January 28th, 2008

Bridge Over Troubled Concrete

The Santa Ana River used to be an actual tributary. Now it’s more of a long, occasionally algae-ridden skate park. Many moons ago, it was moved from its original path, lined with concrete, and generally considered to be tamed. The creeks that fed into it have been made into parks and golf courses and, in some particularly stupid instances, housing developments.


This morning I drove over a bridge across the river and was stunned to see a sight that’s rare indeed:


There was water in it.


Lots of it. Heavily currented, gray and choppy water, working its way down to the sea.


The river has given the impression of being domesticated and under control all this time—but under the right conditions, its wilder nature prevails.


This I choose to take as a sign pertinent to my writing—not my MG (unless it’s YA) fantasy novel, which is in the OR with an excellent recovery expected—but to short stories and queries, both of which took an abrupt nosedive last year when I landed a second editing gig.


Dry spells come to us all. But if you wait around long enough, and Canada obligingly sends a wild winter storm your way, the waters will rise; the river will flow; and those query letters and short stories—so long suppressed—will burst forth. I just hope I don’t lose my canoe paddle while trying to ride out the ensuing flood.


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