From the Ground Up

20161227_123753I always want to be influenced by nature. The changing colors and textures of the seasons are too wonderful to overlook. Besides that, they provide an endless source of inspiration and contemplation -perfect for workday down-time and creative diversions.

This Christmas, I’m being charmed with wild mushrooms and asparagus fern.

How awesome is that?

beauty, dipped in silver

20161116_152148Introducing my latest green find. I presume it’s for the holidays. Maybe everyone else is already familiar with this sort of festivity, but it’s new to me and I think its pretty wild. I’ve gotten winter bulbs before (narcissus, or something else small and white.)

But this a Giant Amaryllis, and it’s actually dipped, little wire stand and all, in shimmery silver wax. How jolly is that?

And if the label is to be believed, it will be red as well as giant and jolly. The label claims that no watering is required. This is absolutely brilliant since I shouldn’t be trusted with any additional responsibilities during the holidays. So, for the next several weeks, this unique beauty will be living on my mantel, minding it’s own business, and inspiring carefree, seasonal cheer.

short stories and priorities

20161121_081514Currently, I’m working on a short story, or more to the point: I’m not working on a short story. I’m spending most of my time working on a class for my certificate or “writing.”

By writing, I mean I’m chopping my second book, The Charlatan Murders, into 43 separate chapter files and getting them each labeled properly. One version and format goes to the publisher’s vault, but since my editor and I work on a separate platform, I also have to send those 43 chapters there. At this point, the labeling gets tricky since my editor and I will bounce those chapters back and forth like tennis balls until each chapter is perfect. Then when that’s finally complete, we’re going to do it all again, twice. At least.

I learned the hard way with The Hatbox Murders that proper labeling is crucial to keep us moving forward. Without a clear system, we might end up re-editing old versions, or each editing the same chapter differently at the same time. This is the non-writing side of writing. It’s necessary and it takes a lot of time. But it’s time that I’d rather spend on my short story. But I guess all the work-writing will make the fun-writing more fun, when I finally get around to it.

a Sunday stroll


A day of chores, catch-up errands, bills, and a wonderful lunch and walk with my husband. Even though I didn’t get everything finished that I wanted, and I didn’t do any reading, it was still a perfect day.

Purple Succulent

20161118_150019I have a neighbor who’s a master gardener. He gave me several succulents he’d cleared out from his garden so I could transplant them. San Diego is a semi-arid desert, but I live in an area that is neither inland (warm and dry) nor coastal (cool and moist).

Basically we’re warmish but with regular marine layers and cool snaps. My neighbor said I could simply stick the succulents in the ground. I thought he was kidding. He said he was serious. He’s a master gardener so I gave it a try. That was nearly two years ago and this little sucker is still alive. Lucky me 🙂


Autumn colors


I love this time of year. I love the shorter days, the cooler weather, and the long dramatic shadows. It’s not quite sweater season in my part of the world, but I’m ready to talk gratitude. There’s so much to be thankful for, but today, it’s just a peaceful suburban life and changing colors. I know that’s plain and ordinary, but it’s also perfectly wonderful.