Tomorrow, my novel Tributary is one year old. Cake, candles and Doo Wops? Nope, we're going to float sunflowers down Boulder Creek just as we did to launch her.
She won the WILLA Finalist Award for 2013 in historical fiction, so thanks are in order. I'm feeling grateful she's out on bookstore shelves, and relieved that a new book's in the oven.
What new book? It's a dirty secret. I'm cooking up mud pies. Planting little cupcake flags in the soul of soil. I did love taking a break from blogging to get this new book begun. But here's the real dirt on what else happened this summer . . .
A fuzzy browed baby house finch took up residence in the newly dug garden patch, to recover from a nest fall. Four days of friendship, shared watermelon, mashed up dog kibble and sharp peeps of hello, and that bird flew off across the neighbor's long backyard once we'd all assembled to marvel and wish her well. We nicknamed her Brandi after Ms. Carlile.
The 10' x 10' garden feeds us and nearby neighbors a fine smattering of "plant to plate" vegetables. I borrow that phrase from author Kayann Short, whose nearby ten acre CSA farm has its own memoir. Or ecobiography, to use Kayann's term.
Her lovely 2013 book A Bushel's Worth has me dreaming like a farmer. "Fresh is a flavor," Kayann tells the visitors to her radish beds. "This is what fresh tastes like." They crunch and swoon.
She plants her roses in a circle and her crops in lines. "A circle says, 'Come in. Be embraced. Be enthralled.' A row says, 'Pay attention. Be serious. Be productive.' Both lend beauty to the farm."
So I am celebrating the toddlerhood of my novel with great reading . . .