Show & Tell!

Way back when, I promised photos! I’ve finally gotten it together to take some photos.

First up, the dragon garden. Although the spousal unit calls it the draggin’ garden because I’ve spent a lot of time draggin’ pots around. Hmph.

 

I’m including three photos here. This is the area of our property that has the most sun and beneath the lime green umbrella is where I spend a lot of time writing. It’s my outside office. Although sometimes I’m just hiding out from the other humans in the household. The cats always find me though.

 

 

 

We’ve started rescuing all our struggling David Austen roses that are in the ground (and in shadier parts of the garden, which were once sunny, but not anymore – trees grow) and putting them into containers. They’ve rewarded us with lots of blooms.

 

 

 

Also my collection of dwarf pine trees is in this part of the garden, because – sun. And lilies and all the fruit surrounds this garden – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and kiwi. I have strawberries in containers and even a bred to grow in pots – raspberries and blueberries. And in one of the giant watering troughs I have a dwarf fig tree. I’m set!

We bought three 4′ wide X 4′ tall X 6′ long metal watering troughs, drilled holes in them and they’re currently growing tomatoes, basil, lettuce, cucumbers, sage, and that fig I mentioned. I have a vegetable garden again. Wheee!

The dragon garden is filled with dragon statuary and resides on the gravel area where the horses used to live. I couldn’t bear the thought of moving all that six-inch deep gravel and weed barrier. So, I made lemonade out of lemons and created a container garden. It’ll  work nicely when I get old and want to tool around the garden in my wheelchair. Which considering how much I’ve been working in the garden this month, could be any day now. Ouch. Muscles I didn’t know I had, hurt.

So, on to the bathroom! I don’t have photos of its previous incarnation, but I loved it. It was a deep turquoise with dark green trim and door, in a paint that shifted color depending on the angle you looked at it from. And dark green porcelain tile. All of which offset the blinding white, toilet, tub and shower surround. White’s not my favorite.

The construction guys pulled out everything rotting and moldy. The entire floor, the outside wall from the waist down and one of the interior walls. The room was completely open to the dirt crawl space and the outside of the house. Thank goodness for home equity loans.

The construction guys were wonderful. So after they redid the walls and the floor, we got a new toilet, tub and surround (all white still, though).

We compensated by painting the place gold. I looked for porcelain tiles in exotic colors, but in the 12 years since the bathroom was redone, anything wild has gone out of style. Wah! So, we decided on this cool brown tile. And since they ripped the walls out, they asked us if we wanted wood paneling. Less painting for us!

 

 

 

So, here’s the final effect. Gaudy, hell yes! Weird? Just what is that on the shower curtain anyway? The setting for my next novel probably! Okay, that setting has a lot less water, so maybe not. But some future novel!

 

So, that’s the bathroom, our little postage stamp of the single bathroom in the house. Or anywhere on the property. I couldn’t get good photos, cause there’s nowhere to back up to!

 

 

I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of other parts of the garden that we have actually gotten to and done work in this year. So much of it hasn’t been weeded at all. It was a rough spring for everyone. We were both sick. And it was way too rainy and cold all spring. No one wanted to go outside and garden.

This is just off the patio. The spousal unit worked hard on this bed, adding lots of new plants and removing a couple of dead ones. Moles!

 

 

This is the bed out the kitchen window. Still a work in progress, but it’s coming along nicely. The area beyond it is another story.

One year, I don’t know when, we will be able to get to every part of the garden. The entire garden will be weeded, staked, paths mowed or replaced. Patios will be finished. And every single bed will be done – there will be no plants in black pots sitting around waiting to be planted. Things will be pruned and dead plants completely removed. I keep thinking that year will be the next one.

I guess that dream (or fantasy) is what keeps gardeners going.

This has been a really long post. Hope you enjoyed it. I’ve mostly caught you up on my life outside writing for the past few months! And the next post will be all about writing and publishing. And perhaps I’ll have finished the novel I’ve been writing off and on since December! I’m getting really, really close.

Hope you’re having a lovely summer (or winter if you’re way down south)!

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I’m in a Bundle! Of Bundles!

One of the things I didn’t get around to mentioning in May, was that I have a story in The Faerie Summer Bundle!

My story is called The Queen of May and is set in the same world as The Bones of the Earth Series, although a few centuries earlier. It’s not for sale anywhere else.

 

Sivli, a dryad, senses a deep imbalance in Faerie. Earth energy wanes and the world of Faerie drifts dangerously off-kilter.

