Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the once and future hiatus

I’ve been sadly neglecting my bitty plot in cyberspace, but I’ve been busy. Really, I have. Nothing to do with work (is anyone surprised?) but everything to do with a book I wrote years and years ago, which has been resurrected due to Kiki’s insistence and my own curiosity. I knew the pacing in the first couple of chapters was funereal, the plot was outrageously random, the narrative POV confusing and inconsistent. Maddening, to say the least.

As I skimmed it, I realized once again that it’s not a bad little piece of romance writing – the essential relationships are solid, but they’re surrounded by a lot of extraneous garbage. Now so much time has passed since the original writing that I can take a more objective look at the whole thing and find ways to cut it down to the basics.

It makes me wonder how JK Rowling works. Ideally, I’d like to have an office with a big corkboard, so I can cut out plot points and pin them up, rearranging them at will. But she worked under cover of strict secrecy. So the door to her study probably had a lock on it.

So, book seven. I’ve been torn between wanting to know what happens and being more than slightly anxious about finding out. The anxiety seems to be winning out. Frankly if Harry dies it won’t break my heart, but if Ron or Hermione or (God forbid) Ginny gets kedavred, I will likely have to host an official wake.

Which, given the certainty that at least two characters will die in book seven, and the series will be over, isn’t a bad idea. Closure, you know. Sheesh.

And now I hear that spoilers are being leaked all over the internet. Honestly I’m scared to open my web browser, but I suppose I really ought to post this before the entry itself becomes completely obsolete.

I just don’t understand the people who give out spoilers – even if they’re not authentic. Why would you do that? It’s like kicking puppies, or drowning kittens. Simply awful. Fines be damned, I think there ought to be some jail time at least. Or stoning.

I heard a story the other day about an asshole who drove by a line of folks waiting to get book six – he hollered out three words that spoiled the end completely. Buffy and I are going to Charlotte this weekend, staying with the uber-cool Coz, and queuing up for the midnight release. Yes, I’m a Potter geek. But you knew that, right? Right. I’m bringing earplugs, just in case.


I’ve resumed yoga practice – not as often as I’d like, but four times a week is certainly better than nothing at all. Upper body strength is the biggest challenge, after being out of commission for so long. Shoulder is still sore sometimes, but mostly it’s due to weather – like my knees, I suppose. But it doesn’t stop me from practicing.


Did I mention? I’m going to New Mexico to visit Kiki in August. The dreams about missed flights, poor ground transportation and lost tickets have already started. I can’t remember the last time I flew, but part of me is definitely looking forward to the adventure. The other part is cringing at knowing how much I’m going to miss my family.

Speaking of. I hesitate to say this lest I jinx it, but Duckie has been a joy to be around lately. We race each other into school in the morning (she wins every time; I don’t know how it happens), and when I pick her up, she runs to me happily, arms outstretched, yelling “Mommy!” I’ve begun an evening teatime ritual. When we have an extra few minutes, we share a cup of Sleepytime tea and read an extra book to wind down a bit. Yes, I am drugging my daughter with a few sips of chamomile and mint at night. But it’s the sharing that means so much more.

As always, there are rough moments and meltdowns, but repeating the mantra really seems to help, when I can remember to do it. She had a couple this weekend, one of which resulted in a fight to get her in the car seat. I said to her, “Yes, you are very strong. But I am very patient.” Somehow saying it – several times, to be honest – made it so.

Patience seems to be paying off in the garden as well. Some plants aren’t doing as well as others, but that’s to be expected given my lack of experience and knowledge. Others are thriving – I’m particularly pleased with the Genovese and purple basils in the front bed, as well as the anise hyssop. She’s the queen, and the basils are her knights-in-armour.

The four nasturtiums are quite happy despite the lack of direct sunlight, and the three New Guinea impatiens I used to replace the dying petunias are offering big, luscious hot pink blooms, totally shameless. To no-one’s surprise, the potted mint plants are very happy, and the lemon balm I planted in the ground has been a very useful and fragrant addition. The creeping thyme is doing very nicely in the little full-sun corner of its world; it has grown from an infant in a three-inch pot to an adult with am 18-inch circumference and smells divine. I’ve never been a fan of dried thyme, but the fresh stuff is intoxicating.

I had the happy experience of a homemade mint-and-lemon-balm facial wash the other day. My unhappily oily skin very much appreciated the herbal attention. Yesterday we had roasted red potatoes with – gosh, I can’t remember all the stuff I used – chives, rosemary, thyme, sage, and lemon balm. It was yummy, but not as herby as I thought it would be. There’s always next time, and honestly half the pleasure was harvesting and chopping the herbs.

Anytime I want a quick hit of herbal joy (no, not that kind), I can just run my fingers through the plants, breathe deeply, and go on my merry way. To me, at least, it’s worth every second of effort and every penny we’ve spent.

Brian has already prepared another bed in the front. It will get full sun in early spring, so I’m planning on crocus, daffodils and tulips. He’s thinking about setting me up a little greenhouse on a sunny spot of our acre, just so I have a place to keep all my stuff that’s out of his way. It would mean I could start seedlings earlier. We’re planning a few large full-sun beds – so he doesn’t have to listen to me bitch about the aggressive maple tree, and so we can try our hand at some vegetables. A little less acreage to mow will not be a bad thing, either.

Someday I sure would love to try growing berry bushes. Wild blackberries are all over the place around here, but you usually have to stomp through nasty patches of poison ivy, and you have to compete with the birds. Pain in the ass. I’d just as soon keep the patches clean and put up some netting. Maybe in a couple of years.

We were completely at the mercy of Japanese beetles until about a week ago, when I finally figured out what they were. I set up a trap and it’s working. The pink petunia is the most obvious indicator, and the blooms are still whole in the morning. Even the basil is starting to recover from the infestation.

And that’s all I’ve got, for today, at least. I’ve really got to get working on the rewrite, because until I send Kiki chapter two, I’ll never get the next installment of her book and I’m totally sucked in.

Apologies, as always, for the hiatus. Netiquette implies that perhaps one ought to warn readers – so I’ll just say that posts will be, as always, sporadic at best. Unless something really pisses me off, or until I finish reading Deathly Hallows.


Yogamum said...

Sporadic or no, it's good to hear what's up with you! Have a lovely trip!

Charlotte said...

Hi Andi. I've come to visit your blog via Yogamum, and I've had a happy half hour browsing around, and enjoying your lovely writing. I look forward to more posts.

Enjoy your garden and your trip to Mexico.

SB Gypsy said...

Mmmmm herbal goodness. Happy gardening sweetie!

Karen Beth said...

It is delightful to hear all that you have been up to. Good on you!

Congrats on starting back to your yoga practice. That is wonderful! I think four times each week is amazing. Go girl!


Karen Beth :)