...to the final month of a strange year. Strange is the best adjective I can come up with. Peculiar isn't quite right. Outstanding doesn't cut it. So strange it is. And strange rhymes with change, so hey, it's perfect.
Speaking of perfect, a strange and wonderful gift showed up at the post office last week. One of the many upsides of going to the Saskatchewan Writers/Artists Colonies is the weekly readings and studio visits, during which many of the writers and artists share a bit of what they've been working on. Over the past few years I've been sharing work from my current manuscript, so when I opened the package I smiled in wonder at the sender's memory and generosity.
The spider, with its copper legs and body of glass marbles, makes me wonder if the sender somehow knew before I did just where my manuscript was heading.
Also in the mail was a package from Brick Books containing Cypress by Barbara Klar, Noble Gas, Penny Black by David O'Meara and Breaker by Sue Sinclair.
And on Friday both novels by Joseph Boyden arrived: Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce. I ordered these books after reading Steven W. Beattie's reviews of the Giller shortlist over on That Shakespeherian Rag.
It's -17 right now. Another beautiful winter day. We saw nine ptarmigan yesterday and 43 on Friday, which certainly added a magical element to the beauty. You can actually hear them snapping the tips off willow. It's amazing how loud and sharp it is when you hear one ptarmigan snapping twigs in the middle of nowhere. A flock of them is otherworldly. A marching band of percussionists breaking willow into music. Strange, haunting music.