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7. Gray & château.jpg

Writing can fill an author's mind with out-of-the-world places packed with strange people and characters, and sometimes dangerous ones. A  favourite quote of mine is by Dame Iris Murdoch: "We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality." For me, finding reality is definitely when I'm gardening or cleaning out the garage, but even then, I often find myself thinking about the next scene or chapter in my book.  Well, it's winter at Château de Détilly right now, the season of the year when the grounds and gardens need preparation for spring, so I'd better get out there with my secateurs.

Some of the gardening projects I've taken on are pruning the fruit trees and removing ivy from tree trunks. Véronique, our house-keeper/gardener has been a tremendous help. This year she has mulched garden beds with wood chips and leaves with the hope of keeping weeds at bay. Have you ever heard of bind weed (Morning Glory)?  It's while pulling them out that I came up with the the idea of introducing a killer weed  into my next novel. I think the weed will end up worse off.

There, you see? This is the writers' dilemma—taking a break from their fantasy worlds.

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