Sun-Warmed Apricots and A Court of Western Kingbirds

July is almost over. I could ask where the time has gone, but I know the answer to that one — it passed me by while I was paying attention to other things. No, writing is not one of those things, unless you call sending dozens of emails and posting several blog articles writing. Of course, those are writings, and they are creative, it’s just not the sort of writing that adds pages to a manuscript.

So what have I been paying attention to? Starting a new blog for Second Wind Publishing, as if one isn’t enough! Posting to my own blog. Editing my final manuscript. Editing a great thriller written by another Second Wind author. Cleaning house. Oops. That’s not strictly a writing-related activity, but it is something I’ve been putting off and putting off for . . . let’s just say I’ve been putting it off for way too long so that I can participate in writing-related activities.

I’ve also spent too much time emailing and IMing friends I’ve met online. Can’t seem to get it through my head that just because I’m online, it doesn’t mean I’m being productive. But writing isn’t always about being productive. Sometimes it’s just about living. Replenishing the creative wells. Treating the senses.

I had a bit of a sensory treat today. I was standing in a small clearing, watering my trees and bushes (planted hundreds of them, turned this acre of land into a miniature forest), when I heard Western Kingbirds — a whole court of them — in the leaves a few feet above my head. Though I looked, I never caught a glimpse of a single bird, but I feel privileged to have participated in the aviary world for a few minutes.

Actually, I had two sensory treats. Several apricot trees planted themselves among the other trees, and this year they produced a bit of fruit. So as I was watering, I plucked one of the apricots, warm from the sun, and ate it. Truly a taste to remember.

Both these experiences will wind up in a one of my books, but those upcoming scenes wouldn’t exist if I had been writing and not experiencing.

So, what are your writing concerns? What writing activities have you been involved with this week? Did you have any successes, breakthroughs, realizations? How have you replenished your creative wells? Did you treat your senses?

Let’s talk.

The group No Whine, Just Champagne will meet here: No Whine, Just Champagne Discussion #75  for a live discussion about **** on July 23, 2009 at 9:00pm ET. I hope you will stop by. At least you cannot use the excuse that we don’t talk about what you want to talk about! If you can’t make it, we can have a discussion here — just leave a comment.

**** Insert your choice of topic here.

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7 Responses to “Sun-Warmed Apricots and A Court of Western Kingbirds”

  1. Katie-S Says:

    Your book A Spark of Heavenly Fire sounds really interesting
    to me! 🙂 I may see to get it! 🙂 Have a great night! Katie

  2. Claire Collins Says:

    It is those experiences that shape us as writers, Pat.

  3. suryasunder Says:

    Probably I’d never stand in person, physically in the middle of your miniature forest – what with my nationality and finances – yet as I sit at my machine and I close my eyes, I can almost feel the warmth of the July sun on my face.
    You do have a way with details, Pat

    Now let’s do some talking, like you say.

    As for me, I’m wrestling with walk-in customers (I run a small business, where I offer computer-related services to people who do not own a machine or even if they do, do not have the requisite skills) and my own inertia (read laziness) to get along with my own writing. It’s a biggish sort of thing, probably I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But it’s the only thing I could think of when I started it. And since I’ve already bitten it off, I reckon I should munch on it. It’s a Ludlum-esque sort of thing, involving several parts of the world and several periods of recent history, converging in one point of time and at several locations/places. This is – sort of – what I grew up with, you know.

    Oops! Didn’t notice the thing got this big. Sorry for the bother.

  4. lynn doiron Says:

    What a pleasure to stop back in for some read time here, and some chat time Thursday evening with NWJC. I was sorry to have to leave for the conference call.

  5. Pat Bertram Says:

    suryasunder, I understand about biting off more than you can chew, but what’s the point of writing something you know how to write? I always write books I don’t know how to write, but somehow in the “munching” (you, too, have a way with details!) I learn how to write that particular book. If there’s no money in writing for most of us, there should be something else — a challenge, perhaps.

    And I like big comments. So, thank you! Best of luck with your book.

  6. Pat Bertram Says:

    Lynn, What a pleasure it is to have you stop back! It’s been wonderful seeing you around the blogosphere again.

  7. thommalyn Says:

    Hi, Pat! I so enjoy your blogs and the information you link to and share on Facebook, too. And you always have good food for writerly thought! 🙂

    Replenishing the senses — yes, I’m all for that. I hike in the mountains regularly, and those hikes have inspired a novel. It isn’t the novel I’m working on now, but it will be the one I get to after that. Yup, I’ve got several irons in the mind’s fire, as it were. 🙂 And I’ve been spending large amounts of time harvesting from my garden — lots and lots of delicious homegrown veggies that need attention. But my writer’s mind is always thinking, cogitating, figuring: how can this experience be used in a novel? The answers are endless — creativity is like alchemy. It takes real life then turns it into what you hope will be imaginary gold. 🙂

    How awesome that you heard the Western Kingbirds! I so relate to loving to participate in nature. The mountains are where I do much replenishing of my creative well.

    And your apricots sound yummy — we have a very old apple tree which still produces the funniest, knottiest little green apples you ever saw! But they are good baked, with sugar and cinnamon.

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