Another two days….

Posted: December 18th, 2022 under Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
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December 18, 11:43 pm and I’m at 178,644 words, p. 551 of 811, after some hours off today, working in the “picnic grove” to trim snaggy bits off the lower trunks of trees, and then the barn leveling more decomposed granite in the east stall, pick up manure in the south barn lot, feed, and yes, pet and give treats to the horses.  Progress is slow, my brain’s tired of staring at the text and trying to find words to cut.  Still finding them but not as fast now.  I think the writing was getting tighter in this part maybe.  I hope.  Clock’s ticking, calendar’s turning, I need to get this finished so I can get on with the wildlife management report and turn the book back to my agent so it has a chance of finding a publisher.

This is the season of trimming trees, too, and even though some of the bur oaks still have green leaves on them…most of the trimming’s being done right now on the cedar elms in the near meadow.  The picnic grove looks more and more like a grove of actual trees every year–not only are they taller, but the trim is defining, as I’d hoped, the “rooms” in the grove.  We won’t live to see it mature–and a later owner can of course just destroy it–but we should be able to use it a little this year.  The part of the near meadow between the grass waterway and the original fence of the house and lots, east of the main maintenance path, I hope to fence as an additional horse lot soon.  The south horse lot is turning into a “dry lot” (just dirt, which means it erodes in heavy rains, is badly compacted by constant use, and has very little grass left after several years of drought.   It needs a year or several of rest & recovery, with reseeding with a good shortgrass like buffalo or a buffalo/blue grama mix.

Outside work to accomplish these things eats up writing time; writing time eats up work /maintenance/housekeeping time.   But better to have too much to do than be bored and think there’s nothing to do, right?  Right!

Must be in bed in 5 minutes. Bye now.


  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — December 19, 2022 @ 2:15 am


    Trimming snagy bits off the lower trunks of trees, etc – you meant that literally, right? Not as an analogy for what you’ve been doing to the book.

  • Comment by Leslie — December 23, 2022 @ 4:14 pm


    Trimming snaggy bits this time of year reminds me of Kieri saying surely the elves didn’t do something every day. We lost a mulberry at the church a few years ago. They aren’t native but the first pastor had planted that tree and it was nice when a new one came up that next year. It was too close to a wall so we transplanted it to my back yard. I thought it wouldn’t survive the move but it has. It dropped it’s leaves within the past couple of weeks and I’m thinking about how to trim it so someday it will look more like a tree instead of a bush. it has too many branches growing close to the ground, doesn’t have a single defined trunk so it’s odd, but it’s a memory so we will keep it. Hoping all is well with you this week. Dec 21 is my birthday so your stories about the longest night resonate with me. I stood outside in the dark and cold, looked up at Orion and Mars and thought about my northern ancestors who recognized the importance of the return of the light.

  • Comment by Moira — December 23, 2022 @ 6:13 pm


    Belated Happy Solstice Birthday, Leslie! What a gift of light you must have been to your parents!

    I love looking up at the stars, too. I know almost nothing about them & can only recognize or name a handful of constellations/groupings and stars, but who wouldn’t look up in wonder at the brilliance & beauty of the firmament? You’d have to be utterly lacking a soul not to be awestruck. I envy anyone living somewhere that has little to no light pollution.

    Elizabeth, thank you for all your hard work and I hope your poor eyes get a break over the holidays.

    Merry Christmas / Seasons Greetings to all!

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