Today’s Therapy

Today, in my novel, I will have to face one of my worst fears: ticks. This chapter will not be a pretty one.

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Not So Bad

I feel like I’ve been working hard on my novel, but I’ve only been producing a few hundred words per day. Tonight I wrote about 400. That seemed kind of pathetic, and I was disappointed with my progress. But then I did some math and realized that writing 400 words every day for one year would yield 146,000 words. That’s not so bad!

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Raw Deal

Second favorite quote from The Fireman by Joe Hill.

There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone always dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. . . . Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.

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I am so angry at the world right now. I want to scream my fury, but it wouldn’t do any good. So I write my fury instead. My novel is my therapy: 40,000 words and counting.

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Kid Power

One benefit of writing every day is the miscellaneous moments that get recorded that way. From last May’s writing:

The kids are doing tongue twisters and jokes. . . . They want me to do them, too, and I did: “Cooked cookies crumble quickly!” (ten times fast). It absolutely wore me out. I have nothing left for the day. I told the kids that, and they gave me some of their energy in the form of kisses.

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One Violet

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SITY: A Mix of Good and Bad

Outside today:

The number of buzzing insects in the yard is down. Way down. I try not to think too negatively about that. I imagine a beautiful garden nearby where they’ve all gone to feast, leaving only a few “idiot bugs,” who are too foolish to find that magnificent feast, to forage on my weedy flowers. I saw one carpenter bee, a couple of bumblebees, a few hornety things, several small bees (including green bees), a bee fly, and a couple of butterflies (which are not buzzy, but noteworthy). At least we still have diversity, even if we don’t have large numbers of any one insect type.

I sat outside in the late-day sun. A winter moth caterpillar was descending on a thin thread. I cut him down and killed him, smushed his guts out on the driveway with an old, brown leaf. Yes, I do feel bad about it, but I also don’t. This is the first year I can remember the wild blueberry flowers surviving past the first few days of blooming. Winter moth numbers are also way down, and that is a good thing. If I can do anything to lower their numbers more, I will.

Meanwhile, the gypsy moth caterpillars are hatching. They’re mostly still hanging out in their nests, but I found one on my foot today as I walked in the yard, and I spotted another on a daffodil. I probably ought to have smushed them, too, but I didn’t.

As I sat on the driveway, Mr. Greenbug showed himself. I’ve seen him several times recently. He moved very fast, too fast for me to catch. So I just watched quietly, and eventually he came over to me, examined my feet, even “kissed” my toes. Nature is a participation sport. If you sit outside to watch it, eventually it will engage you in its play.

Robins and squirrels scurried about on their business. I don’t know what they were up to exactly, but I expect it involved food. As I walked along the driveway, I surprised a snake, and it surprised me. It could not have been a garter snake (it was beige, not black), but I was not afraid. Whatever kind it was, it was harmless. There are no venomous snakes in Rhode Island.

The grass has grown high. My husband says it is time to mow, and I have given him my blessing. That means saying good-bye to my violets. I went outside with my camera, to try to memorialize a few of them before the “reaper” takes them. They were as unphotogenic as always. Being an unphotogenic person, I sympathized, as always. I might have caught a good picture or two. If I did, I’ll post them tomorrow.

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Marshall went outside for a little while this morning to enjoy the sun and fresh air. When he came back inside, he handed me a tiny bouquet of violets. It’s not even Mother’s Day yet. Isn’t he sweet?

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No One to Blame but Themselves

Favorite quote from The Fireman by Joe Hill

The sound of an English accent distracted her and lifted her spirits. She associated English accents with singing teapots, schools for witchcraft, and the science of deduction. This wasn’t, she knew, terribly sophisticated of her, but she had no real guilt about it. She felt the English were themselves to blame for her feelings. They had spent a century relentlessly marketing their detectives and wizards and nannies, and they had to live with the results.

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Unabashedly Curious

According to The Washington Post on Twitter today, “Nearly half of white Republicans say it bothers them to hear people speaking foreign languages.” How strange. I’m the opposite way. I love foreign languages. When I’m out and about, I’m usually not that interested in what the random strangers around me are saying to one another (i.e., I’m not nosy). But, if I hear a foreign language being spoken, my ears perk up. First I try to figure out what language they’re speaking, then I try to understand it. If I can’t understand it, I listen anyway, because I like the music of it. I also gawk at ASL conversations.

Am I rude in this way? Maybe, but I make no apologies. I am unabashedly curious about other languages and cultures.

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