Six Years?!

Yesterday I was making noise, (not really complaining) about the six hours it takes to make Marzipan, and how I’ll never do it again, but next year, I’m going to try something different to keep the glaze from crystalizing so soon. While all the while, out in my office, a six-year flower was unfolding.


A tiny slip of a miniature orchid that a reader gave me . . . oh, it had to be six years ago, finally blossomed. I’d been watching it all this last month, seeing the two flower buds forming, and yesterday was the day they opened. Honestly, these things are smaller than my pinky nail, and just beautiful. Now that it’s bloomed once, I’m hopeful that it will do so again next year. Sometimes it’s all about finding the perfect light. If it’s happy, it will bloom. I’ve got one that bloomed four times this last year, a very happy orchid. (It’s got another flower stalk coming, which will make it five. Dudes!)

So find your perfect light and bloom, even if it takes six years.


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Six hours?

I’ve got three cookbooks that I reach for since I’ve been out on my own.

The first is a Betty Crocker–good all around solid food. Good place to start.

The second is my collection of spotted and faded index cards where the family recipes are–the odd favorites you can’t find anywhere else, like chess cakes or familiar ones with a local twist, like my mom’s banana bread. (The likes of which you can’t find in a recipe book.) They bring me back to who I am, ground me.

The third is my posh cookbook, with stuff that takes so friggin’ long that you don’t bother to make it unless it’s a special occasion or you want to impress someone.  I open this one up quite a lot, actually, to quickly check the temperature of turkey, or find a conversion factor, or even make something special. This particular cookbook gives estimates of how long it’s going to take to go from cupboard to table, so I wasn’t surprised when I reached for it yesterday, wanting to make Marzipan, but still, six hours?

Every year I swear I’m not going to make them, and every year I do it again. This year, I added bananas to my repertoire. I was pretty happy with them until I glazed them. Something was off with it, either the temp or the way I applied the glaze, because they crystaled up. I’ve never had that happen before, but I’ve got a few ideas as to why. I might have to do them again.




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Slow start, but still, it moves.

I remember once telling an interviewer in jest that I thought I became a writer so I could name things, but it sounds about right. I’ve been taking my work in little chunks lately–the holiday season is a tough beast to tame. It needs a steady hand, so the work is more of a framework this time of year to structure the day around.

And yet, things do eventually cross my desk, going from idea to paper, and from there into the “cabinet of awesomeness.” (Rolls eyes-you gotta put ideas in the cabinet before you can pull them out.)

I’ve been naming things this last week: ideas disguised as characters, the human condition concealed in the plot, wishes hidden among the world building–and there’s a new ream of paper starting to grow in my cabinet. Just a few pages so far, but it moves. It won’t move fast as this is not front burner, but back, but still it moves.



P.S. Mr. Gnome is making a good impression of me in his winter cap, surrounded by paperclips, sticky notes, and colored pencils as I sit and think beside a Christmas tree, (which right now, symbolizes that life keeps moving, so you’d better keep moving with it and fit the work in when you can.)


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Last day for -personalized- WWNN for Christmas

You know how irritating it is to order something for Christmas, and then it doesn’t show in time? Yep. I do it all the time. Which is exactly why the cut off for a personalized, first-edition hard cover of THE WITCH WITH NO NAME is today.  After that, all that will be available through Nicola’s is the generically signed copies.

Be sure to tell Nicola’s when you order who you want the book personalized to and if you want my usual note or Merry Christmas :-) International is okay, but email for a shipping quote before you order. Link to order a Christmas book from Nicolas


Also, voting at Goodreads for the Readers Choice awards are finishing up. This is the third and final round of voting, cutting the field of ten down to one. THE WITCH WITH NO NAME is in Fantasy. Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards I think they announce the winners in December.

MonarchPatternAs for me, I’m just now putting the white accents on my monarch butterfly and ready to call it good. It’s taken about a month, but I’ve got both upper and lower wings figured out and should have it finished this weekend, so look for a picture of it on Monday. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I only had to make like six of them to get the pattern just the way I want. :-)


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Winter came hard and fast

No, I’m not complaining, though my dogs are not too happy with the cold. But after a couple of weeks of catch-up in the yard, both Tim and I were more or less ready for it. We just didn’t think it would get this cold this fast. Wow.

I’m so glad I had the feeders ready. So is this guy. He looks like this year’s crop of red bellied woodpeckers. (Page 190 of your Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds.) The feeder makes him look small, but he’s bigger than a blue jay, fairly shy, and acrobatic. We don’t see them much at our “city” house unless they are cold or feeding young.



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Manic Monday–totes and swag

Totes are gone! Thank you everyone who took part in this. Guy is going to process the first 40, and refund anyone who slipped in after they were gone. Thanks again!

What do you do with leftover swag? You give it away! So today, from noon EST to probably twelve O’ one, Guy and I will be giving away forty THE WITCH WITH NO NAME totes and accompanying swag to U.S. addresses. (Bunny pin, blue butterfly charm, bus token, etc) We only ask that you pay for shipping to get them to you, so you need to be on PayPal to take advantage of this. Don’t have PayPal? Ask your brother, sister, uncle, or BFF.



To get one of the 40 book totes, at noon, (not 11: 55)  paypal Guy your address and 5$  to cover the postage and handling to (check for typos. PayPal won’t tell you if it goes to the wrong place) and if you are among the first 40, we’ll send you a book tote with all the goodies. We think this will take about one minute, and I’ll edit my post here and at FB when the books are gone. We’ll of course refund any paypal monies that slipped through in the meantime.

The totes will go out first class postage, and because the swag includes “jewelry” we’re limiting this to U.S. only. The cost is 5.00 to cover shipping and Guy’s time.

We also ask that you put your current address in at the “notes to seller space” when you arrange this. **** No address in the notes to seller space, and your money will be refunded.**** We are not sending invoices, just hit the “send money to” button.

We’ve done these in the past with good results, as many of you already know!


In the meantime, we’ve got the voting at Goodreads going on. This is the third and final round of voting, cutting the field of ten down to one. THE WITCH WITH NO NAME is in Fantasy. Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards I’ll have the winner for you next week, I think.

A-a-a-and, for you early Christmas shoppers, Nicola’s is letting me come in one more time to do a batch of personalized, first-edition, blue butterfly copies of THE WITCH WITH NO NAME. After the 21st, I will not be personalizing any more through the mail, so if you want one, just follow the link to order one. And be sure to tell Nicola’s when you order who you want the note personalized to! :-) International is okay, but email for a shipping quote before you order. . Link to order a Christmas book from Nicolas


If you’re trying for one of the totes, Good luck!


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The Garden Sleeps

SleepThe garden sleeps,
And so do I.

When winter comes,
and snow is nigh.

I think I like winter because there’s a firm stop of motion out in the garden. It’s a gentle reminder to my motion-and-growth oriented personality that yes, I am allowed a graceful rest, that as nature does, so should I.

And so today, while I’m not taking a sick day, I am relaxed, moving at a slower pace so I can enjoy the sedate snow-globe world outside my window.

Since I’m talking about rest, my monarch wings are coming along really well, and as soon as I get a body for the beast, I’ll share. It’s my hope that someday all this work can be tied to a children’s picture book with patterns of the main characters in the back. So far, I’ve got Harrison Original Patterns (HOP) for a giraffe, pony, seated and reclining dragon, and now a monarch butterfly. I need to make up a chrysalis, I do believe, and perhaps a blue butterfly.

But again, that is another story for another time.


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