Category Archives: Drama Box

And the winner is

My family thinks I’m a good gardener. They look at my yard, and see all the work I’ve put into it and assume that I know what I’m doing. They never see the plants that don’t make it, the stacks of empty containers, the mistakes I throw mulch over, or remember that that that plant was over there last year, and now it’s starting all over again in a sunnier spot. I’m not saying that I don’t know anything, just that there’s a lot of moving around and trial and error in my yard, and all they see is the end result.

Something I’ve been giving a go with these past couple of years is Hellebores. They are not a native plant, so I was a little leery of them, but since they bloom in early spring, a nice source of pollen to whatever bee might be out and about at that time, I thought I’d give them a whirl. That they like shade is a big plus, and they are out even before crocus.

I’ve had them for about two years now, in three places in my yard as I try to find their shade intolerance. My original plant by the garage which gets a fair amount of sun for a shady spot, overwinters well and looks nice and green, but it doesn’t flower that much. The ones out front that get less light are pretty much wasting to nothing. If they survive the winter, I’ll move them. But the ones on the south side of the house in the shade of a large tree are starting to show promise, with unexpected flowers this year.

hellebore

I may have found the perfect spot for my Hellebores. And as for the spot up front in the shade? I’ll just keep looking.

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Something Peri and I share

It’s natural and unavoidable that the people we write about have some of our character traits, likes, and dislikes, even quirks. Rachel often carried some of my “wish the world was this way” to the page. Peri is no different, but she’s a lot less like me than Rachel ever was. Peri is more like the dark sibling, and the “wish the world was this way” parts are correspondingly less moral and more sensation oriented. You’ll see my appreciation for beautiful, powerful cars, my wish for technology to live up to what technology is supposed to be. Peri’s world is focused more on sensational gratification than introspective musings, but she does that too.

One thing Peri and do share is, ah, knitting. I’ll be honest about it. I’m a lot better at it than her. (grin) She has trouble finishing a project, which I didn’t realize until book two, but now that I do, she’s going to have to realize it as well. Peri and I knit for different reasons, though we both appreciate the zen-like relaxation that comes from quietly using multiple parts of your brain for a complex task made up of simple things. She knits for the meditation–because it’s an Opti approved stress relief. I knit more to exercise the problem solving aspect that comes from trying to modify patterns to suit you. Case in point, my Kim Harrison Ponies.

pony

I made this guy this weekend while making sure my pattern has everything on it, and I still think I need to shorten that left leg up a little. Maybe three stitches. The flower garland is something new for me, too, since it’s spring and I’m not going to put a saddle and halter on this guy to give him away. The garland I created all on my own with no pattern whatsoever. The mane and tail turned out crinkly because I used already previously knitted yarn, which also makes him unique in my “stable.”  This one I knitted to keep right from the start, but there are editors, agents, and even a few authors out there who have a Kim Harrison white steed. I give them to my heros, because every hero needs a white steed.

Click to preorder

Click to read cover blurb

Click to preorder

Click to read cover blurb

 

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Low-Q snow

There are little bits of snow darting about my yard like fireflies. They look confused, none of them going in the same line as its neighbor, no pattern, no purpose or organization. It’s as if someone forgot to tell them that we’re done with snow now, and to head north for the summer.

Stupid snow.

I’m working on Peri II today, back on those same first seven chapters. It’s always the beginning that gives me the most trouble, probably because that’s where I’m setting up my rules, and once those are there, the story sort of tells itself. But I’m pretty hopeful that I’ve got a plan now that’s going to carry me through. It woke me up this morning, and that’s always a good sign.

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rain

Rain. We finally got rain, and not the freezing kind, but honest rain.

You know in the post apocalyptic movies, I mean the ones for grownups, not the recent flush of coming-of-age movies, (nothing wrong with those, they just don’t touch on what I’m talking about) where there was an ecological melt down, not a social one, where everything goes to hell because we can’t grow food? And then it rains, showing that the world is finding a balance again, and that rain becomes a symbol of hope? That’s kind of what it feels like today, listening to the shushh of the cars on the wet pavement, the last bits of ice being washed from the gutters and shadowed spots.

RainBut even as I feel that renewal, there’s the nagging knowledge that it’s a short rise in a trend of downfall.

