Coyotes and Loons

We live in Colorado now. In a small city. In a condominium. Done with the wilds, and the wildlife.
Or are we? Last night there was a band of coyotes gathered outside our window. It sounded like the whole choir was singing for us. Quite lovely, in a feral sort of way. The music carried me back to those nights in Sleeping Moose, when I would slip outside at one or two in the morning to pee beneath the stars. If I was lucky, sailing through the empty dark there would come a call like no other. Ripples of insane laughter sailing upward from the boggy flats. A Loon! My favorite night friend of the woods.

Books Designed with Waiting in Mind

Coming Soon!

Scenic Photography by Atwood Cutting

Books Designed with Waiting in Mind.

In addition to Images and Impressions from Atwood, (a line of budget-priced, softcover photo essays) new series of quick-read, lightweight, reasonably priced hardcover Coffee Table Books designed specifically for office waiting rooms will debut in early 2020.

Book #1 of the new Scenic Photography series: Rural Missouri in the Fall

 

About Hacking and Hashtags

Our world has changed so much, so fast. My mom and I can barely hack modern technology and 21st century tech-speak. A case in point: I fear I’ve used the term “hack” as one from a time gone by.

So, what does “hack” mean today?

Like everyone else, I don’t want to get a hacking cough, and I hope my accounts don’t get hacked by some web-surfing miscreant. Is a “hack” still a taxi? How about “hacking” up a dead body? That thought used to cause shivers. But today, bloggers brag that they have the secret to “hacking” this or “hacking” that. And they are bursting to tell me how to do it. Nowadays it seems to be a good thing to “hack” anything you can.

AttieWe are baffled. Especially my mom.

And now, let us address the suddenly ubiquitous “hashtag.” Apparently, # does not mean “pound” or “number,” anymore. When did it morph into . . . whatever it means now?

It seems that, if we want readers of this millennium to find (and buy) our books, we’ll need to put a # in front of whatever word might foster further investigation. If all goes well, a simple # should lead you straight to Atwood Cutting.com through the #magic of #SEO and the newest, greatest wonder of our world, the #Internet.

So, we’re gonna try it.

Here are a number of stories that we would like to write about. Each #magic word has a # in front of it. Please look over the list below and see if you are gripped by one of these themes.

 

Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.

Do any of these titles pique your interest? If you are curious, please vote for the story you would like to hear, and one of us will happily oblige by creating a blog post especially for you. Or you may ask a question, which we will use as a starting point for expatiation or digression.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Attie and Kate

P.S. Atwood’s books are available through Amazon.com and Ingram Book Distributors.

My Heroes

Some of My Heroes

By Kate Peters

Hero: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. After contemplation, I have sifted out four, of many greats, who fit this bill for me:

 

Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) was a pioneering artist who heralded the noble philosophy of freedom through beautiful choreography and natural body motions. She defined dance as, “luminous manifestation of the soul,” and, inspired by her lead, I left college with the heart of a dancer. I believe my desire to dance naked among wildflowers bears Isadora’s free-expression stamp to a “T.” She is one of my muses, for sure.

I also appreciate Wm. Blake, who wrote, “…exuberance is beauty.” When I find myself overflowing in some excessive form of expression, I am consoled to know that, as an Aesthetic Expressionist, I do show a good and beautiful soul.

My mother

My mother was wise. She was vivacious. She allowed me to grow up as a free spirit. She loved music and, already the mother of five, played the French horn in a local college symphony while I rode along, in utero. I attribute every bit of my love and talent for music to her.

When I was eight, she rousted us and took us outside to see Sputnik pass overhead. My two sisters and I stood beside her, out in our luscious-smelling blackberry patch, and we watched that man-made object slowly traverse the blackened sky like a shiny mite crawling across the interior of a huge celestial dome. I’m glad she hauled us out of bed that night. Years later, I did the same for my own children when a comet orbited near Earth.

