I'm just remembering something. Several years ago I was reading a new book by the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk (I just looked it up to check the year it was published; it was 2004, and a review says "acclaimed Turkish author Pamuk delivers a nearly impenetrable political novel.") My grandson, Rhys, wandered through the room, glanced at the cover of my book, and commented, "I see you're reading a book called 'Snow.'" I was quite startled because he was only 4, and I said, "Rhys! You can read!" He looked equally startled by this revelation and he said, "No, I didn't read it. I recognized it."
It's an interesting observation, and though I tried to explain to him that reading is, actually, largely nothing more than recognition....he became bored and wandered away.
Anyway, today I was thinking about SNOW, for obvious reasons. We have been assailed by snow off and on since mid-December, when i got stuck in Zurich interminably because the airports closed. Then I went to South America and just missed another big snowstorm here. Last Friday I flew to Houston, delayed by yet another snowstorm. And tomorrow I go to New York, but have luckily once again gotten the timing right because I think we'll be dug out by this afternoon.
Here is the view from my dining room window:
But if you step back, here is more of the same room:
and then look closely, there on the table, is:
which was delvered to me yesterday, a fragrant and colorful thank you from a friend who came recently to dinner.
The delivery person, a woman, was an opera singer. No, she didn't burst into an aria (though she should have, because the friend who sent the flowers is named Mimi; so Rudolpho's deathbed cries: "MIMI! MIMI!" would have been great) but we got to talking, and that's how I happen to know that making a living as an opera singer is very tough, and so one trudges through snow and delivers flowers on the side.
And now I mst finish up the power-point I'm using Saturday morning in New York at the SCBWI conference where I am the opening speaker. I fiddled around with a lot of different ideas and themes for this particular speech but finally settled on the never-ending topic of where one gets ideas.
Mostly, in truth, they come out of nowhere and take you by surprise.
I think an opera singer appearing at your door, holding a spring bouquet, during a snowstorm, is a such a moment.