Rough Week, Hanging In There

If I landscaped something this beautiful, I’d demand to be buried in it.
Image courtesy of Stockvault.

It’s been a rough week. I haven’t gotten any writing I wanted done. The good news is that the garden is coming along. The radishes should be ready tomorrow if the timeline on the seed packet is accurate. Last week I picked one, and it looked like a small, purple carrot.

The peppers I started indoors all got planted outside. I’m not sure if they’re doing okay or doing poorly. The leaves are sagging, but they perk up whenever they get water. My hope is they’ll do better in a week or so. It would be nice if there would be some rain that came through.

At any rate, my hope is to hack away at a project or two in the coming weeks. Things should be settling down outside so I can spend more time indoors to write. While time outside is okay for mulling over what I’m stuck on, I’m feeling like I have a longer piece sitting around in the back of my mind waiting to come out. When it does, I’ll want to share a short excerpt.


Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Patience Smith lay in blackness, unable to move. She believed her eyes were open, but she couldn’t be sure. She had the sensation of laying on her back facing up. She could smell warm, stale air. Knowing anything else required her to move, but that was beyond her.

Her mind formed a dozen questions. Where was she? How did she get there? Why couldn’t she move?

The sound of scratching above captured Patience’s attention. It hit with a dull thud, and then a scrape. Thud. Scrape. Thud. Scrape. Every time, it shook the air around her.

Then, the scraping stopped. Patience could hear and feel the thud until it became a quiet tap. She could feel the tap until it faded into nothingness. Silence fell over her like a blanket, and Patience found it stifling.

Something shifted above her head, the sound of a groan, and then something dry fell onto Patience’s face. She could not move her mouth, but a little bit fell through her lips. It landed on her tongue. The taste was familiar.

It was dirt.

Memories invaded Patience’s mind, returning and demanding attention. She recalled telling her mother that she was going to be a grandmother. She remembered the tea her mother gave her. She relived her mother’s hands dragging her out to the family cemetery, and a pine box waiting for her there.

Her mother’s last words: “Fornicating is unforgivable. How dare you!”

Game of Thrones Season 8

Image from Wikipedia. Image author: Home Box Office.

Author’s Note: This post discusses Game of Thrones up to the current season. There will be spoilers ahead.

Game of Thrones has always been known for its controversial stories. I was a fan of the show for the first five seasons. Afterwards, I watched a mediocre sixth season and was okay with just reading reviews of the seventh season. Many hardcore fans grew angry with the show. Since I’m a recovering Lostie, I’d already had my hopes and dreams drowned in a kiddie pool filled with vodka and tears. I know better than to get too involved in a show.

Right now, my disappointment with the show rests in the fact that the main conflict – the zombie horde coming to eat everyone’s brains – was dealt with in three episodes. For perspective, consider that the show opened its first season with the zombies. The books opened with the zombies. Everything advertised the zombies as the main threat. While everyone else plotted and schemed, the few people looking for zombies saw a TON of them.

This breaks a promise made to everyone who bought into the story. That promise was a story about an impending doom coming to people too self-absorbed to see it coming. Think of it like watching a movie about the Titanic where the audience is waiting for the ship to go down. It’s a great way to build suspense. The slow burn gives fans a lot of time to get into a world and make predictions about how it all fits together.

Fortunately I’m not as invested in the show or books as I otherwise might be. As I said above, I watched Lost pretty closely until the end. Although I wasn’t mad at the series finale, it did hurt to have so many plots left hanging in the wind. I see that happening for Game of Thrones. Since I can relate, I feel bad for fans of the show who have been let down.

That said, there are some fans who still like what’s going on. I’m happy for them. While the whole zombie invasion story could have been bigger and more epic, there is enough going on for people to be happy about characters who have lived long enough to get to this point. A small victory is still a victory. As for me, I don’t think I’m going to enjoy the show in hindsight. I used to buy the seasons as they came out, but I haven’t done that since season 5.


Image courtesy of Stockvault.

I’m still writing, but this past week’s been a little hectic. My sister got married last weekend, so most of the week was dedicated to helping out. It was a nice service and reception. Friends and family had a good time.

There’s also more planting to do. Some rhubarb came in the mail, sitting on some wedding gifts for my sister. I went out and dug up the old rhubarb patch to plant the new ones. The old ones didn’t do too well. That’s kind of a story in itself.

My family’s originally from Wisconsin, so I grew up eating sweet stuff made with rhubarb. I live in Alabama now. The state is quite warmer than Wisconsin. This means rhubarb won’t grow well here. According to anecdotes I’ve been told, rhubarb needs colder ground temperatures to let it know to start growing again. Since winters don’t get too cold here (it doesn’t dip below freezing for long, and snow makes the locals panic), the rhubarb grew the first year and didn’t come back.

This time will be different, I hope. The rhubarb I’m using is supposed to like warmer temperatures. I won’t know for sure until next year. Until then, I have to live with frozen rhubarb from the supermarket whenever it’s available.

On a semi-related note (kudos if you got the title reference), I’m really happy Stranger Things will air for its third season this year. It’s been too long since the second season. If I’m not in Wisconsin, I’ll be binge watching the whole series when it’s available.