April is the time for serious writing; the religious and natural cycles have put on their most taxing and exhilarating show. Now spring reminds me at every moment that a novel has to be born, that a thousand books scattered all over the office have to be gathered together, notes clipped, piles of research materials put in precarious heaps...and then my fingers have to convert the vision in my brain to something that can be read by others.
Outside, the oaks take on new mint-green leaves, though they've never lost the dark leaves of winter. St. Charles Avenue becomes one long winding cloister of overhanging branches.
The crepe myrtles begin to show their tiny curling, pointed leaves, soft, very subtle, giving no hint of the glory of the red blooms that will follow in summer.
It seems the wrong time to burrow into one's mind, to write, yet it is perfect. The outer world engulfs the inner. The sun pouring in on my cluttered office warms my brain as well as my hands. The world is pregnant.
In April, books are begun. The Mayfair witches start whispering to me; the vampires nudge me and tell me that the lengthening spring nights are giving them more time to talk. Obsessed with the garden coming to life outside my windows, the bananas coming back from a late frost, and the vines covering their browned skeletons with new growth, I begin to work in earnest.
The telling of the tale takes on a heady exhilaration. I suspect it's like an art and a sport combined.
Where do you get your inspiration, people ask? From everywhere--from the azaleas that are still blooming from winter, from the rythms of the family voices still resounding from the religious holidays, from the earth itself, always damp here, always ready to devour.
April is my most precious month in many respects, and often a book written a year before will recieve its finishing corrections from me now, its last tiny changes. The overwinter zygote of a finished book comes into blossom. Yet work on the new book is racing along.