November 2015. I’ve already caught the season’s first flu bug, cleaned the rain gutters of big-leaf maple leaves and twigs twice, pulled screens off our clerestory windows to allow in more light, and caught National Novel Writing Month fever. The toyons are full of red berries in preparation for the holidays: California holly or Christmas berry.

Toyon with berries, Sonoma Valley. Photograph copyright 2013 Rebecca Lawton.

Toyon with berries, Sonoma Valley. Photograph by Rebecca Lawton.


What am I writing? A novel about water and murder, short articles about things in nature that inspire me, letters to other writers, shopping lists, to-do lists, bank statements, checks to cover expenses for my father and stepmom as they thrive on in their own home. What am I reading? Cookbooks with recipes for brain health, Robertson Davies novels lent me by my neighbor and fellow Canada-phile David, magazines about the writing life, instructions for various residency applications. I can’t seem to get enough of the words.

Norman Maclean: “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

Always, always pondering those sentences. Love to hear your thoughts on them.

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