stray thoughts, writing
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Reflections & intentions

Frosted samara

The weather is mild again. The little ones are back at school. The Pip-Pop cried after we’d dropped them off and were walking to town. ‘Popsy go to school too, Mumma. Popsy want school.’ I feel jet-lagged — waking a full three hours earlier than I was by the end of the holidays. Through the loft window the sky is a dazzling turquoise and the clouds — fat and white with heavy gray bases — are racing by.

If I think back, without looking, at what I read last year these are the ones I loved: Crossing to Safety, The Lowland, Leaving the Atocha Station, Light Years, A Suitable Boy and Daybook. And for this year I have a few projects in mind. I’d love to read/re-read all of Penelope Fitzgerald & Michael Ondaatje. I’d like to continue with my pencil in my hand, and I want to continue to start & end my days with a poem.

T (seven & a half) is leaving me far behind her. At breakfast she told me the entire story of Treasure Island and then apologised for not being able to use enough expression when she’s summarising a book. The holidays have also seen her get through Anne of Green Gables among others (did I already say that she carried on & finished Little Women without me). So another new year wish is to follow along with her a little better — even if it means picking up the books after she’s read them.

For my writing, here’s the lesson I need to go back to,

“…doing writing practice endlessly with no structure in mind puts you on the road to Never Never Land — never finishing, never publishing.”
The Writer’s Portable Mentor, Priscilla Long

She’s tough on me, but I need it. (And she does believe in writing without structure to find out what you have to say, but then you have to choose a suitable structure/come up with one, and write into it.)

And here, for the blog, I’d like to tell you everything nobody has ever asked me, and — naturally — make things a little more beautiful.


I’ve photographed the helicopters or keys on this tree so often that I now know they’re called samaras. Here they are in last week’s beautiful frost.




  1. Lovely post, Sarah. (My grandbaby’s middle name is Samra, which is a variant of samara. The block she lives on in Edmonton is lined with very old elms and their samaras were winging joyfully when we first went to meet her.)
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just write — and think of what you do as a process of accumulation. When you have “critical mass”, you can begin to find the pattern. Or at least this is one way to think of the process and the result. If I thought of what I’m working on as something with a discernable structure and a polished shape, I think I’d quietly give up right now.

    • Oh, Theresa, you always leave the loveliest of comments. Thank you! What a beautiful name Kelly has, & perfect that it ties so beautifully to the place and season of her birth. And thank you for your thoughts on process

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