It snowed on Sunday.
And then it snowed on Tuesday. It’s a wonder that I still have all my, uh, what do you call ’em, those round thingies that roll smoothly from one synapse to the other in a sequential and thought-provoking manner.
And then it snowed all the live long day Thursday. Marbles.
I measure bird feed by the pitcher.
I throw out three to four pitchers of bird feed a day. The kind you make iced tea in.
Broadcasting the bird feed o’er the land gives our birdies wing-space.
The blue jays are a bit wary of the squirrels but the cardinals are downright cowards.
Mrs. Cardinal has a tad more chutzpah than the old spherical object tied around the tarsus. ( That’s him, peering over the shoulder of an about-to-pounce-on-a-sunflower seed blue jay.)
And this is him, opting for the better part of valor.
This is from the back patio feeding ground.
Awww, squirrels are so cute.
Come on! That’s cute!
But maybe not as cute as this:
Dear Readers, I am in a mood today. Not the kind of mood that makes you want to take a twirl in the twilight or whip up a batch of champagne marmalade. The other kind of mood. The one that makes you feel as if fate has thrown a meat cleaver directly into the heart of your peace of mind.
On Monday I amazed myself by hitting FINAL on the last re-write of the next-to-last chapter of the Damn Garden Book. The End was Sooooooooooo Near. Sooooooo near. The nearest it has ever been in the three years I’ve been writing this Damn Book. The weight of deadlines and trial and errors and writing the wrong Damn Book over and over again was almost off my shoulders. I had at last got it right! I wrote good stuff! Any day now I could open the special Prosecco that has been on my dining room shelf waiting to celebrate The End of the Damn Garden Book!
All I had to do was write the London chapter, a chapter that I have put off writing for two years because I knew it would be “easy” to write. I did piles of research, read a whole book about the history of apothecary gardens, written pages and pages of notes, gone over the notes and pulled out whatever seemed too digressive, shaped up 14 pages of narrative — all so the writing would be a breeze. A breeze.
This is how organized I am: this is what the data base for the DGB looks like:
See? Everything in place, at my fingertips.
To refresh your memory, this is what the London Chapter look like:
The only thing between me and the end of 3 years of 7-day work weeks is the London chapter. And I can’t find it.
It’s not lost in the black hole of the internet, or in the one-way labyrinth of my hard drive. It’s lost in my house.
I have lost the hard copy of all my notes-taken and outlines plotted and fun fact shoehorned. I can’t find my London pile of notes.
My editor at Bloomsbury is OK with getting 8 our of 9 chapters from me on Friday (the wished-for deadline was last Monday). She will look over the flow and the sentences and the potholes of the text while I start assembling the layouts for 208 pages of book. After the text has been content edited, line edited, and proofread, I will drop the perfection of prose that will forever be Vivian Swift’s Last Damn Book into the blank spots between illustrations.
And then I can life like a normal person.
But I can’t do that until I find the London chapter. After a few days of moping, I started a down-to-the-floorboards search starting i my workroom. If you are reading this as a normally scheduled post, then I haven’t found it yet.
If I had found the damn London chapter, I would have posted this:
This is a picture of the neighborhood walled gardens of London (Knightsbridge — you watched me paint it in the post called It’s True. I Paint Like a Writer under the category London Gardens).
Shortly after I painted this, I ruined it. I added questionable line enhancements and I cropped off the sidewalk. I am a few illustrations short in the London chapter, so I recently took another gander at this and realized that I still like the idea of the pic so much that I want to rescue it. I want to correct my mistakes and turn it into the full-page (8 inch by 9 inch) title page for the London chapter.
I am very sorry for not replying to all of your Comments last week. I just haven’t had the heart. But I will — I hope you keep checking.
I hope by next week I will have found the London chapter along with all those tiny globular containers of mindfulness that fire the concept of a person I call “Me”.