Sunday, 21 March 2010

Whistling along

snowing!! quite heavily - temps zero

What a riot! So typical of Canada in March. Anything can happen, and does. We can swing from plus 20 to minus 10 in hours. Go from brilliant almost summer sunshine to what's happening outside our windows...almost a snow storm. Yikes.

I used to be quite frantic about those shoots of spring flowers tricked into coming out too soon. But after ten years (yes, I'm that fast a learner) I realized they survive a snow like this just fine. The problem comes later - if there's a snow or hard frost when they're actually in bud, or blooming. Then it kills them.

I think there might be a life lesson in there. The garden is full of them.

Thanks for your comments about bears. yes, around here they're black bears not grizzlies. Not normally dangerous unless one of two things happen. You get between a Mom and cub, or you surprise them. Which is why when you go riding in the woods you put little bells on the horses. Or when you go walking it's a good idea to carry a whistle, or sing, or do something that makes noise.

The bear stick would definitely be a last ditch effort. I suspect the bear would simply use it as a tooth pick.

Having two lovely, peaceful days in a row. To just write. Bliss. We sit in front of the fireplace, drink cafe au lait and eat toasted, buttered hot cross buns. Yum.

I'm now swinging wildly from worrying the book will be way too long, to worrying it will be over too soon - be way too short.

Michael keeps reminding me it doesn't matter. not at this stage. Just write and don't worry. That's what the second and third drafts are for...shaping, changing the structure and pacing. Taking out and adding scenes.

And he's right. I just have to remember that. Just write as well (or good - or goodly) as I can and worry about structure later. It sounds a bit like the Scarlet O'hara School of Creative Writing. Tomorrow is Another Day.

My God, the snow is really coming down! but what do we care? The buds will survive, we have plenty of firewood, and hot cross buns. Perfect.

hope you do too.


Marjorie said...

"I suspect the bear would simply use it as a tooth pick."

As long as it's not after she eats you and Trudy! Maybe you and Michael and Trudy should wear bells on your shoes (and collar, in Trudy's case) when you go out for a walk? I don't to worry about your getting into a scuffle with a bear. Or a moose. Or a chipmunk.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Jodi said...

Marjorie, bells are an excellent idea!

Still lovely weather here, though a bit cooler than yesterday (62F/16C)

lil Gluckstern said...

What a lovely day, and do wear those bells! I think most art requires a lot of shaping, and reshaping. It's more like putting something out there and see how it sits, and works out. Michael is very wise, and reassuring for you as you are for him.

Darlene said...

The second and third drafts are for shaping, structure, adding and subtracting. So right now, perhaps, is for just getting the basic story onto the page in whatever expeditious way, without worrying about form. That is so good to know. Thank you.

Here "bear bells", bands studded with huge jingle bells, can be seen on ankles or wrists. Thing is, the only people wearing them are tourists. :)

whalewatcher said...

Hot cross buns, fire, snow...sounds like a scene from Currier and it!
I would think that one reason your books are so fabulous is because you care so much about how they turn out. So though I wouldn't want it to cause you too much grief, maybe worry is also a good thing.
As to length I know I could read a 500 page book of yours, but if making them shorter means you'll be writing longer (I know that really isn't logical ; )
then that is fine too.
Have a great start to your week. Two more weeks til our spring break from school and Everyone is

Donna K said...

Regarding the bear..Actually, you could just take Michael along on walks to do his famous rendition of elevator humming--after all, it did the trick before. I think it could really creep them out...

I agree with other bloggers-your worries are good..just another sign how much you care and are into it.

Enjoy the fireplace eating. (Not eating the know)
Donna K.

Donna K

Diane said...

What you say about Canadian winters is so true. We've had record breaking temps in NS this past week - snow expected later on this week.

I love your blog about writing and the privelege of journeying along. I suspect I will look on the birth of your new book a bit differently having journeyed through some of the labour pains.

Rock on!! Diane

Barbara C. said...

I thought we were getting some of that multi-faceted Canadian spring weather here in Virginia. I woke to snow flakes this morning, but then realized they were petals being blown off the magnolia tree.

Regarding the tender plants, maybe the life lesson is don't look for trouble. Plan prudently, expect the best, deal with the worst.

Jeff B. (Cleveland) said...

A guy's going on a hiking vacation through the mountains out west. Before
setting off into the boonies, he stops into a small general store to get
some supplies.

After picking out the rest of his provisions, he asks the old store owner,
"Say mister, I'm going hiking up in the mountains, and I was wondering;
do you have any bears around here?"

"Yup," replies the owner.

"What kind?" asks the hiker.

"Well, we got black bears and we got grizzlies," he replies.

"I see," says the hiker. "Do you have any of those bear bells?"

"What do you mean?" asks the store owner.

"You know," replies the hiker, "those little tinkle-bells that people wear
in bear country to warn the bears that they are coming, so they don't
surprise the bears and get attacked."

"Oh yeah," replies the owner. "They're over there," he says, pointing to
a shelf on the other side of the store. The hiker selects a couple of
the bells and and takes them to the counter to pay for them.

"Tell me something, mister," the hiker inquires, "how can you tell when
you're in bear territory, anyway?"

"By the scat," the old fellow replies, ringing up the hiker's purchases.

"Well, um, how can I tell if it's grizzly territory or black bear territory?"
the hiker asks.

"By the scat," the store owner replies.

"Well, what's the difference?" asks the hiker. "I mean, what's different
between grizzly scat and black bear scat?"

"The stuff that's in it," replies the store owner.

Getting a little frustrated, the hiker asks, "OK, so what's in grizzly bear
scat that isn't in black bear scat?" he asks, an impatient tone in his voice.

"Bear bells," replies the old man as he hands the hiker his purchases.

Marjorie said...

Jeff B.,

That was very very funny!

Marjorie from Connecticut

Donna K said...


HAHAHAHA..very, very funny!
Ok, back to raking. Thanks.
Donna K

Marjorie said...

Jeff, I re-posted your anecdote on Louise's Facebook page. I hope that's okay. It was too good not to share. If you don't like that, I can always delete it.

Marjorie from CT

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

You're hilarious. Like the idea of bells. But it seems while I was worrying about bears, a skunk snuck up on us!

Jeff - wonderful!! Very funny. I think those bells might simply signal dinner.

Good idea to get Michael to humm. Now if we could just get the bear into the elevator.

if people are baffled by the humming reference it has to do with a much earlier blog, several months ago I believe.

My God, it still stinks in here. (see today's blog)