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Spring Cleaning

When Spring springs and George and I can have a garden, I think it’s my favorite time of year. I forget that I say the same thing in the Fall when our shumark oak turns bright red and fall colors explode. Anyhow, until we can redo the yard, all of our flowers are on display right outside the back door.

I love the bright colors, watching new buds appear when old blooms wilt, and waiting for each of the flowers on the vegetable plants to turn into vegetables. Every year it’s a battle with the squirrels to see who actually gets to EAT them, but it doesn’t stop us from planting. The feeders we keep full turn out to be both squirrel feeders and bird feeders… sometimes at the same time. We have one squirrel who will sit placidly until we’re less than eight feet away before he feels the need to seek safer ground… brazen little bugger!

We don’t have a greenhouse, so last year’s plants that survived the winter are a special treat. The aloe we got from a friend in East Texas did surprisingly well. Next week we’ll get it repotted. The coral dianthus to the left of the bright pink one is last year’s plant. We’re hoping that it will fill out and be as pretty as the new one. If they both survive next winter, we’ll get a third one in a different color and celebrate their longevity! They’re among my favorite blooms.

My mother-in-law has the greenest thumbs on the planet, and she suggested putting herbs in with the flowers, especially low-growing leafy ones and trailing plants. They do look fetching in the large pots. So, there’s parsley and both green and purple sweet potato vines … let’s hope they thrive and do what they’re supposed to do! Birds and squirrels aren’t the only visitors to our garden … hopefully this critter is just visiting, not stopping for lunch.

Spring is also the time for Spring Cleaning … and that means clearing agendas as well as cleaning the house (and car and garage!) Joy Don and I are focused on completing the manuscript of our current novel during the summer with the intention of publishing the next novel, Against the World, in our Nurseketeers series by the end of the year.

Editing is like spring cleaning… going through and getting rid of everything that doesn’t belong, and leaving what remains as clean and well-organized as possible. Like spring cleaning that happens once a year, editing should be left until the manuscript is complete. Reviewing and revising while writing can inhibit creativity and certainly impedes progress.

Getting the story on paper is the goal, so initially we concentrate on capturing the plot threads, scene by scene, with little emphasis on editing. When we’re done, we have all the raw material needed to make major decisions about what needs enhancement and what can be eliminated. What a waste of both time and effort it would have been to have spent time editing and refining material that we ultimately decide to delete.

It’s Spring, and I have lots of cleaning on my agenda… We can’t disappoint our readers so spring work will happen now!

Make part of your spring, signing up on our website and we’ll keep you up to date. If you’ve read The Wake-Up Call, you’ve met Frannie and her suitemates Robin, Katie, and Leslie. Next in the series comes Against the World, Robin’s adventures during the Nurseketeers’ sophomore year in nursing school at Crestmont University.

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