Soggy Sunday

It’s raining again, half-an-inch overnight with more to come. Lucky for me, since I won’t have to water today. But later this week, we’ll need to mow. The grass is thick and green and growing.

But signs of fall are everywhere. Here are some black-eyed Susans–or are they miniature sunflowers–growing near an old tank on 311 Street.

#Pit-Mad is over and the submissions requested through the day have been sent. Yay. Now it’s time to start thinking about PitchWars and a Romance Writers of America contest I stumbled over–perfect for The Last Summer Queen.

In the garden, Jim trucked home the soil I need to build the berm to plant the weeping cherry tree on order. It will provide the “ceiling” for the Meditation Garden, sometime in the next ten years.

I also have enough mulch to finish fall planting and bed clean-up. The red clover–my experimental cover crop–is coming up apace. Although I’m behind in dividing daylilies, I’ve moved most of the ferns from the north side to the front, under the pin oaks. They seem to be doing well.

Carrying on. Hope your September is all you dreamed.

#PitMad

Today is #PitMad. For the non-novelists reading this, #PitMad is a Twitter event to pitch unpublished novels to agents.

I’m pitching my unpublished paranormal romance The Last Summer Queen. I’ll also be looking for a mentor via PitchWars to give me assist. I finished the novel last December, significantly edited and revised in June, a process I wrote about in Twelve Thousand Words. I’ve queried about thirty agents and had one agent ask for a full read. Exciting, but I haven’t heard back.

So keeping-on, Pitch Wars may give me insight into how to better market my novel. Especially since I’m halfway–HALFWAY YAY–through the second in this three (okay, maybe four) novel series.

#PitMad gives you a chance to pitch three times during the day. I plan to pitch at 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm. Here are my three pitches:

#1: Dance and sing and lie in wait. Summer’s sting is Winter’s fate. “The Last Summer Queen” #paranormalromance #pitmad

#2: Will Macy embrace her role as Summer Queen and convince Ethan to be her Winter King? Will Ethan’s unwillingness to be a father keep him trapped in Holiday forever? Or will they learn that love really is the greatest magic of all? #paranormalromance #pitmad

#3: Macy is eager to get pregnant, the price to practice magic. Ethan agrees to father her child so he can go home. But first they must confront sideways magic, lost powers, and a deadly curse. And whatever happens, they must not fall in love.  #paranormalromance #pitmad

See a way to improve any of it? Please comment!

If you’re on Twitter and want to help out, please go to my profile, which you can fine @sykreps. The #pitmad tweets will be pinned under my profile at 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm. Please RETWEET but please do not LIKE. Likes are reserved for agents.

Clearly, the more times a tweet is retweeted, the more likely it is to be seen by the right agent. One of the things I’ve learned in #Learning2bLucky, is to take advantage of every opportunity to meet my goal. #PitMad is one of those opportunities.

Thanks for reading.

Cover Crop

Happy Labor Day and Welcome September!

The photo shows the bed I used this year for lettuce and beans, now sprouting red clover.

This year, I decided to try a cover crop in my raised beds–at least in some of them–instead of using black plastic bags as a weed preventer. Or discourager, since nothing prevents weeds.

The purpose of the cover crop–besides crowding out weeds–is to add nitrogen to the soil. And of course, nitrogen is one of the fertilizers that help plants grow.

I chose red clover, available at Amazon here, but probably available at your local nursery or farm supply store. If this is something for you to try, make sure you buy inoculated seed. Innoculation adds a bacterial rhizome, important when adding nitrogen to the soil. It’s the bacteria that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrogen the plants can use.

I’ve planted red clover before and the flowers are gorgeous. I’m leaving this bed alone for a full year–meaning I’m skipping a season of planting anything else here–to see how well the clover enriches the soil.

Meanwhile, while I’d like to say the daylily separation project proceeds apace, it’s really at a slow pace. The rainy weather has turned the yard and all the flower beds into mini-swamps. Not good for transplanting. I do have some yellow, orange, and pink divided and available to good homes.

Here’s to some dry, cooler weather. While September can be sizzling hot, all the signs point to an early fall. We’ll see.

September Sunday

The rainy weather continues and the yard is swampy. The photo shows morning glories growing in the burn pile together with a pretty grass gone to seed. That grass will give us fits next spring when it starts coming up where we don’t want it.

The tomatoes are about done–the larger ones never ripened thanks to the cool, wet weather. On the plus side, I’ve got tons of eggplant and peppers, and we’re watching a couple of huge watermelons. We always pick melons a day early or a day late. Maybe this year…

The big project this week is to move plants from the north side of the house to the front–now shady–bed. And then to move the sun-loving plants to the back garden. But it’s so muddy, moving anything is chancy.

On the writing front, in three thousand more words I’ll be halfway into the first draft of my work in progress. Fluttering is out and I have another short story due for publication in December. Plus five more at market. So it’s all good.

Now if only it would dry out.