checking in with fruits and lizards oh my


My life these days is this nice juicy pleasant jumble. No major dramas, and lots of projects before me. My job is good. I’m still inspired by a recent workshop. I’m working on an essay about my stroke (going slow but it’s going). I’m not losing weight but I’m finally not gaining weight, either. The markets are full of good treats–just this week, I’ve had momotaro tomatoes, odoriko tomatoes, mangosteens, mango-nectarines, and a flat of strawberries. Mrmmm. My mouth is full of sweet flavors, the way I like it.

I used to hate summertime but in recent years I have come to really like this time of year. I am still not in love with Summer like I am in love with Fall and Winter, but I still think Summer is one hawt dude bearing many gifts. Not my type of dude, but he brings me the stuff I like. I mean, I like hawt dudes, but let’s say Summer Dude is blonde and buff and maybe I like dark hair? Plus my vegetable garden likes summertime and I like seeing all the produce. Like right now I’ve got over 50 tomatoes on just one tomato plant (not counting the other 3). Wowee. They’re all green, though. But they’ll soon turn red. And then I’ll eat ’em!

But in the summer, the lizards do come out. And so do the crickets (I like their music but I really do not like to look at them). Did I tell you? I am SCARED TO DEATH of reptiles (except for tortoises–I really like tortoises) and crickets and grasshoppers. They FREAK me out. Something about how dry and gray and brown and…icky. If I were Eve in the Garden of Eden, I’d run screaming from the snake–I wouldn’t listen to it hiss. And we’d all be in Eden, still. But of course I’m sure G*d would like bring up some kind of talking mango or lychee or apple pie or some sort of tasty talking pastry and I’d be like, “Yes, whatever you say master-pastry, I will make Adam our bitch!”

Like just earlier this afternoon, the hubby and I were hanging out on the patio, where I spotted a birds’ nest. I took pictures of the birds’ nest. And then he came up to me and said, “Come to me.” Uh. He said it in a way that also meant, “And do not EVEN think about stepping back away from me danger danger danger DANGER!”

UGH. There was a lizard there. Freak out.


And so in the land of paradise is reptiles. And FEAR.

And I have promised myself as a writer to write about the terrifying. I swear, I will write the things that terrify me.

It goes against my pattern of behavior–where I always sidestep the awful, the fearful and move towards the light. I spent too many years in the horrifying dark to let myself wallow there. But as a writer, I’ve got to face it, feel it, document it, make it into art.

And so hence, the slow-writing of the essay, of the facts and events that terrified me.

And hopefully, some good writing to come on the novel–if I write the terrifying.



Filed under Inspiring, Life, Writing

8 responses to “checking in with fruits and lizards oh my

  1. GREAT post. And scary photo. I’m really excited about that essay you’re writing and I bet it will be great.

  2. Such a beautiful post. As I head into the climax of my novel, I’m going to tell myself not to forget the lizards.

    You have written so well here about your stroke, I’m sure that an essay will be superb. Good luck with it.

  3. Eve

    I love lizards. I think I’d draw the line at a lizard larger than the size of my forearm; but I really like them. I hadn’t ever considered disliking one, but now I’m going to have to consider the creepy sides of lizards. Thanks for that. πŸ˜‰

    I also don’t encounter many people who love winter. I’m glad to read that you do; fall and winter have always seemed seasons for writers, to me; I’ll have to think about why.

    Golly, you do make a person think.

  4. green tomatoes! i would kill for green tomatoes. i have a couple of plants in pots that need to be staked. but you could be eating yummy fried green tomatoes. here’s my recipe:

  5. i DO know mat. i call him the “book whisperer”. several years ago he made me map out my novel and i discovered a huge hole that was the actual book i SHOULD have been writing. love him. and he is funny as all get-out.

  6. Susan: thank you for your encouragement. You are a good friend.

    charlotteotter: thank you, too! i hope i can write some sort of essay that is good. weird how what i can write about easily here on the blog–is difficult in an essay format for me.

    Eve: I once knew a writer who refused to move to California because the weather was too good–as in, it would distract her from her writing! Maybe it’s the crappy weather outside, driving the writer purposefully inward. Who knows. For me? I just hate the heat.

    jamey: thank you for the green tomato suggestion! I’ve got my eye on a tomato that will be red soon…then I’m off to fry up some green tomatoes. And Mat Johnson is super nice, isn’t he? I didn’t talk to him much, but he and I ran into each other at a writers workshop recently and we had a good chat. He strikes me as someone with a really good heart and a good sense of humor to boot.

  7. Cat

    The lizard in the photo is a Western Fence Lizard. While his photo makes him seem a bit scary, these guys are actually the reason we West Coasters suffer so much less Lyme disease than our East Coast brethren. Part of the early lifecycle of the Deer Tick, carrier of Lyme Disease, involved feeding on Western Fence Lizards, who have a special something in their blood that kills the Lyme Disease in the maturing tick, so when it goes on to bite a human, they don’t get sick. Grossed out with major Heebee Geebees, but not sick. Researchers are using Western Fence Lizards to find a cure for infected humans too.

    Be kind to your scaley neighbors πŸ™‚

  8. Cat: Thank you–now I know it is a Western Fence Lizard. I think there are plenty of them around here in Berkeley–I never knew that lizards could live in a foggy place. Totally heebied out still, but I do leave them alone.

    Just that this one was dead when found.

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