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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, September 26, 2005

notes, illness, and bears

This morning, the slow, halting process of launching chapter 19. I opened the notes document and also a number of research documents: documents with titles like "Rome - 48 BC", "Rome - Jews", "Rome - Tiber Island", and "Festivals". I started reading through the material I've keyed, occasionally copying and pasting a germane section into my chapter-notes document.

Meanwhile, Kimmie took today off work, feeling unwell. She has lower-abdominal pain, and it hurts for her to walk. I made her schedule the next available appointment with her new doctor (tomorrow morning), and saw that she had an extra-warm blanket, heating pad, tea, and so on in bed where she has stayed most of the day. A chance for her to read the next Laurell Hamilton vampire book, and a number of magazines with Halloween baking and decorating ideas.

I scooted out to my mother's house on an errand, listening to the car radio, enjoying the brilliance of the sunshine and its contrast with the ever-darker blue of the shadows. It's bear country out there: a bear has been consistently raiding her garbage container and even tore into the outdoor freezer, robbing it of all its contents.

The bear issue here in North Vancouver is a growing one, with passionate feelings, most vocally expressed by those saying that the bears are a wonderful part of our local culture, and we should respect them because they were here first. My own view is that British Columbia is not deficient in wilderness habitat; we are a few people sprinkled on a vast wild landscape. The idea that bears are or should be part of our urban environment, the way crows or squirrels are, is to me clearly absurd. Local bears used to be wary of humans--but no more. I predict that the public tolerance for bear activity (that is, a ban on shooting them) will undergo a sea-change when the second or third child is mauled. As of now, only the odd dog has got it. The healthiest thing for everyone--bears included--is for them to start being afraid of us again.

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