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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I’m Suggestible!

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Exploded rosehip from the garden, masquerading as a flower.

I finished another novel yesterday. In a new genre for me – it’s a cozy mystery. The idea’s been banging at the inside of my head for a couple of years and I finally decided to let it out.

So, I decided to take today off from writing and do things like shower, wash bedding and do laundry. Maybe un-decorate the house from Halloween and begin putting up Christmasy things.

And then I began thinking about what I needed to write next. There are a couple of planned collections of short stories that need more stories to fill them out. And I found myself perusing stock photos that I bought in the past, thinking I might use them for something, but hadn’t figured out what yet.

One of them immediately leapt out at me, title and all, and I was off. Writing again. The Fortune Teller’s Daughter. Guess I didn’t need a day off.

Actually, the reason why the title came is because I’m still angsting over the title for the just finished novel. Cozy mysteries normally have puns in the titles and I’m just not a fan of puns. But that’s another story.

So suggestible:

The spousal unit always calls me that.

I go to the grocery store and there are samples. I take one and oh, that would be just perfect for dinner.

I walk around to the end cap and there are graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows displayed. Ooh, supplies for s’mores! (This was summer of course.)

I hear a song in a movie and have to dig out the album and listen to it. I hear a reference to a movie and need to rewatch it.

Sometimes, it’s like my life isn’t my own to live!

Something tells me I’m not the only one. Otherwise marketing in stores wouldn’t exist.

Anyway, I realize I haven’t been here in a while. I’ve got lots of news and will begin to get some of it up in the next week or so. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone and have been working hard for the last couple of months.

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Oh, the Horror!

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Tree peony with fall color, that has absolutely nothing to do with this post!

Maybe I was traumatized by seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey in my formative years (and aren’t they all formative years!!!), but  I’m still a little creeped out when I accidentally hit the wrong button on my phone and Siri talks to me.

I never talk back.

And now she’s on my computer. And next, Alexa’s coming to my Kindle.

It might be different if I could choose the voice. I’ve already changed the phone to UK, but it’s still not right. Now if I could have Stephen Frye (as Jeeves) respond, that would be awesome.

Even better would be Billy Connolly!

I can just hear him, “Well, good mornin’ Linda,” with his wonderful Scottish lilt. Now that would be lovely. I’d probably never stop talking to him. Especially if the voice had his wicked sense of humor.

I know people who play games with Siri on their phone, or use her extensively to get directions. People who love Alexa. I just can’t do it. Maybe I prize my solitude so much that I don’t want a voice talking back at me. Maybe I’m just being a luddite.

Anyway, who would you have Siri or Alexa sound like, if it could be anyone in the world?

 

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Musings About Passion!

Morning Sunlight

Morning Sunlight

I have two great passions in life. All right there’s a lot more than two, but I’ll just talk about the two that have been dominating my life for many years.

Writing and Gardening.

Both of these are all-consuming. There is never any real end to either of them. A story will end. A season will end. However the larger picture goes on and on.

The ways in which various stories may or may not be connected. Ideas and worlds that intertwine or reflect off those of other pieces. Themes that continue from one to the next. Even a progression of growth with some skill I’m working on. The body of work which I’m creating, story by story, novel by novel.

The same with the garden. Each season leads into the next. If a plant didn’t get enough sun one year, it might not bloom the next. If there was a water issue in the summer, the fall and spring might bring fungus diseases if there was too much, or stunted growth if there wasn’t enough moisture. The rapid growth of one plant might crowd out others. As the trees grow and shade increases, sun-loving plants will grow straggly and unhappy.

Both of these passions are enough to consume a life.

One can write an entire lifetime and still have things to learn. Writing is not something that anyone ever masters. That’s why it’s so fascinating. Each novel, each story, is different. They call for different tools from a writer’s toolbox. A good writer never stops learning. Never stops reading. Never stops experimenting.

The same is true with gardening. There is never a perfect year where each plant grows into the perfect shape for where it’s placed. Where there’s no slug damage to Hostas, no blackspot on roses and all plants remain perfectly standing up through the deluge that happens in July. There’s always the freeze that wipes out at least one Hydrangea, so it won’t bloom for a year. Or the huge chunk of the neighbor’s tree that decapitates one of yours in an unattractive manner. Or spring is early and some plants leap right into it, while others lag behind and that perfect blooming combination you imagined doesn’t happen. And, you never stop learning.

I find it amusing that I’ve chosen to balance two very complex things in my life. I really am a glutton for punishment. I can never master either of these things. They’re both challenging me to the point where sometimes I feel like I’m not making progress in either.

Then I sit back in my chair and look at the beauty surrounding me in the garden, smell the sweet roses, listen to the sound of music from the waterfall or the whirring of hummingbirds and think, I did all right this year.

I look at a finished novel, or story and realize that I’ve created a world, with living people, plants and animals, which didn’t exist before I wrote it. Sometimes people even read it and tell me they like it. And I think, okay, this was worth the time and effort I put into it.

When things turn out well, in either the garden or writing, it fills me with the desire to keep going.

When they turn out badly, I realize that if only I moved that plant, or got out of my own way with the writing, it would be better. So, off I go to the next story or the next piece of the garden puzzle.

The whole thing is a mixture of exhaustion and exhilaration. Sort of like life.

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