By Peggy Webb
This month, Kathy has asked the Southern authors to discuss the role nature plays in our writing process and/or our books. Boy, is this a ready made topic for me! Since I first began writing (I’ve been a published author for twenty-six years), I’ve always made certain that my desk is positioned so I can see out the window. Not across the room. Right beside the window, so that I feel sunlight and stormy skies alike.
The sweep of lawn and sky, the parade of birds that flock to swing on the trailing vines of my Lady Banks rose, the ever-changing bloom in my flower beds, the dragon suspended from my front porch ceiling, the unicorn reclining underneath my tea olive, the dance of chimes in the wind – all are sources of inspiration. In the little Mississipppi cottage where I currently live, my monitor backs up to double windows. Even while I’m immersed in creating a story and am not consciously cataloging the goings-on just beyond the blinking cursor, I feel – and on some level see the magnificence and mystery of nature pouring through my window. What I write and what I see are magically woven together so that the wonder of God’s creation finds its way onto the pages of my books.
“I lost myself quite in the upper air and clouds, seeming to pass an imaginary line which separates a hill, mere earth heaped up, from a mountain, into a subterranean grandeur and sublimity.” Henry David Thoreau, Journal.
That’s the way nature, even that merely seen through my window, makes me feel. “Lost in subterranean grandeur and sublimity.” Even when I’m not writing, I turn to nature - for the simple pleasure of sitting on the porch swing, for the satisfaction of plunging my hands into the earth and making things grow, for meditation and peace.
Do you like to walk barefoot in new Spring grass? Are you a swimmer? A hiker? A biker? A gardener? Does nature inspire you or make you think of chiggers and mosquitoes and snakes? Tell me your stories.
Peggy Webb has lost count of the number of books she has written, but she thinks it’s around seventy, and that’s just counting those published. Currently she writes the Southern Cousins Mystery series. Her own umpteen Southern cousins all send disclaimers that they are NOT the model for Lovie. (Lovie’s had more lovers than Elvis has fleas. That’s the dog in Peggy’s series, not the real King.) She invites you to visit her and enter her Spring contest at www.peggywebb.com. You can also follow her on Facebook.