Friday, May 28, 2010

dozing off...

If you want me to keep turning pages in the Spring and Summer, make the land a character in your novel. I just finished Tinkers; I'm reading The Wind in the Willows for the first time. Urban novels are not for the heat. I want to read under a tree, high grass waving around my head, insects buzzing in my ears, ants on my forearm, the imprint of clover crushed by my cheek as I inevitably doze off, reading the same paragraph three, four, five times over until it slips me into a dream of maybe my own Mole End, where the shelves are dusty but my friend is industrious with the feather duster, and there are little ones running about eager to run errands to the store for a pound of this and a bottle or three of that. I want the smell of earth and the tickle of grass, and the history of the hills and valleys in your story. This urban life is a construct, a dangerous one, and I for one don't want to forget how close we all are to the land out there, the land that we have boarded up, paved over, and tamped down to build our human dreams upon. If you want my attention these days, your story will have grass stains and muddy feet.

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