Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Garden, Part Two

In my last post I mentioned that I had sworn off gardening for the second time. What made me give it another go?

Really, it wasn't me. I was quite determined to stick to my guns. But, I haven't quite figured out if my husband is devious or wanting to be like his dad. His dad is amazing, so I tend to lean that direction. But, here's where my doubts start. Early one February morning I heard a motor outside my bedroom. I figured it was the lawn mower. But I was wrong. My sweet husband had borrowed his dad's tiller and was having a hay-day stirring up the ground in our garden plot. A few days later he goes over it again. 

Meanwhile, I stayed as far away from it as I could because I knew what was coming. Then he said to me, "I need to go to Home Depot. Do you want to go?" That's like asking me if I'd like to be on the NY Times Best Seller list. Heck ya! Hello. I love Home Depot. So I went. We entered the garden section and picked out all sorts of lovely starter plants and seeds. What was I doing? I was breathing deep the scent of rich dirt and tangy herbs. I was picturing all the sweet cantaloupe my family would devour mid-summer. It completely overtook any good sense I had. 

We brought our treasures home and dug three rows of mounds for the seed potatoes my husband got from a friend. On the fourth row I planted lettuce, carrots, radishes, onions,  and beans. I made a section for my tomatoes, squash, pickling cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and watermelon. Red bell peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, basil, strawberries and more carrots went in the box garden. And far away from it all, I made a spot for the cantaloupe. Why far away? We learned the hard way that cantaloupe tends to pick up flavors from surrounding plants. 

So you guessed it, I'm once more queen of the garden. No one else tends to it. Just me. My little guy likes to go out there and dig in the dirt, but he's too little yet to be much help. But I tried something new this year. I use a sprinkler rather than hand watering everything. It takes a little over ten minutes and I'm not such a freak about the weeds this year.

So, when you find a shortcut that works, use it already. Whether it's outlining, or not outlining, character bible or no, the important thing is to Write On my friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Garden

A few nights ago I made dinner.

I'll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.

Are you back? Recovered? Good.

I grilled some pork chops and, of course, they needed some veggies to go with them. What better than a medley of carrots, yukon gold potatoes, and sugar snap peas? I did have carrots in my fridge but no peas or yukon golds. What to do. I went out to my garden and dug up some new yukon gold potatoes, had my son--who's still young enough to get excited about the garden--pull up some carrots, and I pulled off as many peas as I could find. Wow. I can't believe my garden is actually producing something besides weeds. Soon I will have tons of ripe tomatoes. YUM! But unfortunately, my basil and cilantro have gone to seed. I'll have to see if I can salvage some for canning salsa and with my tomatoes.

The funny thing is that last year I spent at least a half hour - but usually closer to an hour - every day working (and I mean physical labor) in my garden with the puniest of results. My jalapeno (pictured here on the right-most edge) is producing prolifically this year. Last year, I went nine months with beautiful blossoms but no fruit. Talk about frustrating. After that, I swore off gardening. Again. So why didn't I stick to it? You'll have to check back later, 'cause that's a different story for another post.

If you've read much of my blog, you know I like to relate my little life lessons to my writing. So, here's my analysis: sometimes we work and work at something and it just doesn't come together for a long time; other times, we work and work at it and beautiful, wonderful fruit is born. So, no matter where you are in this journey, keep working, keep learning, and keep writing.

Write On my friends.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Contest sponsored by Joyce DiPastena

The 3rd Annual “Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win Contest!” is now in progress! 


Thirty published and aspiring authors have banded together to present a month-long contest where we will give away a prize a day for the entire month of June. Prizes run the gamut from books books books! (romances, fantasies, mystery/thrillers, inspirationals, children’s books, and various non-fiction), as well as Amazon gift cards, a Mary Kay gift set, a vinyl lettering gift certificate, a hand-sewn weekly planner with ribbon bookmark, a crocheted book tote with matching cell phone case, and for you aspiring authors, TWO free edit/critiques of a partial manuscript. Many of the giveaways are open to International entries, though always check to be sure before you enter for a particular prize. 





