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  • Burning

    PERSONAL–What a glorious weekend here in New England! I spent most of Saturday outside, soaking up the sun, luxuriating in the balmy temps . . . working my ass off in the gardens in anticipation of spring.

    The kind of gardening we do requires a tremendous amount of stamina and writing is a sedentary occupation, so I try to stay in shape during the long, inert winter months through walking and pedaling the stationary bike and shoveling snow, but regardless, the first day outside is always brutal on dormant muscles. Can you hear me moan? I’m thinking clogs today, because no way can I get close enough to my toes to tie sneakers, my usual footwear.

    Yesterday, we only began the spring clean-up. We concentrated on the large projects; fine-tuning will need to wait. The willow trees on the property invariably lose branches. One huge limb fell in the stream, and the plan was to drag it out through the clutches of the cat o’nine tails. DH snuck out while I was hunting down my work boots and got the branch out by himself. His wiry strength never ceases to amaze me.

    After raking spent foliage, and cutting up rotted wood and other assorted garden debris, we started the fires. We had three going at one point, and narrowly avoided a 9-1-1 call when we decided to strike a match to one of the dried ornamental grasses. The Miscanthus strictus went up like a torch! While DH ran to turn on the outside water, I raced for the hose. We eventually smothered the fire, but the flames did leap over to the nearby clematis. Hopefully, the vine will survive and ashes are a good soil amendment–or so I tell myself.

    WRITING After submitting a very revised TAINTED LOVE for editorial consideration, I returned to LOST ANGEL. A hundred or so more pages, and I’ll call that re-edit a wrap. Two plot ideas have been nagging at me–one an historical, the other a futuristic–and I need to get my backlist done so I can start in on the new stories.