Sunday, January 04, 2015
After a long walk through the snowy woods, nothing tastes better than a cup of hazelnut coffee in a winter mug.
We need long walks through snowy woods just as we need days of precipitation, rain or snow days that keep us inside being creative and productive and efficient. The long walk clears the mind and fills the lungs with fresh, crisp oxygen and pumps the blood through the body and the brain. Wake up! Wake up! Get ready to create!
(I suppose in the old days, rain or snow meant a day to procreate.)
Last fall, I discovered a rejection letter from an agent that was ten years old. Sent in November 2004, this letter landed in my life in the middle of a series of crises: Dad's dementia was worsening, my infant nephew was having open-heart surgery and my divorce was stalled for no good reason. So the letter, all three encouraging paragraphs (a rarity now in these days of 200 email pitches a day and three-line form rejections thanks but not for us) about my book didn't register, the phrases telling me to keep working at this novel did not register on me. Not like they did in November 2014.
And I realized that it's never too late. Of course, it could be. This novel could be outdated, it could be irrelevant. But it's not too late to find out because you never know. I could be wrong in my assumption; it's happened before. (It happens a lot.)
It also means that on a snowy day, after a long walk through fluffy snow, through the snowy woods with the dog bounding ahead and racing back and showing me just how damn happy she was to be walking (running leaping bounding) in this fine, fine snow, it meant that I spent an entire day finishing a 5,000 word story for middle-grade readers that has been hounding me (running leaping bounding at me) for five years.
It's never too late.
I love this idea. I love that this story is pure vintage Nova Scotia. I love that a memory from my husband's childhood inspired it. I love that my husband sat in the blue chair in my office and filled in the details I don't know. I love that he suggested cliches and I rewrote them. I love that it snowed today. I love that I drank hazelnut coffee. I love that when I woke up this morning I had no idea how much would be accomplished today.