Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

We Have “Leaf” Toff!

Oh, that’s a bad title, isn’t it? Yes, it is. And I’ll use it again on my personal Facebook page. I’m not too proud.

Last week, while mowing the lawn, I checked in on the fabled chestnut tree and saw that it appeared to be doing nothing. Well, not entirely nothing. The buds looked round and slightly swollen, but that was about it. Yesterday, while walking the dog, I peaked in and…well, it looked about like this (picture taken this morning):

There’s life!

Sorry for the quality of the photo, I’m not real good at this, especially when it’s six in the morning, the grass is wet, and I haven’t yet had a cup of coffee.

I continue to worry about my little future tree. When it first began to grow it lost all the buds but the bottom-most one, and when I looked at it last week, I was sure the top bud was gone. This, in fact, looks like it’s the second bud, and of the four or five below it, it only looks like one is going to pop. I’m not sure what’s going on or why. And while I was worried about why it was taking so long to leaf out this year, I’m reminded of three things: most of the trees in our area are only just getting started; in it’s two previous years on my lawn, this tree has been a slow starter; and, finally, it’s still living in a corrugated plastic tube (we have squirrels, red and gray, we have woodchucks, we have deer; that thing’s staying in it’s tube until it’s big enough to survive those threats).

At the same time, I’m hoping this is the year. My botanist board member reminded me the other day that in the nursery trade, they have a phrase for transplant situations: “Sleep, creep, then leap.” If that’s the case, then this is the leap year.

In other news, I *think* I’ll be done with revisions to my current work of art this week. I am currently about fifty pages out from the end and just last night worked out what I think is my last major hurdle, which will likely add a couple of paragraphs to the manuscript. Which is okay, because right now I’ve chopped almost 20 pages off the manuscript length and gotten under 100,000 words. I’m feeling pretty good about it.

That’s all for me for today; what are you feeling pretty good about today?

5 Responses

  1. I hope your tree leaps this year. I'm not so patient; I'd bring it inside, put it in the basement, and give it heat lamps or something. I think writing is the opposite of baby trees. I think it's Leap, Creep, and Sleep. You're in the creeping stage – good luck with your revision!

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