I was in journal heaven for two hours this afternoon; I sat in my garden with three of them, one for my novel, one for plants and one for wildlife.
Novel first. I was scoring chapters; when I innocently typed my way through the first draft, periodically revising sections as I went along to produce a sound base for my first major editing of the story, I had no idea writers “scored” their chapters by rating the scenes for speed and light. I had instinctively moved between quiet, intimate scenes, action-packed intimate scenes, conversational or action scenes with lots of characters and so on. The more articles I have read about pacing your novel, the more blogs I have read about a writer’s anxiety that their story arc is not ‘on an upward trend’ or the pace of their book is too even, the more insecure I have felt about the construction of my own story. The editing I started in mid-March now seems totally inadequate so I have renumbered everything in smaller parts and described each scene in more detail. Today I began scoring them in my journal; against all the odds I found I enjoyed doing it.
Plants. On Wednesday I had a delivery of plants, lots of them, carefully packed in flats and peeping out of damp newspaper . Only other plant-mad people will understand the joy of unwrapping each one, finding the right-sized pot and standing them somewhere shady to acclimatize for a couple of days prior to planting out. Today I entered their names in my journal; I know they are all listed on my laptop in the order confirmation email and I no longer need to hand-write the list but I have been doing this since 1983 and the feeling of continuity is comforting.
Wildlife (and plants). I sat by a border that is allowed to contain thistles until their seeds are about to disperse at which point they are hacked down and removed from the garden. There is also purple sage, a buddleia alternifolia and the wonderful rose ‘William Lobb’ in this border so the scent is superb and there is an almost constant stream of insects and butterflies passing by. The photos below are of this border. I have identified the butterfly as a female Small Tortoiseshell but if you disagree feel free to say so; she looks a bit ragged round the edges . There were also lots of comma butterflies and others flitting about I did not manage to identify because I was writing. I recorded the ones I identified in my wildlife journal along with all the other species I had seen today; I do this a couple of times a month between March and October.
So, my secret’s out; I’m a Journal Junkie.
If you like these photos please feel free to use them.
If you’re going to be a junkie, a “journal junkie” is the best kind! It sounds like you had a productive afternoon, Lynne. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!
It was very productive but from the novel writing point of view it did confirm my concerns that I need to do more “line by line” work before I send it out for appraisal. I hesitated over using the word “junkie” but increasingly I see it used in relation to an everyday activity that one pursues with such enthusiasm it is almost an addiction; I saw a Twitter profile a couple of days ago where the term ‘gardening junkie’ was used. Evolution of language fascinates me but I struggle to keep up with my teenage grandchildren.
Those William Lobb roses are just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the photos, and good luck with your journaling. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon. 🙂
It was a wonderful afternoon. I sometimes find it hard to capture the huge range of colours some of the old rose varieties go through as the blooms age but the camera I bought last month seems to make up for my lack of expertise reasonably well. Hope the muses are co-operating at the moment;I enjoy their appearances on your blog.
I do understand the delight of unpacking a shipment of plants. How do they look? Where will they go? How will they do? The sorting and recording is all part of the fun.
So glad you understand! A couple of the new plants have flowered since I planted them out but I shall have to snip them off soon so the plants have more energy for growing roots.
love R,William Lobb it has been a favorite of mine for at least 20 years.I cannot fault it,only to say it is too fleeting…
Thanks for visiting my blog; I planted that rose in 1997 and it soon became one of my favourites too.
Lovely photos Lynne – I too am a journal person – can’t get on without them. I was writing my novel for five years, but now its all gardening – phew! Love your blog – thanks for liking mine too! Kind regards and happy gardening, Ursula
Thanks for visiting my blog Ursula. We seem to like the same roses and several of your other top choices are favourites of mine too. At the rate my editing is progressing I think I might match your total of five years! Have a happy weekend gardening and I look forward to reading more on your blog.
I know how it feels to unpack new plants – heavenly! I have never seen R. ‘William Lobb’ around here (Ontario) – I really like. Your garden is such a great place for the writings!
“William Lobb” seems to cope well with cold, wet, heat or drought and is listed as suitable for USDA Hardiness zones 4 – 9. You are right about my garden being a great place to sit and write although as I can see all the jobs that need doing and all the beautiful wildlife it is often hard to concentrate on the writing.
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Great post! Yep, better cut those thistles off before they spread their seed. They do have a nice flower, though!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. The thistle heads have been chopped; one or two always get missed but as they provide next years feast for the flying visitors everything remains in balance.
Yay! on the writing – and I wish you’d take my little jungle in hand. It’s only pocket-sized but it is defeating me
It was a good day for the writing but there have been very few since; I am trying hard to recapture the feeling. There are days when I consider letting our whole acre of garden become a wild-garden, it gets harder each year to keep on top of the work, but then I smell the roses, and the lilies and the honeysuckles while tending the tiny plants so generously flowering their socks off and I battle on. Have you thought about a complete re-design to make the maintenance simpler; a friend of mine with a city garden has just employed someone to remove the useless small lawn and make a terrace with shrub filled borders and ground-cover perennials and she is much happier with it now.