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Category: Gardening

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)!

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!

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.

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.

 

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!

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.

 

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.