Friday, July 6, 2012

Mummy's very Favouritest Special Toys

There's something peculiarly satisfying about garden work. Especially with sharp devices. A saw and a long handled trimmer can shape a tree in a matter of moments. One minute there's a beast, the next  a shapely tree.
I find it hard to believe I was unaware of this magic until recently.
The speed of the transformation is a worry, and has often led to me saying, Oops. There goes the tree. But it's all for the greater good, and there's normally enough life left for the tree to take off again in spring and space is revealed, symmetry restored, sky discovered.
I never realised until recently how much better some trees look after a good trim.
The cypress out the front was dark and gloomy with it's full complement of unruly foliage; a bit of cutting back - and behold - a friendly climbing tree and heaps more space for the kids to run in.
Yesterday I finally got around to going up the wattle-walnut tree again to get down some of the over-running vine and dead wood. Wedged up a tree with a saw, looking down on the world and busily bringing order, brings a new perspective to things.
I recommend it to all and sundry.
While in the bush wild is good, in the garden space and (some degree of order) rule the day. And I'm not averse to wielding sharp-devices-of-power; until I get my magic-talking-sword, the saws and clippers will have to to substitute. Mummy's very favouritest special toys. Not to be touched by small hands.
(Yes, Sprocket, that means you. Okay, you can use Mummy's saw, but Mummy has to help you.)
Now to apply the same principles to my novel.
To clip away all the passive sentences, trim the sections that delay the story, saw off the excess description and prune the unwieldy paragraphs.
And when that's done there's the fun stuff - planting camellias and azaleas where the overgrown trees were, popping tulips and freesias into the sunny place revealed by savagely pruned bushes and, when in doubt chucking in some roses. You can never have too many roses. (As long as you keep them pruned, an untamed rose is a savage monster. I know, we battled one last year, four times my size and thrice as bloody-thirsty it was a very satisfying victory when it was cut to size) Then to go prowling for a place to re-plant the citrus trees.
Or rather...fleshing out the section with the mermaid and the Great Library, adding in the description of the potions and the meeting with the unruly, but very clean, pixie, strengthening the motif of the dragon in the basement, heightening the conflict between mother and daughters and allowing the character of the evil one to become multidimensional. Adding in the relationship with the hero, which I seem to have skipped.
Fun, fun, fun!

Now, if I can only work my way up to the electric saw - both in my book and in the garden, then we'll really be talking. Vrooom. Vroom. 


  1. Can,t wait to read it,also to see the garden

  2. Both are still in need of tidying around the edges, but going well. Sprocket just cut the pomegranate down, but I've stickytaped it back together. You know, on the principles of grafting. Do you think it will work?