Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Sleep Creep Leap

All I can see from my favourite spot next to the French windows are bricks, sandstone, concrete and fencing. This is the shady side of the house, a metre or so wide, with a four metre high wall to mark the boundary.

It’s tempting to throw money at the problem and create an instant garden but a) – I don’t have any money to throw and b) – that’s not what gardening is about.

I’d like to think longer term, pick a plant that might take a while to establish but will reward us later.

hydrangea_petiolaris_20b

Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris) would thrive in this shady spot and it needs no support to scramble up the high wall. ‘Somewhat slow to establish,’ say the experts. In other words, it’s a ‘sleep, creep, leap’ type of plant, that will do nothing in the first year, inch its way forward in the second then, hopefully, leap into action in the third.

hydrangea_petiolaris_1790

Planting a climbing hydrangea is an act of faith when I have no idea if we’ll still be here in three years time. Neither of us grew up in cities and we’re both happier in more remote places.

Writing a book is a similar act of faith. You can spend years labouring in the dark, struggling to produce something that may or may not flourish, putting down roots in search of nutrients.

I worked on a manuscript for eighteen months before I submitted it to Macmillan in March last year. Several months later it came back, with comments and corrections and queries. There was also a note attached. ‘We think this would work better in the past tense.’

There’s no button you can press on your computer that will turn 93,000 words from the present tense into the past tense, so I sat down at the computer and started again at the beginning, creeping forward in the dark.

Now, after more edits, corrections and queries, all that unseen work has gathered momentum and there’s suddenly a picture layout, a cover and a publication date.

Love in the Outback is due for publication at the end of April.

Hopefully, it will soon be time to leap.

(all images courtesy of floral images)

 

26 comments on “Sleep Creep Leap

  1. emily
    February 27, 2014

    When I was waiting for the taxi, I stood by those doors (didn’t want to stand near the back door and potentially wake Maggie). I really like that little space next to the doors. Looking up, there was a little corner of sky that was speckled with stars…and the moonlight that evening shone beautifully on the greenery and stone of that little courtyard/alleyway. It was a very peaceful space. I imagined stepping out and sitting in the quiet. Another lovely corner in a lovely home.

    Like

  2. hemmingplay
    February 27, 2014

    Congratulations!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      February 27, 2014

      Thank you Hemmingplay, it’s slightly nerve-wracking now that the publication date is a reality. How’s your crime/detective novel coming along?

      Like

      • hemmingplay
        February 28, 2014

        I’m around 60K words into it, and the plan is to finish the first full draft by July. Not saying what year, though. 🙂

        Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      February 28, 2014

      Good luck with your July deadline!

      Like

      • hemmingplay
        February 28, 2014

        Funny. That’s the first time I’ve put a date on it. Might as well, then. 🙂

        Like

  3. Lisa McFayden
    February 27, 2014

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product Deb. How excitement!

    Like

  4. debhuntinbrokenhill
    February 27, 2014

    Thanks Lisa, and I love that pic!

    Like

  5. Mala Burt
    February 27, 2014

    Exciting about your book, Deb. Congratulations!
    In my gardening world we say first year sleep, second year creep and third year leap. Those climbing hydrangeas might take longer…

    Like

  6. debhuntinbrokenhill
    February 27, 2014

    Thanks Mala, I fear you might be right about how long it will take for them to cover the wall, especially since right now they’re barely six inches high!

    Like

  7. candidkay
    February 28, 2014

    Congratulations! I thought you were going to say you sat down at the computer and cried:). Your way was smarter choice–digging in and getting to work.

    Like

  8. candidkay
    February 28, 2014

    Oh–and have you thought about clematis? I love the clematis on the trellis at the side of my house–not as long blooming as hydrangea, though.

    Like

  9. debhuntinbrokenhill
    February 28, 2014

    Thanks for that Candidkay, I did wonder about clematis and wasn’t sure it would bloom in shade so the hydrangea’s in now, all six inches of it! I might have to find a spot for clematis though, I loved the one I had in England.

    Like

  10. nantubre
    February 28, 2014

    A. I love Listeria and it grows everywhere.
    B. I am so proud of you. I hope I am the first to buy your newest book. You have now motivated me to move off my laurels and get serious about the next book screening to free itself from my mind. For that I thank you. Bless you

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      February 28, 2014

      Hello Nan, I’ve bought a copy of your ‘Secrets’ book and I’ve just started reading it (not sure when I’ll finish it with a life like mine right now but I’m really enjoying it!) congratulations well done and good luck with the next one. Listeria or wisteria?? I think the former might be some form of food poisoning and the latter a gorgeous purple vine. I’m guessing you mean the latter! Best wishes and blessings on you

      Like

  11. Val Lord
    February 28, 2014

    Looking forward to your book coming out Deb! Congratulations!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      February 28, 2014

      Thanks Val, a bit nerve-wracking because so personal but…’the truth will set you free,’ isn’t that what they say? Hope you’re doing well and best wishes to you

      Like

  12. pbmgarden
    March 9, 2014

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Glad for the opportunity to look around yours. Congratulations on your upcoming publication.

    Like

  13. Eliza Waters
    April 2, 2014

    I enjoyed visiting your blog today and thanks for visiting mine so that I could “see what you are up to.” My heart fell with yours on the news from the publisher that you had to rewrite 93,000 words – arrgh! I admire your tenacity and your wanderlust has caught my fancy as well. I travelled in my younger days but put down roots 24 yrs. ago and hope to never move again – the thought of putting my life into boxes at this point terrifies me!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      April 2, 2014

      Hello Eliza, lovely to hear from you and thank you for visiting and following my blog. It’s always good to hear from someone else with a love of travel (and who understands the lurch of despair at having to rewrite 93,000 words!) I think I have one more move in me, hopefully to somewhere in the country where I can plant trees, grow vegetables and read books. Best wishes to you, Deb

      Like

      • Eliza Waters
        April 3, 2014

        As someone who lives in the country, plants trees, grows vegetables and reads (a lot!), I encourage you to pursue that dream of yours. That’s what life is all about! Cheers!

        Like

  14. sharonmcintosh
    April 12, 2014

    I enjoyed reading through many of your posts today. I also read on Amazon about your book that is out, bought that, and love reading progress notes as you approach the publishing date for Love in the Outback. Congratualtions! May it all go smoothly with a great launch of the newest product of your labors. Sharon

    Like

  15. debhuntinbrokenhill
    April 12, 2014

    Sharon what a lovely vote of confidence, thank you so much. I just wish I could sew as well as you do (all my sisters can) but I suppose we must accept the gifts we’ve been give and work to make the best of them.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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