These days, it seems that my life is filled with works in progress. There's always a loose end somewhere: an incomplete bit that needs filling out, something untied or untidy, a project that's still under construction. Nothing ever quite seems finished. This is probably a good thing, especially because things that need doing seem to invite me into them and move me forward. And that's progress, isn't it? Sometimes, however, it feels like much of a muchness, almost too much, and I'm ready for something to be done. Once and for all.
But even when it's done, it's not, really. When the needlepoint is finished, it still needs to be framed, then hung or gifted. The first planting of potatoes is in, but will need to be hilled and probably covered against early spring frosts and watered and dug, with some served up in future dinners, others saved for seed for the next planting. The story is finished but will have to be edited, copyedited, proofread, formatted, and published. I usually have the feeling that I didn't do the story justice, quite--so I promise myself I'll do better or take it further or dig into it deeper the next time. Which leads me into the next story. And so it goes. As Bill says about our lives here at MeadowKnoll, there are too many moving parts!
Book report. There are three projects on the desk, in varying stages of completion. I've finished a full draft of The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China's 25th mystery!) but it needs another run-through before it goes to the editor at the end of March and then into the year-long publication process at Berkley's Prime Crime imprint.
Loving Eleanor will be launched in another week--if you're in the Austin area on January 31, you're invited to join me for the grand send-off at Bookwoman. After the launch, the book goes into a year of marketing efforts, my efforts, since this is an author-published book. Booksellers and librarians, you'll find the book at Ingram, in hardcover, paperback, and large print. Librarians, it's also available as a Self-e book; look for it, if your library is in that program. Reviewers and book bloggers, it's still available as a "Read Now" from NetGalley. I'll be announcing a blog tour soon, so keep your ears open for that--and for audio, as well. Hoping to have that announcement in another week or two.
A Wilder Rose (originally author-published, then published in a new edition by Lake Union) is now officially underway as a film project with a highly-successful production company that creates features, unscripted series, documentaries, mini-series, and various movies of the week. Rose looks like she's headed for a television mini-series. I'll keep you posted on her progress, which will no doubt be slow.
On the drafting table: Chapter Six (out of 20+ chapters) in the next biographical/historical novel, The General's Women, a wartime romance about a fascinating love triangle: Kay Summersby, Ike, and Mamie. On the reading/research stack: possibilities I'm considering for China's 26th adventure and another historical/biograhical novel.
Garden/homestead report. Yes, I did. Really. I planted the first bed of potatoes in early January, five weeks ahead of schedule. It's been so warm (and even a little wet) that I decided to give it a try. I'll plant another around Valentine's Day, which is the usual time here in the Hill Country. Meanwhile, the spinach is up nicely (harvest about a month away) and there are lots of lovely green perennial onions. All the Girls are laying now, so we have an abundance of eggs. For supper tonight, a quiche. I made this one last week. Tonight, a Tex-Mex quiche, from the luncheon menu at China's and Ruby's tearoom.
Meanwhile, as I write this, friends in the Northeast are being hit by a godzilla of a blizzard, fueled by a godzilla of an El Nino, fueled by (naturally) global warming, fueled by the fossil energy we humans are consuming. If you're in the path of that winter monster, I hope you'll stay home, stay warm, and have a good book to read. Quiche wouldn't be a bad idea, either, if you've got a half-dozen eggs.
Reading note. The fairies, as their custom, clapped their hands with delight over their cleverness, and they were so madly in love with the little house that they could not bear to think they had finished it. ― J.M. Barried, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens