If you have been paying attention, you know I own 6 acres of mostly trees, out in the wilderness of western Washington. About an acres and a half, maybe two, has been cleared enough for a house, a barn, a pumphouse, and the new Knotted Road Press corporate offices bungalow that Fabulous Publisher Babe™ is working on in the front yard. Today, she is staining and sealing hardwood flooring, two inch strips of old maple, that will be the walls upstairs in the loft.
In a few minutes, I’m going to go out and walk the near tree line, looking for the right spot to dig (and kill a ton of ants, but they had it coming). This morning, as we headed into town to run errands, I packed the gardening shears and a plastic bag. On the road is a long stretch of what we call feral roses. The wild kind with a single ring of petals and a lot of scent, as opposed to the poor cousins that people breed. The ones that are pretty, scentless, and die in any sort of weather. I wanted hearty stuff.
Stopped in a nearby park and hiked along the trail. The darker red the rose hips are, the better. The bigger, as well. Cut probably twenty or so, looking at the bag sitting next to my computer. White, Pink, and Fuchsia. Going to go plant those with good morning sun, afternoon shade, reasonable water, and let them take over. My money is on them rather than the blackberry.
And it will delight my wife to have the smell and color of roses out her window. Plus, I figure the deer have enough to eat, so they won’t necessarily concentrate on the roses. Maybe. They are kinda tame.
Got home last night from a wonderful evening at a friend’s house and parked at the top of the long driveway. Fabulous Publisher Babe has seen an owl the other night, so we wanted to look. It was just dark enough, but saw no bird.
Did realize that I was standing in the middle of my driveway with the little girl deer on my left, about thirty feet away in the septic drain field, and her brother on the right, in the back yard, about thirty feet away that way. Those two are yearlings. They have a little brother that was hanging out with big brother, contentedly munching as I waved and said hello.
Terribly frightened of me, I could tell. I went indoors and they meandered off to chew on blackberry bramble.
I’m editing today. Just finished wrapping up my second to last pass on the two Science Officer books, The Hammerfield Gambit and The Hammerfield Payoff before sending them off to first readers. #7 and #8. Those of you keeping score at home will have hopefully gotten a chance to pull down your copy of #5, The Doomsday Vault.
My apologies in advance if you haven’t read it, but I did warn you. #5: The Doomsday Vault, ends on kind of a cliffhanger. So does #6: The Last Flagship. And #7: The Hammerfield Gambit. Only #8: The Hammerfield Payoff ends properly, wrapping up Season One and setting the plate for what I will do with the gang when I get back to it.
Hopefully you find them as entertaining to read as I do to write. Next month (September), a whole bunch of superhero stories are coming out. Then The Last Flagship in October. Because I like you, both Hammerfield books come out together in December, or you can wait for Omnibus #2, containing 5-8, in January.
Today is relaxed. This pleases me, because the summer has been kinda nuts and I needed a little down time. And to commit some guerilla gardening. Fall is coming, and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully you are as well. Remember to take care of yourself and your friends.
Postscript: and a woodpecker, banging happily away in a tree just down from the where to roses will go, beyond the new tea trees. Life is good.