Carving is a nifty hobby for an author, because you can enjoy yourself and still work at the same time
I've always held the view that an author - if awake - is working, because everything you do, or see, or experience will likely (or at least possibly) turn up in a book one day. The tax authorities, unfortunately, do not share my position in that regard, but still...
The basis for my Viking, above, was a 30+ year old Atlas Cedar that lived on the boulevard outside our house. In tree form, she threw branches at passing cars, pedestrians, our dogs ... everybody. Worse, branches were thrown at the power lines that ran through her hair, and the entire neighborhood often suffered. This was a BIG tree -- she spread right back to the house, across the street, and virtually the width of the yard.
In the end, even the Hydro couldn't ignore the issue, so they sent these two 12-year-old boys with a cherry-picker and a chainsaw to rectify the situation. The chainsaw gave up in disgust, I believe, at the top of the stump that's left, and I, also in disgust, sent the children home to play with safer toys.
Then I set to carving, something I had never attempted on this scale, and it went on, and on, and on. What fun! I met neighbors I didn't know I had, dog-walkers, tourists, all sorts of people. And it went on for months, because once I'd done the *house* side, of course, I was committed to doing the *street* side -- my Lady.
Which brought me even more visitors and tourists ... and stories to tell. It was heaven for a dedicated story-teller, even if it did slow down the carving a bit. I think the entire carving part of the project (by hand: no chainsaw sculpture's these) took the better part of three months.
And there was this scrawny little pine tree there on the other side of the footpath that ... spoke to me.
She was bored, she said, and felt overawed by the Lady and the Viking, and her self-esteem did languish, etc., etc.
So I promised to do what I could, and I did -- the problem is I'm not sure what I did do. But she doesn't complain anymore, so I assume she is happy in her new image.
Some of the bits left over from the cedar tree sort of rang my bells in their demand to be noticed and given their place in the overall scheme of things.
I rescued this nifty fellow from a nearby beach, and when he'd been tidied up a bit and whittled on a bit more, out came this Druid.
This little piggy cried out to be freed from a bit of old maple that I found in the yard.
I reckon Mother Nature is pleased with my little owl -- every spring she gives him new wings!
This fine, welcoming fellow came from a bit of rubbish that was lying around when we bought the house more than ten years ago. Took him a long time to talk to me -- I guess he was waiting for me to build him a door to grace -- but when he did, he was mightily specific about who he wanted to be! I think the wood is maple but I do not know this guy's name.