Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It took years

Driving home today, I noticed these vivid blue wildflowers growing in our field. I had some wildflower seeds some years ago (maybe three years?) that I cast out in hopes of one day having a field of flowers. It took years - but aren't they great?

It took years (six, to be exact) to write Eddie's Wake, but today the galley proofs arrived! I'll be busy for a while doing edits, but keep checking back, and thanks for reading!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Possibility and Promise

Everything that needs to be planted in my main garden is in, as of yesterday. It's a good feeling, although there are weeds in another garden and a perennial or two that still need to be split. The fields around us are greening up, and close inspection says we have corn growing on both sides of the road. Come tasseling time, it will be gorgeous, the golden strands reflecting the long rays of sunrise and sunset in amazing ways.
It reminds me of lyrics from a Stan Rogers song: "Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows. Put another season's promise in the ground." ("The Field Behind the Plow," Home in Halifax, recorded 1982.) I can't listen to the song without weeping; partly it's the melody, partly it's because I've pastored so many farmers here in western Wisconsin and I can see each one of them in my mind's eye, turning around on the tractor seat to watch their progress. And partly because one-of-a-kind Stan Rogers died in a plane crash in 1983.

When I put in my two tomato plants, I set the tomato cages around them right away. It's easier to contain them that way. My son saw them and wanted to know what kind of animal I thought I was keeping away from them using those fences. We both had a good laugh. But the tomato cages are already in the garden, signs of possibility and hope - for large, tasty, home grown summer tomatoes.

Still no word from Outskirts about when I'll see the galley proofs of Eddie's Wake. But when I finally see them, you'll be the first to know!
Give thanks for veterans today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eddie's Wake

There's still nothing new from Outskirts Press on the progress they're making with "the book." I should have the galleys to proof very soon, which will mean I'll be quite busy for a while. I looked over the first paragraphs I wrote for the next novel, and didn't like any of it, so I'll be starting from ground zero. I have ideas but no outline. But Stephen King in On Writing says to just go with it. As I learned with Eddie's Wake, characters take on a life of their own and do things you had no idea they were even thinking about. I'm excited for the next big adventure.

Above you'll see the cover for Eddie's Wake, designed by Dave Aldrich of Aldrich Design. (The link is to Dave's blog). He does great work; even told me that he thinks the cover for Eddie's Wake is his best so far.

Thanks for reading!

From Where I Sit

Although my "office" is one corner of the living room, I think I have the best view of any other room in the house. It's irritating when I have no time (or will!) to straighten up the clutter of papers, books and important artifacts; when it spills out from behind the nice wooden room divider and the Norfolk Island Pine that make up my pretend wall. I appreciate neatness, but I can't seem to get beyond my clutter. Even when I decide to spend the day picking up, I get engrossed in other little projects that sometimes even add to the clutter. If I could close the door on an office, I think it might be better. It drives me nuts sometimes!

But from where I sit, I can watch bluebirds darting in and out of the bird house; I have a ringside view of the orioles eating jelly from the orange rinds I put in an old flower pot; I can watch the budding fields to our east and to our south (I'm pretty sure they're all planted with soybeans this year - corn is so much prettier to watch.) From where I sit, I can see when someone comes up the long steep driveway, I can tell when the birdbath needs water. I can watch the "hummingbird wars" as they all want to drink from the feeder at once, but refuse to take advantage of the multiple feeding spots.

We have no flowering trees, but I wish we did. At work, though, there are two of them, gushing with flowers. (See photo above.) I crawled around underneath them with my camera last week - briefly, because I could hear many bees feasting in the blossoms. I used to think we called this time of year "spring" because things spring up from the ground, but now I wonder if it's because of all the flowers gushing from trees and bushes, like water gushing up from a spring.

Enjoy these days of sun and warmth and new growth.