Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Pears are Again Laughing at Me

Today is the sixth day of November, and the sixth day of a writing self-competition called NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days is the goal, and we are getting to the long haul part.  The part of frozen creativity, writers block, panic and worse.

I am going to devote today to NaNoWriMo and a research project I hope to blog about later this month.

I have a feeling that, today, pears - and everything else - are laughing at me, as I drip sweat and blood, and wonder what I have gotten myself into - for the third year in a row.

And maybe, if I have time, I'll even publish another Apple Crisp recipe next week - one with Asian pears and an unusual apple called the Thornberry.  Here's a sneak preview:

Yes, that's a real mixture of raw apples and pears (the pears are the white slices).  I left some of the apple skin on so you can see the true beauty of the Thornberry (and because I had cut my finger and wasn't that inclined to do a complete peeling job).

Doing NaNoWriMo? I would love to be your writing buddy - My "pen" name is ramblinwritr.

And here's a post on pears - and writing, from November of 2012, for your enjoyment.

Sustainable Saturday - The Pears are Laughing at You

 I hope an author I admire greatly, Scott Westerfeld, won't mind me using a point he made in a "pep talk" to NaNoWriMo participants, as the topic of today's post.

Years ago, when my spouse and I moved to rural Arkansas to pursue the "simple life", we found out that the "simple life" did not exist.  Life is a lot more complex than any of us can dream of.

We found out that (back in the 1980's anyway), the city life was the simple life.  You didn't have to make a whole lot of decisions.  In the rural "simple life", on the other hand, there was a decision wherever you turned.

We were trying to be what was called "ecological" in those days (I think the closest term today would be "green")  and that made decisions even more difficult.

One example:  how to heat? In the city life your landlord provided the heat.  In the countryside you had to choose rhe fuel of choice:  Wood? Propane? Electric?  Wood was renewable but if you burned wood in a homemade wood stove made from a 55 gallon drum, it was very polluting.  Hmmm, hadn't thought of that....Solar panels? Nice thought, but they were terribly expensive, way beyond our budget.

 City life - you bought a refrigerator and plugged it in.  Country life - was a refrigerator "ecological?" Should we own one, and if so: would we use electric or propane? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Food:  local but not organic?  Shipped in but organic?

(I've blogged about a similar choice many of us make today when we shop: local small merchant but merchandise made in China? Or big box store selling goods made in the U.S.A.?)

Each element of our lives needed a decision, and we quickly learned that what we thought was the most polluting choice was sometimes, overall, the best choice.  In other words, there were no simple choices, and we had to make the best choice for us, even if it wasn't "politically correct".

What Scott Westerfeld told us in yesterday's pep talk is a lesson we all should learn, not just people aspiring to be authors of a novel.  "Here's a funny thing about human beings: we always think too simply. The universe is always bigger, messier, and more complicated than we expect it to be."

As for the title of today's post, it is a paraphrase of something else Scott Westerfeld said, pointing out that even something as simple as a pear isn't simple at all - there are over 3,000. varieties of pears.

Broaden your horizons.  Learn as much as you can about this world.  Wisdom isn't always in the places you expect it to be.  I'm guilty of being close-minded sometimes, and I can probably say, truthfully, that even the most broad minded of us are.

The "sustainable" life involves thoughtfully considering the options and making a good decision that is right for you at that one point of time.

List all your options.  Think of all the possibilities.  When you exhaust your list, try to think of a few more.  If you can't come up with too many, then you may find that


Thank you, Scott.  As far as my writing I will try to remember that  "Sometimes getting to the end of a novel simply takes remembering that the world is more complicated than we know, and then sticking some of those complications into the story."

I sure don't want those pears laughing at me.


  1. Broaden your horizons. Learn as much as you can about this world. Wisdom isn't always in the places you expect it to be.

    I am guilty of doing this at time - I mean not broadening my horizons. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I love pears, but for the life of me can never figure out when they are in season. Those thornberry apples look interesting. Do they have a bit of a berry taste to them?

  3. Wow, 3,000 varieties of PEARS? Amazing!

    I have signed up to do the non-fiction version of NaNoWriMo, called NaNonFiWriMo, to help me get my "fire story"written in time for the March 2015 30th anniversary of the event. Six days in and I haven't had time yet to work on it yet, due to other obligations!

  4. I so agree, life is so much bigger than the chaotic mess inside our heads and hearts. It's fun to explore life, it helps heal all the hurt we unknowingly carry around :)


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.