Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring Fever

Spring in the Chicago area: early yesterday morning, the fragrant air hovered at a balmy seventy degrees, but by ten o'clock, the temperature had plummeted to forty-three, where it still remains this morning. And while the sun is shining brightly as I write this, clouds and severe thunderstorms are due to roll in by late afternoon and linger for days. A good time settle in for an extended period of reading and writing.
Like the weather, my moods and focus seem also to swing from one place to another. Rapid fire distractions ricochet me like a pinball through the day, making it difficult to get work done in any reasonably logical way. A variety of partially completed tasks litter my desk, not the least of which is the next section of revisions for the new novel, so in an attempt to establish some order (and to actually complete one thing) I've decided to tackle this blog post.
Clearly, the transition of seasons falls into the "limalesque" arena, but where to go from there? A photo I took of flowers acquired in the rough, woodsy area at the bottom of my property fits the spring fever theme, but then . . . what to write about?
Three minutes of brainstorming yielded the following possibilities:
Those flowers--are they jonquils, daffodils, or narcissus? Shouldn't I know the difference? The flowers showed up unbidden, and if I hadn't gone to the bottom of the garden to take care of storm-damaged branches, I never would have seen them.  How much else to I miss literally right in my own back yard? (Topic #1)
I picked a handful of the blooms and put them in a vase where, without any help from me, they arranged themselves like stars in the firmament. Rushed for time, I snapped a couple of photos, hoping to capture their sparkle and subtle pattern. The photos failed miserably. The intricate, overlapping pattern they formed might be better interpreted in a drawing, but could it be done in words? (Topic #2)
Hmm, there's another thing I've been meaning to explore in a blog post. Crossing that threshold from visual art to writing has re-oriented my perceptions, and the single most difficult challenge is how to convey in words those colors, textures, and patterns that are the language of the non-verbal world. (Topic #3)
And as for that whole pattern thing, I could write posts on patterns every week for years and never run out of new material. Patterns are arguably the key to the universe. Their importance in science, math, and art is undeniable, but how and where do patterns occur in writing? (Topic #4)
Each of the above topics makes me want to delve deeper into the nooks and crannies of the subject. More than enough to keep me occupied throughout the rainy days to come, as long as I don't get too distracted.

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