On Monday, it was 80. On Thursday night, 18, snowing and sleeting. Today (Sunday), in the 70s. Ahead on Tuesday, another repeat of snow/sleet. I've been ready to put in potatoes for a couple of weeks, but this kind of yo-yo weather means rapid soil warming and chilling, not exactly the kind of conditions you want to submit plants to. And January has been another dry month, with only a trace of precipitation (the sleet didn't amount to a hill of beans) and the lakes down to 38%.
But gardeners live on hope, so I've started cabbages and tomatoes. The cabbages are up and green under the lights, but the tomatoes are still jut a promise. Spring can't be that far away, though--especially here, where summer always seems to hover just over the horizon.
Book report. Bittersweet is moving along, but it's another research-heavy mystery, so progress is slower than uusual. But that's okay. I'm discovering lots of uniquely Texas stuff I didn't know, and I've lived in the state for 40 years.The book is about deer farming and canned trophy hunts, a large and ugly industry that's built on people's desire to hang monster antlers on their walls. As usual, China is in the thick of things.
I'm also working on a project with my brother, John Webber, a memoir in two voices about our growing-up years in/around Danville IL in the 1950s. We've been sharing photos, names, places, events. It's fascinating to follow the trail of a memory and see how one recollection leads to another and another, rediscovered a past world that has disappeared under the relentless waves of the future. We're planning a research trip in April, to see what else we can rediscover--and from there, I'm planning a brief visit to the Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park NY, for another project I've have underway for some time. More about that when it's farther along.
Also in April, Story Circle's 7th national memoir conference. If you're considering writing about your life, this is one conference you'll want to attend. All women, wonderful keynoters, great presentations. (I'm on the conference committee, so when I say "wonderful . . . great," believe me.)
A Wilder Rose continues to grow and flower. Recently, the novel introduced me to Carol Mayfield, a reader in Harlingen TX, where Rose owned a home in the last decade of her life. Carol knew Rose through her parents, who were Rose's neighbors. Carol and I have begun an email friendship, sparked by our mutual interest in Rose. We're working on something together that we'll be sharing right here in the next few weeks. Watch this space.
Reading note. A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.--Richard Bach