Easy reading is damned hard writing – Nathaniel Hawthorne
This photo is from a month ago when the skies were dull, overcast and always seemed ready to drop rain. Today the sky is blue, the temperature has soared to possibly 25 degrees but old Nathaniel (see above) certainly knows the agonies of the writing business.
When the skies were gray, it was too depressing to be inspired. When it was raining I wanted to just sit and read a novel (someone else’s). When it cleared a little, I played tennis and injured my back and it was too sore to sit. Now the sun is hot, I want to be outside and going for a walk. Yes, Nathaniel it’s damned hard work. I am currently writing about the end of November 1916 when the ground was frozen and white with snow. How can I put my head down to this when what I have is windows thrown open and flowers blooming? No doubt what I am good at: finding excuses or as the Shawnigan Lake poet, Joanna Weston, says, reorganizing the spice jars!
I have a week to meet some goals, that is if I can find the time between going to see Monet’s garden tomorrow at Giverny and a shopping trip to Paris, conversation club, a meeting with a French lady who built a school in Senegal and with whom I am trying to co-ordinate a shipment to her school from the Compassionate Warehouse in Victoria.
Would hard reading be easy writing??
I meant to write this on May 1, May Day. It being a holiday I should have had the day off like all French workers but the boss tied me to the computer! I did get out for a walk to the next village of Cardonette where a flea market was in progress, hoping to pick up some very special local souvenirs but it was more like a communal garage sale. Nothing exciting to buy except the little bouquet of lily of the valley.
The weather has picked up- finally. I was beginning to despair of it ever getting warm. Up until now it has either rained everyday or been drizzly and damp. Yesterday the temperature rose a good ten degrees and I tramped across the fields for the first time since I have been here. Lots of birds, lots of birdsong and I heard a cuckoo for the first time this year. Unfortunately I did not have any money in my pocket – it’s a superstition here that if you have money in your pocket on the day you first hear a cuckooo, you always have money. Maybe I’ll go out again tomorrow with a handle of euros at my fingertips. Here cuckoo, here cuckoo!
The presidential election on the weekend was BIG! We at Les Trois Plumes had an early dinner so we could gather in front of the TV to hear the result right after the countdown to 8pm. It felt a bit like New Years! There are many happy people ( and much champagne was drunk) among my acquaintances here that France has a socialist president for the first time in 30 years since Mitterand in ’81. In another month France goes to the polls for a general election which is predicted to be a close race between the right and the left.
The work goes slowly and painfully unlike last year when I was full of inspiration. But I am sticking to it! I have read in more than one place that finishing a book is the hardest part. I’d love to hear from others on this! Perhaps some sunshine, which is on its way, will energize my fingertips.
Continued thanks to family and friends who encourage me through Skype and emails.