Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomatoes

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I originally planted a couple of heirloom tomatoes because I wanted a photo of one for the cover of Echoes of Narcissus. I ordered seeds for three varieties online, as well as seeds for tomatillos because I’ve never tasted one. It’s covered in flowers now, so – exciting times.

Tomatillo

I also bought a couple of varieties of chillies – including one that’s guaranteed to blow steam out of your ears. I like it hot. They took a long time to grow, although I did use a photo of one of the heirloom seedlings on my cover, so mission accomplished. Now that the bushes are finally starting to bear, I’m even more chuffed because I can get some fabulous photos of the fruit themselves, and also use them in recipes for Princess Sithole’s Africolonial recipe book that I’ll publish later this year after my Shadow People books for 2015. When I have enough chillies, I’ll share my secret chilli sauce recipe here too. It’ll knock your socks off – probably more than your socks.

Chilli Plant - Giant Jalapeno

I really miss having all my veggies home grown. The stuff you buy from supermarkets doesn’t taste right to me, so I’m planning on planting quite a few more things this autumn too, and hoping to make purple tomato sauce and dayglo tomato soup for the recipe book. This writing lark really rocks my boat in all sorts of cool ways. Amazing how wanting a little element for a cover can make life so much more interesting.

Heirloom Tomato Plant
Heirloom Tomato Plant - Cherokee Chocolate
Heirloom Tomato Plant - Giant Rainbow

Busy Bunny

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It’s been raining every day here, at the same time as being roasting hot – with lots of really weird lightning keeping me away from electrical bits mostly. Scary climate change. I’ve been flat out busy though, so now I’m going to take a rest by visiting my lovely bloggerverse for a bit. I’ve been re-polishing my published books – going through them very slowly to make sure all is well inside and out, with a bit of tweaking all around. I’m also making the paper books smaller and changing the white for cream paper – they look much better that way. I’m banging away at the books to be published this year, and also getting cracking on the illustrations for my first children’s book. I’ve done piles of pencil sketches so far, but just today started the colouring process on one of them. It’s a bit blurry, and not nearly finished – I’m still going to do quite a bit of digital fiddling with it to tidy it up but this is it so far. I’m way too excited at the whole thing to keep it to myself till it’s finished.

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I’ve never written anything for children before, so I’m finding it a little scary to be honest. Kids aren’t stupid and they don’t like to be preached to, and this little book is about properly taking care of your pets, so getting into little heads without offending little people is somewhat of a large learning curve. In between trying to be a tomato whisperer – I think I transplanted my heirlooms and chillies a little late, so they’re growing sloooooow, I’ve made a new dream catcher cover and loaded it up on the page, and I’m also getting sketches and pics together for my (or rather African Me’s Princess Sithole’s) Africolonial tongue in cheek recipe book. See. Busy, busy bunny me. Now I’m off to lounge around in blog land.

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Life Imitates Book

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Pardon my scarcity this past week. Normally I’m scarce because I’ve been struck down by some random universal “Whack that woman!” quark type thing, but this time I’ve been doing some good old constructive manual labour, so I’m allowed to be too tired to do much. I want to grow some heirloom tomatoes now, because I want to use photos of the plants in the cover art for one of my upcoming books – and I want my own original pics for this, so they need to get growing in a hurry. I’m an indie scribbler – these things are normal – we do these things. I’ve managed to get seeds for four gorgeous different varieties, and got three new chilli varieties while I was at it to get my collection going again. One’s called a Mozambican Bastardo, so I’m guessing – yummy! The problem is that Bella finds any sort of plant/tree/container/neighbour’s shoe/pants hugely offensive, and sets about methodically destroying every single thing in her reach. She’s also Incredible Leopard Crawling Houdini Dog. Nothing is safe from the innocent looking mug she sports to conceal her ninja destructive jaws of steel. I wonder about her superpowers sometimes to be honest – do dogs do deals with the devil? Anyway.

Now I’m fencing off a bit of the yard so she won’t be able to mess up my book cover tomatoes – and holding thumbs that she doesn’t eat the actual fence. She had to go to be spayed this week, so I was looking forward to a couple of days peace to set things up while she recovered. Not so much though. After being hand fed bits of choice meat for a very long while by me (who thought she was going to clock out, the way she looked after the operation), and a single night’s snooze, she’s right back to climbing trees, fences, and abusing my cactuses. Still – spring has sprung here, and with the heirlooms being a big part of my story, I do want to get them up and growing soon. They’ll be my book marketing tomatoes even if they don’t take up lots of the actual cover space at the end of the day – plus I’ll get to eat them, so I’ll probably be a bit scarce for another day or two as well till I get everything properly Bella-proofed, and all the seeds in.

It’s a bit odd that this particular book inserted such a terrible need to plant tomatoes in me. None of my other scribbles have given me any sort of desperate urges to bring parts of them to actual life. Maybe it really is another thinly disguised universal quark whack job to steer me from my course, or possibly I could set up an “Oy Buy My Book!” stand at a local farmer’s market, where you’d get a bag of tomatoes instead of a bookmark if you do buy one. Hah – now that’s marketing for you!

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