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Gone Fishing


Several weeks ago, I should’ve hung out my “Gone Fishing” sign. Now, of course, I’d have to amend it to: “Gone Ice Fishing.”

Not that I know much about fishing. And about ice fishing, even less. But figuratively at least, it might’ve helped to explain my absence from these pages.

 Actually, where I’ve dropped my line is into the deep water of what I hope will be my next book. I do so with the faith that something down in those depths will bite. And that I’m using the right lure and bait.

I confess, it’s not been easy drilling through the ice and launching into a new writing project. It can be daunting, no matter how certain I am, peering into those depths, that I indeed detect some promising glimmers of flashing fins. Some days, I feel a tug on my line but haul up nothing. Other days, there’s not even a nibble. But then comes a morning or two of steady, reassuring catches of modest-sized but satisfying fish that convince me I’m sitting atop an active school. I clear the hole, keep it open and ice free, and after warming my hands, packing a bigger lunch and a larger thermos of hot coffee, I head out onto the ice for another day. Keeping at it, I’m sometimes rewarded with a sudden, surprising strike that yields a whopper specimen I hadn’t anticipated.

I learn as I go: experimenting with various ice jigs or a change in verb tense. Perhaps I try a shift in point of view, much in the same way I attempt baiting under rather than over. When the going gets tough, I may be tempted to resort to the familiar, to return to the territory I’ve already covered, but then I look up at my bookshelves at the work of authors I’ve long admired and who seldom repeat themselves or I check out what the other fishermen are jigging and then try the opposite.  

There’s a concentrated focus to all this, an expenditure of energy – some of it just to stay warm, my butt parked, my line trailing away into the deep where who knows what I may next haul into the light. Hard as it may be for me to imagine that any fish are swimming below the ice in what has been one of the most brutal winters on record for dozens of years, I return, tackle box at the ready. Day by day, pages accrue.

All of which is to say that when it comes to blogging, I’ll be away, gone fishing, hopefully until long after the ice breaks up, the floes disappear, and thermals are traded for shorts. Along the way, I’ll try to send occasional dispatches about what’s been biting. Or a “catch of the day” excerpt.

Until then, happy fishing….



Reader Comments (1)

Happy Fishing, Deb. I know you will be successful!

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

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