"By viewing Nature, Nature's handmaid Art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow."
John Dryden 1631- 1700 "Annus Mirabilis st. 55 (1667)
For the month of July, my memoir group is doing four weeks of "Writing in the Park". Each week we'll go to a different location in the West End and (weather permitting) do our writing outside. These outings also include a pot-luck picnic lunch or snack. Today was finally bright and sunny so we met down in the Park near the beach. Unfortunately, the sunshine was deceiving because it was actully freezing cold which spoiled things a little. Still, the writers read last week's assignments ('A summer memory') and we did a timed writing based on the thoughts and ideas conjured by sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of nature around us.
(A flock of noisey crows who had their eyes on our sandwiches provided the subject for at least one of the writings.)
I suggest to students in my writing classes that they should always carry a notebook because you never know when the Muse is going to speak to you. Some of my best ideas and inspirations have come to me when I'm hiking along a country road, walking the sea wall or on a forest path. When I'm out in Nature it's easier to focus and clear the mind. So whenever I'm trying to work out a new part of my novel or figure out how to fix something that's not working, I take a walk. A great many scenes in my novel have been written while I was 'on the road' or sitting by the sea.
After the memoirs group was finished today I went for a swim in the pool. The water was pleasantly warm, though the air was very cool. I had taken along the most recent writing from my novel to re-read and edit and was pleased to find it needed little work. Now I am almost ready to start the new parts. And I'm hoping for a run of warm sunny beach weather so I can get out in Nature and invite the Muse along.
"Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so
that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862