Bett Norris


New Week, New Start

Okay, I am better. A cold lasts seven days. So I am better. I didn’t get to watch the game Saturday, but this week, we play Penn State, and I am excited. Mark Ingram is still rehabbing his knee, and probably won’t play, but Trent Richardson is just as exciting.

The picture and the link are from the Tuscaloosa News Tidesports section.

You know, I always feel bad if I can’t include a photo or a link when I post a blog.

I am so gratified by all the responses I got from the last blog, which was a bit of a pity party, and also an attempt to kick myself in the behind. I want to thank all of you.

The images, the metaphor about the cold, all spring from an ongoing process for the current book I’m working on, in which the cold, feeling cold inside, is a recurring and important theme for the main character.  It’s a thing writers do, I guess. It’s a thing I do.

So I am thinking about it, the new book. Summoning images. Listening to it in my head, phrases and sentences. Research is done, though that part never really ends. Writing has begun. Thinking about goes on and on.

Here is a short excerpt, demonstrating the use of the cold and how it is used.

There was something so depressing about the bare tree limbs swaying outside her window, something that made her feel colder, and more alone, when normally, she relished the quiet of the empty house, when she had the house all to herself. Now the silence seemed only a pause between a violence of wind rushing in, past. She shivered, the kind of involuntary shake of her shoulders that always prompted her mother to say, “somebody stepped on your grave.”

Mary Nell hated that phrase. It seemed so casual about the eventuality of death, and a strange thing for a mother to say to a child. Sometimes the farthest reach of a branch would brush against the siding or the glass of the window, and the sound made her shiver again. She was not cold. It was perfectly warm inside. But the wind whistling, careening through all the bare trees, pushing the dead things against the house, causing scraping sounds that made her teeth clench, all these winter things made her ache with the cold from long days of half light, all those winters when she went with Daddy on the fur wagon, trading, hauling them into town for the train, turning around and heading back into the woods, along those frozen dirt roads, muddy ruts hard as corded wood.

It made her bones ache, and her teeth, and it made her fingers burn again with cold, but she wasn’t cold. She was, in fact, quite warm, sitting on her bed, still in her coat and gloves from the walk home from work, too tired to slip off her outer garments, because she had to go back out in a while to ferry people home from work. She would turn up the heater, so their legs would stay warm, as she drove one car load and then another home from the Cloverdale area, where they worked as maids and nannies, cooks and gardeners, where they did the week’s washing and hung it out in the bitter cold, hands chapped and red, heads wrapped tightly in scarves, because everybody knew if you let the cold wind blow into your ears you would get sick by nightfall.

Mary Nell rose, gloves still on, purse on one arms, keys in her hand. She thought, why do I always associate feeling sad and depressed with cold weather? Why do I imagine it to be cold even if it is blazing hot outside, which is ten months out of the year in Alabama?

One response to “New Week, New Start

  1. Joy September 7, 2010 at 9:46 am

    It’s good to see you are back at it, both the football and the writing! I like what I’m seeing so far, both with the football (WDE and RTR) and the writing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: