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May 2015. The days are growing longer. We take time out to enjoy sunset from our creaky wooden chairs in the backyard. There are mobs of Stellar’s jays, a golden eagle who makes a daily west-to-east commute, hummingbirds doing their diving dances, black phoebes darting for bugs, the occasional ruby-crowned kinglet staying in constant motion. A fox sees us, stops mid trot, and detours down the creek. The deer who’s been enjoying a salad of ceanothus leaves moves on.

A lovely collection of "Spanish Moss" (lichen). Photo by Rebecca Lawton.

A lovely collection of “Spanish Moss” (lichen). Photo by Rebecca Lawton.

It’s our version of rush hour. The creatures are getting in their final hunting and browsing for the day.

As I’ve written here for the last few months, I’m finishing my novel researched in Canada. As sometimes happens at the end of a long project, my back has given out. I’m in constant pain but unwilling to stop working. I’ve switched from regular typing to the voice-activated software that will allow me to not only rest on ice packs but also to keep editing.

There are character details to add, red herrings to toss out, backstory to delay, first and last lines to enhance. Facts to check. Write, rewrite. Read, write, rewrite. I curse myself for ever starting this book, for ever deciding to write anything, about any subject.

Being here in our house in the woods is both trap and treasure. Here is my strategy: ignore the call of the dishes, the mail, the windows that need cleaning, the garden. Maintain life only. Put energy first into writing story. Then . . . approach the rest of what’s needed as it comes. Because it always comes.

As always, I’d love to have you follow my blog. Engage with any posts that intrigue you. I do my best to keep up with Monday postings about the writing life. And you can sign up for my sometimes monthly e-postcard to receive short, occasional updates on events I’m giving. I’d love to see you at any of them and to hear how your own writing life is treating you.

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