My mother also demonstrated good citizenship. To this day, I remember the hike she took her three girls on, through one of ancient Hawaii’s sacred passes. Halawa Valley had been slated to become H-3 highway, crossing Oahu to the windward side, and she wanted us to see it before it changed forever.

As we walked between its steep volcanic walls, we saw bits of trash that modern humans had discarded. My mama never could abide by littering, and she started picking up all the refuse. When her hands got full, she found an “opportune” paper bag, and stuffed the trash inside. There was more, and more, and soon she had us girls collecting, too, filling discarded bags with papers and bottles and everything that lay out of place on the sacred ground.

When we came upon a pad of blood and puss-covered gauze lying where someone had unwound their bandaging and left it behind, we three girls recoiled. That’s when my mother grabbed up a dead branch the length of a walking-stick, and impaled the disgusting sign of a human presence. She wound the long bandaging strip around and around, until it was secure, let the last two or three feet of gauze streamer float loose at the end of the stick, and carried it out like a flag. My mother carried that standard like the true Girl Scout that she was. What a gal! I was extremely proud to be marching in her Litterbug Patrol as we came out of that fated valley, and returned to “civilization.” She was a perfect role model.

Although in some ways I still fall short, throughout my adult life I have tried to reflect her good and peaceful nature, to do the best that I can do, and not to leave too many craters behind.

I Left My Horse in San Francisco  

 

I Left My Horse in San Francisco                 by Kate Peters

 

As a young lass growing up in what is now called “Silicon Valley,” my family had six bucolic acres rimmed by pastures and orchards on all sides. As the youngest of a large brood, I grew up under laissez-faire tutelage, doing pretty much whatever I was wont to do, which was mostly talking to and petting the animals who roamed the earth around me. If they were breathing and covered with hair, I related to them.

Next door on one side was a brood mare who birthed a new foal each spring. This was always a high point of the year for me, for to my mind, there was nothing more beautiful than a horse, except a baby horse. We also had a dairy farm across the road, and I often visited the calves and let them suck on my fingers. A modest-sized flock of sheep populated our own pasture, and I once took a lamb to school in a cardboard box for show & tell. Over that decade I had the customary dog, cat, parakeet, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, fish, and turtle that all “normal” post-war children had. Less common were the rats and mice that my father, a research scientist, brought home for me from time to time, whenever I was experiencing an animal void.

I also had a leghorn hen who was a particularly excellent companion when I was feeling introspective. Always barefoot, I would sit outside on a step to think about the meaning of life, and my faithful free-range chicken would peck among the geraniums around my feet. Sometimes she would mistake my toenail for a sow bug and give it a nibble, which altered the course of my thoughts and caused me to pick her up and stroke the satiny spot between her shoulder blades. I liked her a lot, and it was a sad day when the neighbor’s dog dispatched her.

But what I really wanted was a horse. From the moment I could talk, I began begging for my own equine. Our pasture was already fenced, so why not? One day my parents bought me a burro. But Rosita was definitely no horse. She didn’t care to be ridden, and she leaned all of her weight on me whenever she could. We didn’t hit it off. I wanted a horse!

…At age twelve, I finally got one, and for the next three years I was in heaven. As soon as I got home from school I’d slip a bridle onto my best friend and partner, and we’d take off through the surrounding apricot orchards and hay fields, barebacked and barefooted, to return at dusk, riding beneath aromatic eucalyptus and pungent pepper trees, to eat and sleep, and start the next day at 4:00 AM with a hypnotic sunrise and a hefty load of homework. The routine worked for me and I was happier than I had ever been, until I learned that we would be moving to Honolulu within the month, where I would continue my high school experience.

A week later I was told that I could pack two Mayflower packing boxes with my lifetime of belongings. This was when I realized that my horse would not be coming with me.

The separation was devastating and I remember crying half-way across the Pacific Ocean. The airline stewardess was perplexed. “Most people flying to Hawaii are happy,” she said. “Can I do anything to help?”

“No,” I sobbed, “you can’t help. I’m just sad because I left my horse in San Francisco.”