Thursday, May 1, 2014

Weeding the Gardens

Happy May Day! 

After enduring such a looong winter, I’m so embracing the green grass and colorful flowers of spring. Funny how May is finally producing all the beauty, warmth and joy of spring when spring actually began in March!  Well, here in Colorado anyway. Technically, our last day to frost is May 5, but I can vouch for the fact that the temps in MY part of the world dip down low enough to keep our crab apple tree from ever blooming. Bummer.

Nevermind that : ) May is the month when small rodents emerge from their burrows, larger livestock begin to kick up their heels and us human-folk feel the need to clean. Well, hmm, about that “feel the need to clean” thing…I’m not saying this human-folk always follows that particular desire, LOL!

Either way, now that our house is clean, we can toss an eye on last year’s garden plot full of promise for this growing season. Of course it needs a little help and tender loving care to help it reach its full potential, much like other endeavors we’ve pursued all winter that might need a little springtime tending, namely, any WIP within our reach.

There isn’t a writer on God’s green earth who hasn’t written a few extra words now and then, who doesn’t need to read over her work and do some judicious pruning. And when it comes to the scenes filled with heartfelt angst from characters who finally discover their ah-ha moments, the problem is only exacerbated. What writer in their right mind would stop midstream to start clearing up the clutter and editing the revelations pouring forth from our imaginations like water from a secret stream? Let it flow (!) – we all know how hard it is to come up with a gusher of a brainstorm – and worry about the cleanup later.

Much like pulling out the choking weeds cluttering up our garden rows, there’s a day of reckoning for every WIP, too. Sometimes we put it off as long as possible, but ultimately, the clean-up must be addressed. Personally, I think this is the fun part (of writing, not gardening!). Creating the original draft is not fun for me. Too much noise bangs around in my head and all I can do is spread some ink on paper to silence it.

There’s a huge lack of clarity and purpose in my first draft. I’m not on an intimate basis with my characters yet; my characters and I are holding back essential truths until we can all trust one another. It usually isn’t until the black moment of my rough draft that I realize exactly why the hero or heroine or even the villain has been pushed to the limit of their composure. It’s only then that I recognize the core essential thread of their conflict – that one final translucent strand that has eluded me through the entire journey. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in tune with the GMC of each character for the most part, but it isn’t until they breakdown in front of me and all the other characters, that I understand what makes them the man or woman they are. 

Okay, so my garden isn’t as extreme as this, but sometimes trying to find just the right amount of shade or sprinkling of water can drive me nuts over the whole summer. I mean really, growing substantial Bibb lettuce and spaghetti squash is important to me!!

Mulling over the small details is just as necessary for your vegetables as it is to breathe life into your WIP. The impulse to fill the screen with thoughts, the urge to grasp at any and all straws you feel are pertinent to molding of your characters, the desire communicate your feelings through your characters – it’s all necessary to take your 2-dimensional ideas and sculpt them into 3-dimension masterpieces. BUT, just because the gold nuggets of your efforts reside in that rushing stream, it doesn’t mean there isn’t some very careful panning ahead for you.

Only after you run out of breath and read over everything you’ve written will you really be able to see, and extract, the point of what you were saying. Hopefully, you’ve had some time to set aside your emotional, passion-filled creation in order to let the flavors all stew together.

Go back to the first scene and take the arsenal of understanding you’ve accumulated, all the insight to your characters and the plot, and begin to root out the weeds of ideas that have no place in your story.

The concepts that sounded good at the time, but never really gained any firm traction in this particular story. Weed them out, but save them. I hope everyone has a file for misplaced ideas and storylines, either on the computer or in your notebook. Much like weeding out the overage of sprouted seeds in your garden in order to let the most viable vegetable grow and mature, so too must you cut the false start ideas in each scene and paste them into a holding file so the singular, primary concepts and emotions will have room to grow and grab your reader. You are asking your reader to come along for the ride and they trust you to guide them to a satisfying conclusion with all the ends tied up.

The last thing you want to do is leave your reader stranded alongside the road, halfway to the destination, and have them wonder where they are, where they are going, and worst of all, making them wonder why they ever cared about the journey in the first place. Yikes!!

