Spring Randomness

There are days like this…  Days when so much of my mind is taken over with life

Recent Reads

in imaginary worlds that the “real” world is the one that seems less than real.

Right now, the fictional planet Sphinx in the Manticore System seems a lot more real than the state of New Mexico where I actually live.  Of course, this may have a lot to do with the fact that New Mexico is also experiencing a very warm spring and everything that can pollinate is doing so.  My allergies are in overdrive, making my thought processes more than a little surreal.

For this reason, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I might wander on about for your hoped-for amusement.  My next book – Fire Season with David Weber – won’t be out until October.  I’m working on the sequel.  This happens to be set in autumn, adding to my rather split sense of reality.  Occasionally, I look up from my computer and am surprised to see fresh green leaves on the trees rather than the tired and yellowing autumn foliage my mind expects.

I’ve been reading a lot. I’m about to start the third book in a popular series that I’m finally reading because I’ve gotten tired of being apparently the only person on the planet who has not read it.  So far I am underwhelmed, although not so disgusted that I’m prepared to quit.

When I get tired of that series, I recharge my interest in prose by reading the short, punchy “gothic” middle grade novels by John Bellairs.  The last two I read were The Curse of the Blue Figurine and The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt.  Quite fun and spooky.  I also read a short, semi-non-fiction book on Pueblo storyteller figures.  How can a book be “semi-non-fiction”?  Mix pueblo folktales with the history of the pottery form that was inspired by the tradition of oral storytelling, that’s how.

Oh.  I also re-read two Larry Niven novels, favorites from many years ago: Protector and The World of Ptavvs.  Both lived up to my remembered pleasure.  My recorded books have been Agatha Christie novels.  As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve loved her books since I discovered them on the shelves of the people I used to babysit for…  Back then, I was young enough that when someone referred to “the War,” I thought they meant World War II.  Now I realize Dame Agatha usually meant the First World War.

The garden beds are in process.  However, since last year on May first we had snow, Jim and I are patiently waiting to put in plants.  We have seedling tomatoes and peppers on the sun porch.  There are also two nice lavender plants (Sweet Dani variety) that I started from seed last autumn.  They’re doing well, but I’m waiting for the winds to die down – New Mexico springs are windy rather than wet – before I put them in the ground.

Other amusements include a role-playing game I’m running.  I tend to make everything up from scratch, so I suppose you could say that this is another story I’m working on.  It’s unfolding nicely from my end and, since the players keep coming back, I can hope it’s unfolding well for them, too.

So, what have you folks been up to?  Read any good books lately?  Planted your garden?  Hmm…  Now that I think about it, some of those who regularly comment are probably bringing in the final harvest and getting ready for winter.  The mind boggles at this conversation that rings the world.


10 Responses to “Spring Randomness”

  1. Nicholas Wells Says:

    Eh, not a lot going on for me either. Getting some writing of my own done, but nothing special is happening.

    Just one of those times where you get to sit back and think. Do a little recharging. With life being so ever busy for so long, sometimes I forget to take advantage of these times while I have them. The chance to stop and smell the roses, if you will. So rare.

  2. John C Says:

    I’ve thrown myself into a re-exploration of the bildungsroman. Any recommendations? I’m specifically looking for books that avoid the chosen-one syndrome.

    • janelindskold Says:

      If you said “coming of age” novels, you might get a better response!

      I’ll think about it… In fact, my blog for next week may feature an excellent YA novelist who might suit your needs.

      • John C Says:

        Thanks for both the tip here, and the recommendation this week. I can’t believe I missed out on this author: I just checked out my first Tamora Pierce book from the library: Alanna: The First Adventure.

        It’s sitting on the edge of my desk, tempting me to go home ‘sick’ for the rest of the day…

  3. Sean Says:


    I am surprised you are waiting to put in plants. Living in ABQ as you do, we started a lot of things back in March. Currently we have snow peas blooming, strawberries producing, potatoes and squash very green. Our carrots just barely started coming up, so they are the only real disappointment. Last night we planted bell peppers seedlings thinking it was time. We haven’t done tomatoes yet so that is next on the list.

    What we are really excited for is our plum tree. For the 1st time since we planted it (about 5 years ago), it has produced fruit. Right now the plums are very green and small, but we have high hopes for the fall.

    I agree with you about the allergies. This year has been the worst allergy season I can remember. Being both a Weber and Lindskold fan I am glad to know you are already working on a sequel.

    It being moth season as well, my children are having fun chasing moths during the day and being terrified and annoyed with them at night.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Albuquerque is — if nothing else — a place to study micro-climates.

      Here’s an example. We have a crepe myrtle bush. It is barely leafing out. However, a similar bush that is less than five minutes walk from my house is not only fully leafed out, the leaves have already turned dark green.

      I’ve been gardening in this yard since spring of 1996. I’ve learned that if I plant much before May 1, the winds will batter everything and I’ll be replanting.

      Bell peppers are interesting in that they will “sulk” until nighttime temperatures stabilize at a fairly high level. (I’m too lazy to go check).

      In the end, I usually have good strong plants and a large harvest, so I figure I’m doing right by my micro-climate!

  4. heteromeles Says:

    Just got back from a tourist trip to New York. That was my first time actually spending time in that city, and one of the highlights was going to the museums and seeing things that I’d only seen pictures and illustrations of before.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I went to college in NYC (at Fordham) and had a very similar reaction — and this after growing up in DC and having the wonders of the Smithsonian close.

  5. shibiku Says:

    I planted some grass from seed that actually sprouted. It was my single act of real gardening in the final weeks of school as Laramie starts to turn into not-winter.

    Mostly, I’ve been busy with that master’s degree thing!

  6. Eric Says:

    I discovered a small, hole-in-the-wall bookstore in my town that looks deceptively small from the outside. I would live in there if I didn’t have finals pouncing on me. The SF/F section is gigantic.

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