Soon, if we’re lucky, we’ll get frog song. I can hear them if I listen carefully in the still of the night, but they grow fainter every year. They are such sensitive indicators. My kids will never know the annoyance of too many frogs singing, and that’s a shame, sort of like I never felt the thunder of bison under my feet, in my ears–the power of the earth my world for a brief span of time.

Everything gets chipped away under the pressures of our needs.

Even the rain.

 

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Rearranging my office is like rearranging my mind

It must be spring, I’m rearranging my office to better catch the shifting sun. It’s angle has shifted significantly, and the plants are starting to move toward the windows again. it was sort of a double whammy this time since I was coming off a rather intense rewrite, which always gets me in the mood to clean off my desk, and it just sort of spilled over to the couch and cabinet. A bag of stuff went out to the curb when I exchanged a filing cabinet (which Tim wanted) for a mini-wardrobe (which I wanted). Cleaned up the plants . . . changed out Mr. Fish’s bowl.

And then I took a week and sort of did the same for the website, starting the slow transition from one book to the next. Small changes right now, but they will grow upon themselves. At least THE DRAFTER has a page now.

Today, though, with a clean office and nothing more to procrastinate with, I’ll be hitting Peri hard. I cracked book two open yesterday to try and remember where I’d left off, and it took me about seven chapters of a fun read to remember the changes I’d wanted to make when I left her. So today I’m working on those same seven chapters, putting in said changes. At least, that’s the plan. I’ve also got to shorten the chapters, maybe move a POV from Michael to Bill, think about shifting that prologue from the, ah, coffee shop to maybe a car show  . . . Decisions, decisions.

cacti2Cacti sprouts are starting to show some green.

 

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Very slow spring, and that’s okay

Crocus2015I’ve got a very slow spring unfolding in my yard this year, and that’s okay because really, it’s only mid March. The cold kept me inside apart from a small stint raking out one of my front flower beds that took about an hour or two of easy work. They went to bed nice last fall, so there’s nothing too strenuous, and if it stays chilly, I will get to the entire yard before new green shows up which is kind of what you want so you don’t shock the new stuff. Anyway . . . green is coming up, and the first of my crocus, in the ground now for about five years, is making itself known. I give it a few more weeks and a ten degree shift up, and I’ll have the rest up as well.

HollowsInsiderNot much outside work this weekend, which pushed me inside where I used the last of our maple syrup to make maple candy–just in time for the new stuff that our neighbors are tapping just down the road. I do love shopping small. It makes me feel connected. So far, we’ve had a good tapping with warm days and cool nights. There’s only a small band of latitude where you can tap for maple syrup, and I’m glad I live in it.

Tim says it’s the best maple candy I’ve made, but he might be bias seeing as he was right there, helping me scrape it out of the pan. Honestly, eating it still warm from the pan is like an entirely different candy. If you want my 4 ingredient recipe, it’s in the HOLLOWS INSIDER. B&N Amazon

I can’t believe the price hasn’t dropped significantly on this one yet, but I think it’s because it’s so . . . unconventional, truly a labor of love on my part and a Herculean effort on my publisher to take my graphs, photos, forms, emails, and connected, unique story line and make it look professional. Remember the contests to get your own photos into it? (grin) Wow, I’ll never do it again, but it will always stand as a four-color, glossy, glow in the dark testament to the power of passion.

And it’s got Tim’s waffle recipe in there, too. (laugh)

P.S. Robins have been back for about a week now. Yay!

 

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Cacti sprouts

After long last, I’ve got cacti sprouts! Tim brought me home some seeds from the airport when he was at a cycling camp, and after about two weeks, I’ve got sprouts! I’m afraid to take them out of the dish of geminating water just yet because the “soil” is really vermiculite, and it’s going to dry out too fast. I might repot all three clay pots into a larger pot, just as they are, to help keep the moisture levels even. (And yes, that’s duckweed behind them. I’ve tried three years to overwinter duckweed, and this year, I finally managed it.)

CactiSprouts

Here’s hoping they make it. Cacti are something new for me. I’ve only been growing them for a few years, but they seem to like my office. I’ve got two that have flowered unexpectedly. That’s a big “wow” for me.

If you missed the cover reveal Tuesday, I’ll have it up probably before the week’s end for you. I’m revamping the website a smidge, not a lot, and the cover of THE DRAFTER will start to show up here and there. Today, though, I’m spending on freebies! I’m going to have two this year, one of which (the most cool) you’ll only be able to get at a signing. The other should be available for a SASE like we’ve done in years past. No hints yet! :-)

 

 

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