Louis L’Amour, one of my favourite writers for Westerns—as in cowboys and the Wild West—was asked the secret of his prolific stories. He simply shrugged and said, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
I always loved that quote. I have it typed in big block letters besides my computer. But I realized that sometimes the water can be turned off, for whatever reason, and nothing flows from the faucet. When that happens, I follow Rule Number 17 from my archaic writers’ guidebook. I turn off the computer and head for the great outdoors. I realized long ago that if the page stays blank for more than 20-minutes and the mind is totally devoid of any rational or irrational thoughts, it’s best to take a break—and that’s what I did.
For me, the break-away from the keyboard, is a method for me to get re-energized and re-inspired. Hubby and I put on our rain-gear to do a morning stroll through the Village and around our neighbourhood. We strolled past Cobb’s where the scent of their freshly baked mince tarts and cinnamon bread logs wafted into the street. We paused at Nicholas Randall’s Gift Shop window to admire their lavish display of possible Christmas gifts, but what caught our eyes, tucked in the far corner, were a tiny trio of mischievous camels, decorated in tiny beads and Middle Eastern costumes. Beside them, regally waving a teeny-tiny gloved hand stood the tiny figure of the British Queen. Next store, The Gallery on the Avenue always has a striking window. That day a spectacular abstract with its bold colours of golds, greens and blues dominated. Placed to the right of the painting were two vases of a turquoise hue, one slightly taller than the other, complementing the abstract perfectly. Moving along, we paused at Ivy’s Bookstore with its display of children’s books in the window and a huge bin of greatly reduced books outside. Of course, we had to sort through the books to see if anything was worthy of our wallets. Starbucks was doing a brisk business when we passed by. A group of carollers were singing “a cappella” in front of the bank and pedestrians dropped change, for the homeless, into their pot. The sounds of “O Holy Night” followed us down the street, past the Pennyfarthing Pub, Roger’s Chocolates, shoe store, barber shop, two boutiques, the Side Street Gallery with its many locally crafted jewellery, soaps, wood-work, paintings, weaving, pottery and much more.
Crossing the street, we made a dash through the Library to see if we could find any new movies for us to watch that evening. We then continued our walk down residential Monterey Avenue eventually turning onto the path through Bowker Creek Park. Bowker Creek’s lively inhabitants of ducks were busily attacking duck feed tossed out by some kindly neighbour. As the Creek winds along, Hubby and I followed the peaceful path through trees, ornamental bushes, parkland and over a small stone bridge. More ducks, joined by cawing crows and seagulls, all made their presence known as we passed. We listened intently for our favourite duck we had named the “Laughing Duck” because he had this amazingly deep belly-laugh when he quacked. Often, he would do this just as we passed by, but that day, no belly quackle herald his presence. Over the last stone bridge and following a path that cut through the High School’s parking lot, past the School Track, the Rec Centre’s covered indoor tennis courts, around the outside of the Municipality’s Work-yard and finally the street leading home.
Returning to the computer, I could feel the logjam of frozen words sporadically tumbling on the page. It wasn’t an easy flow, but for now at least, the faucet dripped. . . . . .