Posts Tagged ‘ernest hemingway’

“A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.” – Ernest Hemingway.

This is Gandolf, a great horned owl that my son, Lewis, and I discovered on the side of a road on the Texas Gulf Coast. He was in shock, probably after being struck by a passing vehicle. My son and I suspected. We got him to a wildlife rehabilitator, who dubbed him Gandolf. Three weeks later he was well and released back into the wild. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

This is Gandolf, a great horned owl that my son, Lewis, and I discovered on the side of a road on the Texas Gulf Coast. He was in shock, probably after being struck by a passing vehicle, my son and I suspected. We got him to a wildlife rehabilitator, who dubbed him Gandolf. Three weeks later he was well and released back into the wild. — Photo by Pat Bean.

A Great Horned Owl, That’s Who

            I’m not sure I understand Hemingway’s words. But they’re fun to ponder.

I made this card for a grandson's graduation. It tickles my fancy.

I made this card for a grandson’s graduation. I guess I have owls on the brain, but they tickle my fancy.

Just as it’s been fun to ponder  the great horned owl, whose  hooting has been taunting me awake each morning, and serenading me to sleep each night, for the past two weeks.

The hooter has annoyingly been avoiding my sight, but I finally caught a glimpse of it two days ago from my third-floor balcony window. The owl was sitting, just above my eye level, in a tree about 30 feet away.

Then, early yesterday morning, as I was once again looking for the owner of the hoots coming from the trees, a great horned owl flew directly over my head, wings stretched out like a sheltering canvas. It was big, and it landed on the roof top of an adjacent apartment building.

And this is one of my great horned owl doodles. I did it from memory after the Gandolf incident.

And this is one of my great horned owl doodles. I did it from memory after the Gandolf incident.

Pepper, whom I was walking at the time, and I wandered closer, and the owl briefly looked down on us with its great golden eyes. I was mesmerized, but glad that my canine companion was standing close. This was a mighty big owl, much larger, I realized than the one that I had seen a few days before from my balcony.

A surge of joy, like a big yippee, went through my bones. I suspected my apartment complex was now home to a mating pair of owls. The one I was looking at had to be the female, who is always larger than her male mate.

The big owl didn’t linger, but quickly disappeared beyond the roof line, leaving me pondering where her nest was, and did it already contain eggs. I’m sure I’ll be looking for it every time Pepper and I go walking during February.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Texas Tweeties http://tinyurl.com/mgovo9e Bringing home dinner. Bob’s one of my favorite bloggers. I’ve been privileged to see an osprey spring from the Snake River, and from a couple of lakes, with a fish in its talons, but it’s a sight worth seeing over and over again.


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 “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

Ernest Hemingway — Wikipedia photo

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

“I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe, has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.”

“Man is not made for defeat … The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.”

– Ernest Hemingway on booze, writing, war and life.

Thoughts of Hemingway Along the way


The turn-by-turn guide to Route 66 http://www.historic66.com/description/ I was following got me thinking about Hemingway.

Old postcard advertising the Villa de Cubero

 It mentioned the rumor that the author might have written parts of “The Old Man and the Sea” while staying at the Villa de Cubero in Cubero.

I’ve seen Hemingway’s homes in Key West, Florida and Sun Valley, Idaho, where I actually met one of his granddaughters, and have stood before a memorial in his honor that sits beside the Big Wood River, so of course I was interested in this New Mexico connection.

Actually, I usually visit any place along the way that involves known writers. As a writer myself, I’m fascinated picturing aspects of my wordsmith colleagues.

A 1999 photo of about the only thing still doing business in Cubero. — Flicker photo


Cubero is not quite a ghost town, I noted as I passed through without stopping. Not sure now why I didn’t. I think because I wasn’t sure which of the crumbling ruins was where Hemingway stayed and I had gotten a late start this day and wanted to get to Flagstaff by day’s end.

