By Barbara Hurd
Let’s agree that this enterprise we writers are engaged in can be a cheerless one and that all of us have faced the blank page, the cold rejection, a mind too frozen to start.
In the face of such bleakness, we each, I suppose, need our own version of a hot toddy. Here’s one of mine: Once, on expedition with the Department of Natural Resources, I hiked for miles through snow-crusted woods and helped pull bear cubs out of their den. As the official folks tested the mother they’d tranquilized, I nestled the infants inside my jacket to keep them warm. Whimpering, they tried to scramble up my chest, poke their heads out the neck-hole of my jacket. I remember their wet-dog smell, sharp claws, their blue eyes, widened, perhaps, by having been hauled above ground weeks before they were ready.
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