I love a great setting. Whether it's for the entire book or just a scene setting can make or break a story for me. In high school I gave up on Bronte, Austen, Dickens and company. I still don't read them. All because of setting that for me was overdone. I know most of my friends online and off love these books. I respect that. Please give me the same courtesy. It must have been the way it was done then because they all did it. Told me about every nook and cranny, flower and weed. Reading that someone lives in a cold, dreary run-down castle or cottage, I get it. I can picture that surrounded by an overrun, unattended garden. And unless there's a body or a fortune behind those cracks don't tell me about them every time a character enters the room.

In the past two weeks I've only read two books. (I don't read much in summer.) Both these works had gardens so I'll use hat example. Each was handled differently. In the first, the garden housed certain insects important to the plot. The original picture painted with words was a museum piece in my mind. Then it all changed. Every time the insect was presented it came with a repeat description of the blooms in the garden. Imho there's only two reasons for these repetitions, word count or underestimating the reader. Either way, I stopped reading half way through, giving it more time than I normally would. 

The physical garden could have been left out without changing the plot or the metaphor of life. The second garden is in a work yet to be published. It's a beautiful garden, in my mind's eye. I see it now as I write this. The garden was painted in detail only once. Afterwards small details were mentioned here or there. It doesn't matter because I know that garden. I feel it. No matter what takes place in that garden I will know where to place the action.  It's my garden. The author gave it to my mind, my imagination. Giving me the garden, the battle, the murder that's setting. Do your readers move within your setting or do you force them to see it from the sidelines?

Tuesday's Start

It was one of those nights. I feel asleep on the couch watching a DVD and woke to the silence of a black empty screen. I remember, vaguely, making my way to the bedroom hoping  to miss stubbing my toe on a yet unpacked box. I must have made it. I woke this morning to the sun fighting the clouds for space in the sky in a bed barely rumpled. The day is looking good. When I dozed off the temperature was mid 70s. This morning it's struggling to get to 60. A bit of a chill with all the windows up and a swift breeze flowing. As the coffee brews and I move to close the windows the sun loses its battle. Proving again, no matter how big or how hot we are, we all have times of weakness. It's raining now. One of the soft, straight down late spring showers that is lovely as long as you're not in them getting drenched. Since I'm not Fred Astaire and singing in the rain would only be a way to be arrested my plan to explore the downtown art district will have to change. Luckily I still have boxes to unpack. There seems no end to my indoor fun!

This Long Month

I'm back. It's been a long month, a very long month. A month filled with work, moving and graduation. The first two were nowhere near as fantastic as the last! Even though I haven't posted I have been writing. And reading. More and more I am leaning toward the essay. It's what I've always love writing, even those that were mandatory in school. I've always felt if you are going to write it you better study it. With what little extra time I've had I've been reading essays.

Like any other genre, some are better than others. Some were from authors unknown to me. Others are referred to as Masters of the Form. I share this with you. I was very lucky in the unknowns whose anthologies I purchased. Some of the so called "Masters" left me happy that the book belonged to the library collection and not to me. Erma Bombeck is still at the top of my list. I began reading her in junior high and her works still hit the mark.

Now I recognize several generations and still laugh out loud. In my late teens Truman Capote was a great fascination for me and for a lot of the world. Right now I'm reading Portraits and Observations: The Essays of Truman Capote. It will be hard to work on other things as I am captivated with the work. Anyway that's what I've been up to, living the life called family that always takes precedence over anything. I'll be getting back to work now and begin stopping by to visit old friends and new. I have promised myself I will complete the A to Z list before august!