So when I’m not writing beautiful stories like the one that released TWO DAYS AGO!!!! … I’m working on a pumpkin farm in Western New York, and in case you haven’t noticed the date, well… it’s October. Which means life on the pumpkin farm is crazy busy and crazy fun!
Hi, I’m Ruthy and this isn’t exactly a Western-themed post because right now I’m working in pumpkins and cookies and jams and mums…. as denoted in the pictures! And I just released the second book of the “Wishing Bridge” series “At Home in Wishing Bridge”…
This is what happens when you cross genres and don’t stay firmly tucked in one thing or another… you mess up everything by writing an amazingly good story about a woman who’s come the distance to be the person she is… and needs to go farther to be the person God wants her to be. It’s a story of sacrifice, doors opening wide and shutting tight, of God’s perfect timing and the chance to break out of the walls we tend to build for ourselves.
You’ve probably guessed that September and October are busy times on the farm! We all run from morning til night and I sneak downstairs to write around 3:30 AM each day… This week I heard Great Horned Owls staking their territory so that other boy owls will know to stay away… and one female owl joining in, her slight lilt offering a different kind of song, one that you know will appear in a book someday. 🙂
We sell homemade jams during the busy fall season, a fun thing that will appear in a book, too. There’s nothing like the sweet syrupy scent of Triple Berry or Strawberry jam filling the kitchen with steam, and it’s much nicer at 65 degrees than it was at 90 degrees!
I’m taking some of this expertise and fun and applying it to a couple of upcoming books set in the PNW. The Pacific Northwest is different from Western New York in some ways, but we’re both big apple-growing regions and the similarity in farmland is notable. So I can take some of my information from here in the Northeast Woodlands and apply it there in the rich valleys between the rise and fall of the Cascade mountains. These are a few of the mums I grew this year… I grew 1600 chrysanthemums and they had to be hand-watered and fed daily…. who knew it was going to be one of the hottest summers on record??? 🙂 Watering 1600 mums by hand is a real workout, my friends! No gym needed this summer, LOL!
While I’m writing I specialize in redemption and romance, two wonderful things!
On the farm I specialize in gorgeous colorful pumpkins. We grow Silver Moons, Jarrahdales, Long Island Cheese, Blue Doll, Porcelain Doll, Indian Doll, Speckled Hound, Cinderella, Fairytale, Rouge d’Vif, White Boer Ford, and Sunshines, a huge collection of delicious squashes that we can use for decorating the porch and yard to celebrate harvest… and then we eat them!
You’ve never had a better pumpkin than a Jarrahdale (brought here from cowboys down under, an Australian pumpkin cross) or Marina Di Choggia, an Italian delicacy squash with rich, robust flavor or the French heirloom pumpkins (think Cinderella’s coach) “Fairytale, Cinderellas and Rouge d’Vif”…. Bright green or scarlet or coral/orange, fun flattish pumpkins ideal for stacking.
When I’m writing a story I want the characters to be real. I want my readers to love them, to mourn with them, to feel their joys and their sufferings. To weep as we weep for one another and to laugh when things go well!
The same goes for the farm and using my knowledge of these things for setting or plot. Nothing is wasted when an author can use the knowledge he or she has achieved from real life and applies it to a book/story. I love doing that because I know that when that reader who grows apples or pumpkins out west reads the story, they’ll know I know my stuff… when a young mother reads a passage about kids, she’ll know I’m dealing with kids all the time. And when an older person reads about loss and time passing, they feel like I know them personally.
Taking the bits and pieces of real life and using them in stories adds a layer of depth to the story that might not be there without that hands-on experience. Sure, I study and research things I don’t do or haven’t done… but I mix in some of the actual experiences along with it. Depth in reality… and realism in story-telling.
I’ve always found that the compelling stories and backgrounds of the hero and heroine are the main dish of the book… but the setting, the research, the plot, the people, the animals, the jobs… those are the other dishes on that Thanksgiving table! Sure, it’s still Thanksgiving with just a turkey and stuffing… but when you add in the layers of side dishes, fresh rolls, desserts and good robust coffee and eggnog and punch…
Well now you’ve got a story, my friends!
Hey, I’ve got one copy of “At Home in Wishing Bridge” to give away today! If you haven’t read book one “Welcome to Wishing Bridge”, that’s all right… they’re stand alone stories and you’ll be fine, I promise. But I expect you’re going to like both stories, the stories of three teens who bonded together to survive some really rough childhoods… and who meet together twelve years later when one sends out an SOS and the others come running to help… and then just maybe they realize that Wishing Bridge, NY might be the home sweet home they’ve been dreaming of all along.
Leave a comment below about anything you love…. and I’ll put your name in the mum pot!