Mumbling and stomping around about finishing books!

Notes from Alexis: Fruits from the farm, and books coming to an end, such drama.


Dearest Lex,

Well, first I went out and ate raspberries until I almost foundered, but I couldn’t get ahead of them, so I went out and picked a pint for later. There will probably be a pint this afternoon as well. This will be the biggest crop yet. I have never seen so many raspberries!

The frost got the Rome Apples. Not one apple on the tree, but there are about 40 or 50 McIntosh’s. Not a cherry and I haven’t had the heart to go check the plums, but doubt if there will be any.

Hold onto your hat – Dad wants to take a couple of days off work and come up and see you and your house. If nothing goes wrong at work he plans to take Thursday and Friday of next week off. He has some time coming and needs to get away.

I have some news about EAB that will delight you. You know the painting in the story? I was going through and boxing up some of your old letters and there was a Mother’s Day card, and on the front was THE PAINTING I was looking for! The picture I have carried in my mind was right there. I was so thrilled. Talk about the luck I have had with this book. In the story I describe a blue and white flower, and there it was exactly as I had imagined.

It’s funny how I have to have these real life objects to hold in my hand and how they influence me so in my writing. My perception of the people and places change because of the real life things I see and find, I am able to get a better idea of what I am doing, it is just not so hazy after that.

I have now begun to see another aspect of my M.O. with writing. There is a twilight or a hush before the storm – some kind of pause in a book. I hate to finish anything (no kidding and I mean anything) and when I reach a point where I can see the end, I become a little down, a little blue and cross.

I mumble and stomp around. It happened with “Always Going” and I had to lecture myself severely to get in there and finish it. It is a sort of sadness. I have to just keep slogging along and then I come up out of the morass and it is fine. I’m there now with “EAB” I have one more chapter to write and then I will go back and rewrite the whole thing, but for all practical purposes it will be finished when I get this one chapter finished.

So here I sit out on the limb holding the rope, and I hate to jump in there and write that last chapter, because it will be the start of the end. I know I am going to do it, but I just hate to, I am at that moment of hesitation before the jump.

Did I tell you I wrote Ron Ransen and got the nicest card back from him? No wonder we like him so much. I wrote him about “Assassination of Jesse James.” Hope you will be able to get it and read it.

I counted up and I have nearly 16,000 words for “Bits and Pieces” which is a third of a book. When I started out I had planned for some of the stories in “Always Going” to be able to stand alone, and so with them I have at least half a book. Here is how I think they should be published; First EAB, then Always Going and then Bits and Pieces. Although I think the ones for Bits and Pieces would be right for magazines before going into a book.

I plan to get down to a lawyer and make up a new will and have you be the Executor or whatever the name is, for the one who takes care of all the details. This particularly means the writing. You will do whatever you think is best at the time, and these are just ideas in case I don’t get them published before I die.

Funny thing – I really have no doubt that they will be published. I have just stopped even worrying or thinking about it, as it is so set as to being a sure thing. Actually the only thing I know how to do is write and I just have to let the other go. Not my area of expertise and hopefully not my problem.

Guess what? You wouldn’t guess in a million years, so I will tell you. I found a ferret out in the box by the burning barrel. I didn’t know what to do with him so put a screen on so he couldn’t get away until Dad gets home. I was reading up on ferrets and find that they do kill birds but they also love moles and pocket gophers of which we have a’ god’s plenty, so maybe we should just keep him around and let him work for his keep.