Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I don't even want to think about how much time has passed since I wrote a blog. We put our house on the market April 1st (I figured, with the way my life usually works, April Fool's Day was as auspicious a day as any), and ever since, my entire being has been devoted to keeping the house in a state of pristine perfection. Which, as you might imagine, is no small feat with two small children and four animals around. The cats are staying at my grandmother's in Asheville, so that has mitigated the chaos a little, but not enough. Plus, SC has been blanketed (literally) in pollen for the last few weeks, and keeping it at bay is a losing battle. It doesn't matter how many times I sweep our screened-in porch, there's always a new layer to deal with. Plus, to add to my house-selling woes, I have a pair of Carolina Wrens hell-bent on building their nest inthe porch's eaves. Every time I leave the screen door open, in they fly. I close the door, and they flutter around outside in confusion, always with nest-building material in their beaks. Today Tom came in after me and didn't shut the door, and I watched the two of them confering together on the roof, and as soon as the coast was clear, back they flew. I told Tom they were heading for the porch and to shut the door, and Tom ended up shutting them inside. I was alerted to this fact by their outraged squalking and let them go. Or tried to let them go. One flew out the door immediately, but the other led me in a merry chase around the porch, running circles around the furniture and chirping about squatter's rights. Finally, it gave up and flew away as well. For now.  I know they're still out there, waiting for another chance to slip inside. I have a new horror movie to add to my collection of life metaphors--this time The Birds.

Work goes on on my novel, but only in little dribbles here and there. The last few days I've been visited by a dog character--a little brown and white Feist--Ivy's dog--who named herself Hickory Nut--or as Ivy calls her "Hick'ry".

And then today, I had an odd meandering experience that is very typical of the way novels form themselves in my head. I was writing about the mountains from John's point of view:

mountains like rolling waves stippled in every-color-green like impressionist paintings. layer upon layer of lushness. The closest range is bathed yellow in the sunshine that danced and sparkled across the leaves. The next mountain range rolled like waves against the first, in dark shadowy greens. And just beyond that, a more distant range, cool and pale, ringed with mist where it rose into the clouds. Like ocean and sky met in Boston Harbor, the Blue Ridge kissed the metaphor for sky--heavens--firmament--yes, firmament. Reminds me of a song. (See how I write notes to myself in the middle of narration?) The mountains were thrilling, exciting, wild. A collossas thundering across the horizon.

And then as often happens, I found myself hazily recollecting some song I once knew that used the word "firmament" in it, and after an extended search on Google, then You Tube, then Google again, found the song. The Heavens Are Telling by Haydn--I seem to recall singing this in choir in college, but maybe I just heard it somewhere. In any case, a perfect song profferedby the Muse. And another song to add to my 500 Miles playlist. When I heard the lyrics, I suddenly had an image of John, Mr. Buttoned-Up himself, standing on a ridge, singing The Heavens Are Telling full blast at the valley below.

The heavens are telling the glory of God,
The wonder of his work resounds the firmament.

And then I smiled at the thought of so much progress in an afternoon.


  1. love that last image! no wonder mr. buttoned-up wound up in this new area!!!

    glad to hear you're still writing away, however it happens.

  2. Sounds like a busy time. Glad to hear you are able to write a little here and there.


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