Yesterday, I gardened. It was gorgeous outside. I like to remind people that sometimes a writer has to experience life in order to write well about it.[1] As it turns out my timing was perfect. Today is rainy and cold, and tonight a hard freeze is predicted. Oh, Texas. Sometimes it's a little like a carnival wheel. You buys your ticket, and who knows what you'll win? It's for the best. Some of the seeds I planted would rather it froze one last time before sprouting. Mind you, I'll have to cover what's left of the aloe as well as the lavender and the new mint plants that have cropped up in one of the big tin bins my former neighbors gave me. Also, the pumpkins have sprouted. They'll need protection too. On the other hand, the chamomile will be moved inside for the night. It's small. I've still got more than half the garden to plant, but it'll have to wait. I don't have that much of a budget to work with. I planted radishes this time. The corn absolutely didn't work out. Neither did the beans, really. It's good experience for me. I'm currently writing about an era when America was more agrarian. There were certain advances in science, but the industrial age hadn't caught on yet. It's important to remember that certain foods were only available at certain times, and that seasons had more of an impact than how people dressed. Sometimes the weather is a life and death thing--and not necessarily in a "OMG! Look at the size of that hurricane headed for the south!" way. We forget that these days. Mother Nature can be a heartless bitch. We forget to respect Her to our detriment. We think we have control. We don't. We exist at Her mercy, and we always will until we leave this planet. In which case, another entity will take over.

I feel all kinds of accomplished today. I finished the first draft on an essay for Lightspeed this morning and turned it in. I hope the editor likes it. It'll be only the second time I've been paid to write non-fiction. Next, I'll have to return to that old short story upon which I've been hammering. I'm beginning to think it needs a new shape--one that is significantly different than the one it was born in. This happens--in paticular this happens to things set in this specific world.[2] Sometimes it's important to remember that. The story must be itself, and I have to learn to love it for what it is and not what it was. That's the trick to rewriting and editing. The spice must flow. One must be flexible.
[1] Which is yet another reason why I'll never understand fans that insist that their favorite writers should do nothing but write. Not only is it ridiculously inhumane on a sweatshop level, it's impractical.
[2] It was the first fantasy world in which I created stories. The second book in the series is based on my very first novel.
Make sure you keep the mint in its tin, it'll spread faster than herpes if it gets out - took over the whole back of my garden in Greece.

Since moving here (to an island which is still strongly agrarian) I've become much more aware of the way in which connecting with the cycle of the seasons creates a more harmonious way of living. Each aspect and element of what others calls weather, has its place and meaning in promoting the flow of growth and rest that provide our food and a sane way of life.
agreed. this idea that anyone must work 24-7 is off the rails. children aren't allowed to be children. they're ferried around from sports event to music recital to brainac trust whatever. (it was particularly bad with a couple of kids i knew.) by the time they hit college they didn't know any other way of being. i expect at least two of them to burn out soon. no human being can handle that. where's the time needed to develop emotional maturity? (which isn't the same as intellectual maturity.) if a kid has never had the time (and freedom) to actually play and expore the world, when the hell do they learn to be independant and creative? when do they learn about nature? there are things you can't learn from books. you have to experience them.