Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Leaves and trees and squirrels, oh my!

Posted by Susan

I’ve moved 8 times in the past 10 years, including a move last week. I’ve lived in a couple of different states, in very different climates and this is the first time I’ve had a garden. Actually, it’s the first time in my life. There’s a reason for that. I don’t do well with plants. I have the black thumb of death. When I walk through a plant nursery—not often, I promise, I’m not keen on the whole outdoor thing—the plants actually shriek softly and shrink away from me. They chant “Take that one. Don’t take me.” They know that life with me is short and painful, with only darkness in their future.

It’s not that I don’t like plants. Well, I don’t. I mean they’re pretty and all, but I don’t get the thrill of digging in the dirt. It’s dirt, after all. We all have anti-bacterial soap in our house for a reason. I don’t have a spiritual connection with trees, I don’t like bugs or being at one with nature. I like indoor plumbing and air conditioning. I’m not the girl you take camping.

We really love this house. My office is fabulous and the whole place works. Except for the stupid yard. It's so big. My husband suggested we keep the previous owners’ landscaping professional to take care of the plants. I told him there was no way that was happening. I’m intelligent and organized. I should be able to learn enough to keep our garden alive. Determined, I walked the property today. It seemed endless and frightening alive. Guess what? We have bees, too. And spiders. They’re lying in wait by the window boxes. They’re just looking for a moment of weakness before they attack. And it smells out there. Different scents that made me sneeze. Two of our plants had already been destroyed by something in the woods. Something that bites off entire leafy, grassy, pale stalks with surprising efficiency.

Then I was attacked by a squirrel. Okay, maybe “attacked” is strong, but a squirrel came towards me and when I shooed him away, he didn’t leave. I think he was mocking me. It was just too much outdoors for me. I hurried back inside where I called my husband and told him yes, Bruce, the landscaping professional, is so keeping his job.

As for intros…I’m Susan Mallery, city girl. I write single title books for HQN and Pocket and category romances for Silhouette Special Edition and Desire. (Why does this suddenly seem like I’m writing a personal ad? Should I mention long walks on the beach? Not that they’re my favorite. I mean, please…have you tried to have a romantic walk while huffing and puffing your way through sand?) Okay—that’s enough for now. You’ll have to learn about me as we go.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Let me say I'm happy for Bruce. And the plants in your yard. Just don't go out there, Susan. Just don't go out...

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

ROTFLMAO!! And I thought I was a princess!

Seriously, I completely agree with you on the spider issue. I refuse to walk under trees because I know they're waiting to drop into my hair. And let's not even talk about birds. Hello, did you see the movie??


At 9:15 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Susan, too much outdoor stuff is just out of the question!! I prefer my view of the outdoors to be completely impeded by a shining plate glass window!

And who knew there were SSF in Washington?? That would be (Squirrel Special Forces)

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




At 4:43 PM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Hmm. Re gardening. My grandmother loved it--we are talking a big one, fruits and vegetables, zucchinis the size of...well, you get the picture. My mother likes just to do a flower garden, with little garden figurines and the like. Nothing she would be expected to eat, let alone can. I always thought I hated gardening. No thank you, as Susan says. Dirt and spiders. What's to like? But here on the prairie we have a big yard. Over the years I've been lured out here to mulch and dig and other activites best not described. So yes. I do. I'm Christine Rimmer and...I garden.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Cindy Taylor said...

lol, Susan. I bet Bruce is one happy employeed camper. *g*

I love the outdoors, but I too have a black thumb. I kill everything I touch, so I just sit back in my Adirondack chair and watch my husband take care of the yard.

Did you know some squirrels can fly? be careful out there.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

You're like me ... you like the IDEA of gardening, not the actual activity :o)

To Love, Honor and Dismay

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Oh my.....the gardening thing. I do love flowers...and as Susan can testify, I plant new ones every year (while wearing industrial strength gloves to avoid worms, spiders and oh yeah, dirt.) But the darn things die on me with astonishing regularity. so annoying

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only non-gardener!! Yes, yes, I *love* the idea of gardening, as long as I can watch someone else do it from air conditioned or heated comfort.

Talked to Bruce today. Pointed at things I didn't like and he's going to dig them out. He asked what I would like in their place. I stared at him blankly, then said "Some kind of bush or shrub. You know--something easy."

He just shook his head and walked away.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

When I think of gardening, I knees are really gonna hurt if I do that. I'm with Andrew -- I like the idea of gardening but not so much the activity.

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous M said...

Take the dogs out with you, they'll take care of that furry monster who next time will probably take a "hunk" out of your angle! Don't and I repeat don't give him any peanuts or you'll have a permanent resident, I know from first hand experience.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous kate said...

Great blog Susan! I really like seeing all the pretties, but planting and keeping them from dying is not my thing. I have one tomato plant on my deck in a big pot which I over watered and almost killed. After dumping the water out and letting it dry for a couple of days, I added some Miracle grow, and guess what, a miracle, yes, it has grown and is now taller then me!

All the other plants in the yard, well, if they can't take care of themselves, or the lawn guy get to it, well they just don't live here. So far, all are thriving!

Oh, and did I mention, I'm allergic to GRASS!!!

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not like to work in the yard, nor can I be around plants and especially flowers indoors. I am moving next week to a Retirement Home where I can relax on my baloncy and enjoy the view without getting dirty!!!!


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