There’s a forest fire in the Croatan National Forest a few miles away from me. Close enough so we have air quality alerts and I got ash in my hair when I walked my dog yesterday. And there was a meteor shower last night but I didn’t even try to watch it because of the ash.
But I was sad about it. It occurred to me how very subjective our experiences are. The trees are dying. People are risking their lives to stop it. But I can’t see the stars.
Of course I wrote a poem about it.
By Michelle Garren-Flye
I thought we could watch the stars fall
together in in the light of the fading crescent
but what’s falling now is ash from the forest
that’s burning across the river.
The dead souls of a thousand trees
block our view of streaking stars
and the silver moon has turned orange,
and is too weak to shine through death.
Across the river and through the woods
people are fighting to save the trees
but here in my backyard I’m sad
I can’t look into the heavens with you.
It’s official. I finished NaNoWriMo a few days ago. Then I edited the novel, added chapters, formatted it…and sent it to my editor. I’ve NEVER done anything like this before. I’m one of those write-it-let-it-sit-and-then-eventually-edit-it people. I’ve got a couple of novels sitting on my hard drive that I wrote more than a year ago. I think Stephen King calls them “trunk novels”. One of these days I’ll pull them out and figure out what to do with them.
So what’s different about this one? For one thing I wrote it faster than I’ve EVER written a novel. I’ve finished National Novel Writing Month twice before, but I’ve never finished it this much ahead of the deadline. And when I finished it, I wasn’t tired of it, so re-reading and editing wasn’t a chore. Plus, I’m actually energized and excited about the ideas this novel has inspired in me. It’s the first of what I hope is a series. I’m already working on the next one. Of course, by “working on the next one”, I mean the idea is simmering in my head. I have a vague idea of who the characters are and haven’t really decided about the plot. But the ingredients are simmering and congealing and eventually will come together in a delicious stew. (Now I’m getting hungry!)
NaNoWriMo was a fast ride this year, but it was a smooth one. I guess the stars aligned just right. Now I can afford a brief breathing moment before the next novel-writing frenzy overtakes me!
Last stop of the book tour: Check out My Devotional Thoughts for an interesting, if complimentary review of Where the Heart Lies and my own description of my writing schedule. Since this is my last stop of the tour, it’s also your last chance to enter to win my great prizes! (10% off coupons to Carina Press and a copy of Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions) Also, I would like to thank Goddess Fish for organizing the book tour, all the gracious hosts who shared their blogs with me and everyone who stopped by! It’s been a blast!