So lately I've been pondering the way we use language, not in a writerly sense, but in a people sense. I'm fascinated by how we code our intentions into what we say, sometimes sabotaging ourselves without realizing it. The other day I was watching an episode of "The Dog Whisperer", mostly because I ADORE Daddy the pit bull, and I listened to Cesar Millan talking to an owner who said she thought she could walk her dog properly on the leash under his instruction. He just smiled and said, "Don't think. Just do." I was immediately reminded of Yoda. "Do or do not. There is no try." There's a similar scene in "Dead Again" where Kenneth Branagh's character tells Robin Williams he's trying to quit smoking. And Robin Williams' analyst character responds, "There is no try. You are either a smoker or a non-smoker. Figure out which one you are and BE THAT." I could be paraphrasing on that last one a bit, but you get the point. We are so anxious to hedge our bets that we modify the HELL out of our intentions. We kneecap our own determination by "thinking" we can do it or "trying" to do it or "giving it our best shot" instead of just announcing, firmly and with purpose, I WILL. I AM. I HAVE. I've become much more aware of my own lapses into weak and bloodless language, the words that just lie wanly on the sofa, pallid and undemanding. They have no expectations, those words, and they never inspire any acts of greatness. So I move we banish the think, the try, the might. AND WE DO instead.
And a quick note: I have run across a few mentions on the interwebs lately about Silent on the Moor being the last Julia Grey book. I don't know where that particular bit of misinformation hatched from, but I can promise you, it is NOT. The book I'm working on now is outside of the series, but by this summer I will be hard at work on the fourth Julia Grey. Spread the word!