Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter Seven - Part One - Soil Testing

The importance of soil testing cannot be underestimated in terms of the future of plant growth in your field. You can be throwing all kinds of fertilizer and lime at the soil and it could throw your field completely out of whack. Soil must be nicely balanced in order for plants to actually be able to absorb nutrients. Adding just enough fertilizer and lime means that you're not polluting the water, and not spending more energy than you need to spend. It turns out that there is a right time and a right way to test the soil.

If my screenwriting is a field that I need to test, when is the right time to test it and what is a good test? For goodness sakes, it seems that testing the soil for a field should happen months before planting! That will give a farmer time to amend in the right direction, and re-test it in 8 weeks. Phew. Let's say I start writing my next screenplay development in June, then I haven't got ample time to change my habits. Realistically, even though spring is everywhere, my screenwriting spring is not going to realistically start until July or August. It makes me feel anxious to put it off that long, but I also can see it is realistic based upon the statistics of my time allotment now.

Apparently, if I think of planting my field with an orchard, I can sample the soil and amend it on my own time table, and in fact, really planting the trees will start in the fall. I like thinking of my screenplays as trees. Does this sound like I'm delaying starting in on projects? I know. It does, but understand that my habits circle around taking care of kids and kids take a lot of time to take care of particularly when transitioning from school to summer and summer to school. I don't have a big budget for summer distractions, like camp or day care or even paying my daughter to babysit her brother. I don't have a designated office space that is separate from where they hang out. Though I sadly miss seeing them two days a week, those two days may really need to be designated to finding some part-time income. Ack. These sound like excuses. It sounds like my field is out of whack still.

This is precisely why I can't imagine planting trees right now. I'm kind of miserable that I have not made more progress by writing these blogs almost daily. I feel like a most unproductive person as I pace around the field filled with temporary ground cover (this blog,) deep-rooted distractions (family needs, health care, and exercise) and rocks here and there. I do feel like I've drained some of the extra emotions out of the field. I do feel like there's not much here that I don't want to have here.

This is a battle of sorts with the cursed field of writing. The field seems to be winning. People are asking to meet me for coffee. I'm tempted. Social networking is a near addiction. My kids have a zillion activities to close out the school year. Politics calls with a stupid primary that looks as if it will divide the Democratic party in Colorado. I have to be vigilant about not letting these distractions take over the limited time I have for screenplay development. My walking meditations have fallen off because, because, because the weather has been strange and I've been rushing for several weeks. Because, because, because. I think "becauses" are weeds, aren't they? I really want to spray some herbicide all over everything, but I'm resisting. I'm down on my knees with my weeder and my gloves, just trying to keep those weeds clear of my field while I wait for that inspiration, the saplings I will plant. I gather a bucket of soil here and there and send it off to be tested for balance and wait and hope and wait and hope.

This soil test for writing is about testing my desire to write. Do I really want to write? Do I?

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