You are walking through an avocado grove and you notice this tree stump. AND the snake. Do you (a) run? (b) try to touch it? Or do you just stand there and observe? This handsome little guy is a baby rattle snake…he was born this summer and is just learning to get around on his own. On this warm fall day he came out to take a nap in the sun. Our son found him coiled on an avocado tree stump, but knew to stay clear…because a baby rattle snake is more likely to deliver a full dose of venom when he bites…and baby rattle snakes don’t have a noisy rattle that warns of impending danger.
Such a tiny snake would be easy for a hawk to snatch and carry away, but the bite of a baby rattler can kill. There is no noisy rattle on his tail to warn away those who might do him harm, as his rattle has not yet matured. During warm weather, we stay out of the dry leaves along the edges of the roads in the avocado groves. Best to stay out in the open…and wear shoes!
Unless you live out in the wilderness, you probably don’t expect to encounter snakes or other wild animals. Just seeing a picture of a snake is enough to startle some folks out of their comfort zone! That deer-in-the-headlights feeling of initial panic, followed by ‘what do I do now?’ and finally the decision to run away or quietly observe, is similar to the process of writing for many of us. How do we get past a frightening obstacle that stops us in our tracks?
During this past month, I have been participating in the very first Virtual Fearless Writing Workshop, presented by writer, teacher, and author Crescent Dragonwagon. The workshop is not just about writing.
“If you’ve ever found yourself stopped cold by unexpected change, doubt in your own abilities, uncertain outcome, other peoples’ needs, or unfamiliar economic, technological, or social conditions, Fearless Writing offers a way to stop being stopped.”
You may remember the post I did about Crescent’s cookbook, Bean By Bean a year ago. Last summer I was excited to meet Crescent Dragonwagon in person when she spoke at Barre, Vermont’s local Aldrich Public Library “Meet the Author” series. We had already become Facebook friends after we connected on social media, and I had been interested in attending one of her annual Fearless Writing Vermont weekends. Continue reading