So, think about it. You’ve spent all the cold, dreary winter months creating new and exciting characters, placing them in situations and settings that have held the frigid weather blues at bay. Their antics have made you laugh, made you cry, and upon occasion, driven you crazy. Now’s the time to trim away the fat (oh my goodness, I can work in a plug for springtime dieting, too), paint in a little color and detail to brighten the landscape, and shape your story into a beautiful work well worth its place on the bookshelf.

Hopefully you now want to revise and polish your manuscript or gather your gardening tool and go out and enjoy the sunshine. Either way, leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Happy springtime!!

Award-winning author, AudraHarders, writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring cowboys who haven't a clue about relationships rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she's married to her own patient hero, has two adult children, and is surrounded by everything conducive to writing about farming, ranching and cowboys at her day job in the county Extension office. She began writing right after her son was born and sold her first book to Steeple Hill Love Inspired mere months before that same son graduated from high school. Surviving those years in-between reminds her God does have her plan for her life...and that He has a tremendous sense of humor.

Pediatric oncology nurse, Jennifer O’Reilly returns home to Hawk Ridge, Colorado to establish a mountain recreation camp as a safe adventure for children battling cancer. Her path to ownership depends on developing a profitable business plan to convince the bank she can manage not only the camping facility, but the entire Trails’ End Ranch operation.
Generations earlier, one misplayed hand of poker lost part of the family ranch, and Zac Davidson, youngest son and financial genius of the Circle D, wants it back. Intrigued since childhood by the legend of his great grandfather, Zac is the only family member who holds out hope that one day the ranch would become Davidson property again. When the ranch goes on the market, money is no object, only Jennifer O’Reilly stands between him and his dream.

High school sweethearts, Jennifer and Zac have wounded each other, and the scars run deep. Jennifer is forced to reveal a secret she’s protected for twelve years. Will past mistakes jeopardize the future of both of their dreams or give them a second chance?


  1. Just finished reading Second Chance Ranch, Audra and can appreciate how you did your spring cleaning. Of course, I would never have guessed it, your novel flows like a merry little streamlet, not a gushing spring stream. Review coming soon! Thanks for sharing your post. The more I hang out at Seekerville, the deeper my awe for the authors here I become!

  2. I'm crawling out of the cave now.

    Pruning an 87K manuscript to 50K was a job! But I got that and the rest of the proposal done.

    Now there's coffee brewing.

    Second Chance Ranch is waiting on my Kindle.

  3. Great post!

    I'm taking a class with Franny Billingsley and she describes losing the thread as "not dropping the bomb".

    Just like Chekhov's quote about waving a gun in the first act and how it must go off in the third, Franny says if you make anything important (bomb) the reader expects it to be important (go off). And when you don't set it off, they stop paying any attention or caring because they feel cheated.

    This post made so much sense to me. I want to edit AND garden!

  4. Wonderful post Audra. I will be back to pursue it with a more 'awake' mind later on today.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Wonderful post Audra. I will be back to pursue it with a more 'awake' mind later on today.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Great metaphor! I love gardening :) Looking forward to reading your book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Audra, I often relate writing to gardening. A little of this, a layer of that, a pop of color here or there, a smooth mulch finish or a pebbled walkway....

    With the occasional Storm Damage!!!! :)

    This makes perfect sense to me, and the nice part of this analogy is that (just like in a garden...) Anything can be changed. It just takes effort, insight and sometimes amazing direction.

    That's how I see editorial revisions... Because we see the garden we painstakingly laid out and an editor looks beyond that, to what's visible FROM THE ROAD.

    That way everyone gets the best of both worlds.

    Hey, can we not discuss DIETING???? I've been on my stool/chair a lot and I want to tell you that it's not good for um...


    You get it.

    But I'm not about to join the treadmill desk set, either, so either I stop EATING....

    Not likely to happen, right?

    Or get more active and if the weather would be more conducive, that might happen.

    (So saying, she pops another chocolate Easter egg into her mouth and savors the melting goodness because she's ridiculously WEAK...)

