Journal

I’m thinking “Spring”

It is blustery in my neck of the woods but daffodil leaves have made a brave showing–pushy about getting on with things. Birds at my feeder discuss the situation hourly but are adamant that it is not yet time to close down the free feeding station. Still, the wind shouts with just enough onion on its breath to convince me that violets will eventually bloom again.

I grew up hearing that you must wait for the violets to bloom before planting. That “waiting” business is hard for me and for most farmers/gardeners I know. I’ve ignored that sage advice and lived to regret it.

These days I spend more time planting, tending, and weeding words than I do tomatoes or peppers or roses. I miss those lush beauties–especially when I must trot myself to the nearest farmer’s market to find fresh tomatoes–but know there are only so many hours from rising to setting sun.

I’ve just put the finishing touches on my second novel, “I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires”–(aren’t you surprised by the title?)–and am feeling the itch between the harvest of well ripened words and the planting of new.

As the gray days of winter pass I’m developing an itch–so like that desperation to dig in the soil. I’m restless, tired of editing and reading proofs. Into every waking moment creeps cabin fever–thoughts of a new time period, the burning questions of people caught between political demands, real life drama and the trauma of wondering what on earth God would have them do in their conflict.

I feel the call to research and plan–pour over my “seed catalogues” and “plot my fields.” Voices of new characters push through my brain, like those eager daffodil leaves, and argue in my head. I’m eager for the springing of words across a page, but know it is not quite time–the violets have not bloomed–the characters have not fleshed, and I have learned to wait.

So I’ll sit a while longer by the fire today, and dig deeper into this new time period with all its intrigue and complexities. Next week I’ll turn my fields, see what my soil is lacking, and ready my tools.

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