Summer has blown past like a train that missed the station, but here are some updates about the goings on in my little pocket universe.
Summer is the season I work my ass off at the restaurant so that I can take time off in the winter to write. So usually, there’s not a lot of writing time in the summer weeks. However, I have been burning the midnight hours (and lots of wine) on getting Plague of Gargoyles ready for beta. Somehow with all the mad crush of season, I was able to compile a working V.1. I can’t even express what a relief this is. Sure, it’s the dreck draft, but going into the writing season with a block draft will make this winter so much more productive. Hopefully, Plague of Gargoyles will go out to beta readers in November or December, so I can put Tangle of Mermaids on the V.1 track to beta by summer next year.
With all that being said, I also went a little nutty after a few glasses of wine and began remodeling my character files, and organizing my world notes. There’s something to be said about late nights of drunken casting, sifting through celebrity photos and rebuilding character sheets. So. Much. Fun.
I’m dearly looking forward to sharing my hopeful casting notes with prospective producers. Let’s just hope they understand my wine-laced vision board notes….
The Elder Glade Cottage Stead
Most of June and July were so unseasonably wet and muggy that the growing time for many of the garden plants just never got enough light or heat. The tomatoes are still about the same size as they were eight weeks ago. Other plants molded from the rain and gray. However, the roses loved it.
Mister Lincoln, the rose variety that features heavily in The Pillars of Dawn books, specifically in Murder of Crows, finally bloomed. Three years ago I’d decided to plant several of the roses that grow in Auntie Celeste’s garden, so I could bask in the inspiration that is her special zen. Mister Lincoln was one of the first roses I planted, but each season I was sure I’d killed him. He never really took off…until this year. Suddenly, as everything else was dying under the muggy gray sky, Mister Lincoln shot up five feet and declared one perfect flower, as if to say, “I’m here! Don’t give up on me!”.
And he was so worth the wait. It was like a little hello from Auntie Celeste, a nod and a smile and her voice saying, “Mr. Lincoln sends his regards.”
Also on the list of successful plantings were several quarts of raspberries, a pound of fresh rhubarb, and a mountain of herbs from pineapple sage, to mint, rosemary, and thyme, dill, and fennel. Still to be harvested, dried or frozen. I even managed a small harvest of baby potatoes, before the ducks destroyed the remainder of the plants (will put the potatoes in raised beds next year).
The black Cherokee corn, and the lilies are doing well. And in a week or so I will have the first blooms from a dahlia bulb that was a gift from my neighbor.
So, this mixed bag of summer growing output has been a good learning experience of what I need to alter to create a more vibrant landscape that can weather many climate variables. All the more delicate plants, the peppers, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, and peas all shriveled in the gray damp summer.
The new chicken coop has been framed. All the wood is old or was donated by friends and neighbors. I hope to get it done before the rains, but if not, I’ll be looking to re-home the birds, as I refuse to keep them in the small coop for the winter. That’s just not fair to them. If it comes to that, I’ll start over on a new flock in the spring.
Along with the wood donated for the coop, a friend has donated the lumber for me to create a bridge over the creek. I’m so excited about this! Once the rains come I’m not able to forge the water to the land on the other side, so nothing gets done to the property on the south bank until spring. Hopefully with a bridge, I’ll be able to do some work across the water on nice days in the winter.
All in all, it’s still baby steps, but finally after three years, the land is beginning to feel like it’s establishing itself. There are signs of flourishing, sporadic, and irregular—but there none the less.
Thank you for tuning into the mid-month update. Next month I hope to have photos of the grow site, and news on some upcoming sculpting projects scheduled for winter.
I will also update on the planning for upcoming creativity workshops.
My Dearest Athena,
Happy forty-first birthday! Or as Traci would say, “Forty-(w)Onderful!”
Finally, the number bar rolled over the forty counter and leveled on the new path. There has been a lot of transformation in the last few years. This year alone has seen the launch of a new business, another book on the market, and changes around the homestead. You let go of some of your oldest friendships. You faced an inner demon, and won. Then you let go of some old, outdated ideas about yourself, and began a new evolution.
You could wax on about all the things you hope to achieve in the next year, or all the tidbits you’ve discovered the hard way along the path—but this year…this 41st Note to Self is all about wishing.
This year you have wishes to give away. This year the Note to Self is about spreading the joy.
For your birthday, you decided to give away forty-one wishes to strangers and friends.
If you, dearest reader, are reading my annual Note to Self—we are wishing these things for you. Take what you desire, and give the rest away. Keep the wishes that are meaningful to you, and let the rest drift off into the great unknown. Print them out. Read them as many times as you like. Share the wishes you hope to carry close to your heart so that those who love you can support your dream.
To whomever you are, fellow traveler on this wildwood path, we wish for you a blissful, abundant, fulfilling year. May you know love, safety, joy, health, wealth, and freedom.
Dearest Athena, on this 41st Note to Self, you have finally let go of the ruminating of annual failures.
Congratulations! How liberating. What took so long, eh?
This year your roots are finally deep enough and your branches stable enough to spread. Your face is turned up to the sky, and the sense of a great unfurling is building.
I think we both have the sensation that this time next year, the game will be completely different. What a delicious taste in the air.
Go forth this year, my friend. Party on. Build. Laugh. Smile. And write…always write.
P.S. Refresh your travel luggage and passport, you’re going to need it.