Artemis and Citrus

Warning!  This is going to be a more wandery Wandering than usual.

Artemis in Faeryland

Artemis in Faeryland

I have news regarding Artemis Awakening, my forthcoming novel from Tor.  Last week, I chatted with my editor, Claire Eddy.   We have an official release date of May 2014!  Claire had some good comments on the manuscript, so  I’m currently deep into putting a final polish.  Needless to say, I’m pretty excited!

If you’re new to these Wanderings, you might want to check out my post for 8-22-12.  In it, I talk about Artemis Awakening and even provide a glimpse at the original proposal.

Okay, that’s the Artemis.  What about the citrus?

Well, at the end of March we went out to Arizona.  Talk about visiting an alien world!   The area where we live in Albuquerque is classified as high altitude grasslands.  Our climate is pretty dry – in a good year we get seven and a half inches of rain and we haven’t had that in a couple years.  By contrast, Arizona makes us look positively lush.

Well, at least most of the time it does…  This time it was the reverse.

Our part of New Mexico is  barely into Spring, while Arizona is moving into summer.   As we moved further west and the roadsides greened up and began brightening with wildflowers, I felt like a time traveler .  I noticed mallow and other wild flowers that we won’t see for months.  The bark on the palo verde trees was vividly green with fresh spring color.   My mom had tomato plants thriving in her yard.  Her fava beans were setting pods and her herbs were lush.  Here we’re worrying about whether we lost all the peach blossoms to a frost a few weeks ago and waiting to see what plants made it through the very dry winter.

It’s amazing what something over four hundred miles and a downward shift in altitude can do.

In this case, I could argue it took us into a rather peculiar version of faeryland.  Seriously, one of the most common motifs of faeryland is that it’s a place where trees bear both fruit and flower at the same time.  Well, lots of citrus fruit is grown in the Phoenix area and guess what?  Yep!  Citrus bears both fruit and flower at the same time.

The night of our arrival we went outside and the air was heavy with the perfume of flowering lemon, orange, and grapefruit trees.  (Probably limes and kumquats, too, but I didn’t see any personally.)  On the day before our departure, we went and picked several hundred grapefruit and about as many lemons.  It really was rather wonderful, pulling off these shining yellow fruit while filling our lungs with the scent of the flowers.

I’ll make most of the grapefruit into juice – I love grapefruit juice and it’s easier to store than the whole fruit.  Some of the lemons will stay here, but many will go to friends who will turn them into luxuries like lemon curd and lemon marmalade.  Bottles of this then make their way back to us…

Talk about wondrous transformations!

So, it’s been a good time.   This week I’m back to work on Artemis Awakening, with the delightful prospect of getting to expand the story when I start the second book.  Now, if we only knew for sure that we’re going to get peaches…

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7 Responses to “Artemis and Citrus”

  1. paulgenesse Says:

    Thanks for the update on Artemis Awakening.

  2. segmation Says:

    Will we get the peaches sooner then?

  3. Tori Says:

    This nation-wide wild winter storm will probably be making quite an impact this year too!

    Glad to hear about the release date on Artemis Awakening. Looking forward to it!

  4. Heteromeles Says:

    Appreciate the update on Artemis awakening. We’re already on the third wave of wildflowers here.

  5. Thaddeus Nowak Says:

    That sounds like fun. My wanderings have tending toward the mountains in Colorado, Oregon, and the Carolinas. I’ve had one business trip to Phoenix, but I was only let out at night, so have not really seen the south west.

    I know what you mean by a slight change in location having a massive change in scenery. I live in Kansas (near the boarder with Missouri) and we have plenty of trees and hills, but an hour’s drive west will start to put me into the middle of rolling fields and grass lands that stretch to the horizon. For a period in the spring, we’ll have numerous wildflowers come up along the roads, but once summer sets in, things turn more dull-green.

  6. janelindskold Says:

    Thanks for the enthusiasm, folks.

    By the way, one of the “ghosts” asked, so I’ll answer here as well… The puma above and the one in the other Artemis photo are from my collection of Zuni fetish carvings. This one is in jasper, the other in shell.

    I don’t just collect them as art but as writing inspiration — somehow they capture the sense and “spirit” of animals more than do most photos.

  7. Paul Says:

    It’s always good news when a new Lindskold novel is in the pipeline!
    Some of that part of the west looks other-worldly indeed. I think the Mars scenes for the underrated “John Carter” movie were filmed in Utah, which has some similar terrain as Arizona, and they did look like Somewhere Else.

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