I'm all but done with this project, which I started at the beginning of May, with threads--both perle cotton and embroidery floss--out of my stash. It was finicky work, a lesson in patience, but that's what it's all about, isn't it? Patience and paying attention. Paying careful attention, because when your attention wanders, you lose your place in the pattern, and what you have left is a scramble. A helpful life lesson, perhaps.
Book report. I finished the full draft of The General's Women, sent it out to beta readers, and have gotten helpful responses. I'll go back to it when all the other responses are in--in the meantime, I did some research on Queen Anne's Lace and have started writing. This will be another "split-screen" story, one mystery happening in the distant past, the other in the present. If I get it right, they'll dovetail into a single story in the final chapters. I used this structure for Widow's Tears and Nightshade, two of my favorite China Bayles mysteries. It's a little more work, but there it is again: patience and paying attention, so that it doesn't end in a scramble.
Homestead report. The usual July heatwave is upon us, with a high pressure dome squatting over us like a giant placid toad. The garden is done for the summer; I won't be putting in the fall garden until the soil temps fall back into the non-combustible zone. The Girls are allowed out early in the afternoon, because they will roast if I leave them in their coop--and while we like roast chicken, these hens are here to make eggs. The wild pigs were holding nightly let's-dig-up-the-grass parties in our back yard, until Bill hooked up the varmint repeller, which emits a very loud clacking and some ultrasonic noise. The pigs decided to take their party elsewhere.
Yes, it's hot. Nothing new about that. But August is butterfly month, and the Swallowtails--Giant, Black, Spicebush, and Tiger--are lovely to look at and plentiful this year. This is a Spicebush catching a snooze on a juniper twig. Gorgeous.
Reading note, on patience: Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh