I took on a challenge at the beginning of November (NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month), knowing full well that I could not (would not?) attain my goal. You see, I had promised myself and thousands of other writers all over the world, a veritable flood of them--as if they could possibly know or care--that I would write a novel consisting of not less than 50,000 words in 30 days. My mind simply will not allow me to write like that. I can't force the words to gush out and somehow assemble themselves into a story. It would be like expecting a cypress tree to reach for the sky without any roots or "knees" for support. I did manage to start writing my first novel, but it's going someplace I didn't expect, and I'm not sure that I like it. Who's the boss here, anyway? Me or the story?
Sometimes I need to walk more than write, especially when the leaves turn color--yes, they do that even here in North Florida--and the trees at Torreya State Park whisper that winter is right around the corner. If you listen closely enough, there might even be a whisper or two from Miss Chaffa. Remember her from the last time I posted about Torreya? She might look a little scary peering out of glass-covered bookcases, but she used to live around here, and you can trust her judgment. Ya'll come on! It's cool enough now to walk in the woods, and them bugs are takin' theirselves a break. Okay, so I've also been reading more than I've been writing. Right now I'm on Chapter 6 of Carolyn Haines' Greedy Bones. So far, so good.
Let others tell the Paradox,
How eels now bellow in the ox;
How horses at their tails do kick,
Turned as they hang to leeches quick;
How boats can over bridges sail,
And fishes do the stables scale,
How salmons trespassing are found,
And pikes are taken in the pound.
But I, retiring from the flood,
Take sanctuary in the wood;
And, while it lasts, my self embark
In this yet green, yet growing ark;
Where the first Carpenter might best
Fit timber for his keel have pressed;
And where all creatures might have shares,
Although in armies, not in pairs.
--from Andrew Marvell's "Upon Appleton House," 1651--