A Garden Beginning

Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007: The Year of the Book

New Year's is a good time to let go of remorse and move on to resolutions.

Remorse: Since Thanksgiving, my goal of writing an half hour each day was not met. The writing was off and on. I did have a nice time with my family and I have been doing a bit of writing for The Arboretum (on the bright side).

Resolutions: to have a first draft by the end of the year and to spend at least 2 hours a week drawing with pastels.

Two days ago I mapped out a plan to write 11 chapters by July. My first deadline is January 10th to have chapter 1 fleshed out. I'm giving myself only a week and a half because this chapter is already well on its way. I'm also implementing a new strategy for this year. Lindy Mars at lindymars.blogspot.com is also writing a book this year and we will keep each other going. Lindy is working on her writing calendar to coincide with my deadlines so that we can given each other more support.

Other things to look forward to this year:

1. A trip to Alaska
2. Going to Yellowstone or another amazing place in the west with family
3. Working on writing in Humboldt County for a few weeks sometime after Alaska
4. Learning about and, if I'm feeling crazy enough, move to South Africa to study plants and write.

I finished a new book just out called the Writing Coach by Jack Hart. It is one of the best books on writing I've read and I highly recommend it. I'm pumped up and ready for the new year.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gardens of Arizona

Last Thursday my manager, his manager, and I took a whirlwind trip to the other gardens in Arizona. We visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Tohono Chul State Park and the Arizona Sonoran Wildlife Museum in Tucson, and ended with a visit to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior. It was nice to get out of a the- snowy Flagstaff (9 degrees when we left) and to head to the desert.

We visited with employees at each stop to take a look behind the scenes and to see how each garden is organized. I was mostly interested in seeing their plant collections and their interpretive panels. I've enjoyed my interpretive work at The Arb and I'm considering making it a career (I'm also considering being a plant taxonomist, a writer, or something else). I'm glad I had the chance to see these gardens before leaving Arizona. The job ends in mid-February and I'll be moving on.

These are all pictures from the wild. The gardens were beautiful, but so were the landscapes around them.

The plant above is a desert spoon from Coronado National park. I took this picture at one of our campsites very early in the morning.

Other highlights of the trip included seeing my first peccary (also called a javelina), my first wild tarantula, and landscapes full of saguaros.

P.S. Writing. Between Thanksgiving and this trip, I slacked off. I couldn't help thinking about the characters even on days I didn't write, so that, however, is a good sign. I'm back to an half hour each day.