I have been inside a lot lately. The hours just fly by, I so love what I'm doing. Still, you cannot write in a vacuum. Periodically you must go outside and live in order to have something to write about. The past is always there; this is true. But a past without a present will start to diminish. This balance is hard for me, for I tend to be single-minded and focused to the extreme. Either I'm doing nothing but writing, or I'm writing nothing at all. Fortunately I have a dog. He loves his walks and I must oblige. So while he sleeps at my feet as I write, he also forces me to get out in the world and enjoy the changing seasons. I hate being pulled away from my desk, but once outside I'm astonished by all that's going on. I talk to neighbors. I watch the wind through the trees. I get annoyed at a car driving too fast or my dog for trying to chase the car. I see the birds flocking south and can smell rain in the air. I gather my coat around me as the wind permeates my layers and remember how lucky I am to have a warm house to return to. When I finally do sit down at my desk again, I am eager to write. And all that sensory imagery from the walk helps my words grow. I am a reluctant but appreciate gardener.