Autumn Scene

Tranquil autumn scene.

This post originally appeared on my other blog, everthedreamer.

I absolutely love autumn! Having grown up on a farm, I view the season as the time for winding down.  The crops have been harvested and the fields tilled, ready for a well-earned rest under a fluffy blanket of snow.  Yet, while the land settles down, the cooling air invigorates and propels me outdoors to indulge my adventurous side in a final spree of hikes and explorations before winter arrives, when again my creative side kicks in and I return to writing in earnest.  With luck I should be wrapping up the final book of my Dark Lords of Epthelion trilogy by January.  Stay tuned!

For any of your sword-and-sorcerer buffs, the first two books, WarriorQueen of Ha-Ran-Fel and A Dark Moon Rises are available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com.


Life, Photography

Sparks Well

SparksWell Sign

Deep in the southern Idaho desert, twenty miles from anything, lie the ruins of an old homestead called Sparks Well.  I had heard of the place but, finding the area grottos and caves more inviting, never ventured any farther.  Then about a month ago my youngest brother showed me pictures of the site and a story plot came to mind.  Wanting to explore my idea further, I persuaded him to take me out there.  We made the trek a couple of weeks ago, navigating the bone-shaking trail through dust and heat across the Great Rift in the Craters of the Moon national monument.  As we traveled I had to wonder why anyone would want to live in such a godforsaken place.  Wild, windswept, and sunbaked, mercilessly hot during summer and bitterly cold in winter, this is no place for the timid.  The treacherous terrain would humble even the proudest.

SW SouthButteSW Brushy Expanse

At last we arrived.  I found the place intriguing and a little spooky.  Only the crumbling walls of two lava rock buildings remain, surrounded by rusty remnants of bygone days.  I wished they could talk.  Imagine the stories they might tell!  My fertile imagination kicked into high gear as story ideas grew.

SW FrontEntrance of House

SW RockWall Brush Grass

SW Back Wall Windows

I walked through the front door, ducking under a tall sagebrush as I entered the house.  Mounds of earth, a beam that must have supported the roof, and a few tin cans littered the ground.  The wall above separated this room from what appeared to be an addition to the house; little of that part remained.

Leaving the house, I walked to the west end of the site where, ravaged by time and bullets, this burning barrel kept a silent watch.

SW Trash Barrel

These items, forlorn and forgotten, lay scattered around the broken walls.  Whatever happened to the people living here?  The plot thickens!

SW Unknown

SW Stove

SW Rusty Cans

SW Debris

SW Cans Junk

SW Bedsprings


This type of place fascinates me!  I tried finding some history on Sparks and his well, but my search yielded little.  Apparently, in 1937 well drillers found gold-bearing gravel some 800 feet down.  Local legend holds that Sparks’ son was lowered into the shaft in a barrel.  Tragically, something gave and the barrel plunged to the bottom.  He was brought up alive but died on the way to town.

SW WellCasing

This is Sparks Well.  Rocks tossed down its shaft echo eerily as they fall.  I found a YouTube post that nails it perfectly.  Click here to listen.

The ideas are coming fast and furious, and hopefully I can pull the story together in the next few months.  Stay tuned!


Elegy to a Changing World

Windmills (16)

I remember when the land was free and unfettered,
When uncluttered earth rose up to kiss the boundless sky.
Fields of grain rode the swells
And swirled around verdant islands tucked into the hillsides.
Summer winds played, unharnessed and untamed, over open slopes
And carelessly cast themselves off the mountaintops into space.

I remember when, once upon a time,
I found solace among these hills and fields and sky.
The air smelled fresh and sweet,
“Civilization” lay miles behind,
Simplicity ruled,
And I could breathe.

Now “progress” and “technology” blot the terrain,
And the land I once called home deems me a trespasser,
Warning me away with signs that proclaim I am no longer welcome.
If only I could edit these behemoths off the landscape as out of a picture. . .
But such power eludes me, and I can only look on as, mute and defiant, they stand,
Their proud blades raking the sky.

I remember when. . .and I weep.

 Windmills (1)

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2015  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.


Sweet Freedom and Wide Open Spaces

Pink and Purple Sky

June 30 has come and gone.  I’ve settled into my new place and celebrated my first week of “retirement.”  I must admit to an initial feeling of trepidation about not having a “real” job anymore.  Strangely, after years of wishing myself out of that rut, I felt like a fish running out of water as the day approached when fate would suddenly thrust me out.  But on the 30th, as I walked–no, skipped–out of the corporate world for the last time into the sunshine, relief vanquished fear.  Finally, free to pursue my dreams unhindered, I could breathe again.  I headed my truck down a highway shimmering with summer heat, embracing the spacious countryside as the city with its endless construction, congestion, and road rage melted into memory behind me.

Now, instead of buildings I see rolling hills; instead of traffic, I hear lilting birdsong or the wind whispering through the trees.  I share my new home with an affectionate long-haired tom cat and two black rabbits.  For now I have no desire to go anywhere else.  It’s wonderful just to savor these beautiful surroundings, ride my bike in the hills, write my books, and take photographs.  A whole new world with new adventures has opened up.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Computerspeak For Farmers


I was going through my closets this weekend doing some spring cleaning when I came across a piece of paper containing some folksy, whimsical definitions of I/T terms.  I don’t remember where I got it or who thought these up but, having grown up on a farm and then working as a computer programmer for 30+ years, it stands to reason someone thought I would enjoy them.  I got a chuckle out of them then, and again today as I glanced back over the list, so thought I would share:

MODEM:  What you did to the hay fields.

FLOPPY DISKS:  An indication your machinery needs repair.  (It could also be taken that a visit to the chiropractor or spine doctor is in order.)

HARD DRIVE:  Traveling to town during a blizzard.

DOWNLOAD:  Getting firewood off the pickup.

MEGAHERTZ:  What you end up with if you’re not careful downloading (can contribute to floppy disks).

LOG ON:  What you do to the stove after you download the wood.

KEYBOARD:  Where you hang the keys when you finish work.

COMPUTER:  What you say when you call your dog.

BYTE:  What “Puter” does if you step on his tail.

I could add other, more irreverent descriptions, but it’s Sunday and this is a family site.

Have a great week!  🙂


Welcome Aboard

Hiker and Rock Wall

I started Kopping an Attitude at an early age, so it seems only natural I would one day build a site with that name.  (Yes, the spelling is correct; it is a play on my last name.)  I am, among other things, a dreamer, outdoorsman, RC Cola addict, bicycler, hiker, writer, photographer, gardener, and accordion player.  I love home and family, wide open spaces, puffy white clouds piled high over the mountains, and small furry animals, especially rabbits.  I put my own spin on life and tend to view the world a little differently.  My other blog, everthedreamer, was intended to record my journey to becoming an author, a diary of sorts listing triumphs and struggles sprinkled with tidbits of advice.  The struggles were many, the triumphs were few.  The more I learned about “Writing” and all that the term encompasses, the more I realized how much I would NEVER know and how unlikely mine would ever provide a living.  As a result, I had little advice to offer save what NOT to do, most of which most writers have already discovered for themselves.  Then last summer I came up with ideas for humorous posts from, of all places, my garden (A Tale of Two Quails and the Red Menace; and, The Incredible, Edible Zucchini).  Not only were they fun to write, people enjoyed reading them.  Thus was born KoppingAnAttitude, life as I see it, encompassing everything from humor to reflection.  Welcome aboard!