I only got to Gallup, however, before calling it a day. I do tend to dally in my travels.

Meanwhile, intrigued by the Hemingway connection to Route 66, I got online and discovered this 1999 blog http://www.dukecityfix.com/profiles/blogs/the-cubero-adventures about Hemingway’s Cubero adventure. I definitely would have stopped if I had read it first.

I also discovered that Lucille Ball had stayed at the Villa de Cubero when she and Desi split.

Sometimes it seems like such a small world we live in. Connections seem to be everywhere.

Bean’s Pat: The Power of the Sun http://tinyurl.com/7sufeox The Blonde Coyote takes action that’s good for the environment and eventually her budget.

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 “These is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway.

The trail to the top begins by crossing a tiny creek. While the landscape was brown toned, a result of both drought and winter, it still had an enchanting beauty. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Favorite Places

I suffered from writer’s block yesterday. I usually attribute this to procrastination, specifically of putting my bum down and my fingers on the keyboard. Almost always, if I do that, I find myself cured of the disease writers dread.

But when I came across Hemingway’s quote this morning, I realized this time the block was a result of my wanting to convey to you what my Friday scramble to the top of Enchanted Rock near Fredricksburg, Texas, meant to me.

And I didn’t want to tell you the truth, that I wasn’t Wonder Woman.

As hikes go, the trail to the top of this monadock, or kopje as they would call it in Africa, was just a bit over a half mile, and with an elevation gain of only about 425 feet.

I lost sight of these markers a couple of times and had to backtrack. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Until recently I wouldn’t have considered it much of a challenge. But age caught up with me last year, and a couple of painful, physical problems slowed me down to only short, mostly flat walks.

I cried, I ranted, I raved – and thankfully I didn’t accept my regular doctor’s words “that pain was just something that came with age.” While I knew there was truth in his words, I didn’t feel that time had come for me.

A rehabilitative specialist agreed, and two weeks after beginning physical therapy, I was practically pain-free again. My scramble following the ill-marked trail to the top of Enchanted Rock was the most challenging thing I had done in a year. I was out of condition and the hike up was slow-going – but I made it.

Standing on top, with the Texas Hill Country landscape laid out before me, let me indeed feel Mother Nature’s magic.

No footprints to follow, just keep going upward I told myself. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The hermit thrush that flew in front of me, the jumbled rock patterns that to me were as awesome as a museum painting, the awesome robin’s-egg-blue  sky above with wispy clouds drifting past, and the feel of the wind on my perspiring face were all part of the enchantment.

This is what I needed to tell you.

With the Internet at your fingertips, you can learn all the geographical, historical and even mystical facts about Enchanted Rock at your leisure. Facts come with their own magic, but you don’t need me to tell you those.

I know the day will come when my body will no longer take me to the places I want it to go. But thankfully it was not this day.


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 My Favorite Places: Lake Mayfield

Mayfield Lake in Mossyrock, Washington -- Photo by Pat Bean

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” – Ernest Hemingway.


NaNoWriMo Update, 12,512 words.

Very difficult writing today. I kept thinking of all the changes I wanted to do to what I had already written. My first half hour of writing yielded only 10 new words, because I went back and did a bit of editing. Since I always overwrite, a lot of words got chopped. I had to slap my hands to stop it.

Part of the problem getting started today was that I ended writing yesterday with a finished scene and wasn’t quite sure where to go next. I finally asked my main character what she was going to do. She then fixed herself a bowl of soup and took it and the local paper out on her ocean-front deck to read and think. I had already established that she talks her ideas over with the dog “of uncertain lineage” that she inherited when her grandmother died.

I now find in addition to establishing a character chart, I also need a timeline chart. I couldn’t remember this morning whether the murder had occurred three or four days earlier.

But when I finally started writing, it went well. I started writing at 6:15 a.m. and had a little over 2,000 words written before noon. And today I left a place to start for tomorrow.

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