It was a cold and misty weekend here in Oklahoma. It never really rained. Just persistently misted, the skies overcast and gray.

I sat on the couch with the pupsters and enjoyed my Christmas tree lights. 

Hard to believe, but in a week Christmas will be here. My daughter will again bring me an afternoon meal, so there’s no need for me to cook.

I started “Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore” Saturday night and read much of it before my eyelids grew too heavy to continue. 

I got completely immersed in the story line. 

If I’d been able to stay awake, I might have read the entire book in one sitting.

This is the second book in a row I’ve read by debut authors. 

I always wonder what compel first time novelists to choose their story premise. 

Ideas come and go with writers, but I imagine that first novel has to be pushed forth with grit and determination. A story must spark and ignite. Characters have to take on a life of their own. 

What takes a story from a thought to an entire evolution of complexities?

This book in particular has lots of twists and turns and a clever plot, and truly started off with a bang. So I look forward to reading more from this particular writer.

“All words are masks, and the lovelier they are, the more they are meant to conceal.” – Steven Millhauser, “August Eschenburg” 

A cup of decaf tastes particularly good on misty gray mornings, I think. It warms the tummy and the soul and is a good way to start the day.

I have both the blinds and the shade down in the living room, because these apartments have no insulation and the windows are quite thin. 

But still I see the shadows of the many birds out front flying by the window. A huge gaggle of them. Flitting here and there around the bushes out front. Pecking in the gutters. Chirping loudly.

Then I look toward the patio, which seems a bit empty without the many blooms I had just a few weeks ago. I tell myself: Spring will be here before I know it.

By March I’ll be wandering around out there, looking for even the tiniest bit of green emerging. It always excites me, that first glimpse of lemon balm or hosta or sedum. 

Oh, what would I do if I couldn’t sink my fingers into the dirt? 

I find such joy puttering out on the patio and planting seeds and seedlings and watching them grow.

I imagine it’s much like novelists planting a seed, and the seed grows and puts out roots and the story develops. 

A plot is much like a puzzle. It’s just a method of knowing how to fit the pieces and smooth them into place.


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13 Comments

  1. How pleasant it must be to sit and watch the Christmas lights with the pups. I only put out a few decorations this year in order to really focus on them and enjoy them, and it has been nice. I like spring here in Kentucky — who wouldn't, because it is gorgeous — but it only lasts a short burst and then muggy summer comes. I really like the long winter months too, when it is gray and quiet and you can see the shapes of the hardwood trees without their leaves.

  2. For some reason Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore sounds like one I might like even if it is a "crime" novel. I'll have to check it out–see if my library has it.

    I know what you mean when you say, "What would I do if I couldn't sink my fingers into the dirt?" Last summer and fall when I was thinking I would have to give up my house and live in an apartment or a town house without any yard I just didn't know how I would survive not being able to have my flower beds. Fortunately, I didn't end up having to move and I am so, so grateful and cannot wait until Spring when I can get out and work in the yard again. It's just so calming and satisfying for me. And then to enjoy the flowers when they bloom gives me such a lift. Their beauty and variation never ceases to amaze me.

    I am not nearly as ready for Christmas with my daughters and their families as I would like to be. I'm having it here at my house, which is what I wanted to do, but still, it's a lot of work getting the decorating done and planning the food and all. But I'm not going to stress. Just do as much as possible without overdoing and it will all work out fine. We will get together on Christmas Eve day and then I'll have Christmas day to myself. I think a friend–also single–will come over in late afternoon and we'll eat and watch a movie together which will be enough celebration for me for a while!

    I hope you enjoy your Christmas day and your "catered" meal, Brenda. How nice of your daughter to bring you a meal and seemingly understand your preference not to be in the midst of the socializing. From her photo that you posted she looks like a happy, loving person. That's a blessing in a daughter, for sure!

  3. I sent a sample of this book to my kindle, sounds intriguing! I actually sat down yesterday and finished the book I've been reading for ages….and then read two Christmas books back to back, from beginning to end! I stopped because my eyes were tired, but oh boy I enjoyed them so much!

  4. Thankfully, I am ready for Christmas this year. I will celebrate with my daughter and son in law, and grand children and their spouses. I have agreed to spend the night with my daughter at her house and for some reason they are really excited about it.

    I also look forward to spring, to the two large trees outside my bedroom window leafing out and all the baby birds in them. My desk sits in front of the window and it is so enjoyable to watch them while I peck away on the keyboard.

    I will be looking forward to seeing what you do with your patio next year. It is always so beautiful and inviting.

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