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Getting past the crux

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with my family by climbing at Smith Rock State Park. (Better late than never; I actually turned 61 on July 13, when I was teaching at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA summer residency.) Below is my daughter, Amy, and her husband of one year, Alex, at the top of the second pitch. As you can see, they were stoked by the challenge, and with a sense of accomplishment. 

You know, like when you finally nail a particularly hard-to-capture scene in your novel. 


Alex climbed the entire route (over 300 vertical feet) with no left hand (he was born that way), which continues to amaze me. Disability? What disability? I’m tempted to tie my hand behind my back and see how my writing goes. 

Well, not that tempted. It’s hard enough with two hands and one aging brain. Still, it’s inspiring to see such confidence and positive attitude. Wishing you much of the same.


“Talent is long patience, and originality an effort of will and of intense observation.”  — Flaubert