Spring in the High Desert--Full of Conflict
Winters here in central Wyoming are fierce. The wind never stops--which is nice for all the wind farms popping up around town. But it is hard on the humans. I get to the point where I hate going outdoors, even all bundled up. The icy blasts still crash in around the muffler and gloves. Spring is something anticipated with longing.
But spring here is not a warm and lovely event, and is especially hard for gardeners. It is full of conflict, like a great romance novel. Spring begins to show in mid-March, when sturdy crocus push through the thin topsoil. As soon as they appear, the largest snow fall of the year usually hits, since the Wyoming high desert gets most of its snow fall and yearly moisture in March and April. The snow doesn't last long as spring sunshine melts it. As nice as it is to see the snow melt away, in the background is the knowledge that spring run off will start soon.
The runoff hits just as the soil is already saturated and there is nowhere for the excess water to go but into the streets and byways. Garden gamblers see their first planting washed away. Undaunted, they plant again a few weeks later, gambling on April. But now the monsoon season has started. Icy rain washes away many early gardens. Finally a few brave seedling straggle above soil only to be hit by hail--not one time, but several times. More cautious gardeners, who have kept their seedlings indoors during all the weather turbulence finally start setting their plants out in May, with hopes that Mother Nature will bless their protective nurturing with handsome crops come fall. They keep an eye on the sky, an ear on the weather station and stacks of tarps and homemade milk jug 'greenhouses' for nights and hail.
Spring finally turns to summer, and the garden is rife with possibilities. In a good year, the summer is hot, the water is plentiful, the tough times are over and we are rewarded with a fruitful garden. A happy ending finally.
I love romance fiction that is full of conflict--it makes the happy ever after all the sweeter. When characters face obstacles and disappointment over and over I find myself rooting for them to get their happy ending. Just like I root for my seedlings. Which I probably set out too soon.
Get her a teaching job or two in authentic, one room Montana schools, ala Laura Ingels Wilder.
Marry her off to a great guy, move her to a big city in Tornado Alley, then pop three daughters out of her in twenty two months(one set of identical twins).
Then, make her a jinx–every great genre TV show she loves gets the ax– Beauty and the Beast, Dark Angel–and Buffy and Spike NEVER have a happy ending! She gets upset about no romance in the world, and fires up to write her own stories with happy endings.
Throw this all together into a small house in Wyoming, along with a small bouncy dog named Baxter and too many cats, shake constantly and pour it out onto a computer keyboard.
There! You have me, Melisse Aires.