The Cold Winds are Rising

There is no way that I will venture outdoors this morning without wearing clothing. I woke up to -25 Celsius, a temperature that was made significantly colder because of wind. The “feels like” number is -34 Celsius. Thank goodness for central heating and a fireplace and a house that insulates us from the deadly weather that is waiting for us to be foolish.

The title for today’s post comes from a Game of Thrones: “The cold winds are rising, and the dead rise with them.” I didn’t watch any of the series, but I have read a few of the first books in the series, good stories in my opinion. Yes, winter weather can be a deadly affair – here and in George R.R. Martin’s novels.

Since I have to go to a dentist appointment this afternoon, I made sure to put in a shovel and a quilt in the car. I am all about being prepared, just in case.

This morning I am back writing my NaNoWriMo story which now sits at over 23,000 words this 9th day of 30 days of writing to try and reach 50,000 words. My writing buddy, Paul is breathing hard down my neck as we jockey back and forth with our numbers. He is working full time and I am retired full time so it shouldn’t be a close contest. Yet, I have this sinking feeling that he will reach that magic number before me.

Why? Well, tomorrow morning we drive to my son’s home, a six-hour drive in good driving conditions, for a long weekend of visiting with grandchildren. Writing will be on pause, well mostly. Since I usually get up an hour before everyone else, I should be able to add a few hundred words here and there. One of the reasons for making this trip in November rather than in October, is the fact that the book, Space Cadet Academy 2 wasn’t in hand in time. It’s grandson #6s birthday gift.

Now, it’s time for me to get back to the story that is impatiently waiting for my attention.

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There’s a Blizzard Blowing

It’s one of those days when it is a wise idea to stay indoors. Wisdom aside, I went for a walk this morning and ended up with frost-bitten fingers. Yes, it is that cold. Air temperature is -11 Celsius with a wind of 43 kilometres per hour out of the northeast which makes it feel like -21. It is definitely not a good day for being nude outside. Having a writing project to keep me occupied helps relieve that itch for testing my determination and fortitude. The fingers had taught me that wearing winter mitts and still freezing was the only lesson I needed. But then again, sometimes I am a slow learner.

As I write from a comfortable spot in the living room, with a view of the blowing snow, the words for my NaNoWriMo are piling up. So far almost 19,000 words have been saved to a new document. But the itch was still there. What if? . . . And of course, I don’t have good resistance power. I slipped out the garage door into the back yard for a photo opportunity. I mean, why not? After all, the door back into the garage wasn’t very far away. It wasn’t like I was going to have a picnic or go free-hiking in a blizzard, was it?

While waiting for the time to count down the ten seconds, my feet protested. I could have at least worn slippers or socks or winter boots. The telltale click of the shutter released me and I calmly retrieved the cellphone and proudly walked back into the house. I did check behind me to see if anything had fallen off. Nope! It’s all okay.

Now, it’s back to the story. Until the next time, stay warm. Your body will thank you for it.

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It’s Getting Too Cold To Be Outside Nude

Early morning in the back lane.

It is chilly this morning here on the Canadian prairies. As usual, I got up early, perhaps too early as the world was wrapped in darkness. It wasn’t until almost seven-thirty before there was enough light outside for me to take a decent photo. It was only 4 Celsius with a breeze that made it feel like only 1 degree. By week’s end, mornings will become consistently below zero.

It has been two weeks since my last post here. To say that I have been busy is an understatement. Today marks day 15 of my participation on Medium with my posts there now earning money. I write something for that platform every day. I encourage you to visit my page there. It doesn’t cost any money to get a membership to read. However, for $5 a month you get to read anything and everything behind the paywall. I hope you read my poetry and stories that are being published, and click on the clapping hands [please clap to reach the 50 mark as that will help me earn money]. Other naturist writers are putting up posts there as well including Dan Carlson the Meandering Naturist.

