Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Home is where the heart is/ a momentous time on November Hill

This popped up in my Facebook feed as a memory this morning and I read it with awe - this blog post written 4 years ago.

Here's the link if you'd like to read it again as well:

Friday, May 20, 2016

A few words on the writing life, the reading life, and hope for a multiverse

For most writers publication takes time - often a long time - and generally there are many rejections along the way. 

It's a blessing when a good book finds a home out in the world. Every time I read a great book I think about the author and how glad I am that book got to me. 

For those who write, the writing life is a journey that I think we have to embrace for what it is: at its core, doing the work and finding joy in the words and the sentences and the stories. 

And making that the "dessert first" - then if the work makes a splash out in the world, whether for one reader or one million, that is icing on the cake.

If you're a writer, spend some time reveling in the work you do. The words on the page, the way they sound when you read them out loud in a quiet room.

If you're a reader, take a moment to look at the author's photo and bio and maybe look them up online and see if they have a website and other books to read. If you loved a book, let the author know!

And if you're both a reader and a writer, you probably have writing to do and stacks of books to read. Join me in the multiverse where I am reading every book in my piles all at the same time while I write like a mad woman too!

(This was prompted by a conversation on Facebook today but I thought I'd share these thoughts here too.)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Silent Pool gin

Yesterday something prompted me to do a Google search for gin and tonic. Maybe it was all the rain. Possibly the upcoming writing retreat at Porches. My usual gin is Bombay Sapphire and I had no reason to even consider any other kind. But the idea of a new? Fancier? Different mixology? gin and tonic while on writing retreat grabbed hold of me and had me searching. The images popped up and I saw the above and became obsessed.

The bottle! The GLASS! The actual gin and tonic!

Had to have it all.

Alas, I learned that Silent Pool is distilled in the UK and won't be available in the States until August or September. (Yes, I emailed the company, after emailing my wine merchant neighbor first)

I aim to head back to Porches in the fall with a bottle of Silent Pool, a fancy glass, some Schweppes tonic water, and limes. Oh, and my novel-in-progress, of course.

Meanwhile this is a pipe dream. Something to look forward to. Marketing at its best.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

November Hill farm journal, 6

They (the ancients) knew, as all honest people know in their bones, that in any true sense there is no such thing as ownership of the earth and that the shadow of any man is but for a time cast upon the grass of any field. What remains is the earth, the mother of life as the ancients personified the mystery, the ancient mother in her robes of green or harvest gold and the sickle in her hand.
-Henry Beston, Northern Farm

Today I worked in the back field, under the cloudy damp sky, wet but not raining. I mucked and set up the jumps the donkeys knock down on a regular basis, wondering when it might be that anyone actually sails over these poles and barrels again. But I like the possibility and so I set them back as they should be. On occasion I see a horse or a pony or even sometimes a little donkey free jumping these obstacles and my heart leaps with joy. It's worth it for that alone.

Today I had to clear branches from the fences where they were tangled in the tape. All the while I was working I heard a tiny bleating sound which I wondered about, cupping my ears to hear it better, never sure exactly what it was. My guess is a young animal in a nest. 

The area behind the back field is quickly becoming jungle-like again, as it does in the late spring and on into summer and fall. It's too late to do the work I wanted to do behind the fence line but fall and winter will roll back around again and I'll have another chance. Meanwhile the muscadines are growing like wildfire and carry my mind to fall when the grapes will be ready to eat.

It was satisfying to get things tidy: manure picked, fallen branches raked, chairs uprighted. The donkeys love tipping things over - jumps, chairs, dressage markers. If I am ever bored with nothing to do I will teach them how to set them right again.

I looked for tracks but found none. The horses and pony and donkeys were up in the barn, happy to get into stalls and eat hay even though it's cool today and they don't need the fans.

Mostly I enjoyed the physical work and the sense of completion of a task well done. The back field is private and quiet and when I'm there I feel as if I'm on the edge of things, a mysterious between-place where elves and trolls and November Hill deer live.