Friday, April 4, 2014

April Showers Bring a Lot of Mud

Helpful Hubby and I own property north of Atlanta. Over the winter, we removed about 6 acres of dead growth, overgrown privet, and vines too entangled to identify. The extra cold weather made the newly exposed ground hard as the ice in the creek, so mud wasn't an issue. But now the spring rains have come and all bets are off.

The mud is coming.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love rain. I love the smell of a spring rain, when the pollen vacates the air and the world has a sparkling new green blanket covering the dirt. But when you clear land of years of neglect and overgrowth, one is left with a shoe sucking viscous material with the strength of quicksand colored the same color as Effie's hair in  "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"!

It grabs, it spreads, it stains; Red Georgia clay is the stuff of nightmares. In our long ago youth, Hubby and I used to enjoy spelunking. There are hundreds of small (and large) caves in the North Georgia area. Most are wet, which means you are on your belly crawling through the cold mud. We kept our clothes in a garbage bag. No sense dirtying up the washing machine, it will just stain your tub.

Gradually the grass will come in, and the mud will be a fading memory. But as long as we are Terra-forming it will return in abundance. So if a spring arrived and you don't hear from me, send the rescue squad. Chances are I am stuck up to my hips in red!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Have You Ever...?

Today is the first Wednesday in April, which means it's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group. My topic for today is...have you ever?

Have you ever sat down and studied why you write and where you write the best? Do you like music playing or silence? Do you write long hand or type? Do you write sequentially or piece stories together from random chapters?

No matter which way I turn, I hear the small insistent voice of my high school English grammar teacher raising sand because I'm using commas wrong, or writing in sentence fragments. How do you explain to a memory that writers today have more freedom to ignore the rules than they did 30 years ago?

I confess, I do follow the rules more than many. I like the semi-comma. I like using it; it has merit. But I recently  had a critique who told me the semi-comma died years ago from lack of understanding. Just use a comma, or a separate sentence. I don't like that. So do I buckle to peer pressure or keep using an archaic punctuation symbol because I know its power?

If someone won't publish a story because of a semi-colon, maybe I am in the wrong profession. That seems trivial; which means it's probably true.

Happy April everyone. I am not participating in the April A to Z Blog Challenge this year - too many personal things going on, but I should have a book coming out this month. Stay tuned for more details!