Some months ago, I assigned the kids a task to be completed by year’s end: to submit some of their writing for publication. With only eight weeks or so left of 2009, Emilie submitted some of her work to Girls’ Horse Club, and soon one of her pieces, a personal essay entitled “Horsemanship,” was accepted. It came out on Monday. The girls and I celebrated the following night, while the guys were teaching karate, by eating brownies and watching some Taylor Swift videos and special features from a features DVD that came with Anna’s Platinum Edition of Fearless.
I feel as if I live in an artists’ colony. With three prolific teenage writers, the office computer sees almost continuous use during daytime hours. People wander around querying other people in their areas of expertise: weapons, warfare, ancient or medieval history, horses, or what have you. They critique each other’s manuscripts and help each other thrash out plot points.
Today Greg and I harvested lemons and oranges of our trees. We got only about half a grocery bag’s worth, but the trees will grow and produce more. As with writing for publication, so it goes with farming: the thing to do is to make a beginning. Then dig in, hold your ground, and claw your way forward.
The lemons are a normal size, but the mandarin oranges are tiny, about two inches across. They are sweet, juicy, and incredibly flavorful.