Rituals of beginning, 2
The hope of spring

Rituals of beginning, 3

Woodland paths 1

"I never know quite what has gone on in my subconscious in the night. I dream vividly, and all kinds of things happen; by morning they have fallen below the threshold again. But I like to feel that whatever takes place becomes active in some way in what I do at the typewriter. In other words, I believe that a human being's life is a whole, and that he lives the full twenty-four hours. And if he is a writer or an artist, what happens during the night feeds back, in some way, into what he does consciously during the day....Part of the pleasure of writing, as well as the pain, is involved in pouring into that thing which is being created what he cannot understand, cannot say, cannot deal with or cannot even admit in any other way."  - Ralph Ellison

Woodland paths 2

"When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind."  - Haruki Murakami

Woodland paths 3

"I'm an afternoon writer. I draw sustenance from my strange nocturnal dreams. My workroom is on the second floor of an old Mississippi house. I work on an enormous oak table that I had especially built. Friends are always surprised that my table is relatively well-organized. I gaze out the window a lot, down onto undulating Southern terrain leading to Purple Crane Creek, which overflows in rains.

"My cat, Spit McGee, who has one brown eye and one blue and is named after a swamp boy in a children's book I once wrote, often jumps on my table and gets into my way, usually sprawling languidly on my manuscript. I write in longhand, and he quizzically looks down on my words. What is the old fool doing now? he seems to be asking. I welcome these intrusions when I'm starting a new book, because the book takes a little time to unfold. Once it does, I make Spit McGee sit on the floor." - Willie Morris

Woodland paths 4

"I’ve written everywhere. I wrote a novella The Womanizer on a plane coming back from Paris. I’ve written in hotel rooms in Milan and Great Falls. I wrote a screenplay in the Chateau Marmont. I’ve worked in fifty rented houses, in friends’ apartments. I like that, actually. It’s a challenge to go into someplace that’s not yours, and let the fact that you’re doing important work there be the accommodating force. I don’t think I could stay in one house continuously. I’m not contemplative enough, not interior enough, and that’s another way of saying I’m probably not smart enough. I need a lot of external stimulation bulleting into my life. I’m not talking about exhilaration or thrill, I just want new sounds coming into my ears."  - Richard Ford

Woodland paths 5

"You write by sitting down and writing. There's no particular time or place -- you suit yourself, your nature. How one works, assuming he's disciplined, doesn't matter. If he or she is not disciplined no sympathetic magic will help. The trick is to make time -- not steal it -- and produce the fiction. If the stories come, if you get them written, you're on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her best way. The real mystery to crack is you."  - Bernard Malamud

Woodland paths 6