With a plan in mind, Silvi decides she must be May Queen. To beat the sylphs in finding the first hawthorn blossoms of summer.

She feels driven to save the day.

This world bursts with an earthy, yet fantastical vision of Faerie.

 

 

 

 

The bundle, which has a lovely cover, is widely available at:

 

 

Then, this bundle of short fiction was collected into another bundle by Storybundle! Whee!

The SF & F Binge Reader Bundle contains 19 novels and more than a hundred short stories. Enough to chew on for the rest of the summer. And all for $15, more if you want to donate and support AbleGamers – who tailor game equipment and systems to help disabled gamers join the large online community of gaming, providing social outlets and entertainment for folks who usually struggle to participate.

Need I point out that this is a Screaming Deal!

I got mine, just waiting for some time to dig into it. Because some of my favorite writers are in this bundle and I’m  so honored to have my work in it. And I can hardly wait to discover the new (to me) writers who I haven’t read yet.

I’m so excited by this.

But don’t wait.

This bundle disappears by August 9, never to be seen again.

https://storybundle.com/bundle

 

 

SaveSave

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I’m Alive!

Rosa ‘Brother Cadfael’

I haven’t been around, I know. For months!

So, here’s what’s been going on all spring and early summer

First there was construction. Our only bathroom was falling apart, seriously falling apart. So, we took out loans and for 3 weeks we got a portapotty and I was surrounded by construction. Whee!

It was a nasty, wet spring here and every time I planned to go out and weed or plant things, I looked out and said, nope. Nothing doing.

That didn’t stop me from buying plants.

Then there were the book launches. I released two books in April – Faerie Descent and Horticultural Homicide. It was an interesting experiment, but I think I’ll wait a long time before I do that again. Took a lot out of me.

Then I got sick, which turned out to be bronchitis. Apparently, my lungs didn’t appreciate the construction dust, uncovered mold, nasty paint fumes and pollen combination. Some flu, cold or virus I picked up was the tipping point.

So, by the time I recovered from all that, warm weather was here and I had at least a couple hundred plants (not kidding) in small pots which needed watering twice a day. Temps were in the 80’s, which doesn’t happen here often.

Datura

So, I dragged containers around, weeded and planted. Without much progress. This was the year I decided to get the three large, metal watering troughs to use as raised beds. Which meant filling them up with compost and potting soil. We bought (and I lifted) 23 one yard bags of potting soil. Ouch!

I finished planting last week. In July! Sheesh. All the plants that will be planted before fall. There are still some plants waiting for new beds, but those were planned for and they aren’t new ones.

So, It’s mid-July and I finally looked up and realized I haven’t blogged in months! Although I have been writing and publishing things. Several new short stories and a collection of stories. I even did a couple of events.

I’m still working on the novel from hell, which will end someday soon. And my to-do list seems to be getting longer. Well, at least on the publishing side. The gardening side is actually getting shorter. Whoo hoo!

Rosa ‘Tamora’

And I’m going to a Mystery Writing Workshop in September, out on the Oregon Coast. I recently got the reading list – which is massive. I’m happy to say that I’m less than a hundred pages from the end of reading the 800 page anthology. Only eight more books to go!

So, I’ve got tons more news, but I really do need to go eat some dinner. It will have to wait. And I’ll have more photos of the bathroom, the garden and who knows what else, but on another day. Once I take them. I’ve been slacking on that too.

So, I hope your summer is going well. Go outside, to the beach, or the desert or a garden. Smell some roses and spend a few minutes, kicking back and enjoying life.

I’ll be back soon. I’m not going away for another three months, knock on wood!

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My Head’s Spinning!

There’s a lot going on at the moment.

Tomorrow I’m participating in the Spring Book Launch with the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest. It’s at the University Bookstore in Mill Creek. 4-7 p.m. Come on out if you’re in the area. There will be fourteen writers, most of us with new books.

I have two new books this spring.

The first, Faerie Descent is the third book in my Bones of the Earth Series. It’s smack dab in the center of the story which spans five books:

Faerie battles an onslaught of Fomorian offspring, while the original Fomorians remain locked in a vault just outside the palace. Things do not look good for the Fae.

Dylan watches the Luminary fail to keep control. Something must change.

Otherwise, the Fae must give up Faerie, and possibly humankind, to the Fomorians.

Bursting with wild vision, Faerie Descent spirits us away to an irresistible world and immerses us entirely.

