Changing seasons:Changing times. At the Crossroads! 

A summer of sunflowers. Stopping at a crossroads with sunflowers stretching out in all directions. I pause on our long journey back home south to finca Navasola to get a good shot. Last year I missed the opportunity to take photos of sunflower fields and by September all the bright faces had gone. Carpe Diem or Sieze the Day, especially for photos! Here we were in the middle of rural France after a short break to see Monet’s Garden and my cousin. It seems like the only holiday we’ve had this year but let’s not be ungracious as living at Navasola is a joy, if at times hard work.

I will try and post on Monet’s garden and other gardens soon but the busy schedule of 2017 is coming to fruition with an Autumn birth. We hope soon to meet my first grandchild  and I have been back and forth, north and south, throughout the past few months helping with all the changing of houses and stuff that seems to arise around pregnancy and birth. Changing times for us all as the seasons change and we wait for the birth.

Colour schemes in one part of Monet’s Garden.
I have also been busy with my novel with lots of careful revisions and editing. I’ve finally taken courage, thanks to a blogging friend, Sarah at Wildfomelody,  who has read some of the novel and told me to have the courage of my characters and so I have sent off the first few chapters to one literary agent. This felt like a big step alongside the fear of rejection. I have several more agents I have researched and will now need to be persistent in following this through. It’s 4 weeks and I have had no response but this is supposed to be the norm. It would be good to have even an automated acknowledgement though. I feel inclined to now try the next agent that I think might be interested in my writing.

One blogger has a good description of writing a novel as giving birth. Unfortunately,  it reminded me too of the incredible work of the strongest muscle, the uterus as it builds up to that final push. Thankfully that’s not my role as an expectant grandmother and I’m not sure I wish to relate to the pain involved in childbirth to the process of writing. Does much good writing have to emerge from painful experiences or be painful?

I replied to James Clark that I thought my creative writing has been more like my attempts to dig away at a vegetable garden than childbirth. It’s also taken me longer than 9 months, two years in fact, but I suppose like the gardening I haven’t been able mentally to work away at it full time. It has had growth spurts and then some resting periods but hopefully I have strengthened the roots and pruned away at some rather straggly bits. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with the garden or the writing but I love doing both even when the heat and flies drive me crazy.

As so far there has been no response from the first agent  I need to keep up the water pressure or try a different fertiliser so I can reach out further and hope the novel will take root in some literary agent’s rather full garden and be able to bloom into a publication. This seems to be the way in the UK now as most credible publishers only accept submissions through agents.

I wonder as with the sunflowers that the land of publishing tends to be one of monoculture for mass audiences. Monoculture in farming tends to restrict biodiversity. Does this approach with publishing stifle our creativity and diversity of ideas? Should we carry on regardless of the ‘market’ ? Or how do we get our product to the market?

Blogging seems to create a supportive network but my understanding from other bloggers is that this will not fully get your vegetable or flowers onto many tables! As with my garden I will try different places, different seeds, and keep on with the joy of growing! I have more writing ideas that I wish to develop now and want to move on to the next project. I enjoyed the research and the seeds of ideas and  design of the whole garden of the novel coming together. Some areas were bright and full of breezes others more shady but the novel flowed and I have the momentum for more journeys for my characters.

Certainly,  the wild flowers of Navasola have great resilience to the changing seasons. So I too will need that resilience so that my novel can meet the outside world. Maybe the creative process is not just about birth but about the nurturing needed for a human child to pass through many stages of growth before blossoming into maturity.

Thanks to all who read and follow. I appreciate all the likes and comments. I am now off Northward, like my characters, and hoping for a not too difficult birth for my daughter and partner and a happy healthy baby for them to grow with!


32 thoughts on “Changing seasons:Changing times. At the Crossroads! ”

  1. Hi 🙂

    Congratulations!! I hope the birth of your grandchild goes well for the baby and your daughter. 🙂

    I am happy to hear you are growing courage along with your garden! 🙂 Sending the first few chapters of your book to an agent for the first time is an act worthy of celebration whether you have a response from them or not. It was a big hurdle to get over. Courage and confidence grow like the flowers with sun, warmth, water, and care. I think researching other agents and sending the chapters to them is a good idea. I think starting on your next story is a good idea. I have read published authors talk about submitting (and publishing) short stories as a way of getting one’s name out there and building up confidence and learning and writing skills. I don’t have experience with publishing. I expect that it is like most other endeavors in life where persistence and courage and climbing a learning curve are necessary ingredients. Good luck! I am looking forward to hearing how it goes.

    I love all the flower photos! I have heard about the sunflowers in France. What an amazing sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your support Sarah and this post shares my double busyness this year. When back in London I’ll send you more of the novel. I have to take out some drawings as these make the files too big on email. My focus will soon be on my daughter and baby so thanks for your good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nava,
    Beautiful pix, as always. Good luck with grandchild and novel. I guess many publishers are international enterprises, now, but there’s always the chance your novel will meet a kindred spirit agent. Can’t know until you try.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your impending grandmotherhood! I hope all goes well for your daughter.
    I like the way you have likened the growth of your novel to working in a garden! I hope an agent gets back to you soon xx
    Beautiful photos of the flowers in your garden!


  4. Wishing you and your daughter all the best for the birth! A beautiful post weaving the seasons of the natural world with the process of writing. Submitting to agents is a long road. I tried quite a number for my first novel without success – only standard replies. I’ve now begun with my second and had some feedback, which is progress – though still no agent yet 🙂


  5. Georgina, lovely to hear all your news! Wow! How exciting with your first grandchild soon here…and well done for staying with your novel…it takes courage and stamina not to give up. It is so hard to find agents and wish you the best of luck with them, fingers crossed! 🍜You mention other writing projects as well! Wishin you a very special Autumn! You have given us so much beauty with your photographs here – thank you! 😀🌻🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this beautiful post, full of superb photos and such and interesting story. You do certainly move around a lot but to settle in a warmer climate must be gorgeous.
    I do love the photo from Monter’s garden. Such beautiful combination of colours and texture.

    Now, your book! I wish you all success and a celebration of finalising.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry, my phone malfunctioned…..writing to gardening! Brilliant😊! I too wrote something, a memoir, that has been sent to a local editor/publisher team and have yet to hear anything. Maybe this winter I can get a few people to read through it, help with editing and at least publish it for a few friends and family. Those sunflowers are beautiful but diversity is so important for healthy soil and natural pest deterrence. Keep writing and know that it is worth all the doubt and frustrations in the end. Good luck and enjoy that beautiful new granddaughter💕~Anne

    Liked by 1 person

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