Settling into Garnet

The Japanese maples on our acre are always among the first to 
celebrate spring. Trunk and branches store and 
stoke their calling-card color all winter, and in the spring ... 

... it bursts from every stem tip—scarlet flags against a
new-blue, spring canopy.

Now the fanfare is over, and they've settled into a more sedate 
summer color, something along the lines of garnet

As many of you know, I signed a contract to publish a children's book with Familius Publishing. I'm thrilled to join this company and add "Debut Author" to my list of life titles. I'd like to give updates here on what the journey to publication has been like for me, and let you know what's coming up next. 

Here's a question I've answered before:
How did you make connections in the writing industry?
In fall, 2013, my youngest son finished eighth grade at the Simpson Home Academy and entered public high school. I cautiously tiptoed into the writing world, staying safely on the edges. My investigations led me to Word Weavers International. Through this organization and its generous leaders, I began to step out of the shadows, meet other writers, and learn about the #writinglife. 

I'd love to answer questions about what's involved in a publication journey, which is unique to every writer. Ask your question or share your own experience in the comments.

A few facts for now: 
* The working title of my book is "Family Dog." It's highly unlikely that the title will stay the same. 
* The book will be in the Spring 2021 Familius catalog but will be available a few months sooner than that. 
* I haven't met the illustrator or the editor of the book yet. 
* I paid for high-resolution photos (headshots) at Portrait Innovations. It was a painfully awkward experience, but the talented young photographer managed to get a few photos that I'm happy to have for a back-cover blurb. 

More details soon! 


Please, Please ...

Recently a dear friend asked me if I've ever eaten fiddleheads
Have I ever consumed miniature packets of potential, bundles of soon-to-unfurl beauty?
No way, no how.

Ferns are among the most tenacious of garden ladies. 
While other plants continue to snooze under winter blankets of cold leaves and chilly air, 
ferns stretch their lovely limbs and gather weakly-warm sunbeams. 
And like this intrepid example, they grow anywhere a spore may land—even on
 the face of a brick wall in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. 

My vacationing family kept walking while I lagged behind to admire, and be inspired by, this 
persistent plant—untended, unplanned, and possibly only appreciated by me.
And now, you. 
There's much to learn from this unlikely teacher, the humble fern. 

 So please, please—don't eat the fiddleheads. 


Other garden ladies I've observed here and here


Treasure Hunting

Most Saturdays my husband and I peruse other people's stuff looking for treasures. 
Both terms are loosely used here. 
Occasionally, something seems to say, "I'm yours..." and wins a place in our nest. 
More often, though, I sell the treasures on Etsy to finance my writing adventures. 
Either way, we have fun rehashing the week, sipping coffee, and laughing at people-antics.

A few weeks ago, a local estate sale yielded a bunch of sellable treasures, including 
a 1967 Super 8 camera. A ball-capped sale attendant told us his father bought
 and used the camera while stationed in Vietnam. 
"Dad used it to bring home all the sights he wanted to share with us." 
He removed his cap, swiped a hand through his hair, and replaced it. 
"Things sure went hard for us while he was away."

A single home movie frame turned up in the bottom of the bag. 
I'm not sure who's who, but it's easy to make up a good story. 
What do you think is going on here? 
Let's hear your best story-starting line.
If you provide the starters, I'll pick one and finish it.