First, I can now announce that my second kid’s literature novel Space Cadet Academy 2, is published and available for sale at Amazon. The cover art was done by my friend, Fabien Barabé. I guess you could call it a chapter book for middle grades, but that would miss the fact that the story is not really age limited. Still, if you have any children or grandchildren that love books, I encourage you to get the first two books in the Space Cadet Academy series. I will be beginning to write book three in two weeks time for my National Novel Writing Month project.

Editing work is continuing with my upcoming novel, Nightshade Publishing Company. This novel is a naturist novel that focuses on the what can go wrong when one’s workplace becomes aware of one’s private life as a naturist. I won’t say more than that for now.

What else is in my future plans? More writing, going to dances with my wife, going for long country walks wearing clothes, working on committees with the Canadian Author Association, and attending the occasional live theatre productions that come to a city near me.

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Autumn Colours

Autumn colours

In so many ways, autumn is the most beautiful seasons. The colours are a wild and vivid protest against the shifting to the barren greys and muted colours of winter in temperate climates. Thankfully, the past few days here on the Canadian prairies has warmed up to make being clothing free outdoors very pleasant.

All the garden ornaments have been taken in for the coming winter with the exception of bird baths and fountains. Birds are making good use of these due to the extended drought. It is dusty and there are no puddles to be found, nor water in most of the dust bowls that used to hold ponds.

following a dusty trail on the prairie

Yesterday, I got out for a three mile hike on the prairies, a free-hike. Earlier in the day, I had walked seven miles with my wife, a walk while it was cooler where we both wore shorts. The plan for today is to go out again for another hike while the wind is down, the temperature is up, and the sun is out.

Tomorrow, it is supposed to rain. If it does rain, it will mean an unscheduled day off as the dust would too easily turn into mud. Rather than moan about a lost opportunity to walk the prairie wearing nothing but hiking footwear and a cap, I will be celebrating, hoping for the streets in town to have the potholes filled and the gutters running. We need the moisture.

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One Month Ends and Another Begins

October 1st hike

I walked 176 kilometres in September. It wasn’t my best month but that is irrelevant. Of those kilometres, 44 of them were done clothing free. I am satisfied with that result. I have no idea if I will get any walking while nude in October though there is a possibility tomorrow morning if I am brave enough to head out to walk with a temperature below 10 Celsius.

This morning, I went for a 12.7 km walk with my wife. As usual when we walk together, I wore a pair of shorts, and because of low temperatures, I even wore a tee shirt.

On the writing front [and there is always a writing front] I am all over the map. I have begun to create posts about free-hiking on Medium, as well as posts about pilgrimages, teaching in China as an expat, Buddhist flavoured poetry, and some psychology items. I have published 19 articles on Medium over the past ten days. The reception has been good with 275 views and 102 people signing up to follow my account. For a brief moment, I had considered that writing here would be wasted energy as I only have 30 followers. Like I said, for a brief moment.

My account at Medium is not a Naturist account. There, I am an author, a Buddhist, a Jungian, a poet, and a pilgrim. With my posts there, all have a photo included. If there is an occasional naturist photo, I am using an app called Fotor to make the photo more publicly acceptable for readers who are otherwise uncomfortable with nudity. This is what I used for the above photo. I didn’t worry about my audience here being uncomfortable with nudity, I just thought it made for a more interesting photo, especially since my wife featured in the image was wearing shorts and a shirt.

Now, If you are interested, I encourage you to check out my writings on Medium. You might be surprised at what you will find. In addition, it’s possible that I might even be able to afford a cup of coffee at the end of October as I will get paid by Medium for having people go to my page and read various articles. The more time you spend reading, the more I will make.

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Print or EBook?

Waiting for the wind to stop blowing and the sun to come out of hiding from behind thick, gray clouds. It is supposed to get nice again in the next few days, almost as if it is a return to a pleasant summer. I am now working on Chapter 9 of my novel, The Four. As well, I have opened another avenue of potential income as a writer thanks to Dan Carlson. I already have five followers and they are reading what I have put up at that portal. Who knows, it just might be worth the effort.

