Hello. How are you? It’s been quiet here for a bit. Deadlines and such. I will probably be a little light on posting for a while longer, but I am just over the hump. I’m gonna make it after-all! Perhaps when this is all said and done I should make a trip to Minnesota just so I can toss a hat into the air and really drive the point home. Or I could just sit and DO NOTHING. That would be nice, too.
Oh yes, before I move on to the topic of this post, my third book is now available on Amazon. It won’t be out for another eight months, and they are yet to include the cover, but there it is with an ISBN number and everything. Yep.
I’ll wait at least until the cover is available publicly before writing more on that.
Next week I am traveling to Denver, Colorado to speak at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I’ve been looking forward to this one since the opportunity came up last year. I’ve heard such good things about the gardens, most especially the alpine collection and the hike at Mount Goliath. I am getting the cameras packed and ready in anticipation.
I’ll be giving two talks on this trip. The first is a visual presentation on growing food in difficult spaces. I hate to give the same talk twice, so if you’ve seen me lecture on this before, you can expect some new photos and ideas. The second is a more intimate conversation for and with garden writers. I’ll be sharing some of my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
This last year has been a particularly busy one. When I set out to prepare for this second presentation I began to feel like a fraud. It felt like the expectation of this particular talk was one in which I should be giving advice that I had learned and had moved past. ….And, now everything is great and my professional life is perfect! I am perfect and my teeth are extremely shiny!
“I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.” – Boris Pasternak
No, as the realization that I would be giving this particular talk crept up on me, I began to feel very vulnerable. And lame. The truth of the matter is that recently, I haven’t been following my own advice: play has completely fallen to the wayside in favour of long hours at my desk; I’m horribly out of shape after months and months of parking my ass on this chair; I’m failing my friends who never see me and only hear complaints of how busy I am when they do, and I’m failing my partner who has to deal with my constantly cranky demeanour. Based on my own personal measure of success, I’m a complete and utter failure. Fail, fail, fail. D- in life.
My teeth have never been shiny. They are actually quite crooked and a bit of a mess, really.
On the plus side, I’ve been doing a lot of re-evaluating these past months and had already come to the conclusion that I needed to go back to these old, hard won lessons and reassert them into my life, hardcore. Looking back on my past as I put this presentation together really drove the importance of these ideas home. I made certain choices for a reason, and I’ve suffered recently because I wasn’t putting enough of them into practice. I am tired, overworked, and have lost all perspective.
This experience has made me wonder: When we go to hear people speak, do we want to hear from shiny people with perfect teeth who have it all together, or do we want to hear about the struggles alongside the successes? For those of you who are planning to come out to this talk, expect to hear from someone who is slightly (very) dishevelled, fallible but honest (mostly), and still figuring things out, especially when it comes to being a writer.