And how exactly do you enter for these amazing prizes? By following these rules:
SUMMER TREASURE HUNT RULES: 
You can send in one entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:
(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and AND MAILING ADDRESS to jdipastena@yahoo.com. I promise you will not wind up on any mailing lists. This is only to facilitate the receipt of your prize. All entries will be deleted at the end of the contest.
(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: Summer Treasure Hunt, June 1; Summer Treasure Hunt, June 2, etc).
(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST
(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline.
All winners will be drawn by www.random.org.
You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back here each day between June 2nd – July 1st to read the names of the winners.
 If you have any questions, please email Joyce DiPastena at jdipastena@yahoo.com.
 And now…let the treasure hunt begin! See the right side bar for all the participants.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finito

Last night on my flight home from Hawaii, I finished my rough draft. Really finished. Third time is the charm I guess. Now it goes on the back burner for a few months and then editing and revisions start. The feeling was incredible. I could not stop grinning. What now? Well, I've got to clean my house, do tax stuff, organize my office, read, and of course, start a new novel!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ammon by H.B. Moore

When you read a lot, it's nice to come across something that you can't put down--especially in a genre you typically don't read. That's how it was with Ammon. I wanted to read it because I love the Book of Mormon story of Ammon. What an amazing person and missionary he was. Of course, Ammon by H.B. Moore is a fictional account woven around the details from the Book of Mormon. The characters are carefully crafted and some take unexpected turns, but you can't help cheering for those who are trying to follow the promptings of the Spirit. An uplifting book perfect for the start of summer. I highly recommend it.


Back of the Book: With the fire of newfound testimony, Ammon and his brethren leave Zarahemla to preach the gospel in Lamanite lands, carrying nothing but hunting weapons and the promises of God. Spotted by an enemy scout, they part ways in the dense jungle with hopes of reuniting at the close of their harvest. Ammon follows the Spirit to the borders of Ishmael, where he's ambushed just seconds after spotting Elena, a fair-skinned woman who captures his interest.


As Ammon gains reknown in the kingdom, he defends Elena from the advances of Gad, the loathsome widower she’ll soon be required to marry. Then swearing allegiance to the Lamanite king and trusting in the Lord, Ammon further proves his strength and devotion by sparing King Lamoni’s flocks from plunderers. The amazed king and his court are converted to the gospel through Ammon’s powerful teachings and the miraculous events that follow, but each action Ammon takes causes more and more disruption throughout the kingdom. And when Elena is abducted by her own brother and hidden away in an unspeakable place, Ammon faces his greatest struggle yet: not just the outward challenge of lethal combat but also the inward challenge of loving one’s enemy.


H. B. Moore's books are available at Deseret Book and at Amazon.


The author provided an e-copy of this book for review at no charge. However, this did not influence how much I enjoyed the book.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mean Girls

Anyone who has daughters knows exactly what I mean. You cannot escape them. Perhaps, like me, you have been one. I try to teach my daughters to not be mean girls. Nothing positive is gained through meanness - and some of those 'mean girl' things haunt me more than thirty years later. That being said, you be the judge of how well I'm doing.

Last week, my youngest and a friend were playing. Not long after my older kids came home from school the little girl said to my teenage daughter, "Who taught you to be mean?" My teenager denied it and I just laughed thinking, "My husband is right, the apple didn't fall far from the tree." Report Card: F.

Looks like I've got some work to do. Can I start by apologizing to Lisa Allen, Lisa Newey, and my first best friend ever (didn't she know that I wanted to be just like her? - I always cut my hair like hers, bought shoes like hers, etc.) Karen Stakebake. I can't take back those things I said and the horrible things I did (although I gladly would), but know in my heart of hearts, I'm so sorry.

So my challenge to you is to find time to share the kindness this next week and Write On my friends!