Gardening mirrors my writing life this summer. The seeds of inspiration sprout. A late cold snap combined with heavy snow nearly ends the project. The story recovers, and grows slowly, until the flowers appear. After visits from bees, fruits sprout in various shapes and colors. Soon it's time to harvest and process all that has grown.
I'm working on several stories at once. Like the garden, they all seem destined to bear fruit at the same time. I'm scrambling to make sure no fruit rots on the vine.
So many people are on the trails walking, running, and biking in the summer weather, the City put up traffic signs. This one is particularly amusing, because we did see a turtle a few weeks ago.
I have also started painting rocks and leaving them on the trails after a long break. I found the strawberry, and left the lizard.
I've been re-reading old favorites. Wait, that's not quite correct. I've been listening to audio books of classic fiction. Most recently I listened to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I'm moving on to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
One fun element of re-reading novels is gauging your own changed reaction to the characters and plot. I have a more developed understanding of the historical and cultural background than I did during my first encounter with these stories.
Another is the enjoyment of the way in which language was used over a century and a half ago. I love the contemporary cozy mystery, which uses modern vocabulary and syntax. Reading classics stretches my skills, reminding me that language can be elegant as well as practical.
I am happy to report that novels read for high school or college assignments are much more fun to read for the purpose for which they were written - entertainment. No note-taking, no reports or papers. Just pure pleasure.
Other recent visits with old friends were Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, and Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility.
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