Monday, May 3, 2010

A Deviant

Well, I've set up an account on DeviantART to show off some of my old photography. Everything I've uploaded there is from 2005 when I was serious about the hobby -- when I had time for hobbies. There are so many options available on that site that I'm sure to mess something up before I figure it all out, but that's just part of life: clicking on a button and seeing where it takes you.

The photos I've posted in my entries below are snapshots compared to the ones I've uploaded to my DA gallery. Check them out! HERE

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name ...

My husband says I should start a garden blog, but like I wrote in my previous entry, I don't love it for it's own sake. I love beauty. If I have to get dirty to make beauty, I suppose I'll get dirty. He's the one who loves gardening for gardening's sake, but he's not the one to write about it in an online journal, or any journal for that matter.

But if there's ever a time to blog about gardening, it's during the early part of the season when the plants are young and about to explode with color, and when the wild roses are in bloom.

When we bought the property where we live now, the creek bottom behind our house was a wild, overgrown mess. We cut through the tangle for months, deciding what was worth keeping and what had to go to the bonfire. In the process we came across a treasure: wild rose bushes tucked under the trees. They're in full bloom right now, and when the south wind is blowing, I can smell them an acre away. I wish I could photograph the scent for you, but these pics will have to suffice:

RosebushThe larger of our rose bushes, just at sunset. There's an elm tree for perspective. That's a very large tree. The rose bush stands well over my head.

Rose CascadeA cascade of roses. (A bit overexposed, sorry about that. Messing with the camera settings again.)

ClusterA cluster of roses. Can't you just smell them?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I'm a reluctant gardener at best, driven more by the desire to have a lovely yard than love of the plants. When I complain that I killed yet another lovely, sometimes even "hardy" specimen, my sister asks, "Did you talk to it?" I must reply, "Yes, I tried. I yelled at it." Then she says, "Well, there you go. That's why it died. You've got to talk nicely to your plants."

Whether or not my plants die because they can feel my negative vibes approaching or for some other reason, this year promises to be a better year. If these photos are any indication of the prolific beauty that's to come, then we're in for a treat:

The Herb Patch: Oregano, Chives, volunteer wild flowersThe small herb patch:
Oregano and Chives
with volunteer coneflower
and yarrow, not yet in bloom.

Grandmother's IrisesMy grandma's irises.
Well, they're my irises,
descended from bulbs taken from
Grandma Cille's garden years and years ago.

We've had spotty blooms in years past,
but this year, every plant seems to have
multiple blooms.

ColumbineI've been trying to get columbines to grow for years,
and just when I had given up, neglecting the thing
all through one hot drought-ridden summer, finally,
one the puny thing is loaded with pink and white

RaphaelAnd this one I just threw in for fun.
My big fat tabby, Raphael, is quite the stalker.
It looks like he's peeking over the rim of the
picture, being all sneaky.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's been a while . . .

. . . so I suppose I ought to jot down a few things. Life has been good. How many people get to say that? Not enough, I guess. I've finished a ten-week long Bible study that was so intensive that it took up my mornings. I had to learn to let go of less important things, including my writing. I squeezed in a few words now and then, but progress has continued to be slow. Though I must say, it's been liberating to take a step back, breathe, and put things into perspective. Personal growth has been the surprise and the blessing of the season. The novel will be there in the morning, and I'd rather live this life in a spirit of peace and confidence than in one of frustration, driven by self-consuming goals. The novel will be there in the morning.

The guilt for not working on it every second of every day, of not finishing it sooner, will not be there. And that's a relief. Even those of us with enviable lives have wounds, many self-inflicted, some not. It's good to find healing at long last.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I am so thrilled! The revised version of "The Bone Harp" was snatched up by Black Matrix Publishing. They plan to print it in their next issue of Realms. I guess all those editors and critiquers were right. The story needed expanding. Go figure. ;) I've added a link to their homepage in my sidebar, in case you're curious. Also, their blog is in my bloglist.

Tonight, I get to celebrate! My honey said he would take me out to dinner. Mmm...

God is good.

