I might still be scarce around the old blog for a little longer. I'm on an August 1 deadline for a novella, which I'm working on now. Summer has officially begun and with it comes grass and gardening and stuff. Mostly stuff.
With the novella, I am suffering from my usual first draft blues, but those should abate soon. I enjoy using my outdoor gardening time to let my mind drift and work on the story. A few things clicked into place yesterday. Nothing as polished as a first line yet, but I'm getting there.
It's sort of like this weird little garden I have at my backdoor. When we first moved here, there was hardly anything in at all. Now it looks like this:
That is Edgar in the center of the garden.
Here is Edgar up close and personal:
Looking good, isn't he?
Now that the backdoor garden just takes some minor weeding, I've turned my attention to the front garden, which is three times bigger than this small patch.
As you can see, I've already started working around this plot. The hostas came from the giant hosta in the lower right-hand corner. I've spent the last couple of years breaking them up and moving them around. The camellia in the middle was there when we came here, so I've been designing the rest of the garden around it. There are three hydrangeas there now (one is hidden by the hostas) and some phlox. I've still got some minor weeding to do, but considering that everything to the left of the camellia was filled with grass and weeds yesterday, I'm feeling fairly accomplished today. It doesn't look like much now, but I'm hoping that in a year or two, this side will be as full of green and color as the backdoor garden.
It is a challenge to coax something from nothing, to take a blank canvas, and render it alive with color, or sound, or words. I enjoy it though. I've just learned that everything doesn't have to be done all in one day. Growth comes from sustained effort and nurturing.
Which leads me back to my novella. I want it to have a fairytale quality, but I also want it to have a little horror on the side. The challenging part is getting through the first draft and laying out the characters and the plot. Once there, I can fine tune it and bring it to life. That is my favorite part: the final edits.
Yesterday, while my hands worked the ground, my mind worked on the story.
So if I'm not here, then I'll be writing.
Watch for me.