Thursday, May 31, 2012


 In the several days of my absence from this blog, the weather has accomplished a late spring tour de force. While I tapped away at the computer, it has rained, snowed, hailed, fogged, un-fogged, clouded, un-clouded, been sunny and cold, sunny and cool and sunny and warm. Mercifully, it has not done sunny and hot, yet, which is generally my least favorite and tends to fill my head with oatmeal.

Meanwhile, the oak trees around the house have completed their cycle of pollen and granular stuff deluge, to be replaced by a steady pelting of green pinecone parts, hurled by hungry squirrels. My car is spiny with these pitchy things, that can’t even be dislodged with a hose but must be picked off by hand.

In the garden, the irises have faded, while the roses are coming on, full tilt boogey. The bees are plying the fountain for water. The nicotiana alata is hanging in starburst clusters, like vegetal fireworks, and honeysuckle is filling the wind with ravishing sweetness. And of course, armies of weeds are making proud statements of their invincibility.

Meanwhile, as this astonishing atmospheric and vegetal drama has unfolded, I’ve had my nose to the computer screen, ferreting out those tiny gray dots the size of pin holes that indicate proper spacing between words. I’ve been deleting, cutting and pasting maximally. Using the spell check and Thesaurus frequently. Googling errant facts. And even writing two completely new scenes to fill in little voids in the plot.

I suppose this could be seen as a kind of flowering, in its own right. From the rough seed of an idea, almost thirty years ago, Fiesta of Smoke has grown ever so slowly but surely into a full-blown novel. In all that time this book has never lost its fascination for me. It’s been a story that insisted on being told, in the same way that a rose has to unfurl its petals or an oak tree has to toss clouds of golden pollen onto the wind.

Now, it’s time for me to shift my cycle, too. The oak trees are now making acorns and the dying roses are making rose hips and this weary writer is going to turn into a gardener. At least for today.

All the joy of this gorgeous spring day be yours!

1 comment:

twilightme said...

Suzan, your post has me torn between the garden and writing both of which sound positively delicious. Think I'll just open the windows and let the fragrance of honeysuckle waft in while ferret out my own spaces in my project. Let the weeds go their invincible way. Thanks for the inspiration.