Dec 30

Refilling the well

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: , ,  December 30th, 2008

The Paksworld books are largely outdoor books–sure, there are palaces, forts, inns, taverns, shops, cottages, etc., but much of the time the characters are outdoors.   As a result, it’s necessary for me to go out for hours at a time, noticing things.  Sights.  Smells.  Sounds.   The feel of the air,  the texture of different trees’ bark, different twigs, etc.  (It would be easier on the sounds end if we weren’t quite as close to roads, but no matter…)

Today I took several  hours off for a ramble, having missed some days in a row, including pretty ones.   We had a warm spell, quite balmy, so since I’m writing winter scenes in a very different climate than this, I was mostly just absorbing outdoorness.  Aloneness.  Seeing how alert I could be, how quiet (not quiet enough–spooked one deer out of cover across the fenceline.)  Trying to be fully open to the grassland, the woods, the brush as I moved from place to place.

I spent awhile following a deer’s track.  It’s been dry for weeks, but for one small shower (that didn’t leave a measurable amount in the rain gauges.)  So I had dents in the dust to look at and decide which were coyote and which were deer–and this wasn’t nice fine dust that took a good impression, either.  The slanting winter sun helped, by edging a shadow into even the shallowest and most open prints.  Then, in the woods, the deer went off the footpath across fallen leaves.  I stopped and looked at the trace and wondered why it had veered away there, when one of their usual tangles to rest in was ahead.  Had I spooked it?  Had something else?  Was it even today’s track?  (It’s so dry, I can’t tell.)

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