Remembering to breathe

    Who cares if it's May 7? Last night it snowed. It had melted by the time the sun was high in the sky, but it's still nippy with the possibility of more snow ahead.

    Ah, yes, springtime in the Rockies.

    Tulips do look pretty in the snow. And so does my lily of the valley, which is just beginning to bloom. Those flowers are so precious and tiny. I have to get down on my knees in the grass to sniff them. I’m sure that makes a lovely sight.

    Out in the veggie garden, I have six-inch high broccoli plants, as well as arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed greens and Swiss chard. When Benjy gets home — and when it actually gets warm — we'll open a second bed and plant tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, peppers and squash.

    One zucchini plant only, and even then... At the end of the world, there will be zucchini and cockroaches, as I’ve always said.

    I’m taking a moment to breathe. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. Big papers, special editions, bills in the Senate, hassles in the House, new five-book contract. After we heard that the Department of Corrections was attempting to gut or kill the bill, I found myself getting super stressed out, and that's just not good for me.

    We have reached a compromise with them. I'm very reluctant to compromise because I feel that some important aspects of the bill have been removed. Right now it contains about 85 percent of what I originally put into it. But when they start removing phrases like "so as not to cause the inmate additional pain or suffering" you have to wonder WHY. I still don’t understand.

    The House Judiciary Hearing is Monday morning. I'm first up to testify. It could be on the House floor as early as that afternoon and could pass the House by Tuesday. Then it will go into conference committee, where the two sponsors and others try to work out a compromise on the two different versions of the bill. Once they do that, both chambers have to approve the changes. And then, finally, it goes to the Governor.

    It's been a real education for me to see how things work behind the scenes at the Capitol. I think along the way I've managed to annoy everyone who's been involved with the bill. Me and my temper. Oh, well.

    But I'm trying to let go a little bit. I can't write books if I'm stressed out of my gourd and have a migraine. So...

    I'm starting Chapter 4 of Breaking Point today. Bad things reach something of a peak for Zach and Natalie in Chapter 4 — and then begin to turn around. Right now, they are just voices in the darkness for each other as they talk through the wall of a place out in the desert where they’re being kept prisoner.

    I hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks for your support here and on Facebook regarding the bill. The debate on the House floor will be available via live streaming. I’ll post the URL when the bill is about to come up.

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