And so we reach the climax of the glacial saga of the enduring golden daffodils on their reluctance to face a chilly approach to spring. Yet they must. Hope reigns after all.
Below, these curious critters look on, perhaps wondering why in the world I would be down on my knees before a flower, not knowing they have become witnesses to a camera’s capture as well as minor characters in the story.
Now, confident in my flowers, I am ready to charge forward with that other saga, my new book. I’m reaching back to ancient Ireland again where a young woman, an Irish goldsmith, takes a perilous journey in search of a forbidden secret held by the Saltlanders, a people who would one day be called the Celts.
A show of promises came in doubles yesterday when a rainbow formed over my emerging daffodils–an ancient symbol of promise for better days along with my own floral symbol of promise for spring light pushing back the darkness of winter.
The daffodils haven’t quite opened yet, but these brave flowers have stood tall through a lot of unusually cold days. I’m at 600 feet above sea level so I’m a little colder than the valley floor, but mine are on their way.
Here come the first ones today on a balmy afternoon. Almost there.
By next week I expect they’ll be in full bloom as I sit down to begin writing my new book. I’ll take that for a promise. May the book be a good one. The actual writing is always exciting for me. I appreciate the show of hope nature provides.
First daffodils of the season opened outside my house today. Their bright yellow color always shines a light of hope for me. Winter is passing. Better days ahead.
The flower reflects a spot of sunlight shining through the dark rain clouds on a late February morning. This year it occurs to me that this same golden yellow shines on the Ukrainian flag. Much of the world looks upon that country today with hope for their success in their battle for freedom. These brave people remind all of us how precious freedom is and how important that we sustain it not only in our own lives but for the rest of the world.
I just finished the rough draft of a new novel, a historical to conclude my trilogy set in ancient Ireland. Spring always puts me in mind of things coming to life, so it seems fitting that this book has come to life for me now as my daffodils bloom.
It seems doubly fitting, given the fertile nature of the island of Ireland–or Éire, as I call it in the book.
My friend Tilly Engholm and I visited Ireland a few years ago when I was researching the first in the trilogy. We spent the month of May there, a glorious time. Scenes I came to know then reappear in this new book–and the stones.
The stone circles of the island hold a special place for the clanspeople in my stories, and I needed to visit many circles on our visit. As Tilly and I headed out one day in our rental car, she glanced at me. “We’re going to look at more rocks, aren’t we?”
I laughed. “Yes, we are.”
She took it in good stride, though.
In this book the characters also travel to Iberia, now Portugal, and to Crete and Thera (Santorini), with other stops along the Mediterranean, places of beauty and wonder and peril.
It has been a great ride and I look forward to sharing it with readers.
It appears to be a time for beginnings. My first daffodil of the season opened up. And I began writing my first scenes for the new novel. I love daffodils because they give me hope of life emerging again in the spring. Now my new book is taking life.
After receiving input from my muse for many weeks, I finally put it all into some semblance of order with an outline. From that I write.
By the way, I found an interesting tidbit of information a short time ago. As mentioned in my last post, all this recent input from my muse started when I changed the name of the protagonist for this new book, which is set in ancient times on the Greek isle of Crete. I usually like to know what the names of my characters mean. It affects my feelings about them. There are many sites you can google for your baby names and some of those offer meanings. I had clicked a few sites already on the new name for the protagonist, but went back to check again and came up with a new site.
This new site told me the name I had chosen, with a slight spelling variation, was the name of one of the nine Greek muses. I did sit back in my seat suddenly, reading that. Who knew? No wonder she’s been sending me material. 🙂
Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the whole process, except for some short nights of sleep. Now I’m thrilled to be writing.
I know some writers claim you have to write every day. It doesn’t really work that way for me. I see each book as a project with different phases, several of which involve writing in some sense–from note taking to revisions. But the most intense phase, the part where I step into the world of my characters and live it through them, is the first rough draft. That’s the real writing part to me. It’s where I am now. And loving it.