Tag Archives: pleasure

If the creek don’t rise…


Today I’m up before daylight working on a round of edits for my forthcoming collection of short stories, If the Creek Don’t Rise. The book has eighteen short stories and five postcard pieces plus original sketches by Susan Raymond.

Many authors find the editing process to be tiresome, but I relish it. First and foremost, I find it to be a reflective endeavor when I look back over my themes and characters. This helps as I compile a summary blurb, set acknowledgements in order, and place a dedication. I like working with my editor who catches those nuances in a story of which I am unaware. I find the ‘catch’ usually improves the total work.

By the way, the title is taken from a supplication among rural folks that they will complete a task ‘good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.’ A perfect sentiment for my people as they move forward with their one remaining currency–grit.

Look for the collection in November from Pen-L Press. Copies are available from Pen-L, local bookstores through Ingram, and Amazon.


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Work as Pleasure

On impulse, I picked up a copy of Life Work by Donald Hall. A poet, children’s author, short story writer, and essayist, Hall extolls the pleasure of work, the satisfaction of meaningful production, the identity of self reflected in labor. He rakes through the history of work and workers, seeing these endeavors as a great life anchor. He focuses on his ancestors with their pre-dawn to dark manual labor. He turns to contemporaries and examines their thoughts on creative, productive days.

For months I have been toying with the idea of retiring, “not working.” That is to say, of no longer reporting to a place of paid employment where I sell my time and talent. Of course yard work, animal care, and gardening are excluded. Those tasks are assumed out of pleasure.

The thought of pleasure resonates. Work as pleasure. Work that keeps one busy, sometimes stressed. Work that fills days with activity and focus. Work to be remembered when the body dissolves. Humm. Work . . .


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