How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Six Cousins Spring

Spring is my favorite season. I love watching life and color come back into the world. The Texas spring is one of the things that inspired my novel Six Cousins; to this day, some of the clearest images that come to mind when I think of Six Cousins are springtime scenes: wildflower fields bursting with color, a rainbow of greens in grass and leaves, perfect temperatures and delicate breezes, birdsongs, the scent of earth. This last week of March, in particular, is special to me: my eyes and ears are open to nature because this is about the time Six Cousins is set.

Every spring since I’ve written it, I’ve looked around anxiously to see what stage everything is in, what’s in flower now and what isn’t. I want my depiction of a Texas Hill Country spring to be accurate. Every spring is different (thankfully, I add, since I’ve noticed some slightly different schedules in my novel); this year, for example, growth has slowed down because of cold weather and sparse rainfall. But early springtime is the time of year that I gaze with satisfaction at the things that inspired my book and feel again what I captured in the writing of it.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Between the garden and the juniper woods was a short span of lush grass dotted with wildflowers. Here was the most beautiful and varied bouquet in any of our fields. There were bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, wild onions, prairie verbenas, wild mustard, and many more species with only a few representatives; small white hemlock tied them all together, like a wild baby’s breath. We waded our way through carefully, making sure not to step on any of the bright little heads. The breeze wafted a delicately sweet scent past our noses, as if only for our pleasure.

“Mmm. Do you smell that?” I asked. “Bluebonnets. Such a fresh, sweet, nectar-y smell, yet with substance to it. I always thought that should be what butterflies smell like.”


Right before the pecan bottoms, there was a green kernel of irresistible deciduous woods. The oaks, elms, and their companions were leafed out in the most beautiful shades of spring verdure, rising high and ethereal as well as low and intimately earthy right beside us. It was a songbird’s paradise, and the birds certainly knew its reputation; the branches were alive with their flapping and chirping.

Praise God for spring!

         Pinned Image


  1. I love spring too. April 1st today! I often find I'm more creative in the spring. The turn of the seasons has made its way into some of my novels too--notably American Homeschooler, which I am now revising. Living in the country has really given me an opportunity to experience the rhythms of nature.

    Great snippets from your book, btw!

    1. That's interesting that you find you're more creative in the spring. There's a lot of things to be inspired by! I haven't noticed that about myself in any particular season ... unless it's the days spent indoors in winter that give me a cozy, nostalgic feeling. :-)
      You're revising American Homeschooler -- does that mean you're going to publish it officially? If so, I'm glad to hear that!
      I love living in the country ... can you imagine what it'd be like up north in Michigan (where my dad's from), for example, and the seasons are even more marked?
      Thank you -- the descriptive passages are some of my favorites. :-)

  2. If and when I finish the revision, I would definitely try to get it out on the market. At present the revision has added a younger sister to the three original heroines, plus a number of new incidents. I'm writing it in novellas, which I plan to stitch together later. Do you hop around the story as you write, or do you write it straight through from beginning to end?

    I'd have to get used to the changes of the seasons in a different climate. The ones here are sort of soaked into my blood--part of me and of the stories I write. I think if I lived in the country long enough in a place like Michigan, my stories would change!

    1. Wow -- the revision is making it even more like your family. :) I usually write my stories straight through, unless a future scene demands being written ASAP. Yours is an interesting way of doing it, like writing installments!

      Ooh -- I like how you explain that. Stories are very much a part of our environment, because our environment is very much a part of us. :)