  8. Great post! Once I started a file for deleted scenes it was much easier to cut them out. I still may never use it, but it still makes me feel better.

    To stick with your theme, maybe the file could be like a compost bin. One day I might open it up, stir it around, and find something useful.

    Maybe I should get some caffeine. Thanks for you post today!

    Have a great one!

  9. Great post AUDRA and like Virginia, I think I want to go edit AND garden.

    Hubby won't let me near the garden though. I tend to do more damage than good. sigh

    Thankfully I edit better.

    Happy writing today.

  10. Jackie you made me spill my coffee. Too funny.

  11. This post is perfectly timed for me. I am editing and rewriting scenes, planting my spring flowers and trying not to go too crazy with either one!

    Put me in for the drawing.

    Peace and thanks, Julie

    1. What a wonderful post - it makes me want to start cleaning my garden up even though it's cool this morning! Please enter me in the drawing for the amazon gift card.

  12. Morning Everyone! Happy May Day!!

    The wind has stopped blowing here in Longmont and the sounds of silence are...are...deafening! We've had 3 days of nothing but WIND.

    Hopefully, its all blown past now. I bought some lovely bedding plants that want some real sunshine, not the filtered stuff through my window sill LOL!

  13. Marianne, you are too sweet for words : ) I will keep mind that you called my story a "merry little streamlet." That alone is going to keep a smile on my face all day!

    I look forward to reading your review!

  14. Ah, wise woman Helen. Pruning. I see you've embraced the theme of the day, LOL!

    My prayers are with you, girlfriend. Keep the almost 40K in extra words and make a novella out of it!!!

  15. Virginia, EXACTLY!! I read books where some little detail has embedded itself in my brain and I wait to see the resolution. If it doesn't come, I somehow feel cheated.

    I think this goes hand in hand with episodic writing -- scenes that are nice, but they don't pertain to the plot.

    Stay focused. Keep your plot points and scene details on task or you'll have entirely new threads in the book you'll have to tie up.

    AND, keep your zucchini under control or your entire garden will be overrun with the little green monsters!!

  16. Thanks, Heidi! I hope you enjoy Second Chance Ranch. Thanks for stopping by!!

  17. Ruthy, do I see your cute little picture still sports winter attire??

    It's May Day!! Unwrap the scarf and break out the cute little tops and sweet dangily earrings. Give us that splash of color!!

    Okay, enough about outward appearances, LOL! Yep, you got the gardening thing both out in the sunshine and at the computer.

    Weed. Weed. Weed. (Hmmm, sounds like something someone living in Colorado would say, right? Ouch!)

    You've had more than your share of winter storms, kiddo. Arise from the table, leave the chocolate Easter eggs in the bowl and go think up plots and conflict while strolling in the fresh air : )

  18. I seem to have the opposite problem. No need to prune or weed because the I've only a few scraggly plants growing in the first place :(

    The "gusher" or flow hasn't hit yet. The dam is blocked, so I guess I've got to clean out the blockage. If I only knew what that was... *sigh*

    Second Chance Ranch is on my Kindle, waiting as a most wanted reward for hitting a certain word count. It's getting lonely...

  19. Compost! I love it, Jackie!! Oh what a creative girl you are : )

    I'm with you when it comes to cutting scenes. It makes it so much easier to slip them into a protected folder - just in case you need them. Definitely takes the stress off my heart thinking I have to throw away all those lovely words.

    Do I ever use them elsewhere? Not usually, but you never know!!

  20. Sandra, I love the thought of gardening, but like you, I tend to make more a mess of things. My husband usually comes out, holds his hand out for my gloves and suggests I take a the opposite direction, LOL!

  21. Julie HS, good to hear about the editing - my thoughts are with you : ). Cut and trim a little here and there, and then go outside and enjoy May Day!!

  22. Loves To Read, have a second cup of coffee and wait for it to warm up outside. Enjoy the glorious morning.

  23. DebH, I sympathize with you on all counts. I need to keep in mind trimming back plants is GOOD. They become fuller and thicker.

