Archive for June, 2011

I love the woods.  I love the sound of the wind whispering through the leaves, the cheerful melodies of the birds, the occasional bark of a squirrel. I love the sweet, wild fragrance of cedars blending with the warm, earthy smell of oaks.  I love the feel of soft padding beneath my feet created by generations of fallen leaves.

When I was 12 through 14, during the summers, we lived on top of an isolated mountain in Johnson County, TX.  My father built a little house there in the middle of the woods.  It looked very much like a double-wide trailer, except it was built on permanent piers, not wheels. That was my father’s job back then.  He was a carpenter who built small retirement homes, mostly one- or two-bedroom cabins,  for rich city folks who came boating and fishing at nearby Lake Whitney.

My dog, Sargent, and I spent every waking hour exploring that mountain top (200 acres) until, like Davy Crockett, I knew every tree.  Since there were no other people there, except for an occasional fisherman on the weekend, I had to create my own friends. I think this is where my creative inclinations began. I named some of the trees (yes, my favorite tree was named Elvis) and marked off lines for my make-believe mansions and castles among the cedars and oaks. 

Just before I entered the ninth grade, we moved to a city and I never lived in the woods again.  It was year after year of apartments, then tract homes with a single tree plopped in the front yard. Many, many years later (too many to mention), my husband wanted to move to a small town for retirement.  I insisted we had to have lots of trees.

Now, here I sit in my home office at a large picture window overlooking two acres of heavy woods.  All the neighboring houses also have lots of woods, so it feels isolated — just the way I like it.

When I was trying to think of a title for my new blog, the old line “Into the woods we go…” came to mind. I know in most children’s tales, the woods represent something wicked and foreboding.  Little Red Riding Hood was chased by the wolf there; Hansel and Gretel encountered the witch there.  But to me, the woods is a place of serenity; a place where I go to collect my thoughts; a place for inspiration.

So, welcome to my woods.  In the future I hope to have random thoughts on the writing business.  There are hundreds of wonderful blogs and websites by talented authors that tell you the business of writing, but my blog will just be thoughts on what it’s like to be an author in the middle of the woods.


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