A couple of weeks ago, I told you about plagues of grasshoppers and early reviews for Artemis Awakening. This week we still have grasshoppers, the good reviews keep coming, and we’ve been pummeled by hail.
In all fairness, although the grasshoppers remain omnipresent (four followed Jim into the house last night, distracting the cats from their dinners),they don’t seem to be harming our garden too much. We’re going to need to replace some veggies, replant some seeds, but our garden hasn’t been stripped bare, as I had dreaded.
A friend told me that the grasshoppers have been getting swept up into the skies by the Spring winds. There are now so many grasshoppers up there that they are registering on the weather radar, which can’t figure out what sort of storm they represent. Predicting the weather in New Mexico is hard enough with grasshoppers confusing matters!
If the grasshoppers haven’t let up, neither has the favorable attention being paid to the newly released Artemis Awakening. One of my favorite reviews appeared in Romantic Times. The first paragraph reads:
“Lindskold’s world of Artemis is instantly captivating. The lovely cover art is eye catching, but it was Adara and the planet as a whole that kept this reviewer interested and excited. Artemis is so brilliantly constructed that Adara’s world will blossom right before readers. Sci-fi fans will definitely love the mixture of fantasy and alien life, and pure fantasy readers will enjoy the rich world of Artemis.”
I was also surprised – and delighted – to learn that Tor Books had arranged to have the first chapter of Artemis Awakening included in Lightspeed Magazine’s new “Women Destroy Science Fiction” issue. Given the title, you might wonder why I’d be happy but, as the editor’s introduction makes clear, the title is meant ironically. Women don’t destroy science fiction – we just write it. The writing takes a wide variety of forms, many of which are represented in this issue.
Anyhow, although the plague of grasshoppers hasn’t been as destructive to our property as we had feared, the hail storm we had about ten days ago has done a great job of making up for it. The storm hit late afternoon on a Friday. Jim and I were quietly reading when a light rain started to fall. Given how dry our spring has been, we were completely delighted.
However, when a few minutes later the skies went from grey to black and the temperature plummeted, we looked at each other in apprehension. The winds started howling from the west. Moments later, the rain lashed down so hard that the gutter over our front window overflowed like a waterfall. The rain slackened and the winds swirled around as if trying to decide on a new direction.
Instead, hail began, never much larger than a standard marble, but in such quantities that we had drifts in the yard. In a way it was lucky that so many of our garden plants were still small, since they didn’t provide a lot of surface area. Even so, within seconds, the eggplants looked as if they’d decided that piercings were the new vegetable fashion statement. Our radish leaves were so scrambled that I was glad the veggies are underground. Our hollyhocks were transformed into pink and red confetti.
The biggest damage was to the roof of our sun porch. I’d conservatively estimate that there are 5,000 holes, each about the size of a standard paper punch. Thankfully, the roof is double-paned, so we didn’t have water pouring in through the holes, although the winds – which ultimately settled on “east” – forced so much water in under the porch door that we were mopping it up and tossing it out into the saturated yard by the three gallon bucket.
And all within about ten minutes…
So we’ve had insurance adjusters in and new roof panels are being fabricated. The hollyhocks have budded forth and soon – hopefully – all this destruction will be a memory.
Meanwhile, I need to pack for California. I’ll be in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy on Friday, in San Francisco at Borderlands Books on Saturday. The following weekend, I’m doing a couple gigs right here at home in the Land of Enchantment.
(Are plagues of grasshoppers and pummeling hail enchanting?)