It’s August 5th, and I guess I’m just a bit slow, but it took this long for me to remember that I have a piece that I need to get out before Halloween. The story was written about a year ago, and I was going to try to get it out last Halloween, but I wasn’t able to get on the editing schedule in time. L So I worked with my editor for a while, and then all sorts of personal things hit, resulting in my moving up here to Oklahoma. And the truth of the matter is that I pretty much forgot about it until a few months ago, when a good friend (who just happens to own the editing company I was using) called to remind me that I had an unresolved item on her task sheet, and was I ever going to finish that story?
So I pulled it out and got back to work on it… for about two days. But the thread was cold, and I was having trouble remembering the discussions and thoughts on the edits for the story that I had been working on all those months ago, and there was the siren call of my main project and…. Oh! Look at the shiney….
And I thought to myself, “Self, you don’t really need to have that story published until a bit before Halloween, right? Right….” And here I am, a bit before Halloween again, and not much closer to publishing the thing than I was four months ago when she called me. At least I am closer than I was last year, and that’s something, right? I mean, I have a cover, and the first round of editing notes from last year. That’s more than half the battle.
So I’ve slowed on the actual writing for the last few days, concentrating instead on editing Ghost Story and getting it ready to publish. Hopefully I’ll have it out into the world in a week or so, and then I can get back on the main writing projects.
In other news… the garden is beginning to produce some minor returns. Most of my gardening adventure this year has been a bust. The corn is growing, but it looks like ants have gotten to the ears. We got a few baby ears that my mom ate in a salad the other night, but other than that it’s been bad. The grape tomatoes are way too touchy for me to consider messing with them again next year. Out of eight plants we’ve only gotten a handful of the little buggers. The only other tomatoes that we may end up getting are a few Red Acmes. Now, there is a variety of cucumber that seems to be doing well. The Spacemaster 80 cukes keep popping up as fast as I can pick them. They’re big, and once they get started, they’re pretty fast growing, and they taste really good.
You know, rather than listing all the things that failed in the garden, maybe I should list the things that I have gotten from it. I mean, other than the learning experience. It’s a much shorter list. J
The Garden Tower was a huge success. We got cilantro, basil, lemon basil, oregano, several varieties of lettuce, spinach, and some rosemary from it. In the big garden, we ended up with a few (as in maybe half a dozen) strawberries, a few Royal Burgandy bush beans, a few little grape tomatoes, some cucumbers, jalapenos, and the Red Acmes I mentioned earlier. Also, there are a lot of cantaloupes still growing, so that looks promising. And one of the most intriguing items to me… there are half a dozen Bushel Basket gourds growing out there.
The gourds are a bit of a surprise to me. I had tried to get some dipper gourds to grow earlier in the season and had absolutely zero luck with them. When my dad passed in February, I was helping go through the cabin where he and my mom had lived, and found a packet of the bushel basket seeds that he had wanted to try, so I brought them home. I remember thinking how great it would be if I could grow some as sort of an homage to him, and I and planted some on the end of a row of onions. I decided to use a mound planting technique I had read about, and planted about a dozen seeds around a single mound. Imagine my surprise when nine of the twelve started to grow. And it quickly became obvious that they were going to outgrow the area I had planted them in.
So as they got larger, I transplanted two of them away from the main mound, and stuck them in an empty area of the garden. Back on the main mound, one of the plants outgrew the others, shaded them out and killed them, so I ended up with only the three plants. But those three plants have done phenomenally well, spreading about ten feet in several directions. And now I have six large gourds growing. The picture here shows one of them.
If they do well, I want to try my hand at some gourd art. What’s gourd art, you ask? Well, take a look at this carved and stained piece from “The Browning House Gourd Art“.
Or for a (much) more intricate piece, look at this one from artist Bonnie Gibson. Bonnie’s piece is titled “Beetle Garden” and was featured on the 2013 cover of The Crafts Report. Now, I’m obviously not going to get a “Beetle Garden” out in my first attempts, but the concept is intriguing, and there are techniques in it that I may want to attempt, just as there are techniques used in the one from The Browning House that I want to attempt.
But all that is way down the line. First I have to successfully get the gourds grown, harvested, dried, and cured before I can think about what I can do with them. But it’s a creative outlet that speaks to me, much as my knife making did when I had the workshop available to make them. For now, I’ll concentrate on getting them grown and ready for use. And if I manage to get that done, then maybe I’ll get to try my hand at some artwork.
Wish me luck.
And in the meantime, stay safe everyone. I’ll talk to you later.