Standing on Gonzales Hill, one can see almost the entire city: the buildings struggling among the trees. Look the other way, and spy the saltwater squeezed between our little island and the Olympic Mountains that look like storm clouds silent on the horizon.
The sheltered waters and pleasant beach of Foul (now Gonzales) Bay seem the ideal resting place. Yet, beneath the calm water is a danger that gave the bay the name Foul. The gentle cove an inviting shelter for sailing ships proved riddled with kelp, driftwood, and other underwater hazards. The vessel quickly fouled - became overwhelmed and encrusted with the goodness from the sea - so they could not sail. Foul Bay.
Last year, with the help of so many beautiful people, I published two books! One paperback Homegrown Linen and the other an e-book Clean with Cleaners you can Eat. Thank you, everyone.
It was wonderful discovering that I had something worthy of sharing with the world. I especially love hearing the stories of people going out and trying new things.
As good as this all was, something else happened. It was too much goodness. I was overwhelmed. I was fouled (and not in the chicken kind of way). I lost momentum; my rudder stuck in the kelp forest.
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As an author now, it's even more difficult to admit this - I struggle with words. Not just the writer's block kind of struggle, thankfully, I seldom get that. As Terry Pratchet said, all the words are already invented, it is just a matter of putting them in order.
It's the words themselves that pain me. One word more than others: Dyslexia. If you didn't notice this yet, it's probably explaining a lot about my word-choice and unusual sentence construction. Reading, writing, understanding... I don't do well with words and rely heavily on technology to become legable.
Because words are painful, I am miserly with them. My brain gives me so many words to use a day, and once they are gone - I'm spent. I would rather donate my words where they can reach the most people - like in a forum discussion or magazine article. One on one conversations are laboriously overwhelming. Each word read or written to an individual uses 20 that I could partake with a group. Add to this extreme introvertism and I've fallen behind with my emails... by about two and a half years. Yep. I was behind even before all this started. Fouled by life and my own flaws - biofouled.
If yours is one of the over 2,000 unanswered emails in my inbox, I'm sorry. I've been working triage over the last few months in an attempt to get this number down. Late December, it seemed like the effort was paying off as I was suddenly answering more emails than came in... then I discovered the mail server was broken when a deluge of emails smashed my efforts last week. It brings me to tears to think about the effortlessness ease most people email.
As the email dam broke and I understood that what I really wanted to be doing was creating, not responding. Selfishly, I decided that it's time to go back to what I love, even if that means that so many emails won't receive a reply. I shall divide my limited words between permies.com/forums and my next project. If you do want to get in touch with me, I keep an eye loosely on the forums when I'm online. As an apology, I shall set a secret word - just between you and me - that you can use in the post that is more likely (but not guaranteed) to get my attention: "biofouling".