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Writing Wendl - attrition...

Status report on the current novel project, Wendl the Fallen : At around 60,000 words, I've killed off a couple of characters, which is usually an early sign that the story is finding me. The target is a rough draft of about 100,000 words in twelve chapters, which will trim down in re-write and editing to something like 70,000 words in ten chapters. I've never written a novel this dark before - or this funny. To be honest, I'm not at all sure I'll ever be able to finish it. Meanwhile, The Winged Child will be out in February. That is my best one so far.   Henry's books . If you would like to deliver Drovers Gap blog directly to your email inbox, click here .  

There might be...

There might be a better way to begin a new year than by starting a new garden, but on short notice, I can't think of what it might be. This one is small, as gardens go, dug into the side of a hill. The entire garden is about five hundred square feet, bounded on two sides by our house, and on the other two by a dry-stacked stone wall laid up from stone all found on the site.

Except for the little spruce, and the scraggly remnants of a gaggle of hydrangeas, there isn't much to see right now but rocks and dirt. The rocks are pretty well set in their assigned places at this point, but there will be more resident green by spring. The hydrangeas will be encouraged where they are. They are getting pruned back this week. 

Groundcover will likely be something green and growing as opposed to pebbles or sand. Edibles will be neighbored with ornamental plants. The fractured concrete slab in the foreground of the picture above was the extent of the original courtyard we found when we moved here. The plan is to cover that area with pavers or a low deck to provide a nook for sitting/meditating/working.

Over two years, I dug and hauled away by hand enough of the encroaching hill to make a level place for the present garden. A stone retaining wall, verging on collapse, left a passage less than three feet wide from the garage to our back door. This photo, made shortly after we moved in, illustrates the problem.
I dismantled the old wall and restacked it in its present location.
So, the new year stretches ahead and all my tools are ready at hand. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a good pair of shoes. I'll let you know how this one goes.