Sunday, June 19, 2011

Writing and gardening.

I'm getting kind of intrigued by the 'process' of writing -- fascinated by the many ways one can tell a story.

When I first started writing this new book, I had just finished reading a book where the chapters were short and punchy, and there was very little narrative. Currently, I'm reading a book that has long chapters, and is full of narrative. Both were good stories.

I'm also getting interested in the work 'habits.' One thing I learned in writing those seven manuscripts all those years ago is that HOW I go about writing was as important to the eventual results as the actual creative process of writing. I really hurt myself with bad habits. (Overwriting too soon, or too much, or not enough or....)

Now, for instance, when I'm not completely satisfied with my chapters, or I see that they need work, I just tell myself that I will be rewriting this whole thing when I'm finished. How and when I choose to rewrite is probably more important in some ways than having the original ideas and first draft.

And whether I can keep up my enthusiasm during the task. I'm telling myself to enjoy it as a process and an experiment.


Our sprinkler system stopped working. I already had a couple of dead heads; and they weren't all reaching the new parts of the garden. We also had the landscaper create a drip hose system last year, but we didn't get it put in place -- I was supposed to call him when I was ready.

So he's coming Monday, and I'm hoping he can get all those problems solved.

I've been watering in three stages, which isn't really that big a deal. But if we ever want to go on trips in the hot months, we will need the sprinkler system.

I have one last little stretch of grass removal left to do.

When I remove invasive grass, I go a foot or two down and remove every little bit of root. It quite a bit more work, but once done, it's solves the grass problem -- as long as I keep up.

When I'm done there, I still have the last half of the side street to clear. I'm going to put my yucka plant babies over there, and be done. This part of our property is out of sight out of mind, but I still feel responsible for it.

Last step for now, is to try to fill two parts of the backyard that need some privacy screening. We've decided on using those purple lilac plants that can get 15 or 20 feet high. They are affordable, and I don't need outside help to plant them, they contour to the fence, and they grow fast and they look and smell nice.

After that, I want to let the garden mature for awhile before I make any more major changes.

Once again, I'm struck by the similarity of gardening and writing. They just seem to go together, somehow.

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