The garden continues to wither away. Each time K and I come over, we have to pull some poor plant up by the roots and deliver it unto the compost pile. K has planted some lettuce for the autumn, so this year’s garden is not quite through yet. But the end is definitely in sight, I’m afraid. Today, we actually needed to buy tomatoes from the store. That’s how bad things have gotten. The potato harvest we took hold of in early August is nearly spent. I’m making a beef-vegetable stew right now that puts us one charge from empty. The herbs are looking lean and crummy now too. I have to do a harvest soon to save most of them for winter. The sage, lemon verbena and sweet basil need to be stored stat!

It’s a communal garden we labor in, so one of my garden neighbors comes over and asks me if I’ve had some tomatoes stolen. Yup, I says. A half dozen beefstake level goodies ready to be plucked the next day, and when I show up the next day, they gone. I tell the guy everybody wants their cut – the bugs take their cut, the birds and gophers take their cut, and now the hungry people take theirs. What can you do? I can’t complain though, I says. I got 2 or 3 bushels of bounty, and that’s not considering the non-tomato cut I got. The guy laughs and gives me four Juliets, tomatoes to keep for seeds, since we’re talking about getting seeds ready for next year. We talk shop a little, and he takes off. I feel like I got the level up, it’s cool.

I finally got the pictures developed from the demolition derby of Big Blue I mentioned earlier. As you can see, Big Blue has had all windows removed and chains run through the doors to keep them from bursting open. The front hood has a hole cut into it to allow the fire department ample access to put out any engine fires that may develop. I’m sniffing, as I know Big Blue looked so good for the debut, it’s a crying shame that the glory was denied my loyal automobile.

During my book revisions, I’ve been studying numerous editing articles on the internets. I want my book to conform to grammatical standards of some kind. I don’t think I’ve found my writing “special sauce” formula, exactly, but I’m learning everything I can get my hands on and doing what I can to craft my book into a finished piece that I’m satisfied with. As a result, I’m taking out books at random from my shelves, and when I encounter them in public, to study the composition.

At the grocery store I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I’m not a fan of the books, but I figured this would be a good example to pick up and examine. Late in the series, the author should have everything about their special sauce figured out.  All the things I read about not doing are there. Passive voice, check. Heavy reliance on –ing verbs and –ly adverbs, check. Excessive use of “was” to be verb tense, check. Crumbs! This book violates just about every standard of editorial checking you could think of. Now, I’m not saying I’m any better – my own writing has needed some tough work to beat into shape. But it just goes toward proving my point that your success as a writer has much to do with luck, and little to do with standards of writing, talent, or what you write.

And, on a final note, I’ve been compiling a wish list for music to get a listen on. I’m still short two Lustmord albums, there’s that Skids album by the lead singer of Big Country, before he was the lead singer of Big Country, I’m hankering to get a hold of The Ocean Blue’s Cerulean, Concrete Blonde’s Walking In London, The Verve’s A Storm In Heaven, and of course Sia’s new album, whatever it’s called. I’m gathering soundtrack for book number 2, which will be digging deep into the ground for rocks and minerals to play with.