I received a rejection letter from Perugia Press yesterday on my full-length book manuscript. They only select one book per year to publish, so it's a very small chance--but it's always a first book by a woman, so I gave it a shot. I'm disappointed, but not heartbroken.
I am looking forward to Spring Break--which starts next Friday on the 19th. This coming week, I have to focus on both getting all of my grading done AND on prepping my spring term courses, so that I can have a full 9 days without UCC.
During that time, I'm hoping to reorganize my full-length book manuscript and swap in a few poems that I've written since fall. There are several first-book contests with late March deadlines, so the week off will be extremely helpful, and I'll be able to focus on my own work for an uninterrupted week.
I started working on my raised beds a few times this past week, but I overdid it a little on Friday--my left knee has been giving me problems lately, so I took it easy yesterday. Today, I was up and ready to go, but it's miserable and wet and chilly outside.
I did get all of my strawberry plants cleaned up--most of them made it through the fall, when I cut back on watering. My "clean up" is cutting off last year's dead leaves and replacing any dead plants with new starts. I have a LOT of starts; so many, I'm going to end up composting some of them. I'm pulling strawberry runners out of the garden pathways, out of the rock borders, and out of all other corners of the beds. Some of the runners have runners--I'm guessing it was due to the mild winter. My raised beds are made of cinderblocks, so the strawberries are planted in the holes in each brick. I have 80-100 plants--more than enough to grow sick of strawberries before I ever run out of them. It works well--it keeps slugs to a minimum, and the berries tend to grow ripen and hang off the bricks, so they're easy to pick.
I still have to fertilize my asparagus and add a layer of fresh compost to them, and I have some lupines to pull from the artichoke bed before I finish cultivating around them. The lupines will be moving to the back yard this spring--I'm excited; I started them from seed three years ago, and they are huge and healthy this year. And I bought some sugar snap peas to plant--hopefully those will go in this week, too.
I bought a manual tiller--something called a soil ripper. I've always looked at them and wondered if they'd be easier than a cultivator or rake, and I'd assumed they'd be a waste of money. I finally bought one, and I can't believe I've lived without it! My raised beds get root bound from trees and shrubs in my yard, I think . . . I was worried I was going to have to move the soil and line them this year, but the soil ripper is amazing. It is still a workout, but it's much easier on my back.
I am putting off grading the last of my students' original work--I have to quit looking for ways to procrastinate.