This is one of those days that balances out the rest. Not only is it a taste of June, getting both me and Jen outside for a healthy dose of sunshine and activity, but the frogs are stirring in the wetlands. Jen put out the hummingbird feeder and we talked about planting a rose bush in the flower garden. In the back is a stubborn pile of packed snow blocking the tool shed and the faucet. I attacked it with a shovel, flinging snow into the sunshine to melt. The windows are wide open and the sound of birds fills the air.
Just now I got the word that I have been hired as a substitute librarian at Durham Public Library. Because I am a part of a pool of subs, I only need to take the shifts that fit my present schedule. It does not need to interfere with my work in Deerfield. Extra hours and a bit more money. This is good news and hope to stash away against the troubles to come. Because inevitably, troubles will come.
The tax return I was hoping I could use to pay the accountant turned into taxes owed. Seriously? I was shocked when the accountant called and apologized for the error. This on top of an abscessed tooth that is going to need surgery. And the car needs new tires, and the maintenance light just came on. Owing the IRS is adding insult to injury. But hell, they’ve got wars and walls to pay for. Way more important than my mortgage and abscessed tooth.
Never mind. It’s lovely today, the birds are singing their hearts out, and there’s more to come. Gardens and flowers and fresh vegetables and walks in the woods. And I’m bursting with new ideas to write about. I have my next Monitor article all ready to submit. There’s a novel I’ve been working on periodically called The Juggler. I’ve already sent out to beta readers, but rewritten it since. Every time I think it’s done, I get a new idea. It takes place in a small town, and at first I made it fairly harmless and generic. It’s rapidly growing into something that can’t be published until I’ve either left Deerfield or I’m safely buried in its soil. Be careful what you say or do to a writer.
It’s a bit frightening, actually, the power that the pen (or keyboard) wields. Books and articles can be read more widely and last longer than the protests of the party upon whom the writer has visited literary justice. (Unless, of course, that individual is a writer themselves.) The writer’s version of events, skillfully cloaked in fiction, can outlive them both. The penalties are harsh for libel when it can be proven, which is often difficult to do. Especially in works of fiction. Vindictive authors with an ax to grind can do life-ruining damage to the hapless object of their wrath. And they can hide behind the disclaimer that “any resemblance to any individual living or dead is purely coincidental.” Even if they do get successfully sued, the book is out there, loose in the world, and its readers might not get the memo that the depiction is highly biased or just plain wrong. In fact, most readers would not care.
I vow I shall use my power for good and not for evil.
But I shall use it.