Elk and a Meatloaf Sandwich

A sunny, crisp morning on the Oregon Coast.

Below me, a slough wavers back and forth in the breeze. I see a few ducks circling on the water.

Oregon grape shakes here and there. They want to flower and that time is coming soon.

A hundred yards away, 25 male elk lounge in a pasture. Is there a leader?

I am sitting in my car and eating a (vegetarian) meatloaf sandwich for breakfast and surely must be the only person in the world eating such a meal while watching elk. Somehow, I’ve got to include elk in my meth-themed Western. Clearcuts, too. This book feels ready to detonate onto the page. I just need one last thing to happen and then I’ll light the fuse. I might not even have to light it myself.

A crow flies over me. I’m getting full of the sandwich. Does the crow deserve the final bite of my sandwich? Yes.