Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Inspiration for writing

Rachel Peden refers to her father, B.F. Mason, as “the orchardist”:

If we wanted time for playing on workdays, we had to sneak away without attracting the orchardist’s notice. One of his favorite admonitions, learned from his Quaker mother, was “Satan finds work for idle hands to do.” He reminded us that she had often said to him, “Thy time, thy precious time!” He himself believed “There is no excellence without great labor.” Without ever telling us in so many words, he made us realize we were expected to carry in wood and water to the kitchen. When he wanted something done well, he encouraged us by telling us, “You can do it to a queen’s taste.”

Unwittingly, he probably fostered everybody’s writing proclivities by a bit of wry advice he gave us when we complained: “If there’s something that doesn’t suit you, just write it down and burn it up.” There were so many things that didn’t suit us that we had abundant practice in writing.

Rachel Peden, The Land, the People (Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books, 2010).
Also from Rachel Peden
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