    And don't worry, the gusher will come. Sometimes from the oddest places. Go take a walk clear your mind. Sometimes blowing out the clutter in the brain leaves room for new thought growth : )

    Hit that word count...!! I'm rooting for you!!

  24. Loved your post, Audra! I just finished cleaning flower beds and popping in a few new plants—now it's time to start on my WIP.

    Hope I can make as much difference in it as I did in the yard!

    We've been blown away here in Okie land too! I weigh 104 and sometimes I'm afraid I'll end up in Texas! Which would be okay—I have friends there!:-))

  25. Well I think you just nailed my Self Editing for Beginners curriculum. Were you peeking?

  26. I have unfriended my delete key. My brilliant phrases sentences and paragraphs that must be cut go into a file called "Save for another use" Strange how I haven't found that 'other use' for any of them yet. Great post Audra and thanks so much. The weeding task always goes better with some help and encouragement.

  27. Audra, love the cover on your sounds so good, too!

    We are too old to do gardens, but sure enjoy a neighbor's veggies (he sells them)!

    Thanks for the A card you are offering!

  28. I totally agree with you about the weeding and pruning part (of writing) being more fun than the original draft. I'm not a fan of the blank page; it's when I have something to work with that I begin to have fun. ;)

  29. AUDS!!! Oh, man, we sooooo need this kick-off into spring ... in more ways than one!!

    Ah, "spring" ... something that seems to come later and later every year! Usually I've been on my lower deck by now -- A LOT -- enjoying the traditionally warmer temps of April and even March, but not this year. I've only been writing in my lower-deck office two or three times, and then bundled like an Eskimo, so many layers of sweaters and blankets on that I can barely type.

    In St. Louis, the last frost date is supposed to be between April 10th and April 20th, BUT ... I remember well my daughter's May 5th wedding a year ago when it SNOWED two days before. Historical day temps for May in St. Louis range in the mid to upper 70s, so we felt fairly safe with a reception where 20% of the people were seated outside on a terrace that opened off the main room. Talk about scrambling!! Well, at least I guess you could say everybody had a "cool" time ...

    YOU SAID: "There isn’t a writer on God’s green earth who hasn’t written a few extra words now and then."

    HA!! My extra words could just about fill as many books as I've written, so cleanup is a definite must, but like you, I LOVE the editing stage, where I can revisit the characters in a fresh read-through, trimming out those extra pounds that neither the plot or I need to carry!! :)

    Great blog, Auds, as always!!


  30. HA! Keith just told me the weather for THIS May 5th (my daughter's anniversary) is supposed to be in the low to mid 80s, so we weren't all that crazy to have gambled with a partially outdoor reception where the typical 20% attrition could have saved our butts. But almost everybody came, which I suppose is a compliment. Sigh -- we could have done without so many compliments ... ;)

    YOU ALSO SAID: "BUT, just because the gold nuggets of your efforts reside in that rushing stream, it doesn’t mean there isn’t some very careful panning ahead for you."

    SOOOO TRUE!! And double "panning" in my case. First my editor "pans" it, then I do ... ;)


  31. I can't believe I don't have your books, Audra. They sound like the type I like to read. I'll have to remedy that. I sincerely hope my writing isn't like my gardening. I sowed spinach seeds back in Feb. DH came along and plowed it up by mistake. I re-sowed and about 25 plants came up. I'll be lucky to get one good salad out of it.

    I've come a long way in my editing and have finally developed cadence ear. I have no trouble cutting things out, but I usually add back more than I cut.

  32. Great post, Audra! You're so right about how we have to get to know our characters as we write the story before we fully understand who they are and what makes them tick. But those "aha" moments, when we finally figure them out, are what make writing such fun--at least for me!

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Hi Audra! You know, I think I like the editing process most of all, too. I'm editing my first novel, and writing my second, and I keep looking at the second and wondering why everything doesn't seem to be coming together as smoothly as the first. I realized it's because I've gone through the first novel twice already (once to get the word count down, the second to move it into a Scrivener file), and I've already pruned a lot out and made it more cohesive! I'm only six chapters into the second novel, so there's a lot of room to plant, grow and THEN weed (er, edit!).

