I see it’s been almost two months since I’ve posted a blog–a long time. It isn’t that I haven’t been writing, I have, quite a bit. But not for my blog.
We’re back in Virginia after a long drive from Missoula, Montana, a town I already miss. We stopped in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska on our way back and in that order although it doesn’t seem the logical way to go from western Montana if one consults a map. But it’s the way we went and now we’re here at our Afton, Virginia home again after almost four months away.
As much as I miss Montana it’s good to be back here in the woods of Nelson county in central Virginia’s Rockfish Valley. We came in accompanied by rain all the way from Indiana. The leaves are all down and wet, the aroma of the woods surrounding our house is an intense, earthy, fragrance; nothing else quite like it. Oaks, poplar, maple, gum, hickory, and locust, a seemingly endless variety of trees all stripped of their summer garb creating a carpet of amber and gold hues on the forest floor.
Driving back I thought a bit about an evening in Missoula when I was speaking to about 60 University of Montana students in an evening class called “Montana Writers Live,” conducted by my friend Robert Stubblefield, a member of the formidable Creative Writing faculty.
I read to them some excerpts from a book of fiction I started years ago, set aside for some years and have returned to and worked hard on this past year. It’s something I hope to finish by the end of next summer. It’s the first time I’ve read from my fiction and I think it went well. There was a long period of Q and A following my reading and I did my best to answer their questions. They were not all about my fiction, of course, many were about my long career as a photographer and writer for National Geographic magazine, a career that will reach 48 years this coming June.