The Arbor Vitae 2013

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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

THE WRITING LIFE

December 29, 2014

Tags: writing, azalea, imagination, winter


Winter at Stony Creek House: Firewood, Sunlight and Snow


Strange December weather.
Two azalea plants are flourishing on our city living-room window-sill, encouraged to spectacular bloom by the subtle wafting of warm air from the radiator nearby and the delicate winter sunlight sifting through the glass of the window pane. They bloom year after year, sometimes twice a year. Every new array of strong little buds comes as a charming surprise as the years go by.
Spring-like days offer gentle air and blue skies, but hidden in our cautious, almost disbelieving delight there lurks a sense of foreboding. Will we have to pay for this unseasonal gift with harsh and cruel winter months to come, as a new year moves in?
I am drifting slowly toward the moment when I will be able to sink into working on my novel without guilt. January begins next week. My year of transition is over.
I have not succeeded in staving off some of the words that have begun to crowd my subconscious. 15,000 of them now sit enticingly in my computer. Every time I dare to open the file, I am sucked deep into the lives of my characters, who are filling out in unexpected ways, gaining strong voices, past lives, and a destiny.
I feel that this forage into the realms of the imagination is what I was always meant to do. Time disappears. There are no hungers but the hungers of the individuals I have invited to live in my mind. I am merely a conduit and like a Jinn billowing from a bottle, I can offer them a future that only I can conjure into reality.
There is research to be done, and I am reading into the period when the novel is set, and into some of the background. I am so excited to be embarking on a new challenge, a new project that will push beyond what I know and enlarge my interior world. I so hope it will all come together to produce the shape and resolution of a fully realized work of fiction. I am stepping with optimism and energy into my writing life.
Onward, 2015! And a happy new year to one and all.



COMING OF AGE

December 8, 2014

Tags: cousins, college, bench, coming of age



COUSINS: College, anyone?




COMING OF AGE

Years have slipped by so fast
Since last I sat on a slatted bench
Under trees mangy as river rats,
The fat river sluggish ahead
Wrinkling under the blue
Manhattan sky
In spring.

Now and then I hear birds sing,
I hear them through the scream
Of sirens gambling with death.
Childrens' voices vanish past the playground's
Bent iron grid,
Into the rancid breath of city living,
Swooshing down silver slides,
Bundled against the treacherous temper
Of early March.

The past pecks at my mind.
It has scribbled lines across my forehead
And written no words between.
The past, like a dry September leaf
Has lost its flame
And free fall from the tree
In a little dust and crackle
Underfoot.



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