    Have a great day, and I'm hoping for some sunshine here in Nebraska, too.

  35. Audra, Love this post.

    I am finding that now that I am over 40,000 words on this first attempt, that as my characters develop, I need to add whole scenes to what I first wrote. I have been posting sticky notes on my hard copy so when I go back to edit I will know what I need to add to make it fit. I make a hard copy because I find it hard to proof on the computer.

    I am so thrilled with the sunshine today. I just came in from taking pictures of rhodadendron, iris, azalea etc. I am not a gardener, but the photographer who captures the results of other's labors.

    Happy May Day every one!

    Please consider me for the giveaway.

  36. I pretty much just read the words 'rodents emerging from their burrows' and freaked out about all the rest.

  37. Audra, I'm so there ... weeding both my flowerbeds and my second historical WIP. When one gets tiresome, I just go to the other.

    Second Chance Ranch -- so fun to read about a high school romance years later. I wasn't sure how Jen and Zac would work through some of those old hurts and new problems. Thanks for keeping the Davidson family going -- hope you're working on the next one :-)

    Nancy C

  38. Tina, you are all that and so much more! I really needed your class. I'll be first in line when you offer it again : )

  39. Cindy, I'm glad you stopped hitting that delete button! Sometimes there's a gem in all those words and you'll kick yourself when you can't find that word or phrase that you KNEW you'd written!!

  40. Jackie, there's nothing wrong with enjoying other peoples' efforts!! Got you in the drawing for the card : )

  41. Dear Audra, Thank you for the post. Having two brown thumbs, I'm not a gardener, but I appreciate using gardening analogies to writing. Pruning and weeding are very important tools in a writer's tool belt. Enjoy May.

  42. Alas, I am one of those difficult and persnickety people who want it right the first time. :-) I spend much time getting to know my characters and plotting in advance to avoid the dreaded revision process. So, I appreciate your analogy to gardening today, Audra. As pretty as the spring annuals are when they go in the ground, they still need care later. I'll keep that image in mind as I continue my current edits. :-) Happy May Day!

  43. Audra, I love all those Spring photos of beautiful gardens minus weeds of course and the gorgeous vegetables they produce! Fun way to remind us we need to weed out anything that chokes the story or takes the reader on rabbit trails instead of on the garden path.
    Makes me want to go outside and weed.

    I tend to weed as I go, but still there's oodles of things to look at when the story is finished.

    Can't wait to read Second Chance Ranch! It's on my Kindle. Too many books are waiting there. I need a Spring readfest!


  44. Well, I'm late to the pruning party today, but I had to go to town. Like Janet, I weed as I go, editing what was written the day before before starting a new day's writing.

    Here in Texas, we've had spring weather for a solid month for the most part. Actually, we're going up to 90° this Saturday and Sunday, and it was the same temperature last Sunday too.

    I agree with Audra, Ruthy. Time for summer wear. Way too hot for scarves. :)

  45. Sorry about time between conversations here. Day job lets me sneak in only so often : 0

    Jennifer, doesn't that blank screen just blank your mind? OMG, I'd much rather edit something than create it the first time around!!

  46. I've had threads grow like stinkin' Morning Glory vines and then I have to whittle the vines with a SICKLE because they're way too wild for a simple trowel-like tool.


    But I'm better now, and editors are NOT AFRAID to help you see the error of your ways.

    Which makes me want to Fix It Fast.


  47. My aunt just told me pretty much the same thing. Ouch.... I'm scared. To take scissors to my baby? I'm going to crank out the chocolate and weed out the unnecessary bits from my baby this weekend. You have to cut back your roses to help them bloom right?

  48. As I was revising, I cut and pasted a bunch of stuff into a separate file.

    I used none of it.


    So once the book was complete, I dumped the file. I used to keep everything, I think there's an inner fear that we can't recreate the masterpieces of our minds...

    Well, piffle.

    Of course we can! And better. But it took me a while to see that.

  49. Julie! I love your lower deck! I don't care if I have to bundle up. That place is pure magic for writing inspiration!

