Friday, May 02, 2008

Of gardening and freelancing

A couple of good friends came by and tilled up my garden for me last night. I'm excited about this. Until we moved to this house and I went to work, I was an avid organic gardener and I've really missed digging in the soil and growing my own food. I wasn't sure we'd find enough dirt in the yard to plant one (we live near the lake--lots of shelf rock here), but the spot I picked out as a likely location (enough sun, no cedars nearby, relatively flat and evidence of healthy growth already) yielded plenty of healthy black dirt. Of course it yielded plenty of rocks too, but that's to be expected in the Ozarks and that's what pickaxes and teenage boys are for.

I'm keeping it simple this year--just tomatoes, squash, green beans and maybe small pumpkins or gourds (never grown those before--could be fun).

Also, after studying the market, and looking at my dismal bank account, I've decided to tackle a different kind of gardening this summer with respect to writing. I'm going to try my hand at freelancing in addition to writing Willows' Blood and subbing to agents. I told my husband he and the boys have provided me ample fodder for parenting magazines and it's silly not to tap into it. After looking back at year of blogging, I believe if I can write five blog entries a week that are often nothing more than a report on the latest "guess what my kid did today" I can certainly write two decent articles in the same period of time. And while the nonfiction market is different from the short story market, the submissions process is only slightly different--and is actually easier.

Someone suggested this to me a few years ago when the boys were little, but I didn't think I had anything to say that anyone would want to read back then. Now, halfway through this process, I'm beginning to suspect that I do. Also, for a long time, the whole idea of writing "non-fiction" scared me to death. It meant structure, it meant accuracy, it meant I had to know what I was talking about. Now that I have a few years of writing newspaper articles, monthly newsletters, annual reports, monthly reports, some grant writing, and tons and tons of professional correspondence on behalf of an employer, I've learned you don't have to know what you're talking about. You just have to know what to leave out and what to put in. I can do that.

Anyway, amazingly enough, I already have one half written. It involves, boys, an indoor table top fountain, orange juice, wads of paper, a soccer ball, my china cabinet, and one dad in the doghouse. I've entitled it "Nothing's Broke". If you have to ask, then you don't have boys.


debby said...

Oh, I'm already filling in the blanks in that story...

debby said...

Oh, Mary! Already filling in the blanks in THAT story...and laughing my rear off!

Scotty said...

and I'd like an autographed copy of that when it's published (I'll pay for postage)