I think it would be funny if one went around saying “Happy Spanksgiving”- just to see how many people would actually register what they said and how many would automatically reply “Happy Thanksgiving.” In fact, one could do a whole spiel at the dinner table this way and maybe no one would notice. “I want to give spanks for my many blessings. I am spankful for my friends and family. I want to spank my wife for putting on this wonderful meal..” But I digress. This is really one of things where I crack myself up thinking about it but everyone else just looks at me blankly.
Steve and I drove up to Morgan to spend the holiday with his parents. I don’t think I have ever seen so much snow at this time of year. Snow blanketed the landscape entirely and was blown heavily across the road in many areas. It felt like Christmas-time.
After snowshoeing in the woods, we had a fantastic meal. Billie put a neat twist on all the usual Thanksgiving food- mashed potatoes with whipped cream cheese with chives, green beans with goat cheese, smoked turkey, cranberry relish. Oh and a creamy version of pumpkin pie for dessert. Yum yum yum.
We went snowshoeing again at nighttime, with headlights and flashlights, using the trail that we broke in earlier. The stars shone overhead and the trees were muffled under all the snow. We could see the prints of deer and rabbit all over the woods.
We stopped at Cedar and Jen’s on the way back and spent another night there. More delicious homemade food, most of which came from their land. We also sampled of 120 minute IPA Dogfish Head beer that packed a major punch. An attempt to start a card game turned into flicking cards all over the room and absurd drawings on the white board. This sunlit morning, after a fantastic brunch one can only experience at a Vermont farm, we headed back home.
My paper is hanging over my head as always. I have at least 85 pages of single space typed notes. I always do extensive typing and note-taking, weeding out the information in an entirely intuitive manner. By the time I’m done with that process, the paper practically writes itself. All the papers I’ve ever written have been completed in two or three sittings on average. This paper though is probably too long for that kind of crankage.
I was still seeing the ideas and concepts in this big picture. This is further complicated by the fact that I am writing about a topic under a paradigm shift. So you have to explain the lens and how it has shifted, and what it means for the topic as seen in this light. Is it possible to suspend the reader’s ingrained assumptions long enough for them to truly understand what you are saying?
So the biggest issue is figuring out where to begin and how to make it linear. You have to find the beginning of the thread, then the spool will start spinning naturally. I sat down with my notes and then immediately found it. I wrote the outline and it shook itself right out.
I have beautiful, beautiful linear structure. I feel as if a weight has been lifted. I know how to begin.