Did I tell you that my neighbours on both sides are already busy in their gardens? So, first thing this morning, I gave into temptation and did a little tidying up in the garden, too. My reward? I saw a cardinal and heard his trill!
Melanie Jeffs, the Orca editor who edited my latest book, 121 Express, will be here when I get home from school tonight. I met her when I toured VancouverIsland for Canadian Children's Book Week during the fall of 2006, and I look forward to getting reacquainted -- and to picking her brain on behalf of my blog readers (and myself, too, of course)!
On another subject altogether, I've been reading a book called Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood, which I'm reviewing for the Montreal Gazette. Last night, I read the preface, which is written by Toronto author Marni Jackson. Marni said something that really resonated for me about what's required when you write a novel: a "sort of deep, sustained solitary work." I think that's because unlike a short story for example, a novel generally takes much longer to write, and I agree about the "deep, sustained solitary" nature of the task. It's kind of odd in my case since I tend to be pretty sociable, not naturally solitary, and yet, I so enjoy (well, especially on a day when the writing is going well), the quiet looking-inwardness of writing. What about you?
Ah... the joys of cleaning up the garden. I haven't had the chance to spend that much time outside (blame schoolwork!), but I now walk down to VendÃ´me twice a week, when I take the train home. It's lovely to walk down Calremont with the Sun and especially the warm weather!
I like the image of writing being a deep and solitary work -- I find I'm sometimes more honest with myself when I write, just because I have time to think about what I'm writing, time that I don't really have when I'm talking with someone. Also, the sheet of paper won't give me a look of incomprehension if I accidentally write something that makes no sense. In that respect, I think it's less stressul to write than to hold a conversation... though maybe that's just me. Writing is also definitely a very solitary task -- it's rather difficult to write when someone's staring at you, even worse when the "someone" in question is a teacher!
Do you garden a lot? I love gardening and love seeing the "wildlife". I saw a woodpecker right in front of my house the other day! And there's skunks, raccoons, groundhogs and, of course squirrels, which aren't so nice.
I don't know about writing being such a solitary task. If you're writing something personal, writing can't really be collaborative. But when I had to write stories in high school, I usually talked about my ideas to my mom. But I must admit the writing part was usually done alone. It's an interesting question....