The photo upload on this blog is giving me trouble this morning and I’m too unskilled with this photo stuff to figure out what’s going on. (File under ‘It’s Always Something.’) But I’m way overdue for a blog post, so this is going to be as good as it gets for today. For a view of what the project will look like when finished, go here. I’ve somewhat simplified the chart, taking out those figures in front of the house.
I like doing a large project because once it’s organized and begun, I can just keep on keeping on. I feel the same way about writing. Short stories and even novellas are so much more work than novels. I’ve written them–in fact, I did a little collection of stories quite a few years ago. But shorter work always feels unfinished to me, as if there ought to be more, somehow.
At the writing desk. Someone Always Nearby (my Georgia O’Keeffe/Maria Chabot novel) is finished, copyedited, and is in the layout editor’s hands. and in production. You’ll have it in November. I love the cover–hope you like it, too. I decided to do a Reader’s Guide, which will include the research that went into the project and material that didn’t make its way into the novel. I’ll be sharing some of it on the website over the months before the book comes out.
On the homestead. We’ve had a week of winter already–a record-setting, frigid few days before Christmas, down to 10 above zero with a wind chill of 4 below. It was a good time for a fire in the fireplace, and to burn some of the massive willlow tree that fell across the fence in the meadow. Blossom, our half-longhorn cow, seems to be well winterized, but I was worried about the chickens. I put a couple of heat lamps in their coop, so they made it okay. In fact, they all started laying again on the winter solstice. They’d taken November and most of December off for their annual molt, so it was good to have fresh eggs again. And we’ve had a little rain, enough to bring the bluebonnets up. So it looks like we’ll have some blooms in April.
On the reading stack. I just finished (and fully enjoyed) Marie Benedict’s historical, The Mitford Affair. I’ll blog about it in a week or two. I especially appreciated the way she handled the difficult and very complicated British pre-WW2 political environment in which the Mitford sisters lived. A difficult subject well done. Prompted by that, I’m now reading Wendy Holden’s The Duchess, about Wallis Simpson. It’s hard to write about dislikeable people and make them sympathetic enough for readers to want to stay with them for as long as it takes to finish the book.
Reading note (thinking here of Someone Always Nearby): Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.