Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Late at night I travel to Istanbul, courtesy of the magic carpet author Jason Goodwin provides with The Janissary Tree. There, gardens bloom on Iznick tiles of splendid blues, greens and pomegranate reds. I dream of asking Goodwin how he recreates this world of opulent color, singing fountains, bright jewels. Good writers are magicians and I am in awe of their power. Dare I ask this particular magician for an interview? Why not? The worst that will happen is that he will say no. I ask and hold my breath, metaphorically speaking.
I wake up to a sky as grey as a chunk of hematite. The temperature has zoomed into the upper eighties. The air is oppressive. The garden looks dry and exhausted. The round ruffled leaves of the Rond de Nice squash droops forlornly. When is these stony clouds going to resolve themselves into a cooling rain? We have had brief showers for the last three days, so brief they do no more than coax plant roots into coming closer to the surface to absorb a few drops before they evaporate. I go out with watering cans filled with grey water. This is not enough, I know. What my plants need is a series of long drizzles, gentle and sweetly thirst quenching.
The day ends without the promised downpour.
"Later," says the weatherman. "Later."
I labor over sentences. I murder paragraphs. My characters rebel, throw off the alphabet, become mute. I find a poem that is as fresh and cool as if it had just been written. It refershes the soul. And then, joy of joys, Goodwin says yes. What else can a provincial writing gardener want> Rain, perhaps. But has been promised. It will come.
Conrad Aiken (1889–1973)
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I suppose one can be too rich or too thin. These are not my areas of expertise. One thing I know for sure is that one can never have too many roses. As I have made abundantly clear in previous posts, my preference is for the French roses of the Victorian era. That is not to say that I am indifferent to all other roses. The coral and yellow roses that blend so well with the blue of delphinium, geranium, lavender and perovskia and are somewhat rare among the older varieties. I am particular fond of Alchymist, but it blooms much too early in my garden and since it is not remontant, there is no hope of matching it with my favorite blue perennials.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Alas, for the garden. I spend my time sending interview requests to writers I admire. My interview with Canadian author Louise Penny is up at http://www.richtexts.blogspot.com/I love her crime fiction books. They are richly layered, dense with yummy tidbits and surprises as the most delicious cake. Plus, she is a woman of elegant manners and wit. I feel lucky to have had the chance to communicate with her. Next, I will be talking with author Sujata Massey whose Rei Shimura novels are vastly entertaining and delightfully fresh.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
"My most essential art, which is not that of writing but the domestic art of knowing how to wait, to conceal, to save up crumbs, to reglue,regild, change the worst into the not-so-bad, how to lose and recover in the same moment that frivolous thing, a taste for life." Colette
"In 2002, among people 55 years and over, men were more likely than women to be married and living with their spouse (74 percent and 50 percent, respectively).
Because women have longer life expectancies than men, it is not surprising that 31 percent of women and only 9 percent of men aged 55 and over were widowed. With increasing age, the proportions of women who were widowed rose rapidly: 10 percent of women 55 to 64, 41 percent of women 65 to 84, and 79 percent of women 85 and over."