The crossvine (it looks like trumpet because they're cousins) is blooming against the house on this beautiful spring day, and the trees and grasses are celebrating the half-inch of rain we got last night, accompanied by a great deal of lightning and thunder. The volume on our weather radio has gone bonkers and we can't turn the darn thing down, so last night's frequent warnings definitely woke us up. I ordered a new radio this morning.
Lots of garden news. Our TX temps are breaking records again this year (listen up, you climate-change deniers). We've already hit 90, twice, while it was still "winter."The peas are up, the potatoes are flourishing, the tomatoes are in--oh, dear, the tomatoes. I transplanted 24 them on Sunday but forgot to water them on Monday, so I lost two. Lost two more to cutworms last night, which leaves 20. I installed cardboard collars are the tomatoes this afternoon, to foil any other cutworms--and caught and squashed the two murderers. Yuck. We've been eating spinach, chard, kale, and onions from the garden.
And eggs from the girls. Five of our six hens are laying regularly, so we're enjoying fresh eggs, with enough to give to friends. While my son Bob was here, he repaired and dog-proofed the chicken coop, so the girls are living in luxury--and security. I've been letting them out in the evening for an hour, keeping an eye out for marauding dogs.
From the writing desk. Ah yes, the writing. Lots of it. Yesterday, I finished Death Come Quickly, China #22 (the 2014 book) and sent it off to New York. Every time I do this, I remember the old days, printing 300+ pages of a book x 2, packaging it up, shipping via Fed Ex (expensive even then!). I'm more than happy to hit "send" and zip the book into my editor's computer. How's that for magic? You don't catch me being nostalgic about the "good old days."
The other project--A Wilder Rose and the Reader's Companion that goes with it--is almost finished. The book itself is being copyedited, and several beta readers are working on it, as well (many thanks to Nancy, Laura, and Susan!). The Companion turned into a bigger job than I imagined and isn't quite done yet. This is a self-published project, so there's a lot of extra learning and work that's going into it, from the publishing end of things. I've been meaning to write a post about that. Now that China's done, I'll have a little more time. For a few days, anyway. I'm expecting the copyedited manuscript of the next Dahlias mystery, The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star, sometime in the next ten days.
So life at Meadow Knoll is busy, and good, with spring in full bloom. Hope spring is coming to your neighborhood very soon!
Reading note. “Whatever you may have heard, self-publishing is not a short cut to anything. Except maybe insanity. Self-publishing, like every other kind of publishing, is hard work. You don’t wake up one morning good at it. You have to work for that.”--Zoe Winters