Sunday, January 31, 2010
Living in Two Worlds
We writers live in a strange world some times. Or rather two worlds.
Summer before last I was working on my book Winter of Secrets, which is set between Christmas and New Year. I was sitting out on the deck, in the sun, while birds chirped, the garden grew, and the hot sun sparkled on the pool. I had a question for my police contact who helps me with the books. I opened my e-mail and wrote, Happy New Year.
Today I am once again stuck between two worlds. In my new novel, at which I am working hard, it is August. A hot and humid summer on the shores of Lake Ontario. The scene is a small-scale vegetable farm. Late-season crops are being planted, the storage barn is awash in spinach, chard, onions, fresh herbs, carrots; the first of the tomatoes are being consumed, plucked from the vine, still warm from the sun. Chickens are roaming free seeking out their own food of hot, fresh worms and tender seeds. The farm workers are drenched in sweat, drinking iced tea and lemonade to cool down. In the house pies are being made from freshly gathered blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, and potatoes and carrots made into soup in preparation for the long winter nights ahead.
In my real world, when I lift up my head from my computer, it is -27 C outside, the snow buries the vegetable beds, the wind is howling across the fields and whipping up the snow so much I can't see the trees on the other side of the road. I have both the wood burning stove and the propane fireplace going. I got a bag of potatoes from the veggie farm last week: that’s about it for fresh, local produce for a long time still.
To help you remember what those lovely days of summer were like, I’ve attached a picture taken in my kitchen.