    Hmmm, Julie Lessman having extra words...didn't I once mistake A Light In The Window as a novella? LOL! The good Lord knows His words are safe with you and you will not waste them : ) Instead, you turn the extras into a new story.

    Stay warm and keep writing, sweet stuff!

  50. Hey, Audra! Sorry I almost missed your post! It's not been a very good day. :-( Our precious little pet guinea pig died last night, and I had to tell my kids this morning, and they were devastated. And I didn't take it too well either. I cried a ridiculous amount, and then I had to bury the poor little thing after I took them to school. Bad day.

    But it was nice to see you. :-) Great post on weeding the WIP and saving the salvageable stuff. :-) And I still need to read your awesome book! Been looking forward to Zac's story since I read your first book about Melanie. ;-) Gotta love those Melanies.

  51. Elaine! Sorry about the spinach! Things work like that around our house, too. It's a wonder my squash and lettuce stands a chance, LOL!

    Glad you've got the editing down pat. Most times I'm too close to my own stories to see what doesn't work, but once it's pointed out, the light bulb goes off. I have no problems pruning the misplaced tangents out of my work.

    Thanks, Elaine!

  52. Have to say Ma has come with a blast of winter! As you warm up we gear up for the cold.
    this time a year ago I was in the city on the first leg of my trip to America. Cant believe it was a year ago.

  53. I love how you've compared gardening and writing, Audra. My sister is a garden lover. I've been known to pick up a shovel and help occasionally, but I mostly help her cook (and eat) what comes out of it. :)

    Second Chance Ranch is in my Kindle TBR Category. Can't wait!

  54. Happy May Day, Audra and Seekerville :)

  55. This post, spring, planting, pruning reminds me of a few weeks ago when I pruned my one lonely rosebush.

    There's a reason I only have one, and that's because it's of some really old-fashioned variety that's made of hardy stock and it survives year after year, while all the cute blue, yellow, orange, deep-deep-deep red-velvet propagated (grafted? whatever it is...) varieties from the local greenhouses succumbed to bugs long, long ago.

    But that's a different story....

    I knew I needed to trim it before it budded, so I started in on it. I had no clue how much to cut, or how little. About half-way through, I wished I'd asked my mother-in-law to help because she knows a LOT about gardening.

    Too much here? Too little there?

    Back up, look at the shape...

    If I cut that, then there's going to be a hole... but look at that long dead...stick, then this pretty little limb on the side. It's just going to suck the life out of the rest.

    Okay, cut.

    Oops. Wrong limb.

    Must cut over here to balance what I did over there.

    This is what shaping an 90K word ms feels like sometimes.


    the good news is that with a little sunshine and rain, a little "growth", all the bare spots are filled in nicely! :)

    My rosebush is starting to look very pretty indeed.

    Think I'll go admire it!

  56. May Day, the absolute perfect time for this post. My story needs fertilizer more than pruning at the moment.

  57. Myra, you are so right! It's amazing it takes so long to get to know your characters, especially since we created them!

    Goes to show our books take on a life of their own.

  58. Stephanie, congrats big time on completing that novel!! Now that you've got one under your belt, the second will be that much harder because you realize all the stuff you need to keep in your mind, LOL!

    Since I started writing in Scrivener, I've discovered editing is less complicated. Since Scrivener breaks up the novel into workable chunks, I can keep my focus on the beginning, middle, and end easier.

    Keep sharpening those skills!!

  59. Wilani, I love taking pictures of the spring blooms. Just getting out in the warm air is wonderful -- the flowers make it perfect.

    Great to hear about the 40K progress!

  60. Nancy, kudos to writing historical novels! When I was working on my Victorian series, I had such a hard time keeping my research straight. Someday I'll polish those stories and share them with the world : )

    Thanks for the kind words for Second Chance Ranch. So much fun to write. The third book, Nick's story, will be out this fall. Don't worry, Seekerville will be the first to hear about it : )

  61. Really, Mary? You couldn't get past the rodents to get to the calves??

  62. Hi Tanya, brown thumbs unite! We can appreciate the view from our kitchen windows, LOL!

  63. Meghan, you go girl! Your edits are going to be a breeze!

  64. Great post, Audra! I also save my discarded scenes and ideas for other books. I have a tendency to want to include too many ideas in one book so saving the discarded things makes me feel much better. We can't let good things go to waste!

