Welcome to Monday! I think. I started off my day today with a big to-do list and a green smoothie. The smoothie tasted like lawn clippings with a hint of banana, but I felt virtuous. Sometimes it’s all about how you feel.
The weekend found me in the vegetable garden on my farm, Seven Oaks, weeding, planting, mowing, tying up the tomatoes:
…and as I was staking up the tomatoes, I heard rustling in the woods. A fawn scampered out onto the lawn, darted back into the brush, and took quick, tentative steps back. He was just as curious about me as I was about him! I heard heavier steps in the woods out of sight, so I assumed Mom wasn’t far away. When I straightened up from the tomato bed, he darted back into the brush and bounded away. I think my big, floppy straw garden hat frightened him.
The paperback version of my new book, An Ancient Gift and Other Stories, is done, and I’m waiting for proofs. Now to put together a blog tour. It’s three stories of the supernatural, but really, it’s a warning against playing with the occult! I didn’t realize it until after I released the book what the theme was. Has that ever happened to you? At first I thought it was about love, which it is, because each story is above friendship or love – siblings (An Ancient Gift), friends and children (The Glove), and misfits (Friday Night Visitor). Then I realized that in each story, playing with the occult ends up hurting folks. Playing with tarot cards has unintended consequences for Anna and her sister in An Ancient Gift; the kids almost kill their friend in The Glove; and poor Bob almost dies, whether by his own hand or from the bargain he struck with the angel of death. Thank God for the sassy Rita or he’d be another casualty in the book of life.
Now I understand better why the other two stories I was working on didn’t seem to fit with the collection. Although they would have rounded it out to five stories and a much more robust word count, only Horologium fit the theme – and even that, I’m not so sure about. I’ve written that story several times and can’t decide whether Julia will play with the occult or not. When she does, the story is darker and ends on a sad note. When she doesn’t, it feels better to me but also sort of ends in a sappy, Disney-esque way. Oh well. Somewhere along the way, my subconscious will figure it out.
Then we have It’s Just the Cat. Love that one. But it’s not about playing with the occult. In this case, the kids end up stumbling over the occult because their parents moved into the wrong house. Now I understand why this story didn’t fit the book.
Both will eventually be released as ebook singles, but for now, they remain in my mind and on my computer, where they can bubble, bubble, boil and trouble….
Today I am back in the office working on client projects. Two ebooks to write for clients, a proposal for another client, and website copy for a fourth. I did a photo shoot this morning in the garden for images to accompany my weekly articles and got this one, which came out good I think:
…but of course, one of the cats photobombed the shot. Here’s Pierre trying to sneak through the garden. Yeah, like a 20 pound cat can sneak anywhere:
Happy gardening, happy writing!
- from Jeanne, who is growing a life instead of merely making a living at Seven Oaks