Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shell Point


I’m sitting at a table I use as a desk, looking out three adjoining windows. Foremost in view is the handrail of the patio, made of treated wood lumber. (When are we going to get transparent plastic balusters?) Past the wood railing is a big tree, a water oak, I believe. The leaves are small and green, even in January. I’m on the second floor of a garage apartment, so I’m looking into the upper part of the tree. Its roots grow into the banks of the marsh.

Beyond the tree is what looks like a field of ripe grain, except there’s a stream of mud running through it. A couple of hours ago, water enough to make a river coursed in a trail through what is not grain but spartina grass.

A pine thicket grows on a distant shore. There’s a short dock into the marsh, though I can’t imagine what you’d do on the dock. Boats never come through here though a shallow bottom one could maneuver at flood tide.
If I walk to the bedroom and look out that window, I’ll see the sun going down. Every day it glows like a fiery ember as it sinks into the horizon beyond the Broad River bridge. One evening the color was so pervasive it infused the atmosphere with a peach glow. When the sun’s last rays disappear, you can see the lights of the cars crossing the bridge.
There have been nights when I’ve opened the curtains to a moon so bright I could almost read without turning on a light. I’m always amazed at the full moon’s saintly glow, throwing ghastly shadows. There’s something other-worldly about its light.
Why am I here? I’m NOT here to admire the view. I’m here to write, but there are times when I just can’t take Tilmon and Westfall Plantation any longer. My story seems to be out of my control. It’s falling apart. And I haven’t even finished a first draft of the manuscript. I thought I was approaching the finish line, but the line keeps moving … and at the moment, it’s stuck in mud no less thick than that in the marsh. I can only hope my editor will save me.

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