn Stegner, Mimi Carter-Haley, Page Stegner, Pat Smith, Wallace Stegner, writing | 4 Comments »