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April 7, 2015 / Rae Spencer

Photos of Spring and a Publication Note

Flowers April 6

The daffodils, all three of them, bloomed this week. As did the pear tree.

Grackle April 6

While it has plenty of bird visitors, the pear tree hasn’t seen its usual complement of pollinators.

Robin April 6

The pear blooms usually draw bees and beetles by the hundreds, but many of the pollinators seem to be sleeping in this year. Yellow-rumped warblers are getting most of the nectar.

Warbler April 6

The pear tree’s pollinators may be sleeping in, but the carpenter bees are awake and active. Territorial males have claimed pockets of airspace near the house, fence, and deck. Their physiology must be wondrously efficient, because they patrol and defend their claims with seemingly endless vigor, never pausing to eat. They aren’t interested in nectar. They’re waiting for females to arrive.

Carpenter Bees April 6

My favorite news from the yard this week comes from the milkweed. It survived our long, cold winter, which means we might have more monarchs this year!

Milkweed April 6

My favorite other news involves a publication note. My short story “Numbers” is now posted at The Blue Hour Magazine. This is my first fiction publication!

“Numbers” is the first short story I ever attempted. For nearly ten years I returned to it periodically, each time applying what I had learned since its last revision. Finally, in 2013, the story seemed to defy further revision. By then the opening had been entirely restructured and the word count cut by more than half. That year “Numbers” won Honorable Mention in the Frank Lawlor Memorial Fiction Prize at the Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference.

I let “Numbers” drift to the bottom of my to-do pile after its award, but in January of this year I decided to give the story one final edit and begin submitting it for publication. Then I selected a new practice manuscript from the archive, because I am not through learning. My journey with “Numbers” has reached a happy and satisfying conclusion, but my journey with writing will never end.

3 Comments

  1. Melissa Shaw-Smith / Apr 13 2015 9:23 PM

    Congratulations on your publication. Patience and perseverance paid off. Feels as though we’ve had to be very patient with spring this year, but look at your wonderful photos–that too has paid off.

    • Rae Spencer / Apr 15 2015 2:03 PM

      I’ve been working on patience, it seems, for most of my life. I’m still not very good at it! 🙂

  2. bardessdmdenton / May 11 2015 2:25 PM

    Congratulations, Rae! I will set aside some time to read your short story today. Yes, patience is such an integral part of writing … well, all creativity, and, of course, life! As you mention, it is an on-going process to respect its value. 🙂

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