where the writers are
The Ladder to Writing

As I write the trees perform a dance for me right in front of the window. They bend themselves into enviable positions, their limbs agile and supple. Graceful.  I wish I could bend like they do, stretch myself out and tilt my body to the ground. I cannot, yet I watch them transfixed from my stance at this purring computer, this cold piece of technology feeling as rigid and restless as the same silver screen before me.

I had to double check the calendar today to make sure that it was May and not January. The gales blow furiously in from the Atlantic and the rain falls in angry torrents on the house and the garden. I battled my way down to check on the damage and found the spinach and lettuces struggling and battered looking. The peas devoured by a sly Magpie, the one that lives up in the high trees belonging to the neighbour.  The one that watches me plant and hoe and kneel and toil to the earth.  I noted how the only untouched growth happened to be the potatoes, thriving and rising high above the drills we cut out for the purpose. Must be the native ability in them, the right to thrive under difficult circumstances,  the plant that kept us, the Irish,  going for years until the famine struck and then we floundered.

But it is easy to flounder here. It is easy to look out the window and want to draw the blinds.Yes, you have to possess something more to survive in this climate, this dire Ireland. One has to see beyond the grey and the rain and the horrendous wind battering the house and one has to strive to be better.

I wrote this morning. Yes.I am determined to write no matter what. Maybe it was the storm that  kept me centered. I think so. It sat me down in my chair with a steaming  cup of coffee. The house still. All sons accounted for in foreign places. Middle son off to Work Experience at the local TV station. Young son playing rugby in the rain. Oldest son finishing off his journalism course. To where now do you go son, I probe of him. He struggles with the answer. And I say well you simply take the next step on the ladder. That is all you can do. 

 Writing a novel is taking a series of steps, isn't it? You get on the rung and you can only move upward. No point in thinking about the middle and the end. All will come in time. That is how I feel anyway, about life, about writing, about the weather, about the garden. What will be will be. All comes in its own way but of course, yes, there  always has to be a little sweat and a little fear and a little doubt and a smidgen of self belief first. I think my characters speak. I think about them as I made  Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs tonight.  As I grated the Parmesan Cheese. As I pet the dogs. As I walk in the bog. I know one thing about my writing and that is that I  cannot contrive my characters. I know them. I have met them, had coffee with them, despised and loved them. That's what writing is about, right?  Opening up all the secrets you keep in your mind about people and events that might otherwise go unsaid.

Comments
11 Comment count
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Oh, Mary, this is beautiful...

yes yes yes to everything you said. I just finished a book by Elizabeth Berg called Home Safe, and it's the story about a writer and your blog today reminds me so much of that novel. You must get it when it comes to Ireland. Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room

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if the writing style of your

if the writing style of your novel is anything like the writing style of your blog - you're going to have a best seller. btw - how's the pup?

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D-thanks for that. But you

D-thanks for that. But you know the old story, try too hard and you are screwed, just write and its okay, it flows! Missy is terrific. Everyone should have a dog. Dogs are never moody, mean. They are forever a joy, loyal and loving. Missy fits the bill. All the best, Mp

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Oh thank you Jennifer, I

Oh thank you Jennifer, I will make note of the book. Your words are greatly appreciated. Still moving slowly on the internet connection here, I think I need to have my computer checked out by an expert. Till tomorrow, good night and all best, Mp

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the ground rises to meet me

Mary,
I've been wildly busy lately and haven't been in Red Room much, except quick trips here and there. Your blogs remind me why I come back, even when there isn't time.
Hope your garden thrives despite the buffeting winds and rain. We've had nearly non-stop rain for at least 10 days. Kids are climbing the walls. Parents are pulling out their hair. Elderly are giving up. We're surely growing moss on our backs; our eyes squint in the weakest of daylight. Yet my wisteria and clematis are in full fragrant bloom, whether anyone is outside to see them or not.
By the way, I'm stuck on a low rung, feeling the ladder sink into the muck below as the ground comes up to meet me. Climb on for me.

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Jodi, you have a great style

Jodi, you have a great style with words! The sun finally came out this evening allowing for a nice jaunt with one of the dogs, the other incarcerated after her op! The wind is another story though, gale force still and more to come. We troop onwards. Here, Jodi, I bend my hand down to help you onto the next rung. There is no going back!!! Thanks, Mp

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Good to have friends with

Good to have friends with outstretched hands!

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A pleasure reading!

So nice to connect with you here, Mary! A pleasure too reading your words. My oldest daughter has always wanted to live in Ireland. Your entry made me feel as though I just saw through the window from here to there.

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Dorraine, I just read your

Dorraine, I just read your comment. Thank you for that. M

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It's a long ladder

"That's what writing is about, right? Opening up all the secrets you keep in your mind about people and events that might otherwise go unsaid."

That made me sit up and think! Thank you for that.

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You are welcome Quenntis. I

You are welcome Quenntis. I do believe that, otherwise what's the point! M