Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Spring! And updates —

Cleverly flowering between last week’s freeze and tonight’s freeze, my baby Magnolia ‘Butterflies.’ This is one of the best modern yellows. I believe it’s a selection off the normal saucer magnolia, so my guess is it will be a small tree rather than a shrub. Mine is just a baby, about five feet tall.

Butterfly2 (Medium)

I must say, in my more totalitarian moments, I would like to establish a plant list for every town and refuse to let more than, say, ten trees of any one kind be planted within the city limits, because there are WAY too many Bradford pears and WAY too few yellowthorns (say), so it would be nice to prod homeowners away from the former and toward the latter. BUT, I would give everybody a free magnolia. Nothing is more beautiful in the spring than a town where people went nuts with magnolias about 40 years ago. Champaign/Urbana in IL is like that, btw. Magnolias for spring and red maples for fall, that town will knock your socks off twice a year when the weather cooperates. Someone sure deserves a lot of credit for that town’s landscaping, don’t know who, but good job whoever you were.

Okay, and I think this is a fritillaria of some kind.

Frittalaria (Medium)

I planted it about ten years ago, just one bulb because it was expensive, and every year it comes up, looks fine, fails to flower, and dies back. Now that I have forgotten exactly what it is, it has finally decided to flower. Black flowers! How cool is that?

Tonight it is supposed to freeze. Or maybe tomorrow night. This might zap the apricot / plum / peach flowers, but on the other hand, maybe not. We are up high enough that we sometimes manage to stay above the line even when there is a sharp frost in town. Lots of finger-crossing around town, I’m sure.

On the other hand, nasty weather will let me stay inside and get some (non-gardening) work done!

On Saturday I didn’t really have time to do much, what with gardening etc, but I managed to cut 50 pages, yay! Progress! Now the WIP is merely much too long rather than INSANELY too long. It’s down to about 550 pp in case you are curious. It started as nearly 750 pp. I want to cut another 100 pages or so, but in fact it is okay with me if this particular WIP winds up on the long side, so I won’t insist on getting it down below 480 pp or so.

Yesterday I added a short scene to complete Ch. 6, but I cut several pages so that was all right. Then I strung several scenes together and corrected the flow for Ch. 7. Then I wrote a new beginning for Ch. 8. Today, I will revise Ch. 8 — an extensive job, but hopefully I will finish that tonight. Or, yeah, maybe tomorrow. I believe a lot of Ch 9 can remain essentially unchanged, though! And I will be saving large chunks of Ch 10. After that I’m not sure, probably a lot more hacking it up and stitching it back together.

Meanwhile, puppy cuteness continues to be mildly distracting.

A typical view of the puppy:

PuppyBlur (Medium)

The small blurry puppy is Bug. The large blurry puppy is Honey, who has recently turned one, btw, so she will be showing in the Graduate Puppy class in May. Thank heaven her foot is much, much better. Advice to puppies: do not drive half-inch splinters into your toes where they won’t be found for three days. Very ow. But her toe looks back to normal at last.

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