Fescu, Darnda, Loknich, and Lars. I’ve forgotten how to draw these guys.
It’s been a long time since I drew my Realms and Remedies characters. I got a new brush pen and decided to try it out on them. Ugh, they look so stiff, and Lars’ beard is wrong. And even if Fescu didn’t look stupid, I’d think he looked stupid anyway, because so far it’s his fault that I can’t seem to make this book marketable. He’s an “unsympathetic” character, and then when I rewrite him to make him more sympathetic to the reader, then his character “isn’t believable”. Well, I wouldn’t believe a prankster with no respect for authority would be all that sympathetic of a person either.
So to those who ask me why my book isn’t published after all these years, it’s because Fescu isn’t a marketable character. I’ve been told the twisty plot is great fun, the world is cool, and the writing is professional. BUT! Fescu fits the protagonist mold so poorly, which was my intention, that I don’t think Realms and Remedies will ever get picked up by the mainstream publishing market. I’ve gone to conferences and talked to professional authors and agents, and the more I try to change Realms and Remedies to match their marketing requirements, the worse the story seems to get. It’s been discouraging, to put it lightly.
But I’m not sensible enough to give up on such a lost cause. LOL, no way! I can wish all I want to shelve any of my favorite projects forever, but I ALWAYS return to them, because I have no self control, I guess.
So, now that I’ve been to all these writing conferences and learned a ton of stuff on how to write for the market to get on the New York Times Bestseller list, I’m going to say to heck with the market. I’m going to write Realms and Remedies for myself, for the reasons I wanted to write it in the first place. I NEED to write it for myself, because I love sincerity in writing, it would break my heart if my story didn’t feel sincere. I have no idea how I’m going to sell it when it’s done, but at least I’ll know I’ll be true to myself, instead of catering to the consumer’s market. I hope to reach out to people like me who need characters who aren’t the usual cookie cutter type I read in almost every mainstream story.
The North American moose (Alces alces), which can reach more than 1,500 pounds, is a voracious eater, mostly grasses, forbs and fresh shoots from trees like willow and birch. Many plants, of course, have developed defense mechanisms to dissuade consumption by predatory ungulates. Think thorns or a bitter taste.
Which brings us to red fescue grass (Festuca rubra), which harbors a toxic fungus called Epichloe festucae that can make grazing animals sick, sometimes to the point of actual death. But moose eat lots of red fescue grass without apparent harm, which piqued the curiosity of researchers at York University in Canada.
In this month’s Biology Letters, they provide a possible answer: The saliva of moose (and reindeer) contains an anti-fungal agent that counteracts the grass fungus.
Specifically, the moose saliva anti-fungal agent inhibited fungal growth in red fescue grass, making it safer to eat more of it. “We know that animals can remember if certain plants have made them feel ill, and they may avoid these plants in future,” said study author Dawn Bazely. “This study is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of herbivore saliva being shown to ‘fight back’ and slow down the growth of the fungus.”
While the York researchers’ work offers no immediately obvious clinical applications for humans, it does prove at least that a moose is nobody’s drool.
Spring means it is finally time to plant the seeds Mommy got for my garden! Mommy got a special Russian tortoise seed mix from Carolina Pet Supply: three kinds of clover, two kinds of fescue, three kinds of grass, plantain, chia, chicory, and turnip greens–oh my!
I can’t wait for my garden to start growing. It is going to be a giant fresh-from-the-earth buffet!!
This clean-lined, eco-conscious Manhattan Beach home has a solar thermal system to reduce energy, a wall-mounted outdoor shower for pre- and post-pool rinse-offs and a yard with drought-tolerant red fescue that requires only a single annual mowing.
Scientists have shown how sunlight and a cheap catalyst can unlock significant amounts of hydrogen from fescue grass.
The method, now demonstrated for the first time, could potentially lead to a sustainable way of producing hydrogen, which has enormous potential in the renewable energy industry due to its high energy content and the fact that it does not release toxic or greenhouse gases when it is burned.
“This really is a green source of energy,” says coauthor Michael Bowker, a professor at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute. “Hydrogen is seen as an important future energy carrier as the world moves from fossil fuels to renewable feedstocks, and our research has shown that even garden grass could be a good way of getting hold of it.”
Our obsession with cutting grass and the fashion for autumn sown crops has changed the colours of autumn and winter. Harvest gives way immediately now to a simplistic palette of three or four greens. Uniform blocks of blue green winter wheat and hundreds of thousands of miles of emerald verge are the back drop of our lives for six dark months. There is nothing as half hearted as low light on a monotonously green world. We have banished the colours of half light, the buffs, the russets and the greys, the tarnished and translucent, the spent and the dried. Where is the dead grass that jumps up and defies dusk? Where is the red fescue so easily set alight by the weakest spark? And where are the rich pink corners of warm thistles? We are impatiently tidying away an astonishing treasure trove of subtle colour that has been transforming the gloomy corners of this planet since the last ice age. We think we are clever to be ready for spring by October but actually we are condemning ourselves to a colourless half life devoid of simple wonders.