I’ve been ferociously busy the last few weeks because gardening season hit in a big way recently after weeks of (mostly) sub-normal temperatures. March was hotter than usual and we got an early start, and then the temps started roller-coastering so we barely knew from day to day what the weather would be like. Our cool-weather flowers — violas, pansies, ranunculus etc. — did very well for us, but everything else was slow. The early tomatoes lollygagged in the raised bed and only recently started blossoming a full two months after being planted. Bunnies ate almost all our pea shoots, roses budded, but the buds looked wrong and bulbs either came up looking odd or didn’t come up at all.
We already have grapes and nectarines, but the nectarine tree has peach leaf curl and I’ve seen black spot and rust on the roses, both of which usually show up much later in the season, so I fear it’s going to be a bad year for fungus. Then we had a freaky, scary storm with a whole lot of hail; a storm so bad that it sounded as if people were outside flinging rocks at the house. It didn’t break any windows but it tore up the garden and killed one of our baby bunnies. That bothered Glinda and me far more than the plants. We’ve buried him in a spot between our trio of rose bushes named “Buffy,” “Willow,” and “Cordelia.” I know it’s a good resting place for him. We built him a little cairn, too, to keep out scavengers.
We pretty much by-passed spring this year and went right into summer. It’s 94 degrees here today, and of course since it’s Chicago, it’s humid. We were out all day yesterday and bought a lot of plants, so this morning we stumbled out of bed and went into the garden to plant. Pretty much everything is finished now, and it looks really nice. Anyone who is interested can find more photos at my Flickr account.
I had a fantastically busy quarter at my editing job, too, which is a good thing because I had to buy a new laptop. My two older ones couldn’t run the software and while the newest one could, it didn’t run it consistently well. I had a lot of trouble with my internet connection, too, so I bit the bullet and got myself a Lenovo. Fortunately I made enough this quarter to pay it off and much of what I spent on plants as well.
I’m very nearly finished with a new story; it’s being revised right now, and I hope to get it edited and out to a publisher by mid-June. Then I’m going back to “Anna Magdalena’s Song.” I would love to have that one finished and ready to get shopped around by early autumn. Royalty payments have been disappointing but then I’ve had nothing new for a while, and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you have to be in front of your audience all the time.
I’ve become obsessed with Pinterest, and have made boards for images that inspire writing ideas as well as the usual ones for gardens and good noms. I’m Tracy Rowan over there, too, if you’re interested. My “What do they look like?” board has a lot of images of people who may or may not turn into my characters. I work sideways with characters, creating them, then finding faces, then developing them, finding new faces and so forth until they have their own lives. Still it might be interesting to peek at current inspirations.
So now I’m going to go put my feet up. All that sun and heat finally caught up with me. Game of Thrones tonight, and some gin and tonic in the garden. Not a bad thing at all.
Peter Dinklage rocks. I'm just sayin'.