Saturday, May 13, 2006

Across the Fence

I'm writing from our backyard this morning, keeping an eye on Lucky the bunny, making sure he isn't nibbling my petunias or digging up the hens & chicks I just transplanted.

In spite of the glare on my laptop, I chase the sun around the patch of moss we call a lawn, soaking up warmth and wishing sunlight could reach through the small windows of our low-slung, fir shaded 1970's ranch house.

My flowerbed is dry and desperate looking, in all honesty -- nothing like the lush swaths of annuals that bloomed wherever my Great Aunt Minnie lived.

In my mind's eye I can still her signature cosmos towering over marigolds the size of salad plates; and daisys, dianthus, snapdragons & sweetpeas stepping their way down to the hens & chicks that clucked along, forming a natural border to her patch of heaven.

While I also remember Aunt Minnie for her girlish giggle, her missing index finger and the little silver flask she carried inside her purse, it's always her flower patch I see when memory brings her to mind.

I am grateful I didn't inherit her penchant for "taking a nip," and I'm okay with my more serious nature, but oh how I wish, wish, wish she'd passed her green thumb down to me.

A while ago bunny tucked his wiggly nose through a slat in the fence to chomp my neighbor's vagrant clematis vine. For a moment I considered letting him -- their sunny, lush backyard unearths envy in me I didn't know was possible -- but, I shooed him away.

He's been behaving for quite awhile now, probably reminded by my scolding that he's lucky, indeed, to be loose from his wire condo.

Still, somewhere inside me, I hear a little giggle, tempting me to get up and coax bunny back to the fence.

I know I shouldn't ...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Waiter or Writer?

Today I'm waiting for these folks to call me back so I can interview them for one of the columns I write for the monthly HBA newspaper.

You would think that while I sit at my desk waiting for each of them to call me back, I could also work on my novel, or something a little more productive than a blog post.

Especially in light of something Shannon Woodward said at this weekend conference I just attended. (Okay, she said a lot of things, but this is easy to remember, and one of her comments that stuck with me ...)

"If you are waiting for inspiration, you are a waiter, not a writer."

I think these weren't her words, originally, but frankly, I've enough distractions pulling at me today that if I get up and find my notes from the conference where I heard her speak, who knows if I'll finish even this brief post.

I fear that if I start "my own thing," my outstanding calls will all return, leaving me to finish the day with that exasperated, interrupted feeling writers so loathe. So, I sit here, grazing blogs istead.

Yet, if I've learned anything about the discipline of writing it is, in addition to Shannon's lesson, that I not wait for those elusive luxurious stretches of protected time to engage in my craft, but that I also fit it into the pieces and snips and sometimes unplanned moments where I find myself, like now, waiting for something else.

I wonder, did Hemingway scrub toilets, pay bills, cook dinner, run errands? Surely not. But, he undoubtedly must have faced and persisted through interruptions of the day -- even those of his own making.