I carry this pocket-sized notebook around and am always jotting down impressions, images, etc. that might or might not eventually find their way into my novels. When I take a walk in the local woods with my dog Tucker, in the midst of the trees I often pull out the notebook and scrawl a thought down. Here’s a random one from weeks past: “I don’t have a soul, just thoughts and feelings that occupy me. A walk in these woods dissolves that occupation, turns it from stone into flowing water.” Where the hell did that come from? How do the woods, ironically it seems, evoke such soulful thoughts from a soul-less guy? The word “occupation” is vaguely threatening, especially when juxtaposed with “flowing water.” And what of that “stone”? In the Trout Trilogy the woods are alluded to several times; they seem to be one of Eddy’s frames of reference. He’s a former logger who killed trees for a living. He’s got a “nailing tree” in his backyard that he’s slowing killing. Yet he seeks isolation in the woods as if they might heal some vital aspect of his being. Are these contradictions? What do these things suggest about Eddy?
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