Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Taste of Spring

It's mid January in upstate New York. Today I have to switch gears into eagle-eye mode, and go through the print ARC of Terror Comes Knocking, book two in Moore Mysteries. My publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books (newly announced as a Writers Digest top 100 market for writers!), is pushing hard this year to get a good chunk of my work out in the next six months. Two books this month, and one per month through June. So, needless to say, I haven't had a lot of time to sit and work on my WIP, nor luxuriate in the pure pleasure of writing. It's been synopses and back cover blurbs, cover art tweaks, and so much editing I can hardly see straight.

I'm not complaining. Honest. I'm thrilled that we'll be able to catch up with publishing the books I've been writing within the next few years. Only four more to tweak after these are out. Once we're done, it'll give me more freedom to think about and focus on one book at a time. Maybe then I'll be able to remember what all of my characters are up to without having to scratch my head and wonder which series I'm in.
But I'm not writing this little piece today to chronicle my "to do" list. No. I wanted to tell you that in this third week of January up here in the cold northeast, I had a glimpse of spring yesterday!

The weather has been strange all over this year, hasn't it?  Our first "real" snow storm in Rochester came about a week ago. We've only been plowed out once so far! And we've had plenty of 40 and 50 degree days where rain fell instead of snow. Matter of fact tomorrow it's supposed to soar to the forties again.

So, it was rather appropriate when we finally got a real cold snap over the past few days. The thermometer hovered under eleven degrees this morning, and didn't go above twenty-three yesterday. But while we were running errands all morning -- mostly delivering and picking up Balto and Amber from their wonderful groomer, Bonnie Mason -- the sun shone so strong and so hard that it became unbearably hot in the van.

I unzipped layer after layer, enjoying the sites of the snow-covered hills. The beauty of our area --  glacier-carved rolling hills and lakes -- never fails to astound me. I feel the old jaw constantly dropping while driving around the curvy roads I've traveled thousands of times. It affects me the same way every time.

But there was something about that sun warming my skin, the intense white purity that poured into the van, that shot a signal through my body and brain.

Spring. It's coming.

Tomatoes. Peas. Soft soil slipping through my fingers. The thrum of the tiller churning through the dirt. Ripe round fruits hanging from the vines.

Oh, yeah. It's coming.

Pretty soon I'll be pulling back the black plastic and checking the moisture level in the soil. Too wet to plant? Or dry enough to get those early March peas in the ground.

I feel my garden engine humming. It's going to be so good this year, not like last year's swampy disaster. Well, sure, we had a garden, but it was so soupy all spring and summer that it probably will go down in history as one of the worst producers regarding quantity and quality.

But not this year. Oh, yeah. It's gonna be good.

Now, where's my Stokes Seeds catalog?


 The author and three of his grandchildren

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, ESSENTIALLY YOURS (MAR 2012), TERROR COMES KNOCKING (FEB 2011), FOR KEEPS (MAY 2012), DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (APRIL 2012), and the author’s preferred editions of DOUBLE FORTÉ (FEB 2012) and UPSTAGED (JUNE 2012).

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