Talking about publishing, I seriously need to publish a few more books that are finished and collecting dust on my hard drive. I am hoping to return to selling and signing books at bookstores once we return from Mexico next spring. There is something special about signing a book and handing it to another person. Selling eBooks is okay, I mean it does provide some royalties, but it isn’t the same as the feel of passing a print book to a person I can see and hear standing in front of me.

I am hoping for a few “craft fairs” to happen in my area before Christmas. In the past, before Covid, I always managed to sell a few copies of my collection of published books. I know that those buyers would have never bought the books online in either print or eBook formats. It is priceless to see the real interest in a buyer’s eyes when they hold one of my books trying to decide whether to buy it or not.

Print or eBook in your opinion? Which is your preferred version and why?

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Adding Some Colour To My Naturist Life

Free-hiking

I saw a digitised image from a long-time naturist friend and fellow blogger, Dan Carlson, on a blog post he has on Medium. That image inspired me to do some research on how I cold make this happen with my blog site with this image being the first result. I have to admit that I like the effect which doesn’t hide the fact that I was hiking while clothing free. In the process, I decided to create my own page at Medium. Then, I put up my first two articles on Medium. I encourage you to check them out.

Art à la Van Gough

This morning, I turned again to using a new service to create art from my photos with this result. This image was used as the feature image on my post this morning at Medium which talks about walking as therapy. I am curious to find out what you think about my using “art” renditions of my photos for my posts here. Obviously, the images remain to be me in my natural state. But, is this enough? Do I need to have crystal clear images of me nude in order to have others [my readers] remain here as followers?

Why do I even look for an alternative to my images? Well, for the most part it is about trying to have my blog site become uninteresting for what I can only call, porn hounds. Twice in the past week or so, I have soared from my typical less-than-a-hundred views to more than a thousand views. At the same time, I had to block hundreds of these unwanted guests on Twitter. Another idea that came to mind was that perhaps, despite my obvious nudity, fewer people would react viscerally in opposition. Some people get triggered with nudity and it isn’t my intention to trigger complexes in anyone. As I learned long ago, nudity is therapeutic.

Now, I wait for your responses.

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Mabon – Autumn Equinox

A cup of coffee and a fireplace

I woke up this morning to -1 Celsius, the first morning since late spring in which the temperature was below zero. It is fitting as it is the first day of autumn, the autumn equinox which is called Mabon by the old Celtic world which often has a prominent role in a number of my novels.

Since my wife had to go to work early, we sat by the fireplace to have our morning coffee while it was still dark outside. There was no reason to sit on our back deck as there were no birds chirping and dashing all over the place to entertain us. Besides, we weren’t interested in layers of clothing being topped off by a light parka in order to stay warm. After all, that is what the fireplace is for, keeping warm on cold mornings.

I caught this explanation of the autumn equinox which I want to share with you: “Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light.” I tend to think of this differently though I have many resonances with Celtic mythology.

Harvest has been gathered

For me, the equinox is the point where I switch from outer-world focus to an inner-world focus. Diving deeper into the world of shadows, one does find light. Light hasn’t been defeated at all. Rather, it has simply gone to a quiet place in order to allow a person to get to know themselves better. During the season of light, the focus is almost exclusively on others and the outer world.

In my life, this is also symbolised by harvesting. Yesterday, I took the last of the tomatoes off the vines as I knew there was going to be a frost. Yesterday evening, all the work I have been putting into a committee had arrived at a point of completion, a harvesting and canning of ideas. I can now relax for the most part with only minor tasks in the outer world yet to need my attention.

Mabon is a celebration and also a time of rest after the labour of harvest. In terms of life path it is the moment of reaping what you have sown, time to look at one’s hopes and aspirations and reflect on how they have manifested. It is time to complete projects, to clear out and let go that which is no longer wanted or needed.”

