Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good News Tuedsays - Someday I'll Get the Hang of This

But not today, clearly.
However, I have news. Somebody likes my book. Somebody whose opinion I very much respect. And while that couldn't be more vague - perhaps soon I'll be able to be a little more specific - today that's enough.

Writing, or doing anything creative with an intention of pursuing it as a profession, requires such a weird paradox of being confident enough with your ideas to think anyone else would ever want to see them in book form (or painting, film, song, free association poetry, you know, pick your poison) and still being critical enough of your own work to strive for improvement. I think most writers lean toward the critical side. I know I do. Every draft I finish I sit back and think... "eh, I could do better." It's nice when someone says "Sure, but this is pretty good too." Today, I'm giving myself permission to enjoy that.

Oh, and here's a song. Listen and try not to jam along, just a little bit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good News Tuesdays - 37 Pumpkins Edition

We're all creative types here, right? Lots of writers and hopefully - eventually - some avid readers as well, so we can all pretend that I posted this on Tuesday.... Ah there.

What was I really doing on Tuesday that kept me from my totally arbitrary blog commitment? Celebrating! Last weekend, I finished a draft of my WIP. Weeeee! After weeks of being down in the cave, with only coffee and the light of my laptop screen for companionship, I had a to stop and come up for air and give my new project a few days to simmer and congeal. It only took about twelve hours before I had half a legal pad filled with notes for the next round of revisions. But I always need a little breather after a long drafting session, to see if what I wrote is working... or not.

So on Tuesday, instead of writing or blogging or even touching a computer, I spent the day splurging on nerd stuff. I bought new glasses. And a new tall chair to use at my drawing table. And two new dogwood bushes ( I finally found a dwarf variety with that beautiful yellow bark that looks so spectacular in the winter). And about a hundred daffodil bulbs. That's right, I'm into spring bulbs now. It's the one area of gardening I haven't explored yet. I have a bunch of lilies that all bloom in mid-summer. Now I need to work my way into spring. Eventually, I'd like a yard that is just a jungle of greenery, with little hidden spots for sitting and sketching and drinking tea.

In the afternoon we went apple picking at a little orchard a few miles away. We got there earlier this year, in time for the Jonathan, which are tart and delicious. And McIntosh, which tasted like candy right off the tree. That night we made apple crumble with fruit that had been on the tree only hours before. I highly recommend.

We have a lot of pick-your-own places close by, and after repeated failures at growing food in my own yard, I decided that the most fun part is the harvesting anyway. We've done apples, raspberries, strawberries, this year I'm thinking about finding a cut-your-own christmas tree place, since we haven't had a real tree in years. Last weekend we went to the first day of pumpkin season at a local farm that sells pumpkins by the carload. As many pumpkins as you can fit in your entire car, but we opted to just fill the trunk, so they gave us a discount.

When we got out of the car I handed Cate Jr. a piece of netting, and told him he had to be very quiet and throw the net quick before the pumpkins could run away. I think last year he would have bought it, but this year, the wise 7 yr old said, "That's chickens, mom, not pumpkins."

It was muddy and warm and early in the morning, and Cate Jr. walked us all the way up to the highest point in the 30 acre field so we could find the very biggest pumpkins - and carry them all the way back to the car. There were some seasoned pumpking gatherers there that morning, with gloves and garden shears and wagons with inflatable wheels. I came unprepared (except for cleaning out the trunk) We just had to grab those prickly stems with our sweatshirt cuffs and hoof it back across the field.
We packed 'em in to that trunk, too. When we got them home and filled up half the porch and finally counted them up, there were 37. That's how many pumpkins will fit in the trunk of a late 90s chevy cavalier. So now you know.

On Tuesday night I had a house full of pumpkins and apples and tired, happy kids and bushels of fresh thoughts on my next revision. Which is why I didn't get around to blogging, and why I love Autumn so very much.