Hot, humid, and fecund

The garden is belching forth produce at an almost alarming rate. We are eating red cabbages now and the frying peppers are ripe. We pulled the broccoli this week and Woody planted more basil there. I shared zucchini with Dale and Anetka as we have more than we can eat. I planted less zucchini and yellow squash and pattypans this year, but it seems to have encouraged the plants to make yet more. We have many green tomatoes but no ripe ones yet,; however, we have two Japanese eggplants fully ripe and ready to use.

Today friends are coming to supper, Wilderness Sarchild and Chuck Mandansky. Wilderness studied with me at one of my juried intensive poetry workshops and we have become friends. I want to discuss with possibility creating a little group to exchange and critique poetry together. I’ll make an Indian chicken, brown rice and of course zucchini with peppers. We’ll start off with our own gravlax and finish with strawberry rhubarb crisp. Soon the rhubarb will be too tough to use. I want to make zucchini soup today and freeze it, since Wilderness can’t eat anything with milk or cream in it.

I started a third new story this week, revised it twice and now I think it’s ready. I’m still working on the second story, On the Rise. It needs more attention, more development. When I went to send out my first new story on Monday, I discovered that many zines in which I’ve been published in the past now charge for reading submissions. I cannot pay that – for one thing, I write too much. Second, I would NEVER pay anyone to read my work.

Writers are the shitworkers now. No editor seems to feel they should pay for content. Now they seem to fell they can charge for what, after all, is the work and I do mean work that they publish. I’ve been the poetry Press the ten years we ran it, but never paid less than full attention to any ms. that came in and I certainly never would have charged anyone for reading what they sent.

I’m going to have trouble placing the stories I’m writing because I’m not about to pay someone when I offer them my work for free, which happens with most literary zines. I am angry about this new racket. Zines are all going on Submitable which I find agonizing to navigate and now they want to charge, or Submitable does.

Today I have to pull veggies whose time has come and gone, lettuce that is finally bolting, shallots I have to pull and dry with the garlic, arugola fallen down. We harvested our garlic this week, Yesterday we trimmed off the stalks. Now it’s all drying in the gazebo. Today it’s still hot but less humid. A few weeks ago, I started the fall cole crops inside – cabbages, Chinese cabbages, bok choi, radicchio, more cilantro, cucumbers. Today and tomorrow, we’ll get them into the ground, both mine with raised beds, then some into his regular flat garden.

I am reading more Penelope Lively. I finished her novel MOON TIGER this week and I’m halfway through another of her short story collections, A PACK OF CARDS. I like her more recent short stories even better than the older ones. MOON TIGER was excellent.

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