Diving deep into one’s inner world doesn’t mean ignoring the outer world. The outer world remains though the temperatures drop. One still has to eat and be present. To do otherwise is psychologically and physiologically dangerous. My projects that haven’t been completed are those which require a retreat from the hectic world of summer. I need the season of darkness to focus on my writing and my spiritual and psychological wellness. And that requires that I have done my outer world work with regards to my body and my relationships with others.

Hopefully, your shift from light to darkness is navigated with self-care in mind. The journey to the light of the spring equinox has now begun. We have made this journey countless times as individuals. The light is always there, waiting.

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Thoughts Turning To More Writing While Naked

It’s overcast and windy this morning, a harbinger of the season that is quickly approaching. So far this morning we have had three showers which, unlike a summer rain shower, is not pleasant to experience. So like a good coward, I am indoors. There is a promise of nicer weather ahead according to the weatherman or woman who attempts to predict weather patterns.

So what does a naturist do when going nude outdoors is uninviting? Well, in my opinion and what I am currently doing, it only makes sense to get comfortable indoors with a mug of Jasmine tea and do some writing. The likelihood of lighting the fireplace this evening is high. I wish it would wait for another four to six weeks, but this is the Canadian prairies.

It has been some time since I published a book despite having completed two more novels. I hope to publish a sequel to Space Cadet Academy which I finished almost a year ago. I have a feeling that this will eventually become a series of books for Middle Grades student and all the young-at-heart. I wrote Space Cadet Academy for grandson number six with the cover image and the protagonist being based on him. He is twelve turning thirteen in less than a month. I have other stories in various stages of completion being written for other grandsons. Nothing yet has been begun for my last two grandchildren who are 5 and 3. That said, I have produced photo stories about them, for them and given those books to them.

I have an idea for my NaNoWriMo work this November. I want to write a sequel to my last completed novel, Nightshade Publishing Company, which is still not published. I do hope to publish that novel before the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month] is a challenge to write a minimum of 50,000 words between November 1st and 30th.

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A Naturist Concerned With the Environment

The drought continues here on the prairies. Following an epic plague of grasshoppers, crickets are now emerging from deep cracks to hunt for grasshopper eggs and any grasshopper and cricket road kill. There are huge gaps between my lawn and the sidewalk and pathways. As I tried to bury vegetable leavings, I found the ground had became very hard. I had to break up large clumps in order to finally bury the pail of vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grinds. I do this several times a week. Now that winter is approaching, I will have to begin saving these leavings for mulching when the ground thaws out next spring. We’ve been doing this for years.

Because of my concern for the environment, I collect all of our bathwater and the rinse water from doing dishes. The typical bath uses about ten gallons of water from the bathtub and another gallon or two from the basin we use for rinsing dishes. All of that water goes into our gardens. This morning, the small rose garden got to have a drink of water. The last of the rain water has been poured onto tomatoes and cucumber plants in the garden. There is just not enough bathwater and rinse water to go around.

It is hard for me to imagine any naturist not being an environmentalist. The mantra of living in our natural state is directly tied to nature. I can see why I am seeing more and more of the naturist crowd taking refuge in natural settings: along the beach, walking in forests, exploring the deserts and the prairies, and gardening. Yet, not all have access to a rural environment as they live and work in large urban centres. I am lucky to live only steps away from the open countryside.

Can you be a naturist and not be an environmentally concerned person? In my opinion, no. That is where the word nudist comes in. That isn’t to say that a nudist is word that has negative connotations, it is simply all about distinction. People in large urban centres can be, and many are, naturists when they take refuge in a city park. Unfortunately, the opportunity to be clothing free in the parks is rarely present. That leaves them waiting for work vacations to leave the city and find a way and place to be at one with the universe.

What say you?

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