Red Yarn Quest

The thing about winter is its beauty.

Very early this morning, I start my daughter’s car before she heads to work. Beneath the stars, it’s cold, and dawn is pushing away the night. The winter dawn is pale blue, like the edge of the ocean.

Inside, our house is warm, the cats fed and sleeping. I have piles of work to do and that makes me happy because it’s all hard but all worth doing.

My teenager is deeply immersed in a book series — and I’m insanely happy about that, too. She’s lusting after a driver’s license, a relocation to California, but, in the meantime, she’s still here, and, willingly or not, has agreed to come with me on a small expedition I’ve conjured, to discover the headwaters of a local river. Her older sister advises, It’s easier just to do those kind of things…

It’s somewhere in November. Time to knit to red sweater. If I use fingerling yarn, this project could last me months…..


Rules for Novelists — Rules for Living

In Vermont, we’ve skipped from the Ides of November to the middle of January — just like that — and none of us have even eaten any Thanksgiving turkey.

The 13-year-old, on her second snow day this week, calculates how long into June the school year already stretches. She’s up early anyway, curled on the couch with her cats and her library book, immersed in an imaginary fictive world. I leave her be. The snow shoveling can wait.

Here’s rules 1 and 10 from Jonathan Franzen’s “Ten Rules for the Novelist.” I’m darn sure I nail the relentless rule at least.

The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator…. You have to love before you can be relentless.

— Jonathan Franzen, The End of the End of the Earth