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Writing Wendl...

I really did want to write a light-hearted tale in case this one turns out to be my last novel (assuming it yet becomes a novel), but it's headed currently toward the shadows. I thought I knew Wendl Von Trier pretty well, having trekked with him through my previous book, The Winged Child .   There, Wendl presents as an elusive solitary, moving above all worldly fray while at the same time nudging events and characters toward a satisfactory conclusion. Sharp and intimidating on the outside and tender and motherly on the inside. A friend to the world, something of a trickster, but in all things working for good outcomes.  That is how I saw Wendl VonTrier. A  púka, mischievous, but essentially harmless, even benevolent, capable of presenting in whatever form or gender the moment required. Wendl seemed the ideal candidate to carry readers off into the literary sunset in good spirits after an exhilarating romp through a fantastical fiction. But all along, it seems, there were depths to

Tarajo...


The Ilex latifolia (aka lusterleaf holly) down across the yard is ready to feast the birds. In a couple of weeks, they will have stripped most of the berries. I'm guessing this solitary specimen is a Mary Nell cultivar, judging from the heavy fruit set. Hollies are sexed, and since I haven't seen any other Lusterleafs in the neighborhood, this one is probably fertilized by the male American Holly beside our house. Female holly trees of most varieties are not incredibly particular about their pollen sources.

The leaves are about six to eight inches long, glossy, leathery, and except for their serrated edges, resemble magnolia leaves. Latifolia is native to southern Japan, where it is called Tarajo. Mature individuals can reach 25 to 40 feet in height. This one is past 30. She's been here a lot longer than we have.


Henry's books.

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