Renewal and Reasoning

It’s nice being back in surroundings that are comfortable.  It’s comforting, to be sure.  And it’s keeping me focused.

But, as I said yesterday, there was a lot of running.  I was kept busy between bouts of writing; medical stuff, tree stuff, planting stuff . . . yeah, it was the sort of day that should tire you out, actually didn’t.

First off, though:  tree planting.  As I mentioned the other day, our large tree was hit by lightning, and we’re in the process of taking it down.  It’s half down now, and will come all the way down today, leaving only the stump to be removed some time next week.

Yesterday we found a new tree, and planted it close to the other tree.  Here’s it is:  the new alongside the old.  There has been much sorrow over the loss of our old tree, but with nature, one goes away, and another takes its place.  At the moment it doesn’t look like much, but in time it will be majestic.

We are also considering adding another tree to the front as well, one that would be to the left of the older tree.  Right now we’re in “looking mode,” but in a few weeks, we’ll likely plant again.

With all this going on, I was writing as well.  Part Thirteen, Diners at the Memory’s End.  I knew what I wanted to say, what needed to be written, and I got to work.  I started in the afternoon, but I wasn’t able to write all at one time.  Didn’t matter.  Not only did I know what I wanted to write, I knew I would finish the part.  It was time to bring it all to an end.

There was research to gather, however.  With this part, I think I’ve done more, “Wait, I need to look something up here,” than I’ve ever done with other parts of the story.  Nothing wrong with that, but it does slow you up.  But I did learn that something Cytheria was going to say would have been way wrong, so it was good that I bothered to get my information right before putting it into the story.

I also had to look at the map I created of Meredith’s home planet.  Yeah, I have that; it’s amazing what you can do with software these days.  Why was I doing that?  Because I had to find a place on her world where a particular event took place.  I found it, and marked the spot in my mind.  Every time I look at this world, I’ll know this.

Lastly, I did some corrections.  I wanted to edit the story to fix three common phrases that are often said in story, but shouldn’t.  Since I was asked about those phrases, here they are:  1.  Don’t start a conversation with, “So,–“; 2. Don’t use the word “Suddenly” to describe something happening suddenly, as it’s, you know, happening suddenly anyway, and there’s no need to say so; 3. “Truth be known” isn’t something that you need to know, because it’s a redundant phrase.  I’ll find the whole post later; I believe the link is on another computer.  But it’s something every writer should read.

By the time I finished writing just after 11 PM, 1,725 words were written, the novel stood at just over forty-two thousand words, and Part Thirteen was complete.  Part Fourteen awaits, and I will get into that today, ’cause I’m ready to give Meredith a shock.

She’s been a bad girl, and it’s time to show her just how interesting her Albert really is . . .

A Leaf on the Wind

If you were in the Chicago area yesterday, you experienced some incredibly weather early in the morning.  For about thirty minutes, it was pretty much a downpour, with lots of wind and lightning.  The Real Home is up around there, somewhere to the east, and it got caught in the deluge.

From what I was told later, it was pretty bad.  Tuesday is Garbage Day for us, and everyone had their stuff out, so that ended up all over the streets.  The neighbors had up a canopy, and that ended up in our yard–and may have damaged one of the arborvitaes that we use as a natural fence.

But according to the wife and daughter, our big tree, the one at the front of our house, the one that was there, maybe a year old, when we moved in eleven years ago, took two lightning strikes, and went down.

My daughter is pretty upset over what happened.  She wanted to know if there was any way it could be saved, even though–from what I understand–half of it came down during the storm.  It upset me as well, because . . . well, I get attached to things.  Of course there isn’t any way to save it, because it’s been split to hell and gone, and the only thing to do now is cut away what’s left, and have it hauled off.

I have some unusual feelings about this.  Like I said, I was upset yesterday.  To be honest, I’ve shed more than a few tears over the fact that our tree is no more.  You would think people shouldn’t get upset over a tree.

I’m not like most people, in case you hadn’t noticed.

It used to be that, in China, most people thought a dragon lived in every mountain.  Here, and a lot of other places, there are many who think of trees as having spirits residing within, entities that are part of the natural order that surrounds us.  Now, I’m a rational person; I’m not suppose to believe in spirits in trees.  And yet, I can’t help but think the tree was looking out for us . . .

See, it’s wasn’t one of those really tall trees, not like the ones in the back.  It was low and very spread out, with thick foliage.  On a hot, summer day, it gave great shade, and more than once, when I needed a break from mowing, I’d go lay down in the grass, stare up into its limbs, and gather my thoughts.  It was very comforting to be there, feeling cool and relaxed, and I’ve ideas come to me while I was there, gathering my strength.

We watered it in the beginning, pruned it when necessary, and, if I can be so open, showed it a lot of affection.  I love having trees around a yard.  Every time I see a house go up a property that’s had every tree cut down prior to construction, I want to find the owner and beat them with a lead-filled rubber hose, because they’ve desecrated their land.

This tree was only about as high as my house.  The house had as good a chance of taking the strike as the tree–and there were two strikes, from what my daughter said.  If the house had been hit, we probably would have lost all the appliances, the daughter’s computer–maybe the place would have caught fire and burnt down.  That’s all very possible.

And the tree, or the spirit inside, or both, decided, “I got this.  Don’t worry; you’re going to be safe.”

It took the strikes, and died.

Like when The Doctor lost his sonic screwdriver in The Visitation, I feel like I lost an old friend.  I’ll go home tomorrow afternoon, and see it lying upon the ground.  I’ll be home Friday, and the service will come to remove it, to take it away, where it’ll likely be chopped up into mulch.

But while the service is there, they are going to dig us another hole, a foot or two away from where our tree used to stand.  We’ve planted two other trees since moving in, and they’ve grown tall and strong.

We’ll do the same Friday.  As soon as everything is clear, we’ll plant another tree, and help it grow, and let it take its place on the corner of the yard where everyone can see it.

I’ll make another friend.

‘Cause that’s just the way I roll.