  65. Wow, Audra - - this was very timely for me today, as I'm in the midst of some serious pruning of my historical manuscript.
    Not only am I cutting words--LOTS of words--but revising and adding conflict. And I'll admit it's been much tougher than I thought it would be.
    I don't have a garden at the moment, but if I did, I'd also be ready to work on it after reading your post! Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

    p.s. Have you ever been a motivational speaker? ;)
    I have a feeling you'd be great!!

  66. Oh Janet, honey. Go out and enjoy the flowers and sunshine. Happy May Day!!!

  67. Crystal, 90 degrees is springtime weather? Wow. I'm looking forward to mid 70s and low 80s. Thinking of the 90s is scaring me silly : )

  68. Haven? Roses are a mystery to me. Now pansies? Pansies I can grow like no one's business, LOL!!

  69. Oooo, the thought of Ruthy going out to her garden with a sickle?

    Get Out of the way!!!

    And she snips up her manuscript! And she deletes the words!!

    Oh the pain!!

  70. Hey, Audra! You know, I'm still in the cranking out the first draft mode. :)

    And now you have me thinking of cleaning out closets!

  71. Ruthy, I just finished Loving the Lawman and love, love, love, love it. I hope to post reviews later tonight or in the morning.

  72. Melanie, I'm sorry about the guinea pig! We lost so many beloved pets. It was always hard.

    I'm so glad you remember Rocky Mountain Hero by Melanie : ) She was a cool heroine. Much like the friend I might have modeled her after : )

    Glad you showed up girlfriend : )

  73. Jenny, I can't believe it's been a year! And now you're moving into winter. I'm so glad it's warming up here. I was beginning to have my doubts. Stay warm, Jenny!!

  74. Natalie, I'm down with eating instead of weeding...unless you combine the two and then you have salad : )

    Sorry about that.

    I hope you enjoy Second Chance Ranch. I'd love to hear what you think of it!!

  75. I remember last year you had a cold spring also. most of the time in the states (except Hawaii) it was warmer here then there but this year I think we are in for a colder winter. of course what I call cold you may not. its around 52.7 which is cold to me and the air temp is much lower. This day last year I was still wearing shorts!

  76. Awww, Pammy. Nice story about the rosebush. Funny how you can get carried away while trying to beautify it : ) I start to snip away at some of my plants and end up with a pile of green.

    Not a good sign : )

    But in the end, our stories end up filling in the bald spots and perking up with a little TLC.

    Lucky me : )

  77. Oh Cara, so true! When I start a book I have so many ideas floating through my head, I try to catch them and of course put them all in the same book.

    Weeding. That's the ticket. Weed and save in folder for more books!

  78. Happy May, Audra!

    When I first read this post early this morning, we were still all doom and gloom here, but around noon the sun emerged and it was as if the storm had truly ushered in spring. We hit high 70s by late afternoon.

    Of course the rain is back now, but for one brief shining moment....

    Anyway, I love this -

    "but it isn’t until they breakdown in front of me and all the other characters, that I understand what makes them the man or woman they are."

    That's me too. No matter how hard I try to visualize and plan out in advance, it's not til I'm down there in the dirt with them, that I understand.

    Great post!

  79. Motivational speaker. Oh Patti Jo, you make me giggle : ) I'm glad my words of wisdom helped. Keep fertilizing that manuscript and you'll have a winner before you know it : )

  80. When you're done with your closets, Missy, will you come over and help me with mine??

  81. Mary Curry, glad you had a gorgeous day. It's May Day!!

    Glad to hear you're down in the dirt wrestling with your characters : ) No better way to get to know them!!

  82. I can picture the weeding with the writing & the Spring time gardening.

  83. I like the book cover. Please enter me in the drawing.

  84. Pruning my WIP this week, so I can appreciate the similarities to gardening. :)

  85. Thank you for the info. Please enter me in the draw.