This week: Observations Over a Snowy WeekendEdited by: flu-fyn
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In order to write about life first, you must live it.~~Ernest Hemingway
If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.~~Socrates
Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.~~Stephen King
A writer is a dangerous friend. Everything you say, all of your life and experience, is fodder for our writing. We mean you no harm, but what you know and what you’ve done is unavoidably fascinating to us. Being friends with a writer is a bit like trying to keep a bear as a pet. They’re wonderful, friendly creatures, but they play rough and they don’t know their own strength or remember that they have claws. Choose the stories you tell to your writer friends carefully.~~Randy Murray
Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.~~Andy Goldsworthy
The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.~~Margaret Atwood
I'm attempting to broaden my novels' scope through landscape and weather, leaves falling off trees, overnight storms, timeless elements which, irrespective of human endeavour, have always been there and, as long as there is life and snow, will always be there.~~Kent Haruf
We fought the fire this morning. Cold in the house as last night's banking proved not done exactly right thus this morning nothing but ash remained in the woodstove. Not as if we can't fire up the furnace, but it has become a mission to heat with wood we've collected, chopped, split from downed trees. That and a heating bill a tenth of what it has been in prior years.
We fought for fire this morning as we were down to old wood, 'gone wood' my husband calls it. Wood that has gone to almost rotted, like that whiff of milk just as it is turning. Snow blanketed it overnight. Snow knocked off, but the wood has inhaled it. Paper, kindling produced only a meager flame, not enough to fire dampness. Propane torch incentive convinced wood to burn. Temps in the house wandered above forty degrees. We won the battle, but my toes were cold. I rarely wear even socks.
Watching as slow motion flames licked creosote from the glass: the flames, scarlet bleeding to blue, perform an adagio. Icy fingers wrapped round my mug of coffee, I am curled under a burgundy, owl-patterned blanket, warming. Outside, as night gives way to dawn, as pale pinks and mauves tinge the thinning clouds that still spin snow, as pine silhouettes become green once more a burning red cardinal alights on the feeder, searching for the perfect sunflower seed.
The pup wanders out from the living room, stretches out into one long, vertical column from floor to lap and barks, scattering thoughts and cardinals: let me out. She runs, nose down through drifted snow. It flutters above her head as she runs, finding that spot scented just so. Then twirling, jumping, chasing snowflakes; she doesn't mind the cold. Cardinals return, taunt: they have food. Sassy returns to the door knowing treats await inside for merely sitting pretty or perhaps dancing.
We contemplate the shoveling to come, debate clearing walks or creating breakfast. My husband yawns mid-sentence. I answer him, but he cannot understand what I say. His yawn is catching and it catches me in the midst of my response. "After all these years, don't you understand 'yawnish?" I inquire and we giggle. "You should use that in one of your stories," he says, knowing me well. And I know I shall.
My phone rings and I am off to discuss poetry prompts and Cupid's arrows. Talk drifts to kitchen islands, mothers and I am reminded that today is my dad's birthday. He died in 1989,: it simply doesn't seem possible that he's been gone for almost thirty years. Forever and yesterday. A warmth wafts around me and I smile, although I don't mention it and my friend and I discuss Chinese myths. The world spins 'round, tilts and rights itself once again.
A neighbor drops by to check out yesterday's haul of wood now barely visible, mounded under snow. Yet he can see the two-foot diameter eighteen-inch lengths from a downed sixty-foot wild cherry tree. Split, it will be several face cords. A small log from near the top burns in the woodstove, scenting the house as if we had numerous cherry candles burning. Talk drifts to log splitters, a new snow-blower and traitor-ish groundhogs. I worry over not hearing a reply about a consumer issue that has me frazzled--a manager being rude still rankles; he wonders if a steel delivery will finally show on Monday: we are both fast-forwarding to the week ahead. I hit the pause button.
Night walk together, the three of us in tandem. Fairyland of flittering snow fairies flutter down for the pup to chase. Off down the walking trail. Hubby asks me to wait a moment as he fiddles with his cell. 'Winter Wonderland.' He swings me into a dance. Sassy circles. "You'll have to put this in a book someday," he whispers after a kiss. Moment shattered as the dog tries to rush off after a leaf skittering across the snow. Her leash is wound 'round us. Three bodies hit the snow. Sassy thinks it is time for play. Snow-covered, we head back to home and hearth.
Such little things. Minute moments. Life is made up of such as these. So are characters....
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Thankful Sonali says: Love the quote from Velveteen Rabbit!
And -- answering the question on Facebook - which character I'd like to talk to ... well, I'd like to YELL at Cornelius Fudge, the Minister For Magic in the Harry Potter series, for letting the dark side get so strong when Dumbledore had warned him about it!
So not so much a 'cup of coffee' as a ranting fit at him!
Elfin Dragon - poetry fiend writes: For some reason, this particular newsletter of being aware of what's around us, watching and interactions, brought to mind Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Trouble With Harry". It's a black comedy film where one person finds a body, thinking he killed the person (but didn't), and aims to hide it. The story goes on to hilarious encounters with others who then believe they've killed the person and they try to hide the body. And of course, none of this strange film would have happened had the first person been aware of his surroundings
E.J. Apostrophe adds: First time reading and digesting a newsletter...The thoughts about the Imaginary Real is deep and I will need to learn to "Sherlock Holmes" EVERYTHING I come in contact with. In reality, you could say that one needs to become or use mindfulness to be aware and bring this to their writing.
YES, YES, YES!!!
Editing is BLUE comments: I love reading your newsletters. Not that others don't write good ones, but I want the newsletter to be about NEWS; Information that inspires and teaches. I don't want to read blogs, or other peoples stores without a point to be learned. This is another keeper. As I rework my last version of my published novel, I took it back from the publisher to self-publish, I'm inspired to keep at it and work toward a launch date. May 22 my birthday. Or before if I move faster.
Patrece~So busy!!! writes: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and sharing with us that we must invest ourselves into our writing, to truly give it the meaning we desire, to the readers of our work.
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