Thursday, July 27, 2017

Garden Stress

This may sound silly, but I get stressed when my garden is in stress. If it's too hot or too dry or too cold or needs weeding, I feel like I've let it down. And all of that is happening right now.

The vegetable garden needs weeding. I can't keep up with the string beans, and I am picking every other day. The tomatoes are showing signs of blight. My favorite drying tomato gave up the fight leaving me with only a handful of half-ripe tomatoes.

The perennial beds are sprouting weeds and the old flower stalks need to be cut. I thought I had conquered them this year, but they are starting to careen out of control.

I hired a guy to cut down the briers and pull vines and he failed. He clear cut part of the yard taking out rose bushes, daylilies, sedum, irises, peonies, gladiolas, hosta and whatever else was hiding under the weeds. I wasn't sure whether I was going to cry or look for a weapon.

And it's been really hot. Which means I need to work in the garden first thing in the morning. And to be honest that doesn't always happen. So by the time I've had my coffee and woken up properly, it's too hot to work out there.

If it's hot and we don't get rain then I need to get out there and water everything. That takes a little more time from all the other things I should be doing...like writing. But I can't let the poor little guys suffer. It's not like they can move into the shade if they're too dry. I'm responsible for them.

I won't mention the mosquitoes or the yellow jacket nest I just found...

Luckily it's raining now. That's a perfect excuse for not weeding.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

She Killed My Favorite Character

Dang.

I won't give any spoilers, but a favorite author killed a favorite character and I found it very unsatisfying.

Sometimes characters need to die. I suppose this might be a good place for him to end, but I didn't like it. Part of it is because I didn't want that character to end. I would have been happy to keep reading his adventures until he was old and feeble. But part of it is the way he died. It was ugly and undeserving.

I feel let down by the author. I have been a loyal fan and wanted some sort of reward for that long suffering character. Instead she gave him a nasty death and a long maudlin goodbye. Didn't work for me.

I went back to read some reviews of that book, and to find others who felt the same way. One person made a list of inconsistencies in the story, and after seeing them, I agree. A few lessons to learn here as a writer. As a reader, I am just disappointed and wondering if I want to read whatever comes next.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Emptying My Head

I thought it was all in there.

The problem with beta readers who already know a story is that they can understand inferences that aren't well explained.

Fortunately, not all my beta readers know this story in its various incarnations.

I'm getting feedback that tells me I didn't get everything out of my head and on to the paper. Of course I know why this character did that, but apparently I never shared the reasons behind the action. Which means I need to go back and add some backstory or build up. Dang.

When I go back through the scenes and realize what's been left out, it seems obvious. But until someone tells me what to look for, I don't see it. I know the story and the characters too well.

Thank goodness for my beta readers!