One of the fun things about doing revision is rediscovering my own writing. On the plane today I started a reread of a printout of Madness of Flowers. I rather liked this bit:
She quirked him a smile as she swung for another pass across his office. "Men never learn to listen."
"I'm listening now," he said.
"No you're not. You're thinking. You're wondering, what's she want now? Why has she come into my office with that look in her eye? That's not listening, little man, that's looking ahead."
"And what would listening be, then?"
She stopped, the smile lingering a little longer this time. "A listener might listen with his eyes as well as his ears. Have you ever seen me limp before? Where is the copper butterfly I have always worn in my hair? Why is my right boot stained brown? What would bring me here in such haste, yet be difficult enough that I would comment on the bells off the ocean rather than arrive at the point of my visit?"
"You listen differently than I do."
"We learned in different schools," she said. "You'd best lesson yourself in my ways a while if you plan to survive here."
"What, then?" he asked. "As I am a fool, please do me the courtesy of enlightenment."