Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Quick Update

I don't have much time this week, but after last week's heavy subject matter I wanted to take a few minutes to lighten things up. At a glance, this is what I've been working on:

Winegrowing news: It's the first week in April and so far every one of my Cabernet vines has either swollen or open buds. In fact, I'd say more than half of them have leaves already, including the clippings I took last fall. I made an effort to use clippings from my most vigorous vines to insure quick growth and (hopefully) a quick harvest on the new plantings. This fall, I should have at least twenty vines ready for their first harvest, which should probably equal two cases or so of finished wine. I can't be sure until I see how much fruit the vines are producing. Next year, I should have about twice that amount.

Also, my barrel (my very first full barrel!) of Pinot Noir is aging nicely and should be ready for a second racking soon. My plan is to let this wine age for at least two years before bottling. So far, I've topped it off with Malbec and Petite Syrah, which hasn't effected the flavor significantly but hopefully over time will help to make a robust, hearty Pinot. I'll probably add a few bottles of Cab, too.

Aquaponics: I've made a few changes to my system based on what I learned last year. I've modified the grow beds to provide more sunlight and better, more controllable growth areas for the tomatoes. We'll be planting fewer tomatoes this year because they absolutely dominated the greenhouse last year. I'll show some pics later in the year, probably when I'm ready to compare the season's starter plants to the full growth in summer. I'm also on the lookout for more fish, but this part has proven challenging and expensive. I'll update on this, too.

Writing: Okay, on to the relevant stuff. As of this moment, I'm writing the final scene in the next Hank Mossberg novel. I expect to be doing my first revision by the end of the week. I have also finished the first draft and revision of the final book in the Shadow Born Trilogy. Obviously both titles will go through numerous revisions and probably won't be ready for publication for a few more months. However, I'm quite happy to be on track with my goal of writing four books this year. I'm also excited that with the two trilogies wrapped up, I can move on to some newer material. TTD and SB were fun to develop and write, but I feel I've grown as a writer since I began that journey six years ago. I do like both series, but I've been living with them for a loooong time now. It'll be fun to see what new adventures come flying out of my laptop.

That's it for this time. Hope you're all enjoying spring!