At (very) long last, I have wrapped edits on Tocara. It’s been an extremely long slog through this rewriting pass, working in suggestions made by several very helpful critters and working around two household relocations, selling one house, and buying another. If I haven’t screwed it up, I think it is a pretty good story.
We will see if La Agent thinks so, too. >:-) (She probably thinks I’ve fallen off the face of the planet. Sorry for the awful delay, Shana.)
One of the hardest things for me has always been striking a balance between boring the reader with too much detail and frustrating the reader with too little. I am trying very hard to move my pointer on that spectrum a bit closer to the “more detail” end of things. An early editing draft bore the moniker “Obvious!” as a reminder that what is transparent to me is opaque to others. Here’s hoping I’ve managed at least an incremental improvement.
What’s the story about, you say? It’s a secret history about the magic, and power, of belief. It’s set in Spanish Colonial Florida and Havana, and involves a stolen bell, and hostile Indians, and empire-building Spanish dons.
I should probably work up a good logline now that it looks like I might get to use it.
Best yet, from this point forward I get to spend time with the next novel without feeling guilty!
At the farm, there are no eggs yet. No worries; four months of age (18 weeks) is the low end of when hens usually begin to lay. I have seen indications that the hens have been investigating the nesting boxes. They’re all roosting at night now, which is good, as the overnight temperatures have begun to drop. Some day soon, there will be eggs.
There are some consolations. The pole beans have begun to fruit – after being blown over, restaked, staked again, staked again.... The weather after the hurricane blew through (hi, Irene; bye, Irene) was gorgeous and cool, so I went out that Sunday afternoon and turned and smoothed out enough of one of the empty garden rows to get some of the fall seeds in. I’m trying a couple of different kinds of radishes and some Harrier beets. I got some collards and Laciniato kale in, too.
The meadow portion of the long field in the back is gorgeous with black-eyed susans and ox-eye daisy and redtop meadow grass. The sumacs and the black gums have begun to show a hint of the scarlet color they’ll develop as September heads toward October and the cool evenings turn cold. Somewhere in there, we’ll run the bushhog over the meadow one final time for the year and neaten everything up for the winter.
We’ll be harvesting sweet potatoes inside of a month. Can’t wait to see what we end up with – we know the soil in this former forested field was not the richest it might have been, so I will be satisfied if we get a decent three or four potatoes from each of the vines, but I am hoping for enough to share (and sell – the microfarming venture has nearly recouped enough in sales to have paid for the plants we bought at the outset).
Plans are being made to bring in a big truckload of sifted topsoil, the good stuff, and a couple more pickup truck loads of horse manure to be sheet composted over the winter and turned under again in the spring, together with the straw that will be protecting it all from the weather.
I’m already salivating over plans for next year. >:-)
The earthquakes have not stopped. I thought for a couple of days they’d slacked off – and then we got hit with another whopper, 3.4, enough that the beagle hightailed it down from my son’s bed and into ours and Kay, my dog, all but crawled into the shower with me. I am so very fed up with random shaking. My nerves jangle for an entire day after one of those.