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Date:11/28/2014 12:09:20 PM
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Sources, Part I
The Farmwife and I were recently comparing notes about writer's block. At the end of Winter, it is difficult to develop topics. Once the growing season begins, there are more things to write about than there's time to write it. I don't know what Julie Murphree does, but when an idea occurs to me, I add it to the file titled "Blog Topics". I find that having a store of possible topics to explore helps my confidence when I think I'm running out of subject matter.

Another great source of subject matter is the writings of others. You already know how much wisdom I've gleaned from the writings of Hal Borland. As before, I heartily encourage anyone to search their state library system for whatever books of his they can find. "Hill Country Harvest" is his best known work but any of his earlier and later works are worth reading. I discovered his writing when I stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines in the late 1970s. As a country boy, I was terribly homesick for anything that would re-connect me with the world I knew and loved before enlisting in the Air Force. Of course, I found the books of James Herriot a great source of solace, and wistful pain. But I also was inspired by the love Borland had for the cultivated farmland; the same type of land that I'd known all my life.

As for James Herriot, if any of you have never sampled his works, I would definitely recommend that you read his works in the order of publication. Don't read "The James Herriot Cat Book" or "The James Herriot Dog Book". Instead, read his entire collection. You will get an indoctrination into the mind and heart of a Countryman.

Another great source material; indeed, a literary classic, is Richard Adam's "Watership Down". It is a whimsical story of small wildlife leading their lives in the rural environment of England. You will derive an intricate appreciation of natural things living in a cultivated farmland environment.
More about "Sources" next time. -- Gary
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