Coming March 2020

The Copy Cat

How My Yard Work Helps my Writing

I am doing a lot of writing outside these days

And no, I don’t take a pen and paper….

I have been in the midst of revisions all week. I love this stage of writing a book. Every change makes it better and I can see first base in sight.

No, I wasn’t wrong when I said first base – there are so many stages after you hand your book in to your agent that really, you have only begun your journey, not finished it.

I have also been in the midst of serious yard work. I live on a little more than acre, and for some reason, I decided it was a swell idea to make lots and lots of gardens. Did I say lots?

And every spring, they must be raked and cleaned.  Soon things will have to be divided. The work never ends.

But it’s all worth it, because it results in this:



and this



But what I have also discovered is that while I meditate on the manual labour, I am also usually meditating on my work in progress. I solve a pesky conundrum hauling brush. I finally understand a character’s motivation while weeding. I wear myself out physically, but the me that returns to the keyboard seems remarkably refreshed and coherent.

And then the revisions result in something like this:


Pig-Face Cover


My Spring yard work is, I see, just another sort of revision. Which makes my aching muscles seem somewhat worth it…




Author of Children's Literature