Good morning Sunday Letter readers,
I hope all is well in your corner of the world. After a trip to the farm, I’m back in Fayetteville. Even though I was only gone a few days, so much changed in our neighborhood! The dogwoods are in full bloom. Our hostas have fully emerged. Our backyard has leafed out in that special spring way, looking fresh and green and oh so lovely.
Look at this picture I took yesterday of our street. Notice the white dogwood on the right. It has a branch that always blooms pink! Love that quirkiness.
But what a difference a few hours makes. This morning we’ve already had a bit of snow and frozen precipitation.
Rude and mean and totally uncalled for, if you ask me.
I’ve been rethinking a few things as of late. Smallish things related to writing and blogging. Larger things such as how to get my next book out into the world. What you may not realize—the publishing world can be super frustrating for authors. Good thing we writers love to write. Otherwise, readers would be left to read cereal boxes and Facebook feed.
You may have noticed I didn’t do a Book Review blog post for March. (Or maybe you didn’t notice since only a few people seemed to read my book-related posts.) I’ll continue to review all the books I read—because reviews genuinely help authors—but for the most part I’ll be posting my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. If you’re curious to know what I’m reading and how my Reading Challenge is going for the year, follow me on Goodreads.
With respect to my next book, the fabulous news is I’ve finished it. Yay!!!!!!! My manuscript has been professionally edited. I’m over-the-moon excited about the story and can’t wait to tell you all about it. But for now the ten dollar question is who shall publish it?
This is where the tricky part comes in. The rethinking things part. The idea that there has to be a better-quicker-funner way to get my work out to my readers.
Yes, I said funner.
Now Is the Time
If you ever took a typing class in high school, you may remember this sentence: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. The original quote (possibly by Patrick Henry but don’t hold me to that) ended with aid of their party. A typing teacher named Charles E. Weller changed the last word from party to country to make the sentence 70 characters long. 70 characters was the exact length of a typed line which is why this particular sentence became a common typing drill in high schools across America.
I learned to type in 1979. While I don’t remember drills with that specific sentence (probably because we learned on electric typewriters and line length wasn’t an issue), I remember my Momma talking about it. Whenever she tested out a new typewriter for her office at the farm, that’s the line she typed. (She needed a typewriter for payroll checks and other reasons I can’t recall but that always required carbon paper.)
I say all this to show you my little typewriter planter.
The planter is really small. It sits on my desk as a typewriter should. The keys say NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD…
You can tell the size better in this next pic.
I’m hoping this typewriter planter will satisfy my urge to buy an old manual typewriter. I need an old typewriter like I need a hole in my head.
The purpose of mulch is to suppress weed growth. But MORE mulch is not necessarily better. Mounding mulch all around the trunk of trees and shrubs (like a volcano) only invites disease, pests, and decay.
See how the mulch is mounded several inches all around the japonica and trees? Volcano mulches creates an “almost compost pile” where the mulch heats up and harms the trunk. If you want to know more, here’s a really good article on the problems of volcano mulching.
Here’s how it should be done (below). The mound of mulch is scooped out around the trunk. And the circle of mulch follows the drip line of the tree.
If you have volcano mulch around your plants, grab your rake and get to work before you end up with bigger problems than weeds growing around your trees. Just trying to provide some gardening edumacation on this cold morning.
Back to the topic of typing… I believe typing is the closest skill I have to a superpower.
I once heard someone say she never learned to type because she didn’t want to get stuck typing all her friends’ papers. (Like she couldn’t say no?) Really, I can’t imagine where I’d be if I couldn’t type. I guess I’d still be pecking away at some earlier version of my manuscript.
I got downright giddy a few days ago when I stumbled upon an online typing test. LOL.
So I took the test. (Yes it started with Now is the time for all good men…)
Not bad right out of the gate, huh?
I get this particular superpower from my Daddy. He typed so fast his teacher once accused him of cheating. She made him repeat the test with the class watching. He scored just as high—something like 120 wpm. And he typed on a manual typewriter.
Superpowers aren’t always glamorous, y’all.
Things Momma Says
Sorry, nothing from Momma this week. She’s still back home on the farm. While I’m sure she’s spouting off witty things, I’m not there to hear them.
This brings up the question: if Momma says something snarky but there’s no one there to hear it, was it really funny?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.