Strays

Stray thoughts and other things

Funny thing is, I was sort of hoping a stray dog would just walk up to the house and save me from having to seriously start puppy hunting.

I was not expecting what I got.

That’s right. A big red rooster.

From the state of his tail (mostly missing) I diagnosed a close encounter with a raccoon. I tossed him some bread crusts. He wolfed them down and . . . then there was this odd noise . . . the wretched thing was pecking at the back door screen, and stood there obviously expecting me to hand over some more bread.

Obviously someones pet.

I think the someone is named Pam.

In other news, spring has sprung and it’s almost time to mow the lawn.

As you can see above, I neither rake up the pine needles, nor insist on a monoculture. It’s mostly green, it can be mowed, it looks good from a distance.

Good enough.

Which doesn’t have much to do with writing, other than if it shows up, it’ll get written. Unless it’s nettles. For those I’ll get out the weed killer.

Learning to write is partly nurturing the good ideas, but you also have to learn to identify the nettles and deal with them. And that’s the real trick. Because some readers’ nettles are other readers necessities. A lot of that is genre specific. What a regular reader of Science Fiction is looking forward to is entirely different than what a Romance reader expects. It’s hard to please both (better off not even try, IMO.)

Other species of nettle are bad writing habits. I’ve revised a few of my early books since I got a better grasp of how to do some things. Dialog tags . . . Umm, the worst got caught before publication.

But nettles aside, the best comparison between gardening and writing is the sheer size of the job and the inability to concentrate on what needs to be done . . . because everything else also needs to be done.

In my specific case I was just getting started on the next book when I had a thought. “I have chopped the head off the Evil Empire . . . but it’s going to take time to come crashing down, and look a lot different on different Worlds (cross dimensional, not interstellar) so what are the main ways it’s going to happen?”

All right, I could look at a small totally unprepared group having to scramble to survive. No prob, on the way!

And then a large world where the rebels suddenly have a real chance of winning. And between hating the people who conquered them a couple of centuries ago, and developing a liking for the power . . . become worse than their former masters. (That story’s getting a little grim, going have trouble getting a few people out safe and calling it a happy ever after.)

And then a high tech, research world, dependent on trade for way too many things scrambling to find new sources, or develop them, themselves, while not looking like a tasty snack to the larger worlds thinking they could be the nucleus of a New Empire.

Three neat little ideas, right? So how come I’ve got one rough draft and two stalled out at the 3/4ths done point so I could write the fourth?

Maybe I’ll just go mow the lawn.

Meantime, here’s the beheading of the empire:

10 comments

  1. Ah, the decline of empires when entire cultures go through the meat-grinder of history.
    Your lawn is a good analogy for that: cultivate your Kentucky Bluegrass and it works for a while but as soon as you quit, the weeds move in, divide and conquer, and the bluegrass you pampered fades away into a clump here or there.

  2. “Well, you can’t really call it a lawn, but at least all the weeds are neatly trimmed.”

  3. I have a half-plucked hen because she was out (no notion why she was out) when I let the dogs out and my legacy Shitz-Poo found this irresistible. My back yard looks like it snowed or something. (She is my only white hen.)

  4. Eh … well, you got a new critter.
    In my next-door app, which is till fairly sane and non-political, some of the other members seem to have adopted a wandering peacock… whose name, in the app, is now Steve. He is spectacular, friendly and roving through certain of the neighborhoods. Frankly, I think this is rather endearing.
    In my grandmother’s tiny home in South Pasadena, there was an escaped peacock from some grand estate, who made a permanent roost in the oak in their yard for years.
    Your new rooster is probably a lot less noisier than a peacock…

    1. Yeah, I have peacocks too. Well “I” don’t have peacocks, my neighbor does, and they roam the neighborhood. And it’s apparently breeding season because they’re attacking their reflections in the big windows and my black truck. The paintball gun has been deployed.

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