Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

I'm just writing this evening to wish all of you real-life heroes - our soldiers and veterans - a Happy Memorial Day, and to thank you for your service in the armed forces. I'd also like to remember those who have lost their lives in service to our country, and to extend my respect and gratitude to them and their families. Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Got My ISBN# for WATER!

I have received my ISBN# and my galley for WATER, which means it won't be long before Book Two of the Elemental Series sees publication. When its pub date is announced, I will unveil the book trailer and excerpt. I will also begin putting together some exciting contests and book signings. Keep an eye on the blog for announcements. It's going to be a great summer!

Friday, May 13, 2011

All That ... And Green Too

I am totally and unabashedly posting today because of last night's "Vampire Diaries" Season 2 finale. Which, if you love the Brothers Salvatore (and all things Damon, in particular), should have made you giddy.

But know this, Ian Somerhalder fans: our favorite blue-eyed baddie is not just another pretty face. Ian is using his resources to ... well, preserve our resources. He started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to help protect our planet. In the words of his website, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation 'aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.' Who doesn't love a handsome guy who loves critters?

It's wonderful to see celebrities use their monetary muscle to back a good cause (Leonardo DiCaprio is another noteworthy celeb who's very involved with pro-environment causes). Lots of folks talk the talk, but starting an organization whose focus is to protect the earth is definitely a case of walking the walk. And Ian, for the record, you can saunter past me anytime.

To learn more about what Ian and the ISF do to protect the planet's resources, energy, and living creatures (including you and me), check out the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

Monday, May 02, 2011

On The Bright Side

It always seems to pour when I want to garden. And, silly me, I find myself doing the gardening anyway.

Last year, it was two days of pouring rain while I did our front foundation landscaping. REALLY pouring. As in, Take Three Showers That Day, Look Like The Loser In A Mud Wrestling Match, pouring. And yet, I have a lovely garden in front, just beginning to wake up to spring. The lamium is already beginning to flower, which makes those early bumblebees happy. One of my "Autumn Joy" sedums did not survive the winter, and will probably be replaced by some spring or fall bloomer. The boxwood is sprouting new growth, and even my astilbe (the blooms of which I have not yet seen because I bought it at the end of the season on clearance last year) have burst from the ground in what seems one day.

This year, I am battling the rain to get my butterfly garden in. I started over the weekend in what was, by divine Providence, the Perfect Weekend to do this. I wasn't finished by the time the sun went down, but I decided to save the rest for today.

Naturally, it rained. But, on the heels of last year's rain battle, I forged ahead anyway and got the last of my plants in, as well as the edging. (Much easier than the edging I used for the front, since this just connects to itself and then stakes into the ground. Not perfect, and not breathtaking, but I hope to have so many flowers in there ya just can't see the darn stuff for long. Hope springing eternal, and all that.) And when I was done, and decided to photograph my efforts, I was rewarded with two very lovely portraits of two of my new charges. The first is the aquilegia, or columbine, you see at the top of this entry.

The second is this beautiful little shot, totally unplanned and somehow perfectly sprinkled with rain. This is dianthus "Neon Star," also called pinks because of the zigzag border of its flower petals. This is a cousin to your familiar carnations, and smells like cloves! Mmmmmm. Reminds me of my mother's Easter baking.

The flowers I am putting in this butterfly garden are purported to be magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. All of which will, I hope, afford me lots and lots of great new pictures to share with you. Cheers!