The other book I’m excited about is Horticultural Homicide. I’m branching out into a new genre – Cozy Mysteries.

Gina Wetherby loves her retirement work, painting botanical art. She lives in a small, cosy house looking down on Puget Sound. Her life feels just right.

Until she goes to nearby Ravenswood Nursery to paint.

Where her life gets turned inside out.

Fans of cozy mysteries must read this beguiling whodunit filled with mysterious plants, cats of a certain personality and the complexities of the gardening world.

So, there’s that excitement.

Plus, you still have some time left to get Faerie Unraveled: The Bones of the Earth Series Book 1 for free if you sign up for the mailing list over at: http://writers-coop.com
Every month they’re (we’re) giving away a free ebook. And every weekday, there’s new free fiction, poetry or essays up on the website. It’s all very exciting and if you’re a reader you should check out the website. We won’t spam you and we don’t share our mailing list.

I’ve got a couple new short stories up for sale as well.

And on May 1, I’m part of a short story bundle, called the Summer Faerie Bundle.
I’ll post links here next week, once it goes live. It’s all very exciting and I feel so honored to be in a bundle with so many fabulous writers.

So, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of Epimediums from my garden. They’re also called Fairy Wings, I thought they were an appropriate ending.

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Spring!

Awesome swirly Hellebore

Today’s the first day of spring. It’s been a soggy month so far. Which means I’ve been staying inside and getting lots done.

I’ve been writing – lots. I finished a story that’s going to appear in a bundle about faeries this summer. I’ll let you know when that happens and links.

I also finished a fairy tale story that’s going to be in a bundle in the fall. Whoo hoo!

And in a couple of weeks the third faerie book will be coming out! There will be book launches and all sorts of fun stuff. I’ll fill you in when things happen.

I’ve been publishing several short stories as well. Details will follow later in the week.

Spotty white & green Hellebore

Yesterday was the first sunny day in eons and I got outside to start my winter pruning. Guess I’m a season late. There’s so much to do out there.

And so much to do inside. I’m trying to get another novel cleaned up and ready to publish. And redo some old book covers. And I’m about ready to launch into writing another novel.

So, I hope you’re enjoying the first day of spring.

 

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Working Hard!

Howdy!

I’ve been doing half a million things. Readying not one, but two novels for publication, spiffing up a couple of short stories and trying to keep my head above water.

This year my goal is to publish something every single month and get the backlog of fiction cleared out. Or at least off my desktop where it’s screaming at me.

So, this month, I’ve published a collection of short fiction!

Stories of the Jeweled Worlds

Stories bursting with wild visions from the three Jeweled Worlds. Three very different young women from very different magical places, woodland, water worlds and desert. Follow them as they refine their magic and learn how to find their place amidst the chaos of change.

Includes: Adrift, Journey Into Darkness, and Flames of Freedom.

Clicking on the photo will take you to Amazon, other links are on this books page, found on the tab: Collections

So yay!

I’ll be back soon with more news and possibly garden photos, cause everything’s waking up out there!

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New Story Up!

My first published story of the year is up for sale.

Flames of Freedom:

Amalia’s still grieving over the death of a man she loved when her father decides it’s time she marries. The man who murdered her friend and lied about it.

Her options: give in or run.

This story set in the world of the Flaming Ruby will appeal to readers who love adventurous fantasy.

This story takes place in the same world as the novel, but many, many decades in the past.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

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Working!

Hi all!

This is just a quick note to let you know that I’m alive, well and floundering. I made huge plans for this year, wrote out my goals for the year and then began to hyperventilate.

So, I’ve been trying to breathe and look at the massive list of things I accomplished last year. And am trying to move forward. Slowly. Nose down and focusing on the work.

I’m still working on the Metamorphosis Press website. Trying to bring it up to date, since I sort of skipped a year. It’s very slow going, but it will get done. And the novels I need to publish are stacking up.

I’m writing short stories at the moment. Two more to go and then I’ll throw myself at another novel and see what comes out.

I hope you’re all taking care of yourself. It’s a new year and time to get things moving in the direction we want them to go.

Spring is coming. We’ve had major freezes here in the last month and everything has died back in the garden. Which allows me to walk around and see what needs to be cut back or removed completely.

I’m doing this with my entire life. Looking at my schedule and removing things which no longer nourish me. Getting rid of stuff that’s taking up too much space in my life, or in the house. Making space for what I want to have in my life.

