"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I know what I did this summer....

I've spent an unprecedented amount of time at my lake house.

my front yard

In fact, on this inaugural blog day, I'm here. This is place where I feel most creative....It's where stories often find me--or vice versa. Characters vist me. Inspiration strikes me, usually quite gently. I've sometimes wondered how many words, not to mention chapters, I've written while sitting on the screen porch, with its view of water and mountains. Or lounging with laptop or pad and pen on the sofa, which faces the fireplace, watching the flames dance.

The drive to get here takes about 45 minutes. Today on my way up (yes, up--it's due north from my other house on a significantly smaller lake) I was playing the Two Rooms cd, on which a variety of musicians cover the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The title comes from their early working history: Bernie would hole up in one room, writing a set of lyrics, and deliver them to Elton (Reg, that was) who composed the music in another room. It occurred to me that I nearly always write my books in two houses. And, in fact, in two different rooms in each house!

As soon as I arrived, I refreshed the hummingbird feeder and was soon rewarded with the sight of a tiny, grateful bird. And I re-wound the antique clock on the mantel so I'll know what time it is...not that it really matters this week!

This morning I didn't take a shower, on purpose, because I wanted to bathe in the lake--an old-time tradition. Wearing the the bathing suit that has served me so well for the past 10 years, I headed for the dock with bar of soap in hand (a non-polluting 99 & 44/100ths per cent pure variety) and towel over my shoulder. I found that water a balmy 78 degrees, "lukewarm" by my definition. Not being a native of this harsh northen clime, I'm hyper-sensitive to the water temperature! (We keep a floating thermometer in the water.) I emerged clean and refreshed.

As the afternoon wears on it's becoming breezy, so quite a bit chop on the lake.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Margaret!

It's been quite some time since we first "met" on the Avon loop, but I saw your post over at the Squawkers and had to pop over to see your blog. Then that inspired me to write this note, to comment about how absolutely gorgeous I think your lakeside retreat is. I'm thoroughly jealous. :) The view from your dock is spectacular, and while I was reading your first blog entry, I could envision you coming up with a new idea, sitting in front of a crackling fire in the hearth as well.

My husband and I have long spoken about our mutual desire to purchase a cabin next to a lake somewhere (likely in the Adirondacks, thanks to our own location and having it be in "do-able" proximity). Unfortunately, most places have been built up beyond bearing for tourist purposes (no solitude there) or are conversely beautiful and pristine...and completely beyond us from a financial standpoint.

Anyway, I won't go on and on, but I did want to pop in and say hello. Your website is beautiful as well, and it's nice to know you're still writing and traveling and gardening (we moved residence last November, and now that I've seen the place through the growing season, to get a feel for it, I'm considering trying my hand at crafting an historic or possible even medieval style garden within the next year or so).

All the best,
Mary RM

Margaret Porter said...

Thanks for stopping by!

I found your comment right after posting more lake stuff...

I know you'll enjoy making a garden at your new home, and encourage you to do it. It's so informative and just plain fun to grow plants from the era that you write about, and in the style that would be familiar to your characters. Designing and mentally preparing my Georgian/Regency rose bower (an indoor, wintertime project of mine 7 or 8 years ago) led directly to a historical about a lady landscape designer.

I love the Adirondacks...this area is rather similar, I suppose that's why. I hope you find your dream lake and cottage!