It’s been a busy time. We’ve had a holiday weekend, hubby’s birthday, our anniversary (don’t ask how long–it’ll just make me feel old!), and now, I’m canning tomatoes. The temps have plunged to downright autumnal, and Labor Day is barely past. I mean, we put another blanket on the bed, for crying out loud! (I hope this isn’t a trend going into winter.) Soon we’ll be welcoming guests from out-of-country, and then (eek!) it’ll be time to pack for Viable Paradise! I am so ready for VP and, at the same time, and so utterly unprepared.
But, back up for a minute. Return to the canning of tomatoes. If you’ve been reading this for any length of time, you’ll know that I used to come up with story ideas while walking the dog. Well, my beloved girl’s been gone over a year now, and I won’t get another until after VP is over (probably not until spring, even), so I’ve had to find new ways to let the words flow. It’s been difficult with the move and all, so I just plopped my butt in the chair and wrote, you know? And it works. I’ve written, and learned, and improved.
But there’s something more, something almost spiritual in the moving meditation that I found in walking with a dog while contemplating writing. I’ve missed that feeling, that sensation of tingling alertness as the ideas “uncork” and bob along in my brain. And now, I think I’ve found it again: in cooking jam, and canning, and such things that keep the hands busy but leave the mind mostly free. While peeling tomatoes and scalding jars, I mentally went over the story I was getting ready to edit. I found that joy, the quickening of my pulse and the flutter of my heartbeat, that too often has been lacking. I became excited again. Over my own story. And it felt great.
As for the editing? Yes, indeed, it’s going very well.
What I’ve Been Reading:
Okay, so I’ve been reading lots of late (remember that stack for VP?), but this is the online reading I’ve promised you. And today, I got a story from Every Day Fiction that I enjoyed. The story is Kin, by Karen Walsh. I liked this because of the feeling of “otherness,” of being an outsider, that the author has created. I’ve been on both sides of this outsider exclusion (having grown up in a small town), and I can feel how well she’s drawn both sides.
So happy reading, and enjoy these last days of summer/first days of fall.
2 thoughts on “Bits and Bobs at the end of Summer”
Thanks for the mention in your blog. Oddly enough, I’ve been canning this week, too – red raspberry jam, grape jelly, and sweet pickles. Pears are coming in and I’ll be putting up Pear Chutney next week.
It’s that time of year, all right! May all your jars seal the first time.
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