Ramblings of a Happy Mind #4
By Nita Wilson
So, I’m sitting here on a mild Tuesday afternoon in the middle of October and there is a knock on the door. It is a large man with a rake wanting to know if he can have my Pine straw. “Of course.” Says I. I come back to my computer and continue to work on the latest draft of “The Hornet Slayer” getting it ready to be shipped at a moment’s notice to the Harlequin Publishers if I am honored by winning the latest contest. I type and enjoy the sound of straw being raked from my front yard. It reminds me of old times, fall and ex-husband raking the straw and leaves. It reminds me of life going on, nice smells and a slight chill in the air. “Ah.” Says I. I will cook a pot of large white lima beans for this evening as the activity around me livens me and the smell of the cooking beans hungers me. (“Ah,” Says I, I will invent new words to go in this blog, as it amuses me.) So with beans cooking, ham and andouille sausage flavoring and onion/garlic/bayleaf seasoning; my dinner is in the making. I come back to my computer and begin again. I am on page 386 of my tweaking when the old roommates, Dash and Bronte discover a strange man raking leaves in their front yard. Now, it’s not their front yard, their yard is the back yard, but telling them that over their insane barking does no good. It is time to feed them so thinking this will appease them, I do just that. Wrong. So I leave their food for them to eat later and come back to the computer. The sound of the rake is drowned by the barking of the dogs and before I know it, I’m typing to the staccato beat of the dogs’ bark. Not to worry, the man in front will be finished soon. I take a break and check the beans; doing well, smelling wonderful and beginning to loosen their little skins just enough to take some of the good flavor into their little tiny bellies. I go to the front window; sure enough the man is loading his truck with his new pine straw and is pulling out. Back to the computer and tweaking, how could I have missed ‘was’ in the middle of the sentence; that didn’t belong there; etc etc, page after page checking for mistakes. Wow, there is a freight train going through old Hattiesburg and it’s blowing its whistle like there’s a cow on the tracks. I stop to listen, will I hear sirens next? I wait and listen. Yep really the whistle is much too long. Finally it fades. I guess that was ok. Now my ears have become like megaphones to every sound in the whole damned town. I’m hearing sirens up on Highway 49 and screams of Blue Jays in the neighbor’s back yards; not to mention some crazy chain saw down the block. So when did my ears become so sensitive? I go back to tweaking and listen to the bubbling and boiling of my beans cooking. Oh crap, there’s the school bus and kids laughing and screaming getting off the bus. Damn, a ball just hit my neighbor’s window. Now more yelling as kids run to hide from my angry neighbor. Whew, close, my windows are bigger and more vulnerable than hers.
Back to tweaking. Oops gotta stir the beans. Dogs are finally eating. Phone rings, wrong number. Man that was loud; I need to turn the ringer down. Back to tweaking. Big truck just passed in front of my house. My street doesn’t have big trucks, what the hell is happening? Stir the beans, tweak, listen, wonder, “Hear that”? Whose cat is that? Another siren up on 49. Man, life can be noisy. I’m never letting that man have pine straw again. He’s just too damned loud. Oops, beans are burning.
Now those of you who’ve read “Celestine, The House on rue du Maine”, know why there are typos in the published book. Maybe ‘The Hornet Slayer” will be cleaner, or… it’ll be full of strange exclamations and curse words in the middle of sentences and phrases where curse words shouldn’t be. Wow, the world’s gotten quiet again, I must go back to twaking…tweeking…tweaking…