Edit: the Mexican food was fabulous, by the way. I tasted garlic and onion for two days. Had leftovers with my own homemade salsa. *sigh* I make fabulous salsa! Without lime and cilantro, salsa is just tomato juice. The Sangria Swirl, on the other hand, was a little weak on the Sangria side. I was hoping for that blood-red splash down the middle of my margarita, but it was mauve. Mauve drinks are less than inspiring. And so the celebration went just fine. Happy and relaxed, quiet and romantic. Now the waiting begins. Now, when the editor said, "It'll be in the next issue," did that mean THE very next issue? Breathless, waiting to find out and get my hands on that copy!

Unsure since I had a slight disappointment with Kaleidotrope yesterday. Mr. Coppersmith posted (or his web guy posted) the roster for the April issue, but I did not find "Fire Eater" among the contents. Bummer. When the story was accepted, Fred informed me that my story would appear perhaps in the next couple of issues. When it didn't appear in October, I was sure it would appear in April. Alas. More waiting. On the optimistic side, I had the chance to send Fred my updated bio, which had changed somewhat in the past year. More publications, no longer suffering as a slush reader -- *shudder* And more enthusiastic about LegendFire than ever. So all is well.

Edit again: I received a reply from Mr. Coppersmith. Good news! But I don't want to spill any beans prematurely. Just in case he's not spread the word yet. (hint: I may not have to wait till October) :D

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Well, we've made it over the Chapter 7 hump. On with Chapter 8! My two protagonists finally encounter the object of their search, the event that changes their lives forever. Things get to moving right along, then the family plans a four-day retreat that I feel I can't miss. We are a family of loud, kid-happy, cooking women, so when our core group gets together, our men tend to flee for the hills. It will be a fun, laughter-filled four days, but that is four days spent at my mother's house, four days I could be writing, four days that the novel's forward momentum must come to a screeching halt, four days without a moment's quiet. I shall have to run to the bathroom to snatch a moment to myself, I'm sure, but I'm packing the Xanax, so if worse comes to worst, I can pop a chill pill.

I think I'm giving the wrong impression. I love being with this wonderful group of women and kids. I just need lots of quiet and still, too, or I get so keyed up I can snap into cries-ville or feel so overwhelmed that I become introverted to the point that I float along in hazy-eyed silence. I'm not so alone in that anymore either. My sister made sure to ask, "You're bringing your Xanax, aren't you? I might need one -- or ten." She and mother knock heads a lot. So it can make for some tense moments. Another reason I dive into myself. Escape when there's no other option for escape.

I'm still giving the wrong impression. I'm fully anticipating a fun, food-filled weekend of well-earned indigestion and exhausted vocal cords. The kids are so much fun. I don't have any of my own, so I feel like I can dive in with them and play their games at times. The most precious thing is seeing them dress up in the same play clothes we women used to dress up in when we were that age. Sometimes they come to me for help, and I get to dress them up in wild combinations of old prom dresses we found at garage sales back in the 80s, or old drapes we turned into long capes and veils, or sashes that become a pirate's bandanna. Our memories become theirs, and we get to see them making the same precious moments that will fill them with warmth in the cold days, years down the road.

Not only has progress been made on the novel, however. We've completed one of our yard projects. I guess I can call it that. We were planning on getting goats; we put up the fencing ourselves, bought the guard dog, a huge Great Pyrenees, but decided to downsize the garden area, so we don't need the large animals now to produce copious amounts of fertilizer. We bought bunnies instead! Two adorable baby bunnies that now we must protect from the Great Pyranees, not to mention three cats who would love to ... how did I put it elsewhere? ... feast on those tender bunny brains. My sweet, snuggly kitty Raphael steals the varmints that his brother, Gabriel, catches, then eats the critters head first. Gopher brains! Yum. But hasn't this turned a gory direction? Bunnies. Right. Cute, fluffy, poo-producing bunnies. Project checked off the list. Progress feels good.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Still Slogging On Seven

Oh, good grief! I looked back through these blog entries and saw that way back on 9 February I was about to start a revision of Chapter 7 of my novel. It's exactly a month later, and I'm still working on Chapter 7. That is just sad. Pathetic. As in Puts Me In Dumbfounded Despair kind of pathetic. I used to break into tears over the fact that I had no life, that all I had was my writing, day in and day out, all I did was write, write, write. A chapter a week.

Now, what have I discovered? I have so much life going on that I have no time to write. I've been desperate to squeeze in a few paragraphs in a four-hour stretch here, a two-hour snippet there. And a month later, I've still not reached the end of Chapter 7. I'm never going to reach my deadline.