Summer Growth

I’m sitting here at my laptop beside the bay window eating granola and revising the opening of my novel. I’m wishing for fresh peaches to go on my cereal. I bought some at Betty Reed’s Produce a week ago, but they’re gone. I should scoot down there this morning and get some more, along with chives for the twirling herb pots on the patio.

I planted a little garden this spring. I plant tomatoes every year, sometimes peppers, and I have a garlic plant that grows every summer, but I don’t ever harvest the garlic. This year, fearing empty store aisles because the truckers can’t afford the high diesel costs and go on strike, refusing to deliver food, thus famine — and above all, high prices — I planted not only tomatoes, but bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, and okra. If the sky falls, I will have cabbage salad to eat over the summer. And fried okra. Besides, okra is the tongue-in-cheek mascot of my college alma mater — the Fighting Okra. That, and the more impressive Statesman.

I hope the squirrels and I don’t have to fight over the garden vegetables or the patio plants this year when summer brings heat and drought. Hands down, they win.

I’m tightening the prologue and first chapter of my novel. I’m struggling to get the narrator’s voice exactly as I want it. Claire is vulnerable and likable right off the bat, a little over the edge in her thinking, a mix of giving up and getcha back. There are other strong characters. I’ll see what they do over the summer. I already know what’s going to happen in the end. I hope the characters know how to hold their own and get there.

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