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© 2011 Lisa McGarry                                                                                        ../Lisa_McGarry/lisa-mcgarry.com_HOME.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0








I recently learned that March is National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo). Any 50,000+ word novel that you’ve already written is eligible for the challenge, which requires you to log a minimum of 50 hours editing your novel.

Writing all Weekend

As I mentioned on Friday, my daughter & I decided to devote the weekend to a writing retreat so we could get caught up
on the novels we’ve been working on during National Novel Writing Month. My parents’ little house in Montepulciano is perfect for such things—the town is small, and very quiet in the colder months—and distractions tend to be fewer than in Florence. I like how the two-hour bus journey always seems to be more than a purely geographical experience; there’s also a mental transition taking place as I prepare to exchange the bustle of the city for the slower pace of a small hilltop town.

Exactly one year ago, I had written a few thoughts on spending the weekend in Montepulciano: “I love how the house looks onto a small orchard that always encapsulates an authentic portrait of the season At the moment, the few leaves that remain on the trees are mottled shades of green and yellow, gold and red, rust and orange. The most striking was the persimmon tree at the center, with its sunset-colored fruits hanging like Christmas balls from the bare branches, and a circular carpet of fiery-colored leaves marking out the area beneath the tree’s former canopy.”

I would have loved to share a picture of how gorgeous that particular tree was this year, but I didn’t bring my camera because I wanted to stay focused on writing. Unfortunately I found myself regretting this decision as soon as I woke to a gorgeous first morning . . . but I learned my lesson. Whenever I remember how much time I lost trying to do justice to the persimmon tree with various low-tech cell phone & computer cameras, I know I won’t make this same mistake again! 

The good news is that I did have lots of time to write, and managed to get over 10,000 words closer to this month’s goal. My main character spent a lot of time with a woman that I’m also enjoying ‘getting to know’. I’ve been finding that what they say about characters leading the writer really is turning out to be true . . .

Left to right: A persimmon tree in the orchard (taken a few Novembers ago); a view over-looking the valley to the west of Montepulciano (in a more verdant season); a web of branches catching the light in the orchard (last November).

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