This Cusp Of Time

There’s a cusp of seasons, with moments when you don’t know what time of year it is. Yesterday was like that. If I closed my eyes, it could have been spring or fall. The air was cool and damp and smelled like earth. There were warm currents moving on the wind that took the chill off. It could have been the warmth of returning spring or a dying summer.

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The heavy rains lately have made the waters rise. The rivers are running full and fast. Waterfalls stream from rocks. The sound of water is everywhere. It’s the sound of spring and the sound of fall.

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The leaves have fallen. The bare branches could speak of new life barely starting to bud or the deep dormant sleep of coming winter.

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There’s wood smoke in the air. The scent could be from fires to take off the spring chill or flames to dry the fall dampness.

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I can stand there with eyes closed and imagine it to be whatever time I want it to be.

A time of beginnings or a time of endings. A time to think of new life or a time to remember life that has passed. In this cusp, I’m free to be in either world.

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So many of us are in this transition right now, this moment of pause where we stand, maybe slightly confused, maybe in grief, trying to figure out where exactly we are.

Where we have been.

Where we are going.

We stand in the middle of that bridge between, eyes closed, surrounded by rushing water and rising wind, and wait.

Maybe a little lost.

I don’t know if I’m waiting for what has been, or for what is coming.

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To Rush Or To Plod

I just finished a book with plot twists, a protagonist that tricked me, lyrical writing…everything I wanted. It was so good I immediately bought the author’s second book (she has two out). I’m so bored. Half way through and I still don’t know the protagonist’s reason for being in the plot, which seems to be nothing but dull backstory. (Brunonia Barry)

Which makes me wonder if, because book #1 was such a hit and got such good reviews, the author felt the push to get book #2 out before people forgot her name. In this age of millions of writers it’s hard to be seen and harder still to remain seen. So the pressure is there to produce.

And that in turn makes me think about the speed of writing and the need to publish. Especially in the mystery genre where readers want to live in a series with regular installments.

My friend, author Susan Schreyer, is what I imagine as a balanced writer. One of those I fail at emulating, who outlines, plots, writes regularly, and puts out polished, well-written stories. She’s found the perfect speed. Her books are not rushed to publication, and yet come out in a timely manner.

Me on the other hand? I publish and write rather like I hike. Occasional sprints up hill that end in heavy breathing and collapse, followed by leisurely strolls where I pause to talk to trees, sit on boulders, watch bears, get distracted by the newly blooming minuscule twin flowers…you get the idea.

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Icicle Creek Trail

I see Susan’s writing as the perfect balance between the author I first mentioned, who goes too fast, and me who, arguably, goes too slow.

Does that make me want to change? Well…no.

I used to stress over what I thought I should do when it came to writing. But then I realized that rambling walks through words is my writing process and I’m happy with that.

It may not be the way to success in this current publishing world of trying to rise to the top of the mountainous pile, but I do enjoy the stroll.

There are so many positives about publishing these days, the least of which is the ease of getting something out there. But sometimes that ease to publish ends up in a story being released to the world before its time.

Find that balance between the pressure to publish and the time the story needs to be born.