It’s already begun to feel a touch like fall. The air isn’t as warm when the sun goes behind a cloud. The breeze is cooler. Nights are cooler. I’m getting ready to rip out my sugar snap peas because they’ve gone bleached blonde and become one massive roost for garden spider webs, which is convenient for them because the aphids have also taken to the flagging peas. Aphids have also fallen in love with just one violet pole bean. Just one. The entire bean has gone black with aged aphid bodies–I don’t why they do that, start green then go black– and the rest of the vine is perfectly bug free.
Also, there are cucumbers–both ghostly white and regular green–enough green tomatoes to instill faith that there might be a few red ones by the end of the season, a steadily swelling pumpkin, zucchini in growing profusion, some struggling carrots and enough kale to make me the healthiest person on earth (providing I don’t simmer it all with butter and curry sauce which was pretty freaking good last night). The raspberries are also threatening a good crop for September.
That will be good. September days will need some sweet endings. (September will also need patience, coffee, inspiration, and a nice hard vodka chaser. Teacher. September. Ten-year-olds coming down off summer. You get it.)
I had also wanted to have a finished novel draft by the first of September. Something to edit over warm soup during the cold short days, but I don’t think that one will be ripe yet. I’m currently about 20,000 words short. Part of the trouble is that I’m long-winded and I seem to be locked in this sort of “first they did this and then they did this and they did that” kind of story telling, fifty percent of which will need to be thrown out to compost but, damn it, that’s what’s growing. I know. It sounds terrible. Trust me, I’m the first the judge it that way, even before the words are on paper.
The other problem is that I can’t get the hell out of my own way, which is part of the first problem. Flat out, I’m afraid of what I’m writing. Not because the text is scary but because it’s a novel. Because it’s part me and what if I can’t finish it? Or what if I can and it’s horrible? It’s certainly horrible now. Disorganized and tedious and…weird. Yeah, it’s really weird. Right now, anyway.
But I guess that’s like looking at the first bean sprouts and thinking, “Why on earth would I eat that?”. Of course you don’t eat the sprouts. And you don’t like the crappy drafts. And come on, NO ONE likes kale before at least a little doctoring.
But you do.
Because eventually the peas grow up and the kale gets curry sauce and the tomatoes are warm and sweet off the vine. Summer has put good work in on the garden. It’s all plant and get out-of-the-way, which is why I love gardening.
But the writing, I’m the sun on that one. And the rain and the soil nutrients…and the aphids and the freaking gophers that keep nipping the tops off my onions.
So even if fall is hinting, I need to keep summering on until the weird, crappy and long-winded draft is done. Maybe I’ll have a late harvest in November.