I love June in Georgia. The wild blackberries are beginning to ripen. We went out to pick our first batch yesterday. Before the picking began in earnest, I wandered around our wild backyard--which needs mowing--and admired the lush bounty.
Blackberries on the vine!
I discovered that one of the trees we have is a cherry tree. This is the first year that we've lived in this house that it's borne fruit! (And we've been here for over four years.) The fruit is far from ripe, and I'm not sure if it's the edible type, but I love how pretty it is, and how, well, fruitful our backyard is, all without us having to do a thing to cultivate it. I suspect the nasty outbreak of tent caterpillars we had a couple years ago stunted this tree from producing, and it's only now recovered.
There's also a very pretty ornamental flowering shrubbery that the previous owner planted. I wish I knew what it was. It's looking a little forlorn after the rains, but last week it had the loveliest white and blue flowers. Anyone have any idea?
Hobkin is less pleased with June, as he's still shedding, and it looks to be an itchy process.
And when I try to help him out by brushing him, he scampers away quite defensively.
Had an absolutely wonderful mail day!
First and foremost, I sold my story "The Princess and the Golden Fish" to Cricket! Woot! They're going to serialize it. When I first subbed it to them, I sent it to Cicada, primarily because of its length (>6K), but they want it for Cricket. I'm pleased as punch about that because it will get full-color illustrations in Cricket, and I've never had anything serialized before. Another writerly milestone! The acceptance letter was positively glowing. The editor-in-chief called it "breathtaking" and a "gem of excellent writing." That sentence, ye verily, triggered a great deal of squeeing.
But, eep, I don't have anything in the queue to send them next! After I finish my current WIP, I need to pick up the threads of the folktale research I started and see if I can't retrieve my train of thought there. Or, hmm, I speculated that the story I'm currently doing a final rewrite on might appeal to a YA audience. Maybe I should send it to Cicada? Erg, then again it might not. Decisions, decisions.
Also received my copy of Apex with the interview of me in it. It's a delightful publication, with a very swank two-page ad taken out by Scrybe Press for one of my chapbooks. Sweet.
Yes, June is turning out to be a much better month than May.
New Words: 800
The short story progresseth. I got stuck, well, more like bogged down in narrative, so skipped some of the middle and jumped to the end. I don't usually do that with shorts, but it kept me writing, which is the important thing. I'm thinking another 1K should complete it. A short one, definitely.
Club 100 For Writers
Thanks for the congrats!
I'm a little uncertain about the edible factor with the cherries, but I'm willing to give them a try when they look more like fruit instead of tree nubbins. I've begun looking for jam and preserves recipes.
Don't suffer blackberry envy! Toss a few seeds into the soil and up they'll come. They're hardier and more prevalent than dandelions! They're taking over our yard, which makes me happy, although the thorns can get a bit stabby . . .
Your yard looks lovely! No wonder that little green lizard from the other day enjoyed it so much.
We have a lot of cherry trees here, too, and they don't produce fruit every year. It looks like we will get few if any this year, probably due to either the long winter or the hot, dry couple of weeks of summer we've had. It seems they are rather persnickity.
Our tree is covered in cherries. I didn't see any blossoms, although I suppose I could've missed 'em. Whatever the cosmic convergence which resulted in it bearing fruit, I'm delighted. Although I'll be more delighted if they turn out to be edible.
Mmmm, blackberries. Sadly, our bush is already berried out (all in bags in the freezer, awaiting the cobbler I'm making this weekend. Yum!)
I did notice that we got a 'volunteer' blackberry bush springing up a little ways away. Yay! I can't wait till we've got a bramble bigger than the house.
Blackberry cobbler, mmm. We sprinkle ours over vanilla ice cream or eat them straight, sprinkled with a bit of sweetener. I've begun thinking words like "jam" and "preserves" but I've never done that before and I suspect it might be beyond my culinary ability.
Congratulations on the sale! I loved "The Princess and the Golden Fish." Make sure you post when it is published so I can procure a copy.
When I was a kid, we lived in a house with a cherry tree. I seem to remember that it didn't fruit every year, but when it did there was quite a bit. My mom made cherry freezer jam that we still talk about. Mmmm.
Thanks, sweetie! My editor said "serialize" but didn't say how many parts it's going to be broken into. I assumed two, but actually I have no idea. Meep. But I'll definitely post when I find out when it's scheduled for publication!
Cherry jam . . . mmmmm.
On June 28th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Yay on the sale! I loved that story!
I THINK (only think) that your pretty flowering shrub is a variegated hydrangea. From what I can seen in the photo, the leaves and flowers look to be the right shape. Judging by the colour, you must have fairly acidic soil - blue hydrangeas = acid soil. If it is a hydrangea, you can make it go pink by adding lime to the soil.
When the weather cools, prune off the branches that have borne flowers, and this will encourage all the other branches to flower. And don't worry if it looks quite sick in the winter. Hydrangeas are remarkably hardy and are one of the few plants that don't mind getting soggy (which is good because we're getting a lot of rain in eastern Australia at the moment).
Congratulations on the sale, Eugie!
Speaking of the bug magazine group, what's their lead time, usually? They accepted a story of mine almost exactly a year ago and it hasn't come out yet and I grow impatient.
Choke cherry, I'd say (so very sour and probably not edible even if you jam it with lots of sugar) and definitely hydrangea.
"Speaking of the bug magazine group, what's their lead time, usually? "
It's veeeeery long. This is the eleventh story of mine they've bought, and only two of which have been published (although a third is slated for January). I've got one story which is going on over a year since it was accepted that hasn't been slated for an issue yet. I'd be twitching, but honestly, they're very upfront about the lead time and they're such a fantastic market. I do wish they paid on acceptance instead of publication, though, as I could use the money now, but yeah, long lead time.
Hobkin hisses at me and runs when I try to groom him. And when I can manage to get a few brush strokes in (usually by chasing after him and hanging onto his tail by one hand), he huffs and growls at me. You'd think he'd like it, the silly beastie.
On June 28th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Ah, [sighs with relief]. Got my Hobkin fix. Very nice, lush garden, btw. Must be nice to live where water falls from the sky.
I wonder if Clicker Training* works with skunks? Lots of animal trainers use it for critters like ferrets and cats. Works wonders with Nikolaij. Thanks to the click, I can do all sorts of unpleasant things to him. V. helpful since at 1100 pounds, he can protest mightily.
(*It's a very humane method. Wouldn't think of using anything hurty on my horse.)
Anyway, Hobkin looks handsome, shedding or not.
I'm familiar with clicker training (and yes, I'm a huge fan of the method). I actually tried it with our ferrets, but it was too awkward constantly having the clicker in hand. I trained them to come running to a squeaky toy, though. 'Course Hobkin comes to his name, already, but he ignores squeaks.
Thanks! Yep, my first sale was to Cicada in 2001, and since then I've made nine sales to Cricket and one to Spider. I'm just totally overjoyed that they're so receptive to my stuff. They put out a gorgeous bunch of magazines and are fabulous to work with--not to mention their pay rate is awesome!