How did we find ourselves in September so soon? It seems like June was just a heartbeat ago! Did you have a good summer? What were the highlights for you?
I’ve never been a good gardener. Oh, I love the idea of gardening. I love to see our vegetable garden tilled until it’s a soft, dark bed of rich Iowa soil. I love buying seed packets and plants, and putting everything in neat rows. The concept enchants me…but the unpredictable results, not so much.
Some years we have a good crop of tomatoes but nothing else grows. Some years, the green peppers go crazy but the tomatoes are a failure. This year, swarms of Japanese beetles took out almost everything except some rogue zucchini that lurked stealthily amongst the vines, then seemed to explode into giant baseball bats overnight. And the weeds—oh, my. It was a stellar year for weeds!
But those failures aside, at least this year seemed to be the Year of the Flowers, though not due to any effort of my own. In our planters, the impatiens grew into gorgeous mounds of color like never before. A hanging basket on our semi-shaded front porch–for the first time ever–grew rich and full, and the rose beds went crazy!
We planted some sort of hardy roses last year. I inadvertently lost the descriptive tags on them, and for the life of me, I cannot remember the variety name, but I sure wish I knew, because I would plant lots more! Do you know what they could be? They’ve been blooming like in these photos (taken yesterday) since late spring, and are supposed to bloom until the first frost…and yet I didn’t ever do a thing to fertilize or spray, or even prep them before last winter. Now this is the type of plant that a poor gardener like me needs. :)
The unruly, unpredictable behavior of our gardens reminds me of how writing can vary so wildly from one book to the next…some books come easily, but some can be extra hard to write–maybe the characters just refuse to cooperate, maybe the plot takes twists and turns that I didn’t expect.
Or maybe there are too many days in a row when life intrudes or when my brain just doesn’t want to cooperate.
But whether it’s gardening or challenging life events or a book deadline that’s approaching waaay too fast, I pray for guidance, inspiration and fortitude, then hope for the best!
My next contemporary release, A Montana Christmas, is part of the Sweet Christmas Kisses 4 fourteen-author anthology coming out this fall, and it was a lot of fun to write. Maybe it was that handsome veterinarian…or the type of setting that I love… :)
For those who leave a comment on this blog post, there will be a drawing for a free e-book copy of one of my novellas ( A Scottish Christmas, An Irish Christmas Blessing, or A London Christmas) that appear in the previous three Sweet Christmas Kisses anthologies (which are all sweet romance–nothing racy–or inspirational in tone.)
Best wishes to you all! Roxanne Rustand