Thursday, March 7, 2013


Harper Lee (courtesy of The Guardian)

            Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Harper Lee. When asked why she never published a second novel after To Kill a Mockingbird, she’d say something like, “I guess I didn’t have anything else I wanted to say.”

            As the weeks slide past and my muse apparently has taken herself off on an extended vacation, it occurs to me that perhaps I don’t have anything left I want to say either. About gardening, I mean.

            Knowing when to quit is an inexact science—just look at Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” and the chunky-breasted bathers of Renoir’s last years, the post-Ludlum Bourne books and that pathetic “sequel” to Gone with the Wind Alexandra Somebody foisted on us, or string theory. As a believer in the law of diminishing returns, I feel it’s time to put “Gardening from the Ground Up” out to pasture. Long may she graze in cyber-space, in 18-to-29-second hits.

            To Billie, and Julie, and Chuck, and Yvonne and Karen and Margaret: you know where to find me if you want. I so appreciate your support and the comments and conversations. Just so you know: that part doesn’t have to end.

The old writer
            To paraphrase Douglas MacArthur (that self-promoting SOB), old writers never die. They just turn the page.

            One last time, thanks for dropping by.