Last night, I was cozy in the van, snuggled up under the covers, when S texted me, “Warm muffins and ice cream…?”

Um, that would be a yes.

I slipped on my sandals and maybe grabbed a hoodie and hurried into the house where I ate a gluten-free huckleberry muffin fresh out of the oven with some Haagen Daz vanilla bean ice cream. Yum, yum, and more yum. I am not going to start counting calories any day soon, but I’m definitely growing wary of the dessert potential of Arcata. Well, wary and appreciative, simultaneously. These were homemade muffins, but the local farmer’s market has a gluten-free baked goods stall, and the closest grocery store — two blocks away, so a quick walk — always has gluten-free options. And not the usual run of frozen Udi’s products, which are easy to avoid because I don’t like them.

Over our warm muffins and ice cream, S & I talked about plans. One of the reasons I’m ostensibly here is to help with the post-bereavement cleaning out and organizing. It’s a big job. But I think the more important reason I’m here, at least for this moment, is to be an escape companion. S wants to go places. She’s working full-time, so we’re mostly talking about quick adventures up in Oregon — Ashland, Medford, Gold Beach. I’m hoping the weather becomes reasonable, because traveling with three dogs is sufficient challenge for me without them being three wet, muddy dogs. But I’m already plotting out what should move from the van into the house for maximum space optimization for group travel, and it’s going to be fun to see more of Oregon.

Meanwhile, writing proceeds mediocrely. I am falling farther and farther behind my word count goals, not helped by deleting everything I struggled with last week. But I think the struggle was necessary to clarify some of my ideas about character and direction, so I’m trying not to regret that too much. And I do feel like I’ve resolved some problems, so maybe I can get back to the entertaining portion of the writing agenda.

Yesterday, I went to a meeting of the Humboldt County Writer’s Group, hoping to find some local writing buddies. A fun group, but I felt very old, not just in years, although those, too. But there was one other newcomer there, who I promptly invited out for coffee. She’s currently planning an intensive novel-writing April, so maybe we can join forces for some real-life writing sprints. Until then, I should get back to persevering on my own. Fingers crossed for a better word week this week!

a rainy bridge
My scenic shots are tending to be very gray. The writing group promised it would stop raining someday soon, though!