Friday, August 12, 2005

Writing and the Zen of Weeding

Finally.... this morning it wasn't 90 degrees and humid! Yay! So, I headed outdoors, covered in bug spray against the voracious hordes of mosquitoes and deer flies and did one of my favorite things: weeded.

Raindrops on roses and yanking up crab grass...

My neighbors think I have some kind of psychological disease because I can't not weed. When I bring the dog to play with her friend across the street, I sit and visit with my friend and - yup, you guessed it - weed! And, trust me, I have my hands full at her house because she has some kind of moral or religious objection to weeding (and watering, but that's another story).

This summer has been tortuous for me because of the unending and unbearable heat. The weeds love it, but I can't tolerate more than a few minutes at a time. So the weeds are knee high and thriving. ACK!

Back to my story.

I sat outside in my gravel turnaround, comfortably ensconced on my canvas tote/chair, pulling up crabgrass and some indistinguishable wide leafed plant with 8,000 little roots that cling desperately to life. It was quiet, the birds were singing (well, mostly I heard "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" with an echo from my daughter, and the PEEP from the downy woodpeckers at the suet feeder), it was slightly overcast with a soft breeze, even my daughter is quiet - except for the occasional birdcall ... my idea of heaven. My husbands perfect summer day? Boating. Mine? Gardening. He thinks I'm sick.

So, I'm in this peaceful bubble doing mindless work that offers a great and clearly visible reward and all I have to do is... think. Contemplate. Plot. I'm tussling with some plot and conflict additions for Camilla and am struggling with letting go of some scenes that I adore, but that just won't fit in with the new storyline. I have scene additions that I must put somewhere, but the original draft is my darling baby and I don't want to amputate any limbs or add any new tissue.

When I sit in front of the computer, I feel obligated to write. Something. This morning I could simply, wonderfully, happily think. No obligations, no guilt - because I wasn't just staring at the wall, I was accomplishing something.

It was wonderful. I'm going to have to schedule weeding into my writing time every day. And when I'm out of weeds, I'll just head next door. That would keep me busy into my tenth novel.

In fact, I'm kind of wanting to get back out there right now. Even if it is 90 degrees and humid again.

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