Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well, it's that time of year - when the weather calls me out to do yardwork and my body says "Forget it!" The goal in March and April is always "writing work in the morning, yardwork in the afternoon," but this year, again, it's not happening. If I had a backbody that worked like my backbrain, though, boy would I have a gorgeous yard!

The resemblances between writing and gardening are so close that the gardening metaphor is almost too obvious to pursue. In both, you plant more than you want because you know some of it's going to die; you have to be constantly on the alert against weeds (which might be anything from adverbs to distractions); you have to prune wisely to bear good fruit; you have little control over success but are guaranteed to fail if you don't keep plugging away at it every day; and the best bits are always unexpected. One day you look up from weeding and see a hummingbird hovering in front of your face. Ma Nature plants jasmine along your fence. You suddenly realize what your book is about, and it's so much better than what you'd planned to say.

I have to get at least one more query out (three more would be better, but I might not manage it) before I can get back to Len. But I need to get back to her. Taking care of business is insufficient compensation for being inside in Texas in March.

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