I know: same song, second verse, and I'm sure I sound repetitive. But because we live in the country and pay close attention to the land, we're deeply aware of the impacts of the drought. We inhabit this place in ways that many people don't inhabit the places where they live. This morning, we tallied up the trees we've lost to the drought in the past four years: recalling each of them individually, at least three dozen in all, and all 10-30' tall. It's an enormous sadness, like losing three dozen friends. And since a 20' dead cedar is a huge potential fire bomb, each one has to come out, which means an enormous amount of work for Bill.
Book report. I'm at work on the 2014 Darling Dahlias mystery, the DDs and the Silver Dollar Bush. When I was a child, that's what I called Lunaria. It's also called the "money plant." The time setting for the book is March-April 1933, when the banks were closed and towns and cities had to resort to printing their own "money." It's a fascinating time and the research is absorbing. And I'm glad to get back to the Dahlias' characters and find out what is going on with their lives.
I'm also working on getting A Wilder Rose out into the world. As you probably know, I'm publishing this book myself, under my own imprint, Persevero Press. (Earlier, I wrote about my reasons for taking the indie route, rather than publishing it traditionally.) Kerry at Levine Greenberg is helping handle the printing end of things. Last week, I saw the page proofs for the book; this week, I'll have a bound proof copy. By mid-June, I should have review copies to send out. I'll be sending digital galleys, too, and the book will be available through NetGalley.
I'm also working with Jeanette Larson, a library consultant who has some good ideas for getting the word out to librarians. If you're a librarian or a library patron, please tell your library about the book. They can get the latest information about it (and so can you) by adding your name to the mailing list at the bottom of this page.
Garden report. I picked the last of the English peas this morning and will dig a few new potatoes for supper. The beans (Kentucky Wonder and MacCaslan) are flourishing, the cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, and we still have plenty of chard and kale, which we're sharing with the chickens. They recycle our greens into beautiful large, orange-yolk eggs. Yum!
Reading note. To inhabit a place means literally to have made it a habit, to have made it the custom and ordinary practice of our lives, to have learned how to wear a place like a familiar garment, like the garments of sanctity that nuns once wore. The word habit, in its now-dim original form, meant "to own." We own places not because we possess the deeds to them, but because they have entered the continuum of our lives.--Paul Gruchow, Boundary Waters