I’ve finished the first scene of the last section of my new novel, unless, of course, there turns out to be more. That’s the strangeness of writing the way I do. I always wanted to be the sort of writer who can sit down and plan it all out. But I’m not. Every time I’ve made an outline, it’s killed the project, or at the very least put it into a coma for years. No, my spirit requires wandering in the wilderness until I find the right piece of stone, and then adding it to the structure. Sometimes, the stone, though shiny and appearing to be just the right shape, makes everything fall down, and I have to remove it, sit, look, re-think. Sometimes it’s heavy and I don’t have the muscles to lift it. Not at first. And I get sore in the process of getting it into place. And there are times anyone would else would think the stone I’ve picked is too ugly or common, beneath notice, but I know that when it’s polished, it will be the centrepiece.
On New Year’s Eve around midnight, my two girls and I stuck our heads out the window that’s missing a screen so we could watch the fireworks, and then someone had the idea of taking pictures of the city from our window.
This is my favourite. I think the curled pinkish blob is baby 2016. It also pretty much sums up what’s in my head every time I set out to write a new scene.
And for the more traditional view of January first at 00:05 there is this:
And then this: a gift freely given every day. Clouds floating on a sky like water. Fire above, mysteries of home below.
I don’t buy it Mr. Andersen. Maybe the mother duck was surprised, overwhelmed, or even envious, but the baby wasn’t ugly, and she lied. We come into the world as beautiful cygnets. Every one of us.
Your job is to love. Everything else is your occupation.
Part of my project for 2014 is to pay attention to the day. Every morning I jot down in a notebook the time of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, the phase of the moon, and the weather, not the forecast, but the feel of the day: cold, windy, warming, drizzle or snow. The weather has been noteworthy and attention grabbing in my part of the world. First the glittering ice storm that knocked out power in hundreds of thousands of homes, and then bouts of extreme cold. Today there is sun and it’s warming up. I may be able to shed one of my layers. Is that symbolic?