Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Friday, February 26, 2010

Broad Green Husk

Since I have been talking here about bits of writing and the products of fermentation taking their own sweet time -- or their own dry time -- I was amused last night when reading about Jo Files, a character who happens to have sprouted from the idea-tree of L. Frank Baum nearly a century ago.

Files, Baum tells us, "had nine book-trees, on which grew a choice selection of story-books. In case you have never seen books growing upon trees, I will explain that those in Jo Files' orchard were enclosed in broad green husks which, when fully ripe, turned a deep red color. Then the books were picked and husked and were ready to read. If they were picked too soon, the stories were found to be confused and uninteresting and the spelling bad. However, if allowed to ripen perfectly, the stories were fine reading and the spelling and grammar excellent."

Jo Files, according to Baum, had to read most of the books himself, before they spoiled, since the people of Oogaboo cared little for reading. How like a writer's fate.

The broad green husk of an unripened book: I am wrapped up in one. (Actually, today it was in a red-ripening husk of a minor deadline project.)

Cheers ...

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