In Bloom

imageOver the weekend, my backdoor garden has come into bloom.

Except for a bit of weeding (which I, sadly, rarely get to), this garden is self-sustaining, filled with perennials, many of them gifted to me by my dear father before he died. The tea roses are from cuttings he brought from the Homestead (originally brought there from his mother’s tea roses in Massachusetts). My Grandma Reed died the summer before I was born, but I feel like I “know” her a little through the stories my father told me about her quiet, intelligent nature, her inventive and hearty cooking, and her beautiful flower gardens.

The iris are quintessentially my father: he loved this kind of large, colorful – and some scented – iris. These are all gifts from him, with his favorite being what he called the “blue and whites” that are in the foreground. I feature one, even, in my family-life-love-loss-hope-filled novel Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

We spoke many times about the mysteries of life, the Universe, energies, and what the afterlife might hold. I detail some of those conversations and thoughts in the novel as well – but I like to think that the tangible  beauty of this garden speaks to that in a different way. It blooms every year, all on its own, bringing joy, a feast for the senses, and happy memories that keep uplifting emotions and treasured people in the forefront of my thoughts.

And it reminds me yet again that love might change form, but it never truly dies.

Happy Spring!

Although it’s quite chilly here in Upstate, New York, it’s been sunny and a lovely, brisk first day of Spring.

 

imageI put out my “spring-themed” flag in the front (I have 8 or so flags, to match the seasons, though I always seem to be adding more…I just put away the green spangled Saint Patrick’s Day flag).

 

 

imageAnd the first harbingers of Spring, since I can remember, have begun to poke their little blue heads from the soil next to the house. Apparently they’re called Scilla siberica (Siberian squill or wood squill). We always called them the “little blue flowers” when I was growing up. They spread a lovely-hued carpet of blooms next to the old homestead, and the autumn before my father died, he (presciently) dug me a rectangular bit of that turf from home and brought it the 1.5 hours or so to my house, so I could have a patch of them growing every Spring. Just another reason I love him and another reason to always think of him whenever I look at the beauty of those flowers.

 

Happy Spring to one and all!

Pretty Sky, Followed By Rain…

The pretty pink sky at dawn this morning out my back door…

Leading to the slate gray sky of daytime, out my classroom window.

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The weather changes reflect my mood and my ruminations today on the changes we inevitably experience in life. As with everything, we must accept the bitter after the sweet…trusting that the sweet will eventually come again.

 

It’s Been A While…

It’s hard to believe that here it is the end of February, and this is my first post of 2016.

There are several reasons for this, which I won’t get into in any detail, but I will share that my life has become more complex and complicated in many ways, due to some family-related issues and a delightful and loveable new little human who has been living with us and made me a (quite youthful!) grandmother.

imageNeedless to say, the slogan on the Yogi tea I’ve been drinking this past hour is one I’m working actively toward achieving each day: “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self”.

Speaking of tea, what do you think of my mug? It’s new (well, as of January) and was a little gift to myself, purchased at a country store but from a source called Healing Touch Pottery. Each mug or pottery item is unique, handmade from quartz clay and containing a gemstone or mineral in the handle, imbued with energy associated with that. Mine is my birthstone, amethyst (yes, I recently had a milestone birthday) 🙂

I love it!  Has anyone else here tried their pottery?  I’d like to collect a few more pieces. It’s pretty and comforting all at once.

Anyway – I’m glad to be back and will try to post again more frequently. I’m writing sporadically, working at the moment on a prequel novella for The Crimson Lady – but thanks to the aforementioned changes in life, I’ve yet to find my rhythm to set up any regular schedule. It will come in time – when it’s supposed to – I’m confident.

Until my next post, wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Foreword Reviews “Reviewer’s Choice” Award!

FINAL COVER MOOSE TRACKSJust in time for Christmas…

I’m delighted to share that Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has received a “Reviewer’s Choice” Award from Foreword Reviews, the preeminent Indie Book Review Quarterly.

Considering that the quarterly publishes more than 600 book reviews annually, this nod for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven – one of only 15 chosen for the year – is a real honor, and I am thrilled.

Just click on FOREWORD REVIEWS right here and it will take you to the blog posting and the list of books named. Mine is the sixth one down, with the original review by Maya Fleischmann, along with some lovely commentary just before it, explaining why she chose my book as her favorite of 2015. 🙂

 

 

Halloween Memories

Halloween in the 1984

This was done my first year at college, when I came home on break…

Reminiscing Halloweens past, and the decorating we used to do at the Homestead with all homemade materials.  All the pictures in this post are from the 80’s (as the clothing and hairstyles will attest, LOL)!

Ma with pumpkinCutting jack-o-lanterns with Pa and Ma. Ma is having a bit of fun with her pumpkin. 🙂

Pa and Mary with pumpkin

Admiring the finished products with Pa

pumpkin and mary

And finally, sitting atop the little shelter Pa built for us to stand in while we waited for the school bus at the end of our long driveway…sharing the space with a giant pumpkin Pa grew, and a little orange cat he and Ma took in.

Happy Halloween!

Cozy Imaginings

I suppose the fact that I have a vivid and active imagination isn’t a big surprise. Most fictions writers do.

One of the ways my imagination works often results in a kind of fun game. It’s something I’ve done since I was a little kid, and I’d have to amuse myself as we drove back and forth from shopping or one of the many activities I or my six sisters participated in.

0_6730f_ddb9f7d9_origIt can be triggered by something as simple as seeing a charming house like this one on the left, with its windows lit warmly from within…

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Or driving by an historic and lovely library…

pg304-6543Hill-304Or spotting a cozy home when I’m driving in the around town or in the country…

Without much effort, I can create an entire story in my mind about the people who live or work there.

Sometimes even a bend in the road makes a scene blossom, shifting my thoughts to a more personal connection. At those times, I often feel a sense of longing or nostalgia and a vision of what my own life might be like in the imagined setting.

Almost like an alternative reality daydream.

This happened to me a couple weeks ago, on my drive to work. I saw a road curving off to the left , the leaves of the trees on either side brilliant and lit with the morning sun, and the farmer’s fields all around warm in the glow.

It’s a road I’ve seen many times before, but the angle when I looked at it, or perhaps the way the sun dappled the leaves, set off the imaginative machine inside me.  I didn’t stop to snap a photo that day, because (as is usual) I had no extra time to spare in getting to work.

imageBut I stopped to take this picture on the left a day later.

The atmosphere had changed…it was misty that morning, and far less golden as the sun slowly rose, but it inspired me nonetheless.

I could suddenly picture a cozy home499b724fb9ca8231ab5f5765ef4366e1 (like this one on the right, perhaps)  just out of sight down the road and imagine living in it – only not the real me, but a fictional me, from the alternate reality, where I live out in the country, like when I was young. In this world, I am a homebody, gardening, baking, and wandering around outdoors, rather than going to work every day and busy with a multitude of tasks, chores, and responsibilities I have to accomplish.

It’s a pleasant fiction, and it makes my heart pang for a second.

Okay…so I’m ready to hear from you – am I odd to have imaginings like this, or can any of you relate (whether or not you’re a writer)? Please let me know in the comments. I promise I can handle it if you think I’m just odd, LOL. 🙂

Happy Friday – and Happy Night Before Halloween!