So, that’s it for now. I’m leaving you with a picture of this Hellebore which is currently unfolding out in the garden. It can do so only because all the surrounding plants have died back.

Sometimes we need to prune to make space for new life, or nature does it for us.

I wish you blessings in the new year. This is a hard time for many of us. I’ll be scarce on social media for the next few months. Trying to avoid the news, to stay optimistic and do my work.

 

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Best Laid Plans

I had big plans for December. Redo the Metamorphosis Press website. Make new covers and ebooks for an old collection of stories. And write three, 3,000 words or less stories. A couple of them fantasy, to fill out and unpublished collection of short stories.

So, I began the first short story. Taking my inspiration from a photo and a killer title. Note, I never, ever come up with killer titles. Well, hardly ever.

I sat down to write, creating a fascinating world, with interesting characters who just happened to live on another planet. In space. And there was clearly some sort of governmental structure between the planets. The back of my brain kept saying, this is a science fiction story.

A science fiction story about a fortune teller. A Psychic with a capital P.

Okay, well, maybe I can work that in, I thought.

Then, this character had the audacity to predict an invasion by another planet whose culture was oppressive, militaristic and not kind to those unlike them. The story turned about sixty shades darker at that point. My character was scrambling to survive and I was already far past 3,000 words.

Now every time I’ve sat down to write this story for the past two weeks, I get stuck. I don’t want to write about politics.

I’ve spent the last few months avoiding politics whenever I could. My Facebook news feed has filled with it, instead of with the little things happening in people’s lives. I hate politics, even though I realized long ago everything is political from the choices we make in what food to eat, to the clothes we buy or the books we read. I’ve always tried to live my politics.

But I’m feeling done. Just done with it all. And I don’t know when I’ll be finished being done. I’ve lived through eleven presidents, voted at least ten times. In all those times I voted, maybe twice has my candidate been elected. I’ve tended to either vote for independent parties, or my candidates simply lost.

So, to say I’m gutted about this last election is an understatement. I feel hopeless about our political system. I know, we live in a democracy. Except it’s currently being ruled by those with the largest amounts of cash to buy influence, lobbyists and avoid paying their fair share, all the while taking as much of the resources as they can get away with. Not that much different from monarchies, eh?

Anyway, this post has gone sideways. The point I was trying to make was, my fantasy story has likewise gone sideways. Into science fantasy, (which I’m told readers hate) and political drama, plus it’s not going to be a short, short story.

It’s also one I don’t want to write at the moment.

For the past ten years, I’ve focused on finishing stories that I began. I’ve also allowed myself to write whatever I want to write at the time, as long as I finished it. Whether I think there’s a reader for it or not. That keeps my writer happy.

So, this story’s going to sit in its file for a while, or possibly forever. And I’m going to go off and write something fun. Or possibly completely silly. Because I just can’t face politics right now.

I hope you all go off and enjoy the winter holidays too. I can hardly wait for the light to return.

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Whew!

This month has been a flurry of publishing. I’ve been publishing new things and redoing old covers and just generally burning up the keyboard.

First up is Christmas Magic:

Four stories of hope and healing to light up the darkness of winter. A daughter trying to cope with her father’s illness, a man dealing with his broken heart and money struggles, an older woman suddenly alone and an Amore who’s stuck until she can discover how to grow.

Includes the stories: The Christmas Mug, Sexy Santa, Marta and the Christmas Cat, and Stuck.

Each of the stories is published individually as well. Complete links can be found under the Books & Stories tab, under short fiction.

 

Then I finally published the collection of Garden Magic:

Four stories of very different gardens, the magic and magical creatures that exist within each one, and the people who are changed by their encounters.
Includes: Conquering the Monsters, A Rose for Remembrance, Scheduled Disappearances, and A Little Help from Friends.
The Garden ~ where anything is possible . . .

There’s all new covers for the entire Bibi’s Bargain Boutique Collection, plus a whole new slough of Bibi stories that will show up in late winter or early spring.

I’ve been finalizing a lot of things that will be happening early next year too. I’ll talk about those in another post.

And the Bones of the Earth Book 3, Faerie Descent, is out for copyediting and making its way closer to being in your hands.

But now, it’s time to pretend that I actually do things around here, so I’m going to make some turkey chowder for dinner, using an old recipe from my mom.

And I might wrap a present or two.

And kick back and relax for the evening.

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season.

I’m anxiously waiting for the light to return. Until then our house is ablaze in multicolored lights.

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