Tuesday, May 5, 2015
We may feel squashed and squeezed with five people and two big dogs (and numerous other little critters) living in our smallish house with one bathroom, but what I absolutely love is the size and openness of our front yard.
Just last year I consolidated and moved the raised beds from the back to the front in order to give our dogs space to RUN unhindered, so I feel a bit like I've had to start over. As frugal and inventive as I try to be, gardening can be an expensive hobby with regard to both finances and the amount of time invested. But gardening, like writing and editing, is essential to my well-being. I can't imagine not doing it.
If becoming a well-loved writer is my creative dream, turning my entire front yard into garden space is the dream my soul dreams. I look out into my yard - mostly green space now - and envision chickens in their coop laying eggs, raised beds of fragrant herbs, and fruits and vegetables galore. I dream of local chefs stocking their pantries full of my crops, of donating seedlings and fresh vegetables to food pantries, of inviting neighbors to take what they need. I dream of little kids stopping by to learn about life cycles and beneficial bugs and insects and healthy eating . . .
Some women want closets full of clothes and shoes, or diamonds on their fingers and wrists. I want bags of potting soil and packets of seeds.
Monday, May 4, 2015
This past weekend kicked my arse.
Between running (just) six miles and squatting in the garden pulling weeds, I've been hobbling around today like I'm 100 instead of 37.
I'm a young woman still, and yet I'm getting older. My body is slowing down, little by little, despite my voluble protests and how childlike I feel in my mind. What was physically easy five years ago isn't so today.
I'm not as strong or flexible as I think I am.
Sometimes I forget things.
I frequently say garage when I mean refrigerator - I don't know why.
I have wrinkles and flab and gray hairs where previously there were none.
I don't like it.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
I have spent the better part of this BEAUTIFUL weekend outdoors. My husband and I jogged six miles (ouch - outdoor running is a lot more difficult than running on a treadmill); mowing our expansive yard, which I actually enjoy; and gardening. I am sore, exhausted, filthy, and sporting a rather painful burn on the back of my neck, but I am also extremely happy. It's been the perfect weekend.
Leading up to today I weeded the gardens and transplanted seedlings into bigger pots, or some seedlings outdoors (hooray!). In about a month I hope to move the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, and peppers into their final resting places (which sounds morbid) . . . not to mention the many herbs and flowers I've started by seed. Next week I plan to order soil/compost and get the supplies for building another raised bed.
In the meantime, it will soon be time to part with some of these seedlings. I've been growing extra for friends and neighbors, so they'd better take them!!
|potted kale, spinach, and lettuce|
|peas and onions|
|raised bed containing Swiss chard, beets, radishes|
carrots, peas, and onions
|more kale, spinach, and lettuch|
|a few more pea plants|
|seedlings waiting to go outside|
Saturday, May 2, 2015
"There's a man in the tree," said the little boy, his voice full of surprise. "Do you see him, Grandma? He's got long, spindly arms and horns on his head."
The boy's grandmother peered over his shoulder at the edge of the forest just beyond the property. "That's not a man," she replied knowingly. "That's a Trevil."
"Have you never heard of a Trevil?" she said, brows jutting into her hairline. "And you with a habit of stealing cookies before dinner and pinching your little sister, I thought for sure your father would have warned you."
The boy looked up at his grandmother, curious eyes gone round. "Warned me?"
The old woman smoothed his hair and then pointed out the window. "The Trevil was there even when your father was a boy. He bides his time, waiting. Trevils are very patient creatures, you know."
"W-what does he wait for?"
"Well," said the boy's grandmother. "If a Trevil catches a child being naughty or unkind or disrespectful to his elders . . . he snatches him up!! Lickety-split." The boy gasped appreciatively. "And then," the old woman continued in a whisper, "he turns the naughty child into a Trevil, too."
The boy took off at once and thundered down the hallway, his bare feet slapping against the wood floor. "Where are you going?" called his grandmother.
"To clean my room!"
Friday, May 1, 2015
Sadly, I did not reach 30,000 words on either of my works-in-progress for the month of April, nor did I finish the first draft of BLOOD STAIN as I had planned. This is not, however, because I haven't been working. On the contrary, two client projects (hard editing) have kept me extremely busy for the past month; it's a wonder I was able to complete any work on my own three projects. By the way, I am currently accepting new editing projects, so if you're in need of another pair of eyes, please keep me in mind.
BLOOD STAIN, the third and final book in the BLOOD TYPE trilogy, is in the home stretch. One of my Wattpad readers asked if I would write a fourth novel in the series. The answer (at this point) is a hard NO . . . but that's not to say I haven't thought about writing a novella or two (or several) about some of the supporting characters. After all, I think Josiah and little Bridget, not to mention Hannah, probably have some interesting stories to tell. And what about Ian? And perhaps Mrs. Abernathy?Readers are likely curious about these characters' past lives - vampire and human. When I publish the final copy to Amazon will be based largely on when I have the available funds. I also have plans to edit and re-release the first two books. Perhaps I will publish one book containing all three parts . . . I don't know. One of the benefits of self-publishing, of course, is that the author is in charge.
In other news, I now have a working title for the book I (possibly) plan to query: SOUL FOOD. I've decided to post the unedited version to Wattpad should anyone care to offer constructive feedback. I've written close to 25,000 words. I hope to have 40,000 words by the end of May, but as long as I am ready to edit and query by early 2016, I'm good.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
When I picked up my son from school today, he was very excited to show me a "surprise" that he discovered in the school garden. Certain he had some small animal stashed in his bag and we'd just inherited a new pet, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it was only the bones of some vertebrate - one with a long tail. Missing are the limbs and skull, but it's a pretty cool specimen nevertheless.
My youngest daughter, however, came home with this - an adult red-spotted newt. She told me her friend, who has several already, said they and another friend can take turns caring for the little critter. I'm pretty sure it's ours now, especially considering my son, the future herpetologist, has lately been talking about "branching out" to include amphibians. At least we had a spare tank already on hand. The poor thing had been cooped up in a small plastic cup most of the day. As soon as I transferred him, he zipped around appearing both happy and relieved (or as happy and relieved as a newt can look). I suppose I'll be making a trip to the pet store tomorrow for some newt chow. My daughter wanted to name him "Booger." I told her to take the night to think about it.