Full set of habits, as new, best offer

In Animals, Current reading, Drafts, Hautvoir, Local projects on November 20, 2013 at 6:56 am

Cold wind and rain season here. The move of my sleeping quarters into the tiniest space, easiest to warm: a smart decision. Must bring in the plants.

The title of the post showed up, unbeckoned, while I made coffee. I was thinking more in terms of the letter Z. As in Zadie Smith because of her essay Man vs Corpse  in the December 5th edition of The New York Review of Books. As in zebra because of Zebra Press and a book lent me by a friend (Red in the Rainbow  – The Life and Times of Fred and Sarah Carneson, written by their daughter Lynn). Z for zebra again, this time from a small child’s perspective – a child with some perceptual problems relative to up-down-left and right. A Z does look like an N standing on its head, if you stop to consider it.

Slow going, this morning. Sorting through yesterday’s influx. For a fiction writer, lots and lots of real-life material can be as hard to manage as too little. In the second instance, you fall back into old patterns. The characters start yammering or stammering. They do a lot of shrugging, scratching imaginary itches or looking out the window. In the first instance, they grab every novelty in sight, jump up and down, race across the scenery, and ham it up like a bunch of six-year old girls showing off for one another and for the  lone six-year old boy in the room. In real life, said boy watched for a while then he decided he was going to draw a house. Meanwhile, I told myself the shrill screams of six-year old girls must have evolved as a survival tool for the community, long before the invention of tin whistles.

Coaching somewhat older children this afternoon. The question this morning: do I stay out of the cold wind and rain with my fictional characters or do I attempt yet another appeal to the local phone and internet service provider on matters boring enough to provide a full caseload of zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I don’t blame you if the suspense feels underwhelming. Not to worry, it’s not quite seven am yet. The pace is bound to  pick up.


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