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Writing the garden/Weeding the book

Hello! Another Friday has rolled around. They come so fast. I’m currently juggling my days with working, writing and spring. This means that outside of my teaching hours I am trying to squeeze in getting the first draft of Cosy Mystery Number 2 written by the end of April while also getting all my seeds sown, also by the end of April. One of these is a self-imposed deadline and the other an Irish-weather-imposed deadline. Most of my seed packets say ‘after frost has passed’ in the unhelpful manner of one who thinks I’d know when the last frost has been and gone. Yeah right. It’s that time of year in Ireland where we have blue skies and blazing sun for a day or two, and then hail and snow for the next few days. A week or so ago I actually walked my dogs wearing no coat. Or hat. Or scarf. Or even – sit down for this one – a jumper. I didn’t get wet and I didn’t get cold. The next day, I set out in all of the above. And I put my warm gloves on too. It’s what the weather guys call ‘changeable‘. They pretend they mean the weather might change, but really it means that I spend my days changing in and out of different layers of clothing and am either freezing or roasting. For example, I set out in icy rain on Tuesday and came home dripping sweat in hot sun and 5 layers of clothing, carrying my hat and coat. So, predicting ‘danger of frost’ is like guessing how many blades of grass are in my field. Therefore, most of those seeds that in normal climates would be poking through the soil stretching happily in the warm spring sunshine, are still huddled cosily in their packets waiting. I spent a couple of hours yesterday in my polytunnel, getting on with it.

Scenes from the polytunnel

Meanwhile, unattended on the kitchen table is the still-not-completed Cosy Mystery Number 2. The deadline for this one is triggered by the knowledge that I will have the editing of Dear Isobel to work on in May, and from then on everything will get very frantic as we rush towards the publication date. I know the date (March 2022) seems ages away, but I also know that time will pass very fast, and as soon as I have finished the edits, there will be plenty else to get done in terms of promotion, author interviews, and suchlike. And then I will have to do it all over again for A Diet of Death. Hence my need to wrap up at least a first draft of Cosy 2 this month. I have about 50,000 words done, but after about Chapter 20, those words get quite disjointed. You may remember that I wrote before about being stuck, and that I had jumped forward to get past the ‘stuckness’. This means I’ve a pile of ‘gappy’ pages. The good news is that by printing it out I can now tackle it more easily and I am currently both plugging the gaps and adding more disjointed parts to the rest of it. It is coming together and I have still half the month left, so I am optimistic. I’m also editing parts as I go, thus weeding the book while plotting the garden. I hope both will thrive and bloom.

Cosy Mystery #2 Work in Progress

Of course, the final pull on my time is my dogs. Who are sulking and insisting it is time for their walk. I will do as they ask. See you next week.

Love, Jinny

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