Children's writing

Summer Subplot

I’m spending a lot of time in the yard and garden. A couple of weeks ago, we had some fill and topsoil brought in help transform the yard from an obvious work-in-progress to something more pleasant to look at. Eventually. I hope.

While I allowed the local dirt-bringer and -mover to move some of the material for me with a handy-dandy dozer, I opted to have five loads (those would be dump truck loads, or roughly 50 yards of material) dumped in piles for me to move by hand–and shovel, rake, and bucket.

subplot.jpgTwo loads of fill, three loads of soil.

Now, I’ve moved truck loads of dirt and gravel before, but five of them? Even Mike thinks I’m nuts this time.

I know better.

I think of my yard project of the subplot of my summer. The main plot is the novel I’m writing. It’s an old NaNoWriMo project that’s been simmering on the back burner. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with either plot yet, but I have a bunch of material (dirt and rough draft), some vague notions of how the material might be rearranged and shaped, an endless supply of energy and determination, and just enough faith to keep me optimistic.

In the front yard, there are a couple of ginormous wild rose bushes and eensy-weensy blueberry plants that I want to save and encourage while building up the level of the ground around them. The dozer would have mashed and buried them. The side yard will be strawberry and raspberry beds and gravel paths.

Yes, fifty yards of dirt is daunting (so is a 60,000-word story), especially when I don’t have a concrete plan, but every day I move some dirt. With each bucket I dump, I see where the next one might go, and then the next, and the one after that. Bucket-by-bucket and shovel-by-shovel I discover where the plot is going.

It’s a big job, but it’s an adventure, and I’m having fun. I’m not the least bit crazy.

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